So usually my gelding does pretty well on the lunge line - not perfect, but he's definitely improving. He listens, etc.
Tonight, however, he just freaked out for seemingly no reason. It started out by just not listening but grew into taking off into a full on gallop and not responding to any attempts to calm him down. He even managed to rip the lunge line from my hands once. Luckily we were in an arena.
I'm just not sure what happened. It wasn't windy or anything like that that usually makes him jumpy. He's usually so well-behaved. It was odd, too, because he ranged from seeming freaked out to just wanting to run and back to freaked out again. Maybe he smelled or heard something we didn't?
I had been planning on riding him bareback, so he didn't have a saddle on like he usually does... would that have made a difference? As far as I know, that was the only thing different tonight. I even tried putting the whip down to see if maybe I was accidently waving it around (though I lunge every time before I ride and we've never had that problem before).
I just feel bad because I have no idea what freaked him out so much, and I'm sure I probably got a little frustrated (though I made sure to take myself out of the equation to calm down for a little while). Once I finally got on to ride he was perfect, but he just wouldn't calm down on the lunge line.
Sorry for ranting, I just feel so out of place as he's never had any problems like this before. Any ideas on what could have happened?