Horse: 2; Rider: 1. What would you have done?
I have the pushy horse that's been bucking a bit and shedding my 13 yo daughter. She's been very brave and is getting better, but he's been getting more of an attitude, so I recently decided to have her ride school horses for a while.
Well, today, he got the better of me, too, and I'm feeling pretty glum. I'm going to worst case scenario in my mind and wondering if I'll ever be able to trust him again, because I really did let him win today.
Went to ride at 3 pm, and feeding time is 4:30 or so. I hadn't ridden since Monday, except bareback for 5 minutes yesterday. I was the only one there. So, he was keyed up from the time I cross tied him. I took my time before I tried to get one. Did about 15 minutes of ground work, walk, trot, stand, etc. When I tried to get on he was the worst 'he's ever been. He usually walks forward a step or two, but today he sidled away. So, more ground work. Walk, trot stand, until he would stand for me to get on. Sadly, at this point the groom who does evening feeding drove in, and he knows her truck.
When we trotted it was a weird, mincing trot, and I could tell he wanted to act up. I don't think I tensed up. I'm pretty sure I didn't, actually. But then he bucked. Like fairly big bucks, back end and front end. Well, I just didn't think I'd win that battle today, I wasn't sure I could make him trot on without more bucks, and the size of the bucks made me wonder if I could stick with him if he really went to town. So, I got off.
I don't really know how to lunge, but I put a lunge line on him with the reins under the stirrups, and he cantered around me for 3 or 4 minutes. But then when I got him to stop, I couldn't get him to trot on the lunge. So, I trotted him around the ring in hand for another 5 minutes or so.
This is where I should have gotten back on, but I didn't.
When I took him down to the barn I brushed him like usual, and then put him out. I figured if I put him in his stall he would think dinner was coming any minute, and that putting him out would be better.
I really feel like he got the best of me tonight and wonder if he'll just keep getting worse. My trainer will say he just hadn't been ridden in a week, which is true. And riding at feeding time is always chancy, but he needs to be able to be ridden when I can go!
So, I will plan on riding him tomorrow morning, and hope I can be brave if he's a jerk again.
What do you think, am I over reacting? I am now pretty sure I need to do some very extensive ground work with him (I think I want to rent Clinton Anderson DVDs and spend the winter doing that). I am also going to ask the trainer to teach me how to lunge him. What else, anything?