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You are in... Forums > Riding and Training > General > Can Natural Horsemanship help my nervous napper?

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GelderlanderGirl

Joined:

Jul 12

Posts: 2

Can Natural Horsemanship help my nervous napper?

Hi everyone,

I am the proud owner of a beautiful 17.2 Gelderlander. I have only owned him for one month but have loaned him for almost 2 years now, and so far everything has been going perfectly, including the move to his new yard. I have always had problems hacking him out alone. He naps frequently and often I just can't get him through them. He doesn't rear or run away, just either spins to face the other way or backs up at high speed. He is usually fine to hack with other horses, however for the first time this week I forced him out alone at his new home and on the first hack had to give in to his napping as it was in a dangerous place, but the second time managed to ride him through 7 or 8 naps in a row and got round the hack succesfully. However I went for a hack with my friend and her horse last night and he refused to go on either of the routes where he had gone on his own last time, and would not listen to any of my aids. I don't like to smack him as it doesn't work and only makes him more upset. I know he doesn't like to be by himself in the field, let alone riding out, and so was wondering whether any of you had any ideas about whether natural horsemanship could help us out? Any help would be much appreciated, as I really want to help him overcome this and he is such a gentle giant in every other way. Many thanks xx

 

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ieupad

Joined:

Jun 12

Posts: 22

ieupad says:

Re: Can Natural Horsemanship help my nervous napper?

 I am afraid I don't know much about natural horsemanship but your horse does sound very much like mine in temperment. She dosn't really like to hack out on her own, she becomes nervous and looks around at every little thing, jumps and spooks quite a bit and stops, looks and listens fequently before decieding its ok to go on. When I first started riding her she used to nap and turn as well but I never gave in to her, I am firm but like you don't find the whip to be effective on her because she was napping from nerves not naughtyness. I use my heels firmly and when she turns I always turn her back the way she turns never in a circle. My riding instructer told me this and since then she won't turn although I can still feel her thinking about it sometimes then I push her on with my heels. If there is a time when I feel she is really afraid for example she's just done a massive spook and given herself a real fright I get off and lead her past whatever is bothering her, but the next time past that place I will not. 

Your horse sounds stressed/ worried prehaps all the new routes and enviroment, although it's a bit strange that he did'nt want to accompany another horse on a hack I would proberbly try getting off and leading in some areas as I think he wants someone to lead him and show him what to do so taking the stress off him. I often lead my horse  for a bit on rides, not when she's being nervous or anything just for a change - I think it bonding (I  know it sounds soft) 

 I know you were looking for natural horsemanship advice but I hope this helps a bit.

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GelderlanderGirl

Joined:

Jul 12

Posts: 2

Re: Can Natural Horsemanship help my nervous napper?

Hi, thank you so much for your reply and for sharing your experience. I just wanted any advice on how to proceed so as not to make him more scared, so hopefully if you could get your horse through it then I can too. Due to his size he can be quite difficult to turn back around. I can usually manage it if I can put his bum in a hedge or something but when he gets really bad I end up in the road and he is terrible to manouvre when he's on one! I am going out with another horse again tomorrow on a route he hasn't been on alone, just to try and get him out somewhere, and I will try out your tactics and report back! Thanks very much for your help xx

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mybolo

Joined:

May 11

Posts: 34

mybolo says:

Re: Can Natural Horsemanship help my nervous napper?

Personally i would leave her a few more mths,then long rein her out with someone waliking with you 1st and then on your own to get her trust and confidence.

In the meantime do GW everyday with her even 10 mins make a big impact you will be so surprised.

good luck.x

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Tommytank

Joined:

Jan 10

Posts: 2004

Tommytank says:

Re: Can Natural Horsemanship help my nervous napper?

 I'm a great believer in getting off and leading if my horse is genuinly affraid of something (admittadly much easier on a 14 3 than a 17 2).  When I first got my horse he'd never been on a hack in his life and there was lots of getting on and off.  These days I probably only have to get off and lead past an issue once every six months or so.

If he's not afraid and just trying it on I will turn him in circles a few times before pointing him in the direction I want to go and ask him again to go forward, which is the easy option for him because turning in tight circles is hard work, walking forwards is easy

Good luck, I'm sure you'll find away through 

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/s720x720/536812_10150975524292219_1369322372_n.jpg

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toochi

Joined:

Feb 12

Posts: 111

toochi says:

natural horsemanship

hi when i bought my horse arnie a huge belguim draft i took himto a livery yard where he was on full livery and paid for training from the yard owner , things went from bad to worse he would nap barge spin buck and absolutley hated the yard owner , he couldnt even catch him , peoples reactions  were to sell him from the field as he is just too big and strong to argue with especially for a novice rider .this i couldnt possibly do as i loved him too much so i moved him to a very proffecional yard for help , unfortunately i almost had the same responce , the only common thing was that he was very good for myself if the yard empty and i was just there myself , so the hunt for a new place went on , i found my own place to rent moved arnie there together with my daughterstwo pet ponies . i practised natural horsemanship with him just on the ground for a short while (ten mins ) everyday always rewarding him . kelly marks book perfect manners is good , also tuns of youtube  tips and lessons , and he really is a different horse now , very steady no napping and is safe for a child or disabled rider , traditional methods just terrified him but naturalhorsemaship made him the absolute pleasure he is today , deffinately give it ago you have nothing to loose and maybe everything to gain , good luck xx 

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toochi

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RockChick

Joined:

Oct 07

Posts: 2

RockChick says:

Re: Can Natural Horsemanship help my nervous napper?

I  use natuarl horsemanship with both my horses, its worked wonders with nervous behaviour, napping, tanking (both in hand and ridden) planting, spinning... you name it its solved it :)  i feel much happier and safer with my horses now and they are much more relaxed and happy too and are 'easier' its a win win situation. xx

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bcraig1984

Joined:

May 09

Posts: 162

bcraig1984 says:

Re: Can Natural Horsemanship help my nervous napper?

Natural horsemanship is more about the horse looking to you as his leader & will trust you completely so if you tell him to go forward then he will be happy & relaxed to go with you.  I had a mare the exact same & found that taking an empty plastic juice bottle with a couple of stones in it done the trick :)

As soon as he starts to nap give the bottle a little shake (To make rattle noise) his automatic instinct is to go forward away from the noise.  He then associates if he goes backwards that horrible noise will happen......... took couple of weeks but worked for my.  I would recommend trying to take him out every second night, even after you school, doesnt need to be far just far enough until you decide its time to turn back :)

 

Let me know how you get on :)

 

xxx

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