Originally Posted by sjwrightauthor
Ugh... another dismal failure. When I first got out there, I went back to see if there was anything going on out by the round pen and to see if the arena floor was done. It was! That's great, I thought.
So I went down to the barn, got Mission out, picked out his hooves, brushed him and saddled him up. Right as I was putting the bridle on, two trucks drove by on the way up to the round pen/arena area. When I led him up there, they had the backhoe going (scary noise and weird yellow monster, according to Mission).
So I just took him into the round pen and let him get used to the noise and stuff for a little while. After about fifteen minutes, he seemed totally relaxed. So I got on. As soon as my butt hit the saddle, the fear started sneaking up on me. He sensed it, and suddenly he was looking like the noisy yellow monsters outside the round pen were going to jump into the round pen and kill him.
He turned his head to look at them, eyes as wide as saucers. My fear went through the roof. I dropped my stirrups. As soon as I did that, he took off across the round pen like a complete crackhead. I had reached out and grabbed onto the top rail of the fence right before he took off.
So ONCE AGAIN, I was left dangling on the fence after having been dumped by this horse. I calmly caught him, took him back to the barn, unsaddled him and turned him loose in the small pasture.
I realize that having the construction equipment out there was the real reason for him spooking, but what THE HELL? It seems like we're never going to be able to get this right.
You are absolutely not a failure!! You did so many things RIGHT. I don't want to repeat myself because I posted a reply on the other thread "on a Mission" but I need to add something. Most gaited show horses don't do a lot of stopping, so he may not understand that you want to stop again so soon after you get on, but he can learn. Make stopping a pleasure for him by rubbing his neck or even just saying "easy" or "good boy" works.
Start from the ground then get on and do it.
Everyone who has ever ridden has experienced fear, but if you focus on something else, like your position, say keeping your legs relaxed and off his ribs, maybe you can get past it.