There is a great article, written by Clinton Anderson, in the current issue of Horse Digest about “jigging”. If you are not familiar with the term and why our horses “jig” this is a an excellent article to read.
Clinton explains that “jigging” is the irritating half-prance horses fall into when they want to go faster and you won’t let them – it is a symptom of nervousness or a lack of foundation. He goes on to say that before we can fix the problem, we have to first understand why our horse is behaving the way he is. Clinton reminds us that horses are herd animals and when introduced into a herd situation, such as trail riding with a group, our horses need to remain calm and relaxed. If that foundation has not been laid before taking our horse into a group situation, jigging can occur.
When horses are in a group situation their prey animal instincts start to take over. They can become nervous and panicky. When a group of horses is all heading in the same direction, a horse that is not calm and relaxed, can begin to think that something is chasing him. In the wild a horse thinks that the safest place for him to be is in the middle or the front of the herd. Horses that jig are usually at the back of the herd trying to get to the front.
To read the article in it’s entirety, go to www.horsedigests.com Volume 4 Issue 8 – Page 40. There Clinton explains how to work with your horse to get him to use the thinking side of his brain, rather than the reactive side of his brain. Using the thinking side of his brain will help him remain relaxed and calm. The exercises and techniques to use with your horse, are gone into in detail in the article.
As always Clinton has a wonderful way of giving us tools to become better horsemen and women.