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You are in... Forums > Riding and Training > General > riding in new areas

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Oct 08

Posts: 27

MoodyMare10 says:

riding in new areas

what is the best way to introduce new bridle paths to my horses? we have been putting off riding them for nearly 6 weeks :S i know its awful but they are being quite tricky to lead and are being rather cheeky. ive been told to lead them in hand in a bridle down the lane and back and go a bit further each time, but ive then been told im safer on him ? help!!

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Jan 10

Posts: 1942

Tommytank says:

Re: riding in new areas

 I would ride, just in walk and if things got a bit tricky get off and lead.  It takes me weeks in a new place until I start bombing around, i like to know exactly whats coming, what the ground is like what possible hazzards there could be.

Good luck i'm sure it will be fine just imagine it positively all the time before you go to sleep, wait for the absolute determination to kick in and go for it

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Jan 11

Posts: 30

DutchDestiny says:

Re: riding in new areas

With my gelding, in a new place I find its best to lead him for a few minutes down the track, and once I feel that he's settled I get on him, but I say that you need to judge it yourself. If they are relaxed and well behaved then you might as well get on and see how it goes, but if they're not, I would lead first before getting on.

If your horse says no, you either asked the wrong question, or asked the question wrong.

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Oct 07

Posts: 1472

dollymix says:

Re: riding in new areas

Although I think you always feel safer on the ground...personally I think you are much morel ikely to stay in control when you are on board!


If I were you, I would just set off down the new track and see what he thinks. If possible, go out with another horse, who you know is calm and reliable. Or if you don't have anyone to ride with, ask a friend to come with you on foot or bike. I did this with Dulcie the first time I hacked her out alone. Just having someone with you will give YOU confidence, which then transfers to your horse.


Good luck - hacking is supposed to be fun afterall

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Apr 10

Posts: 380

SarahEsen says:

Re: riding in new areas

Depends. If you are generally having leading problems with the horse acting 'cheeky and tricky', I think that's something you need to work on back home and change what you do to get the horse to change before you attempt it out on a hack.


But if it's the horse being nervous and acting this way because he's scared, then I think you are much safer on the ground leading. If you have established a good relationship with your horse and he sees you clearly as his leader, then you being in front of him will give him confidence to follow you instead of the other way around.

Personally I would like a horse confident on the ground way before I put myself up on his back. You get a horse confident and less 'spooky' by exposing them more and more to scary places and things and objects. If you keep them away from fearful things the horse will never be able to except it. And the more you do this, the more your horse will be able to approach new things.

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Sep 10

Posts: 53

dexxy says:

Re: riding in new areas

 I'd agree wtih SarahEsen to do groundwork and make sure your horse is 100% listening to you before you head out. My youngster was okish out, but got cocky and bargy if he ever learnt something new or got a bit frightened. I did lots of groundwork with him and now *touch wood* he's a gem.  It really is a case of you know your horse best, so act in the moment to what you think is best for them.  


A lot of people recommend leading, but with my Cob who's 16, if I get off him, he seems to know I'm safe and will bomb home.  If I stay on him, he's much more likely to stick around.  He's extremely sensitive and although you can see him trying to be brave, he gets frightened with new places.  The way I tackle it with him is I use distraction and change his mindset by saying 'hey, look, this place means good things!' and so I give him a treat in this new place for the first time.   


Start off small, and build up, and always try and circle back, rather than stop and turn as this will encouage napping.  Even if it means doing a big circle round a tree and then heading home xx

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