Question: I have a NSH in training that will primarily be a “show horse”, but I have always believed in a horse appropriate level of easy trail riding or anything out of the arena occasionally to prevent horse boredom and getting arena sour. The worry is the show shoes or even just because the horses’ lack of experience outside of an arena.Would Hoof Boots (i.e. Easy Boots ,etc.) be the right thing to use? Or are they only meant to be used for barefoot horses? Thanks!
Answer from April Reeves: Some of the easy boots can be worn over shoes, but it does void the warranty if the boot is damaged. They do fit however.
My thought to you is: are you considering them because you don’t want to risk losing a shoe? It’s a problem with gaited and motion horses.
Always teach your horse to move forward obediently
Question: My mare whom I’ve had about 3 yrs, she is 8, was abused, was flipped over because of being backed up aggressively by some asshole trainer, among other things, well when I try to take her down the road, she stops and refuses to go forward when she gets around the corner. I thought it was because she didn’t want to leave my gelding. So we took them both and she still kept stopping. But we did get to the end of the road. So if I take her by herself, she refuses to go forward, she will back up even into shrubs and trees. What should I do?
Answer from April Reeves: I worked on a mare that did exactly the same thing. I’ll explain how I worked with her.
It’s About Moving Forward
First, we addressed the backing up. After taking this mare out for the first time and almost landing in the ditch, we went back home to the outdoor ring and had a lesson on how to move forward the instant I asked. Doing more backing is not the cure for this style of behavior.
Posted in English Riding answers, Equine Behavior & Problems, General riding answers, Natural Horsemanship, Western training answers
Tagged behavior, Equine Behavior & Problems, foundation training, herd bound, horse forward, horse training, problem horse, trail riding
Question: I keep reading everywhere that you should exercise your horse outdoors, but none of these sites tells me why this is better for it. May you please tell me why it is better for me to exercise a horse outdoors rather than indoors?
Answer from April Reeves: Thank you for this question; it is one of the best yet, and one that’s highly controversial.
Each breed and discipline has a different response to this question, but you need a variety of experience and length of experience with all breeds and disciplines to know how to answer it well.
I’m going to give you specific interpretations and let you decide the answers.
Spooky Trail Horse
Question: My 5yr old has a very bad problem with things jumping out at him. The only thing is there is nothing there. He thinks the trees are going to get him. He just started doing this, every time we go up the road, he keeps his attention on the trees or the ditches. Cars don’t bother him and deer don’t one bit. I don’t know what his problem is and would like to know how to fix it. I’ve had him since he was 3; he is an excellent horse, great with cattle, barrels and responds well to leg pressure and reins.
Answer from April Reeves: This is so typical of horses right when the leaves begin to fall off the trees. Although we can’t ‘see’ anything, there are changes in the way everything smells, especially to the horse. Since we keep our horses in an environment that’s fairly sterile, in the sense that the horse does not have the ability to learn about these situations for himself in the wild, he resorts to snorting, stopping and refusing to move quietly past these things.
So what can you do?
A SPECIAL POST BY ADIVA MURPHY
Question: We’ve been doing a lot of road riding lately so the ditches and the grass is very long. We of course have some trouble keeping the horses from snacking all the way. Jenny is finding that her horse who is quite poky anyway is getting slower and likes to stop to eat. That means that she is either always pulling on his face or kicking or both. This causes him to get a little nervous because I am not sure if he knows what he is doing wrong. On our broke horses we have always just had the thought that if they could grab a bite and keep going no big deal. Is this the best answer or should we be approaching this differently. I don’t want our rides to always be a fight and when the grass is so long it is hard for them to not want to eat. Any suggestions?
Answer: Well it is pretty easy to stop it…you need to make it a rule that they are not allowed to eat at all. I am firm about this with my horses because it is annoying and I don’t want to pull on their face.
Here is what I do and recommend: