Over the years Clinton Anderson from Downunder Horsemanship has developed a method for training horses regardless of their age, history, or any behavioral issues and past traumas. Join him on his weekly endeavors of tackling some of the most challenging situations with problem horses and problem owners. This week, we watch as Clinton teaches us how to correct a horse that jigs.
Clinton describes jigging as when a horse really wants to go faster than what you want him to go. So, when a horse is jigging, he’s trying to trot and you’re just trying to walk. This behavior makes many people pull back on the reins to try to slow the horse down. Instead of slowing down to a walk, he’ll still try to do this kind of half walk, half jog or trot, which is what we call a jig.
Riding a horse that jigs is uncomfortable. It’s hard to do for hours on end on a trail so you need to take a second to figure out what is causing your horse to jig. For most horses, the cause of jigging is usually either a magnet (i.e. getting back to the barn) or your horse wants to get to the front of the herd on a group ride. In some cases, it’s because the horse is hot and reactive and poorly trained. To fix the problem, you have to ask yourself where your horse is trying to go or what is causing him to jig?
Is he trying to get back to the barn? If that’s why he’s in a hurry, just let him go back to the barn. When you get there, hustle his feet by doing some exercises, and then take him away from the barn to let him rest. This will help address the cause of the horse’s behavior rather than his jigging, which is just a symptom.
Is your horse trying to get to the front of the herd on a group ride? If you’re in a group of other horses and yours is trying to get to the front, let him. Weave in and out of the other horses on your way up to the front of the line, and then, when you get to where he wants to be, use a little reverse psychology. Make it difficult for him to be in the front by making him work while he’s up there. Bend him around in circles. Ride him in a series of serpentines. When you’ve made him hustle his feet, then weave your way all the way back to the end of the group. When you get there, put him on a big, loose rein and let your horse relax. Repeat this process as many times as it takes. As a general rule, horses are lazy creatures and prefer to pick the option with the least amount of work involved. If they figure out there’s more work at the front of the group, they’re not going to want to be there so much.
If your horse is just being hot, you should work on training with the Fundamentals. Whenever there’s a lull in behavior, going back to the basics works wonders. It’s important to avoid having any holes in the foundation of your training. Train your horse alone to discourage disrespectful group-riding behavior.
Clinton Anderson has developed a method to help train any horses, regardless of their problem. Unfortunately, up until now it was nearly impossible to access the Method when you’re on the go or at the barn. That’s why we’ve created three new ways to get the content you need at the price you want. Our Downunder Horsemanship app gives you access to your digital training kits and allows you to download videos and training content directly to your mobile device or view them on your computer. The Downunder Horsemanship app also offers over 100 hours of free, in-depth training content. You can also access all of the training material through three different levels by joining our No Worries Club.
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