© 2004 Andy Curry All Rights Reserved
If you ever rode a horse that would stop and refuse to go forward then you would know how absolutely annoying it is.
Why do they stop? Because that's their reaction to a worrisome or unpleasant situation. Even nervous and timid horses can stake themselves to ground because they are apprehensive about leaving herd or barn.
What other reasons are there for napping? One is horse simply doesn't know what to do. They'd rather stop and stand than move forward. If your horse naps in a place he's familiar with (ie. your home area) then you should check your tack for things like a bad fitting saddle. The pain could finally become unbearable and horse simply won't move.
Often, horses will react to bad fitting tack by rearing or bucking. So when tack is bad fitting, napping is a pretty good alternative compared to rearing or bucking.
Another place a horse may nap is riding around an unfamiliar area. If he naps during this then it's likely he's doing it out of fear. The same can be true if he sees unfamiliar objects.
A secret tip about nappers is to closely observe where they're napping. If you find they get nappy around certain things then you might spot a pattern. For instance, every time your horse rides by a hay tarp and he stops then that is likely your culprit. But it could be lots of different things. It could be bushes. Trees. Dog pens. Etc.
When trying to solve napping from fear, you should take approach when working with a spooking horse. A horse that spooks needs to be treated kindly. He shouldn't be forced into stepping over his "fear boundary". You have to talk to them, pet them, and be patient.
It just so happens that this is one of easiest and most effective ways to solve napping problem. The tradeoff is that it also takes most time. But so what? Horse training is about patience.