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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Do napping horses ever truely stop napping?

    Just interested to know whether Oscar is always going to be a t@@t!

    He's coming on well and is less nappy but be interesting to know whether you can ever actually school it out of a bright horse?

  2. #2
    Sport horse
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Do napping horses ever truely stop napping?

    My horse used to nap when leaving the field, just used to try and turn himself round hoping that I wouldn't notice. Once I had learnt to read the signals I could catch him as soon as he thought about it and just pushed him on in the direction I wanted to go in.

    He doesn't do it at all now, but his attempts were a bit half hearted, he never bucked/reared or anything just decided to turn himself around

  3. #3
    Old nag
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    Default Re: Do napping horses ever truely stop napping?

    Yes especially if training is done early on in life.

    Doesn't mean to say that a horse won't spook if say a deer jumps out (lets face it that makes a human jump!).

  4. #4

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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Do napping horses ever truely stop napping?

    Oscar doesn't rear he kind of bunny hops and spins around although for a TB, it's not very fast!

    I thikn we're getting there and he's very voice activated - no matter how much I boot it's always the voice that makes him move forward.

    I carry a whip now but give him a tap to move him on - i don't use it when he's napping but funnily enough he doesn't nap as much when I'm just carrying it!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Do napping horses ever truely stop napping?

    From my experience it depends on why they are doing it and what they have been allowed to get away with in the past.
    When I first got my horse he used to rear and spin if I tried to take him in a certain direction out of the yard (didn't like the scary dogs up there). When I would spin him back and ask him to go on he would either just stand, do it again, rear, buck or stamp his feet (real temper tantrum). I had offers to 'sort him out' in other words beat the living daylights out of him but I do not agree that is the solution - after all it is supposed to be a partnership. With persistence (within safe boundaries), time and determination he eventually stopped but you still have to be aware of it as it is still his reaction if there is a trigger. You just have to be quick, spin him straight back round and push him on and he accepts it. I think he had been able to scare people into getting off him before as we had it a bit in the school as well when he thought he was being asked to work harder than he should. But again, persistance and not giving in to him eventually made him realise it had no effect and therefore was not worth the effort. I feel for you as it is fustrating and at times scary. Good luck and be safe!

  6. #6

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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Do napping horses ever truely stop napping?

    Thanks OT. I've passed the scared stage now and just find it annoying - I think that's why he's getting over it!

    My gut feeling is that he scared someone before and that's why he was shipped over from Ireland last year. I've also brought him into work over the last 3 months after him being left in a field for 9 months due to owner pregnancy.

    He's uber intelligent (which is really not something I'm used to) so that always adds a different element - there's no tricking that boy!

  7. #7
    Just backed
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    194

    Default Re: Do napping horses ever truely stop napping?

    I think the horse will always have it in them, however with a rider who knows the horse, knows the signs they can be stopped before they actually nap. If that makes sense?
    For exampl, my horse has never napped, I've had her six years and have ridden for years. She is very sharp and sometimes when I'm hacking out she tenses and I know she's got it in her to nap but because I've never let her get away with it and nipped it in the bud she doesn't really know how to nap. However I expectw with a rider who didn't know her she would start napping.
    I think you can definately solve this its just a case of identifying the nap before they've even thought about it.

  8. #8
    Veteran
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    Default Re: Do napping horses ever truely stop napping?

    Skye used to nap when out hacking she used to plant decide she wasnt going any further and spin and refuse to move forward and would have a real paddy, spent ages long reining, riding in company and gradually going out by myself i kept at it even when we had set backs and now have a horse that loves hacking.
    However she still periodically tests me usually when she is feeling a bit well and i am sat like a lump of lard instead of actually riding her, but as i have now had her for ever and a day as soon as i feel her getting a bit sticky i just remind her i am boss by really pushing her forward and she thinks better of it.
    Good luck with him x

  9. #9
    Veteran RachelFerd's Avatar
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    Newmarket
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    Default Re: Do napping horses ever truely stop napping?

    I don't believe you can ever completely school napping out of a horse. I'm sure many people can provide success stories, but I think more often than not, it is people learning to ride their napper, rather than the nappy horse becoming an entirely not-nappy horse.

    I would only ever consider buying a truly forward going horse - which is not neccessarily being fast, or off the leg - but showing absolutely no inclination to 'stick' to other horses, to hang towards the gate, to hesitate when going away from the yard (or to rush home) - for me that's a sign that there is some core nappy or insecure trait. Of course that can be worked on, but having had a complete nightmare of a nappy pony when I was young, I really don't want to have to repeat the experience.

    At the end of the day, when faced with a typically scary or nappy scenario, I want the horse who will keep going instinctively - even if that means they rush forwards, rather than the horse who spins around or refuses point blank to keep going - and I don't think you can ever completely re-programme that natural/instinctive reaction.

    ETA. I have ridden some horses who have been nappy with others, and had no issues - so some of it does depend on the horses confidence in the rider too. But I have also ridden some sods who were going to nap all day, no matter who was sat on them.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Do napping horses ever truely stop napping?

    In my case the answer is no but don't be disheartened by that. My horse used to do the whole planting, spinning stuff and it was a nightmare. Eventually after months of blood, sweat and tears (mine!), he stopped doing it on a regular basis.

    However he will still try it on all these years later, if he wants to go on a particular route rather than on the one I have chosen. It doesn't bother me as I just laugh at him and say 'no way matey', turn him in a circle and it's over just like that. Once you are confident about dealing with it, it just becomes one of those things and no big deal.

    You have already got to the annoyed stage rather than the scared stage so that's a huge success. Carry on as you are and you'll definitely get there. Keep us posted.

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