Hello...first of all, I just want to say That I LOVE THIS SITE!
I have been a horse owner for 6 whole days. I am realistic and don't expect a miracle, however Sam is 14 years old and my problems are new according to the old owners. I have had the worst luck ever! The first time I rode him I am guessing he had too much to eat and he layed down and rolled on the ground. He follows other horses instead of my directions. I am improving since I have learned to use my legs, unstead of only the reins.The second day, we walked then trotted following a friend and her horse. Her horse is 19 and fast as lightening. Her mare began to gallop, I encouraged Sam...and up goes the front, off I began and his rear came up and hit my back before my back landed my fall. I hear about 10 pops in my back and I dint move. I looked at him expecting to be trampled and he was inching toward me looking frightened and confused at what had just happend. I cried from heart ache, and got back on...not encouraging a gallop again. The next time he got alot better. He began to neck rein. He didn't follow the mare the entire time and I used techniques the previous owners gave me. They came the next day to see Sam and I in action. This time using a smaller saddle that my feet were actually in the stirrups. We didn't use a back girth like I had been, I learned that their land was on a steep mountain and he wasn't used to galloping at all. A 13 yr old boy that has learned to ride on Sam got on him and showed me that Sam will Gallop, stop, neck rein, back, and even stretch his long front legs out to get lower so it's easier to get on this 17hh horse. I rode him for a couple of hours and he did well. Today was the first day I tried it alone. He does NOT wasnt to take the bit for me. We struggle and Im in a sweat and he's tossing his head and I get so frustrated. Finally I succeeded. We took a new route where there were no other horses. BIG mistake. He got spooked by the new scenery. When I pulled back to a whoa, he would only side step. I tried to turn around to head back and he would struggle. Usually if he wont go in the correct direction I can make a circle and he will go the way I want. But there was an electric fence near and I was worried we would run into it. So, I got off, walked him back to the barn and untacked. Please give me much needed advice. I would love to hear what I am doing wrong. I do Love this Big Boy and want to be consistent and build his trust and respect. Thank you for reading.