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Author: Subject: Narrow Spaces
Fionnlaghpony
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[*] posted on 26-2-2014 at 10:16 AM
Narrow Spaces


I read an article recently (can't remember where exactly - maybe Horse magazine) about the importance of teaching your horse to go through small/ narrow spaces and that a good way to do this is to use barrels or jump wings and gradually make the space narrower and narrower as the horse/ pony gains confidence to go between them. I put the information to the back of my head until today (except there was no gradual introduction about it...).
I managed to take Fionn out for a short jaunt this morning (now he's eating again), we went along a grassy track behind the hedge that runs along the driveway to the yard, he was a bit reluctant as the track was a lot softer under foot than I anticipated, but he gave it a go and carried on for me. We got to the end of the track and I discovered that there is a gap in the fence to allow walkers through and it's a bit crowded with hedge and trees. We stood for a moment while I decided whether or not it was a good idea to attempt to get through - I decided it was and sure enough Fionn stalled as if to say 'are you absolutely sure we'll fit?" I pushed on and he tip toed through and back onto the drive. I made a big fuss of him and we trotted home along the drive with smiles on our faces. I love the feeling when I know he has made the decision to trust what I am asking him to do I can almost feel his chest puff out as if to say "what a clever boy I am".
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Mags
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[*] posted on 26-2-2014 at 10:45 AM


If you look at MacEquestrian on FB they use narrow spaces quite a lot in their highland pony education. Using jump fillers getting narrower and narrower is one of their early lessons for the young ponies. It's a useful skill to have. Glad Fionn was a good boy.
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Jeanette
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[*] posted on 26-2-2014 at 11:26 AM


Of course heĺs a clever boy! Well done.

I would agree with the need to teach then about narrow spaces. I used wheelie bins in the yard for the purpose as well as jump stands in the school. I got a muffin wrapper size bruise on my knee when out on a young cob when he panicked and rushed through a small gateway on a bridleway taking a stirrup off in the process and frightening me as well. Consequently I took no chances at all with Rannoch and started on this training with him as a two year old! I definitely donĺt want him rushing through a gate that isnĺt quite open, so Iĺm very happy if he stalls the way Fionn did for a moment to check for instructions and usually ask for pauses as we approach and deal with gates. The gate on and off our yard Rannoch will nudge open or nudge shut with his nose for me
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Rebecca
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[*] posted on 26-2-2014 at 03:22 PM


Great lesson! And lovely bonding moment too. :clap:



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Boseils
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[*] posted on 26-2-2014 at 07:53 PM


Yes totally agree that they need to learn early about going through tight spaces. When out on long distance rides we have had to take all the tack and saddlebags off to squeeze the pony through some walls and gateways.
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[*] posted on 26-2-2014 at 11:02 PM


:clap: well done both of you, I use wheelie bins,too, to train them to go through narrow gaps. Just because they are to hand where we tack them up in front of the garage and I can use both bins plus the wall to make an obstacle course for them to learn to negotiate on long lines
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Jeanette
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[*] posted on 27-2-2014 at 11:07 AM


pretty sure I got the wheelie bin idea from you L-J:heh hee:
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[*] posted on 6-3-2014 at 09:34 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Jeanette  
pretty sure I got the wheelie bin idea from you L-J:heh hee:


That is what is so great about this forum, ideas are shared and we all benefit. Wonder what our respective councils would make of this use of their bins:heh hee:
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[*] posted on 4-7-2014 at 12:47 PM


I need to do this now that Holly is ready to do some work to simulate closing the partitions in the trailer - she will load fine and stand happily on the trailer but is very reluctant to be "shut in". For those of you who do not know, Holly had a nasty fright in my lorry (which is why I sold it and bought the Equitrec Multi Treka). It is not dis-similar to starting young racehorses with stalls practice.



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[*] posted on 4-7-2014 at 01:39 PM


Clever boy !!
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[*] posted on 4-7-2014 at 01:40 PM


I need to do more of this training as well Nina...in my case its so that Rannoch will go through sprung loaded gates when out on endurance routes

Last time I worked on this I had four of those plastic jump stands arranged in a small square. Rannoch had to walk into the middle of the square and then wait to learn which way out of the jump stands I wanted him to go.
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