Keep Your Horse from Jigging

Horses always know immediately when it is time to turn around on the trail and head for home, and it?s comical to watch their ears come up and their gaits become more energetic.? However, if you?ve ever ridden a horse that jigs on the way back to the barn, you?ll recognize that this rather adorable equine trait can turn sour very quickly if the horse decides that he wants to get home faster than you do.

A horse that jigs picks up a gait between a walk and a trot.? Trying to sit on a jigging horse is like sitting on a sledgehammer, and about as comfortable.? It can be a very frustrating experience, especially if you are riding with a group and needing to moderate your speed to the other riders.

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Unfortunately there are no easy solutions for a horse that jigs.? What you will need is lots of time and lots of patience.? Start out by giving corrective pulls on the reins when your horse starts to jig.? As soon as he steps down to a walk, release the pressure.? Pick it up again if he steps up his gait.? This can be successful for a horse who is listening, but often it can turn into a pulling contest.? If this is the case, then give your horse a few opportunities to drop his gait with a corrective pull, then, if he doesn?t listen, turn your horse around and head back up the trail for 25 feet or so.? At this point you can stop, allow your horse to rest and then turn back.? When he starts jigging again, turn back, this time for 25 ? 50 feet.? You?ll need to continue this, increasing the distance each time, until he realizes that his jigging is not getting him anywhere.

Stay persistent, and of course don?t forget to give him lots of praise!

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