Gaining Confidence Back - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 09-16-2013, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: North Dakota!
Posts: 308
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Gaining Confidence Back

So I bought my gelding this spring, in about April. He hadn't been worked with in a few years, and I thought he'd be a fun project. He was broke out by his owner at the time, had been ridden with other horses, or just by himself around the yard and out of the yard with no problems. My friend and I started slowly with him, and we took him in a corral the first time I attempted to get on. The most he did was side step, but once he quit that he was golden. After we got over that complication with a few more rides in the corral, my friend took her gelding, and the two of us went on a ride around the yard up and down the driveway etc. He was good for about a month with no set backs or anything.
Well the last couple of months I got real busy with work, and it's been hard to spend time with him. So I moved him to my house so I could see him and work with him more often...well that didn't work so well.

He was a perfect angel until it was time for me to get on him. He didn't start to side step again, but started to hunch his back terribly and tense up bad. He bucked me off a couple times and then other times it was impossible to get in the saddle. So I moved him back to the farm where I had him previously, and we started from square one again. Spending time with him and bonding, off and on, riding out of the yard etc.

Well since he bucked me off, I haven't had teh confidence to get back on him. Each time I try, he lets me get one foot in the stirrup and then hunches and side steps really fast, to the point I either jump away or fall on my butt. I'm so frusterated at this point, I don't know what to do.

The owner of the farm and previous owner of Ben (the one who trained him in the first place) started to help me out along with my friend. We took my saddle off and but Bob's saddle on. Bob went to get on and Ben pulled the same stunt. So Bob worked and worked him and finally got on him, and Ben was perfect. Never spooked, bucked, nothing. He rode him around the yard and out of the yard by himself and he was perfect. My friend also got on him with no problems.

A couple days after them riding him, I finally got the guts to try. He let me get on and he was perfect. We rode around for about an hour, and then I figured we would end on a good note and that'd be it.
That weekend, there was an over night trail ride a few minutes away, so we loaded up Ben and 5 other horses, and went to the hills. Ben's first ride went great. Bob rode him first and he was excellent. It was Ben's first time on a trail ride this big, and he seemed perfect.

The next day I wanted to ride my horse (obviously, who wouldn't) and he pulled the same crap with me. I got my foot in the stirrup and was about to hop up and off he went. I fell on my butt and Bob took over. I ended up riding one of their other horses, and Bob rode Ben again.

I don't know what his deal with is me. He let's almost anyone else ride him. Anyone except me. He doesn't even want anything to do with me anymore and I can't figure out why. It's not his saddle fit, because he has moments he does it with Bob in his saddle, or my friend and her saddle.

Any advice on what to do to gain my confidence back or to try to get him out of him?
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post #2 of 2 Old 09-16-2013, 08:47 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,231
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He does not respect you, until you gain his trust and respect your not going to able to build your confidence or his. Go back to ground work learn how to control his feet forwards, backwards, left and right, and learn to make him hustle his feet on the ground. Prove to him you can control his feet. Do exercises on the ground to teach him you can control his head, neck, front end, rib cage and back end. As you gain more control, confidence and respect on the ground it will translate in the saddle. He does not view you as a leader and is taking advantage of you because he knows he can. Your friend is probably oozing with confidence and the horse respects that.

Honestly I don't think your lacking in confidence I think your lacking in knowledge. Gain the knowledge and the confidence will follow. And not every horse is a good fit for every rider. Dominant, pushy horses are harder to work with then the more quiet, compliant, easy going ones. Eventually you have to decide if your going to get and gain his respect or move onto a more suitable mount. Good luck and be safe.
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