November 01, 2014
Jiggy Ride Near the High School
It has been very busy at work and at home I’ve been trying to catch up on things I’ve neglected like cleaning and organization. When I’ve been at the barn it’s been for a quick hello to Dani and then a push to finish the trailer painting. At least now it’s pretty much done with just door jams and similar areas that need painting and a period of time being left open to fully dry.
It also seems like ages ago that I went for a ride with M across the street to the high school. I’d taken Dani for a walk over there once to see what it was like so felt we were ready for a little ride. M and I went for the ride one evening when it wasn’t too busy outside with football practices and the school’s track team.
Honestly Dani was pretty good but again I had the issue that either she walks too fast or Scotty is a slow boy! At times Dani was sort of jiggy and excited but she didn’t try to run off. I felt like I was having to constantly slow her down and felt like I was just pulling on her mouth. A few times she wanted to trot in excitement but a quick turn into a circle stopped that.
On the way home she kept tossing her head, I think a bug or something got in her nose because a large snort calmed her down and the head tossing ceased. I’ve since purchased Julie Goodnights Kindle version of trail riding. In that book there is a section about jiggy behavior and how to remedy that. Since I don’t have access to the book right now as I write this here is what she wrote on her webpage answering the question from a lady with a jiggy horse:
“The solution that I have always had success with is to pick up high on the reins (sitting back on your pockets at the same time) when he breaks into the trot, and the instant the horse walks, drop the reins dramatically to a very loose rein, with your hands actually laying on the horse’s neck so he can feel them. He may only walk a step or two before he trots again, then pick up and release dramatically (the rein drop has to be very dramatic so that the horse notices).
Soon he will associate walking with a totally loose rein and that is what he wants (that is what any horse wants). Also, it really helps to concentrate on the walk rhythm and really sit down on him hard and make sure you are not tensing in your seat in anticipation of the horse breaking into trot. Often in this situation, people tense in their seat thinking that the horse is going to break into trot and pretty soon, the horse thinks he is supposed to be trotting because he feels the rider's weight shifting forward. So make sure you are sitting well back on your seat bones with loose and relaxed joints.
Trust the horse to walk on a loose rein. If you feel him tense up like he might trot, just sit relaxed. Do not correct him unless he actually breaks into a trot. That way he learns to trust you too and he learns that he is only corrected if he actually trots. Don’t get sucked into the vicious cycle of you pulling all the time and him jigging all the time.”
I have longer split reins on order, back order actually from Chicks Saddlery, that I will hopefully receive soon and it will be much easier to do this dramatic take up and release of the reins. I’ll have to try this first when it’s just us and then again when Scotty is there. I think Dani really has no opinion on riding with Scotty, I don’t think she’ll have an issue riding out alone but we shall see!