Monday, November 4, 2013


Licorice had four days off this week due to work stuff and then the barn lost power in a big windstorm on Saturday.  Not that I would have ridden in the big windstorm anyway...

I decided to lunge him on Sunday before I got on.  I'm not sure that he needed it, but it went a long ways towards calming me down.  While I was lunging him, he had a very hard time focusing.  He would whinny to his friends outside, he would spin his head to look out the open door to see what was happening there.

This happens, to a lesser degree, under saddle.  If we're really working hard and focused I can keep him with me, but it's a struggle whenever another horse enters the arena.  He's just very horse focused.

On the ground, if I do very specific exercises with him (yielding of hindquarters etc.) he will pay attention, sort of.  I'm not as confident with these and I don't want to just yank on him.  But I'm losing his attention constantly.

What are your best exercises for getting a horses attention back on you while you're on the ground?  He will move his hindquarters while his head is completely away from you and he's whinnying to his friends!  I want his focus to be in the arena and on me.  Same thing when we're walking and I'm leading him.  He's not naughty, just oblivious.

Who me?  What?  I think I see my friend over there....


  1. We started using Clinton Anderson's methods and our horses responded really well to the work. He has lots of books and video to make the exercises understandable. Works great to get and keep our colt's attention on us and not the girls.

  2. I use lots of turns and figures, and lots of transitions - if the horse is having to think about what they're doing with you, they'll be able to stay connected. Just doing straight lines and big circles in a single gait can leave room for the horse's mind to wander.

  3. With Oliver, I walk or jog laps around the arena, and vary my pace. He knows he better travel at the same pace, and not pass me or lag behind or he gets in trouble. If I stop, he better stop before his shoulder passes mine. If he gets in trouble, I usually make him back up, move his HQ around, etc. Rinse, and repeat. When he stops when I do, etc, he gets praise. Works for us.

  4. Magnesium supplements really helped my "distractable" gelding.