03 September 2008 10:10
When I bought my Anglo Arab mare she was very nappy when hacking out alone. Hours of waiting games and a determination not to let her intimidate me has overcome this problem but when it comes to schooling I’m still having problems. As soon as I ask her to start trot work she doesn’t want to know. How can I make schooling more appealing?
By Your Horse
Natural Horsemanship Expert Charles Wilson replies:
For your mare to begin to enjoy schooling, it needs to interest and motivate her,
so firstly make the school somewhere she has a good time. Perhaps after a hack you could feed her there, let her loose to have a roll or groom her.
The next stage would be for you to introduce school work in very short bursts while out on a hack. Years ago there were no arenas and schooling was done on the roads or in fields. On quiet bridleways, you can ask for leg yielding across the track and have short times when she ison a similar contact to when doing a dressage test. You can practise lots of transitions and you’ll find that, as it’s only a small part of the overall ride, she’ll soon get used to it.
Your horse needs to think of her work as fun, and usually horses do prefer doing things in the outside world rather than a school. However, once she has had time to associate the school with pleasant times, you can begin to introduce short sessions of riding there, either at the beginning or the end of a hack. Five minutes to begin with, followed by a feed or a roll, whatever she enjoys most. It will take time, but it is possible.