I was riding this horse at the old barn I rode at. He was good for me, lazy but good. If I had a crop in my hand I didn't have to use it, but if I didn't he would require constant leg. Oh, he's a 7 year old TBx. Anyway, so his owner moved him to this new barn and I agreed to lease him because she needed help with the board and I want to have a horse to ride. The terms of the lease are really good and the price can't be beat, we are kinda friends so I guess that's why. In any case, at the new barn he is being a total jerk to me. The first time I rode him at the new barn was at a lesson. He was a total pain. I was 'fighting' with him the whole time. He was constantly trying to snatch the reigns out of my hands, he kept stopping and refusing to move forward, when I pressed him to move forward he would start backing up and I had to redirect him to get him moving forward again. I about put my right hip out of whack trying to get him to pick up the left lead canter because he just wouldn't. I think he made me pull a muscle in my back with the constant reign snatching because by the end of the lesson I couldn't physically sit up straight because it hurt that muscle too much. The next time I rode him he was better but still did the reign snatching thing from time to time, mostly at the walk. I was asked to not canter him because his owner said he seemed sore after my lesson - oh I should mention he wasn't ridden much at the old barn, maybe once a week or so. So I've ridden him three times. Once at the lesson, again a couple days later and the third time yesterday. He seemed better yesterday until I tried to ride him back to the barn from the riding field. I don't know what his deal was but he started with the stopping and backing thing again, nearly backed himself up into a pond! I think maybe because I specifically took a different 'line' riding back to the barn so he wouldn't associate one direction with going back. His owner rode him after the first time I rode him and said he was good, only tugged on the reigns a little and picked up the left lead canter right away for her.
Now I know there's a difference between us, she is a more experienced rider and he is HER horse so they have a bond. I'm frustrated because I was really looking forward to riding him at this new barn because the riding area is so much nicer and there's more room but he's being such a jerk about me riding him I can't really enjoy it. But I keep telling myself I need to be 'challenged' by a horse to become a better rider, right? It's just a little un-nerving to me when he pins his ears back and starts backing up when I want him to go forward. He has never really bucked but he does kick out with one hind leg or 'crow hops' occassionally. And I know horses can sense a 'nervous' rider so I'm always quick to take a deep breath and relax as soon as I start feeling nervous.
I'M SO FRUSTRATED THOUGH!!! Should I be riding this horse and keep myself challenged or look for another horse that would be more 'suited' to me? I am taking weekly lessons so that I know I am asking and correcting the way that I should and it makes me feel a little more confident when the trainer tells me what to do and why he's doing what. Everyone keeps saying that he's 'testing' me. When does the testing period end?!