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Fidgety horses hunting

(12 Posts)
sharanel Mon 03-Nov-14 12:12:57

Our new boy is lovely - and barely settled in - but he is dreadfully fidgety when he has to stand still for any time. He has hunted and he was fidgety then but sellers did say by the end of the season he was loads better. They said he went all day and jumped everything but was 'a bit fidgety at the meet'. He hacks beautifully and is bombproof and unspooky, but if you want to stop and chat for 5 mins he is a nightmare, head shaking, backing up and even pawing the ground. I am aware we've had him less than a week but I'd love to hear any ideas/success stories as I am worried that he won't hunt at all well and my daughter loves it! He is just 6 so still a baby!

backinthebox Mon 03-Nov-14 19:14:05

Give the poor neddy a chance! He's 6 years old and you've only had him a week! I know 20 year old horses that won't stand at a meet without shaking their heads and pawing the ground. With most horses though, your seller is correct - younger horses, especially at the start of the season or if they are being hunted infrequently, are a bit fidgety. Perhaps take him to a few meets where you keep him a bit back from the main field, give him space to just circle quietly if he is having trouble standing still, and before long you will probably find that he settles down and gets on with his job.

If it helps at all, my own horse has the reputation in our hunt of being the 'best horse to have to hold while his owner gets off for a wee,' yet today he was unable to stand to chat to a friend because it was a bit cooler weather, and he always gets a bit whizzier when the temperature drops. I didn't push it, because I had my 2 children out with me and it was just easier to wave and keep moving.

Booboostoo Mon 03-Nov-14 20:15:38

You bought a youngster so you have to expect to have to work on some things. Why does he have to stand completely still at a meet? Couldn't you let him do small circles around the other horses?

frostyfingers Tue 04-Nov-14 09:45:59

Mine fidgets too, from the start of the season to the end and there's nothing I can do about it. He wriggles about and sidles up to other horses and wriggles some more! It's very annoying, especially at the end of a long day but for me it's just one of those things.

If I were you I wouldn't make a big deal out of it yet until you've got to know him better, forcing him to stand will probably only make it more of a problem. Wander about with him on your terms, when he does stand well for a moment or too give him a pat and then move him on, don't wait for him to move. More than likely it'll come, as he gets to know you and other horses and feels more settled himself.

sharanel Tue 04-Nov-14 12:50:33

Thanks. I don'tmind him being fidgety but I suppose I am just worried he will irritate everyone!

backinthebox Tue 04-Nov-14 14:02:49

Wouldn't irritate me in the slightest out hunting. Obviously there is a range of fidgeting behaviour, and how close/far away from the others you decide to stand him is dependent on how much he fidgets. A horse that struggles to keep his feet still and 'drifts' or walks little circles is really not a bother to anyone else. A horse that is putting in massive leaps and rears would generally be considered a bit too fidgety by others to want to be very close to! A green ribbon in his tail will help others understand he is just learning though.

Booboostoo Tue 04-Nov-14 19:43:26

It's bad manners for a horse to slam himself into other horses, kick out, and persistently buck or rear (a tiny rear in excitement shouldn't bother anyone), any think else and you should be fine. If you notice he is winding up another horse, move a bit further away.

sharanel Wed 05-Nov-14 09:38:23

Don't think he'll kick - we've been a bit chaotic while he's been here and he's had dogs and small children running around his back feet (I hasten to add I would never have purposely let my 8 year old duck underneath him hmm) and he just blinks at them.

He's so lovely but clearly a bit unsettled - doesn't seem to be eating much - grass anyway - we stabled him last night and he ate most of his hay and his bucket feed but I haven't caught him grazing yet (the other two never have their head off the floor)

frostyfingers Wed 05-Nov-14 10:08:30

Sounds like too much going on for him at the moment. I think he needs some quiet downtime with maybe just you handling him, not riding or anything just being around and talking and grooming. Give him a few totally quiet days and see what happens.

sharanel Wed 05-Nov-14 11:32:12

yes i agree frostyfingers

luckily girls back at school so he's being visited twice daily by either me or dd, all quite calm.

horseygeorgie Thu 18-Dec-14 21:06:04

He'll settle the more he goes. No know at a meet minds a fidgety horse unless it actually poses a problem to them. If he really can't manage to stand still, just keep him on the move and go nowhere near the hounds! As long as he settles in the field he will be fine.

horseygeorgie Thu 18-Dec-14 21:12:50

no one!

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