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Bad habits after 30 minutes on the trail

I have had a 10 year old gelding for around 6 months now. I routinely ride him with simply a halter around the stables and he is perfect every time. The problem begins when we've been on the trail for about 30+ minutes. Then, and only then, he shows bad habits rearing when he doesn't want to go forward, running off when remounting, prancing in place and throwing his head when asked to stand still. I have no round pen on the trail and the ground is pretty bad. I don't know what to do. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Hi Melissa,

Something I like to do when my horse shows behavior I do not want, is to have him do small circles (yielding the hind quarters). I can do this whether on the ground or in the saddle. In the saddle I have the horse bend around an 'inside' leg. On the ground I move his hind quarters away in a very tight circle (horse is pivoting on his front feet). This simple technique will, if done right, re-focus the horse's attention on you and not on anything else.

Let me know if you understand this process. It does not take a round pen, much level ground or anything. It can be done in a tiny space and anytime. Let me know how it goes and thank you for your question.



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