It's high on the list of tricky habits to break, but with advice from trainer Jason Webb you can nip napping in the bud.
If you have a nappy horse, it's important to be mentally prepared to manage the problem. Make sure you break the issue down by asking yourself a few questions.
What do you think is causing this problem? Nine times out of 10 there's a logical explanation but you might need to look at it from your horse's point of view to understand what's going on.
Can you manage your horse's direction effectively? When was the last time you asked your horse to make an effort? This could be pushing him in to canter for instance.
Are you making the right thing hard and the wrong thing easy? Nagging and being inconsistent with your aids is a main contributor to napping.
Can you control your thoughts so you can think positively while tackling napping?
Mix up his routine
Frustration at not being able to go where he wants is a huge part of why your horse will nap. Keep his brain working while you're out and abound, if he's acting up, consider why. He may be bored but, if this turns into nappy behavior, he's now making the decisions.
It's not always easy to spot the moment your horse takes over. You go for a hack, leave the yard, turn left and go around the block with no problem. Then one day you leave the yard, turn right for a change and your horse suddenly objects. Go out with another horse, pick a different route or time of day to check you're still making the decisions.
Keep it short and sweet
Spending an hour trying to get your horse to go forwards or past something could be creating more problems than solutions, even if you succeed. A horse that plants his feet and won't move can often become dead to your leg aids. What you don't want is to turn your ride into a kicking session where you lose control.
If your leg aids aren't being listened to, then go somewhere you and your horse are comfortable and try riding him like a mounted games pony. Basically, don't worry about how you look getting there, just get there as quickly as you can.
If you use leg aids, you need to get a positive response, and in the beginning, half a step counts. If you get a series of positive responses, you'll end up with a positive result.
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