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Horse wants to go to every barn she sees

I recently purchased an 18 yr old draught/quarter horse which was formerly a riding stable horse. She is very gentle, easy to tack up and quiet. She is definitely a stable horse in that she is quite content to follow in the other horses foot steps on the trail and would much rather walk than trot or canter. I have had to show her a crop now and then to pick up the pace. My problem is that she refuses to leave the barn to go out on a ride, or once on a ride if we come upon another barn she refuses to go further and wants to go there. I have had to dismount and walk her til we were out of site and then we can resume our ride. I becomes a little embarrassing when I have to walk a while rather than ride just to get her on her way. Any tips?


Hi Ingrid,

I suggest not riding out for a little while and get great at riding the horse in some sort of arena. Practice, leg yields (means being able to ask the horse to move its front end, i.e.turns on the haunches, hind quarters i.e. turns on the forehand, lateral movement i.e. side passes and half passes. Practice these a lot. Then go to doing (or mix in) small circles in both directions as well as endless serpentines (figure 8's) at the trot. Here is what you will get if you do will become a much better rider which is extremely important as the horse only comes up to the level of the rider to begin with.

You will have a good consequence to put the horse to should it balk. The consequence is 'movement' (small circles and figure 8's at the trot or at least with energy). I like asking for hind quarter yields if a horse balks going forward. After several rotations of that most horses are ready to move forward. But you and the horse need to get very good and comfortable at these moves before you go out on the trails and really need to use them. Remember it is not about making your horse do something. It is all about leading the dance with your horse. To do that you really do need a 'relationship' with the horse. This relationship is formed first and foremost on the ground dancing, playng and enjoying each other. If you only ride your horse, unless you are a very skilled equestrian and truely understand the 'dance' and the natureof horses, you do not have much of a relationship (earned trust, respect, etc.). Because for most folks it is all about them riding the horse and the human really never seeks or receives good education or knowledge about the horse itself. This lack of knowledge and understanding is at the core of all problems horses have with humans. Good Luck and keep me posted.

Sincerely, Franklin

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