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Trainer Q&A - Behavior Problems & Quirks - How can I get my horse to behave outside of the paddock?

How can I get my horse to behave outside of the paddock?

Chevyman75 Asks:


I have a seven yr old sorrel/QT mix who I'm training for trail riding and barrel racing. He does great in the paddock, neck reins well, listens well, does anything you ask of him, but when I take him out of the paddock and try to ride him in an open field, he doesn't listen at all and will not neck rein. What can I do to correct this?

Our Trainer Answers:

You are training your own horse for riding and he is behaving in the paddock, that's great! Now, you just need to get him to understand that he needs to follow your instructions outside of the enclosure. Begin by riding him inside of the paddock. Take him through all of his training exercises until he is riding just the way you expect him to. Then, take him just outside of the paddock and review all of your lessons exactly as you would inside. When he is obeying all of your cues, ride him on into the open field. The instant that he acts up, just go right back to the same exercises where you are. When he's again tuned into you, ride on into the field. Each time he stops paying attention to you, just relax and go back to basics. He'll soon figure out that he has to keep his attention on your cues and instructions, no matter where you are.

Thank You and Happy Trails!

Christy Mellington