Horse is getting sneaky. Suggestions?
Hi, I'm new here, and this is going to be long but I appreciate your help! My 13 year old daughter and I share our quarter horse. He lives at a barn where horses are often shared, we have a good trainer whose students do well at shows. Our horse is 9 yo gelding. The consensus is he is very smart. We've had him a year and I can now show him in hunter pleasure and do well, but he has in the past been a jerk, spooking in the ring at a home show, just "playing up" really.
This past month has been a tough one for my daughter. She is a nervous rider anyway although she loves it. But it seems every week something happens and she falls off. I'd call her an intermediate rider she jumps better than I do. But she doesn't have great balance, and falls easily.
Anyway, he's been spooking or poppling little bucks, and she'd fallen off a few times. Then she went a week or two and learned to hang on better and sat through a couple bucks. But Friday he spun around and dumped her. So her confidence is way down again. (and mine too. Hard to see your kid fall off!)
He doesn't really do all that with me (I don't fall off). I think he's getting smart and sneaky about this and doing it to her. I don't know whether to take her off him for a while? There are school horses she could ride. I am even considering trading him for a quieter horse. She loves him, but I'm tired of seeing her fall off. Accidents are one thing, but this seems different.
I plan to talk this all over with the trainer this week, but do you all have any ideas? I mean, how do you learn to sit a buck and spook without teaching the horse that he benefits when you fall off? We always trot him around quite a bit after she goes down.
Sorry so long. I am frustrated.