I can't stay on my new horse! Any ideas?

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I can't stay on my new horse! Any ideas?

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    04-02-2011, 03:39 PM
Question I can't stay on my new horse! Any ideas?

I recently retired my 12 year ex racehorse Kiwi to be a companion horse in the field because of severe arthritis and joint issues she developed in her racing days before I bought her as a rescue at an auction.
My new horse is a rescue, but of a very different kind.
Twilight is a 7 year old Arabian that I bought (cheaply) from owners who did not know much about horses and were accidentally mistreating her in the process. They did not want her anymore, so I decided that I needed a new project. I am not a 'new' rider, but in no way am I a professional. I still have a coach/trainer that I work with on my horse, but ever since retiring Kiwi, my trusty, loving, quiet mare, I've been having confidence issues on Twilight.

And then comes the good part. The day where my coach decides to take a group of us to the outdoor arena for some schooling. Twilights first time outside. My first time breaking a bone by falling. I fell off twice, and both times were my fault. The first time she was spinning, and bumped into this hefty little halflinger pony my friend owns, and in self defense he kicked out and hit my shin. I lifted my leg subconsciously and tipped out the other side.

After this Twilight was even more full of herself. Her urge to race and prance and spin morphed into bucking and crow hopping every six steps until eventually I was mentally exhausted and she gave a tiny buck and I flew over her head onto the side of my neck/shoulder.

Needless to say, I am a bit terrified of riding her again. I know falling makes me a better rider, and I've fallen before! But for some reason this really has me spooked. She isn't an easy horse. You really have to boss her around, and she will try to buck you off for the first few minutes until (hopefully and usually) she gives up.

Was she worse because it was her first time outside? My coach claims she is 'winter sour' because of the cold weather and riding her will become easier in the summer.
Like I said, I'm no pro. I'm afraid I can't handle a horse as smart as Miss Twilight, but I don't want to give up.
Is there any advice anyone can offer?
Even just moral support to get me back in the saddle?
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    04-02-2011, 03:52 PM
All I can say is to not think of yourself as being abnormally afraid. I think anyone would be afraid, in this situation. Some might decide not to take the risk again.
If you have the place to work with her on the ground again you may be able to recover the sense that she is reachable and is not a bad girl, which will help you when you next journey into the saddle. Good luck!
    04-02-2011, 03:57 PM
Try try and try again :) the up side of this is once you fallen off your horse 100 times you can clam to be a good rider so your 2 falls closer :P I have 94 left im pretty exited bout that lol .

What you have to remember is you horse feel's everything you feel!! So your mare maybe feeding off your fear or unsertainty and just taking advantage of you . What help alot is to sign to your horse when your riding so you don't feel freacked out and your horse will not either:) tho you look like a totally nerd but that;s okai who doesn't !! Or even go back to baybe steps with her! Build a trust and relanship with her! Ever herd of join up you can try that :)

Good luck and don't lose hope :)
    04-02-2011, 04:28 PM
I had problems like that :) You can do it, believe me. Just ride, ride and ride. You'll get your confidence.
Watch what you are feeding her, my mare (although not arabian, but she is still ful of energy) was a little hyper because of improper food. And winter is a huge factor. She will be much more calmer in the summer.
Ride a lot! Start where you're confident and then do little steps. You can do it
    04-02-2011, 04:51 PM
Mia is a dominant Arabian mare I've had for 2.5 years. Most of the time, she does fine. But there have always been holes in her training, and she has become erratic, becoming afraid of things she didn't used to be afraid of, so I've started over with her.

We began round penning 101 a few weeks ago. I'm using this as an outline of where to go, along with working with a lady who trained our Arabian who had never been ridden.


From the sounds of it, that is where I'd start your mare - at the beginning. I did that before with our gelding, and it only took 5 weeks to work thru most stuff - but we filled some holes along the way. I expect Mia to take 3-6 months because she is so dominant.

In fact, I think from here out that if I buy a horse, I'll plan on retraining them by starting at the beginning. It is a good way to build a relationship, and helps to find the holes before they become painful.
    04-02-2011, 11:11 PM
Thanks for all the replies. It's just really frustrating because she has no respect for me! She treats me like she does geldings in the field. Like a nobody. I've tried a join up before and it turned into a stand off between the two of us because neither of us would back down and I never ever want to put her in a situation in which she feels she needs to rear and she kept facing me about backing up and I was afraid that was where it was going.
    04-03-2011, 04:26 AM
How she behaves when you're lunging her?
    04-03-2011, 05:51 AM
Green Broke
Ground work, get her to respect you.
If you say move your bum, make her move her bum.

I went to a clinc ages ago now, but what you want to do is look at her hindquarters and like point at them, like moving your finger back and forward.
You will need a long leadrope, if she's doesn't move start spinning the end of the lead rope, slowly then get faster and closer, if she still doesn't move give move it closer so you hit her.
That will wake her up and hopefully make her move
As soon as she moves stop, and then do it again she should be paying attention to you now.
    04-03-2011, 11:57 AM
Originally Posted by OffAgainOnAgain    
Thanks for all the replies. It's just really frustrating because she has no respect for me! She treats me like she does geldings in the field. Like a nobody. I've tried a join up before and it turned into a stand off between the two of us because neither of us would back down and I never ever want to put her in a situation in which she feels she needs to rear and she kept facing me about backing up and I was afraid that was where it was going.
You might try to hire a trainer for 1-2 lessons to help you get started in round penning. The first session can be a bit overwhelming with some horses. If not, there are books and videos that discuss how to get them started.

Also see:

Training young horse to circle

How to get your horse away from you so you can begin lunging him around a circle
    04-03-2011, 01:40 PM
Green Broke
I agree with redtree-loads of groundwork do it everywhere you can so she is in different situations and learns to focus in on you and turn to you when she is nervous/anxious/afraid it will help your relationship a ton and as for the staying on maybe see if you can borrow a school pony or something and get some bareback lessons they really help you learn to balance yourself through alot

buck, bucking, falling off, horse, scared

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