Higher than a kite in the white fence

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Higher than a kite in the white fence

This is a discussion on Higher than a kite in the white fence within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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        04-17-2011, 09:14 PM
    Higher than a kite in the white fence

    Rebel is one of those horses that absolutely, ALWAYS knows when he is on the spot. Here's the story....

    First dressage show with him he wouldn't even get in the arena because he was spooking at the fences and cones and judge's trailer. Second show he got in the arena, but it was BAD. Running for the gate, breaking his stride, cross cantering....I ended up just going off course and taking a minute to correct him before continuing the test.

    Well, third and final show of the year and he gets his leads, but is still having issues transitioning down the gaits when in certain arena spots (I.e. Headed towards the gate of judges trailer, both he now seems to be very fond of.)

    At home is an ANGEL. He's always been a bit hard on his mouth (Since I got him) but he always will eventually do as I ask if I ask right.

    I tried putting vicks on his nose, just because I was at a loss. I guess I just have to show him more....But the thing is, I took him into the arena after that when it was set up but we weren't competing and he was FINE. Didn't even bat an eye or spook like he normally does.
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        04-17-2011, 09:32 PM
    Sounds like a rider issue, not the horse. Horses always react predictably when they are only influenced by the stimuli (here a white fence). He will only spook at the fence always or never if it is of his own accord. Rider influence (here most likely show ring nerves) is what causes the situational nature of the spooking. My advice would be to show more and always have your coach or someone to help you at the shows.

    Good luck!
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        04-17-2011, 09:56 PM
    Even if not a rider issue (i have a horse that is just very tense at shows - and I know it's not me bc I have 5 horses, 4 in active competition and just one does this and only at *some* shows), horses can also get distracted easily at shows. Regardless it makes it even MORE important like anabel said to stay calm and relaxed and focus - breath deep, hum quietly if you need, whatever it takes for you to ride through it without getting tense and stressed and reacting to your horse. The more you get mad/frustrated/tense the easier it is for things to unravel. Stay calm and ride on! ;)
        04-17-2011, 10:08 PM
    Agreed, you definitely have to keep calm even if your horse isn't. My horse also morphed into a semi-nut at his show yesterday. Granted it was windy and 40 freakin' degrees out, but still no excuse. It's kind of the same solution as spooking during a trail ride. Keep calm, manage situation, prevent bolt back to trailer, and move on. Maybe take him to a show without entering a class and just ride him around to get him more used to the show energy.

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