So... we went on trail two days in a row, and both times, my (otherwise mannerly and gentle) mare started half-rearing and -- today only -- bucking! I put fly wipe on before we left. We were out for about 45 minutes in cooler woods, on a shady old road that is LOVELY.
So, when she bucked, I really got after her. Smacked her neck and told her to stop. She settled down after the fly left (my husband rides his bike with us and got it).
What do you do when a horse is reacting substantially to biting flies? On the way home she got TOTALLY flustered: stopping, refusing to walk, and then crab walking when she did go forward, stooping to try to bite it, exaggerated kicks under her belly to try to get it off, etc. Do I end the ride early, get off and try to deal with the fly, force her to carry on as if not bothered?
I feel like her focus on the flies is really undoing otherwise good training rides. Thoughts?