Poseidon, you reminded me of a couple from the Girls Scout horse camp last fall. Lol
1.) We had a group of 12-year-olds who were scheduled for an arena lesson and then a trail ride. There were nine of them and we had twelve horses, so all three of us wranglers were going to go on the ride. I was supposed to ride Moon Pie (big freisian cross mare). Anyway, last minute one of the moms decides she wants to go on the trail ride. Usually we don't allow that, but it was our last group of the day, so the head wrangler was like "Whatever." So, I got bumped off the ride (I volunteered to stay behind) and the mom got on Moon Pie. According to the mom she used to barrel race, but honestly, she had a hard time figuring out how to get into the saddle.
Anyway, Moon Pie is about 16.2hh of orneriness when she wants to be, especially if there's an adult on her back. She's an angel for the girls, though. Now, I heard all this second hand because I was back at the arena cleaning up, but here's what happened.
Moon Pie kept trying to eat on the trail. We always warned the girls that the horses could choke if they ate with the bit in, so we would have them pull straight up on the reins and kick the horses to get them moving again. Apparently, this mom thought she knew better than us and was letting Moon Pie eat on the trail. Finally, the other wrangler (who was in the back, about three or four horses back from Moon Pie) yelled at the mom to not let Moon Pie eat. Well, the very next time Moon Pie went to snatch a bite, the mom yanked up HARD. Moon Pie got pissy and started to lumber away from the pressure (I say lumber because that horse was way too fat to bolt lol). She started going up this little hill to the right of the trail. The mom panicked completely and baled off UP HILL!! Moon Pie wasn't even going any faster than a walk, but the lady was completely freaking out and crying. So, when they got back to the arena, the mom was riding Summer (stout 16hh palomino QH mare), the girl who had been riding Summer was riding Strawberry (the horse the other wrangler had been riding), the other wrangler was riding Paleface (the lead mare who isn't kid-friendly) and the head wrangler was riding Moon Pie. Talk about confusing! I got handed Moon Pie's reins and was told to work the crap out of her in the upper arena. She was a perfect angel for me.
2.) We were doing an arena lesson with some eight-year-olds and because there were only six of them, the head wrangler decided that we could do a little more than we usually did with the lessons (usually there were too many girls for us to do more than walk in a circle around the arena, back up a few times and switch directions). It helped that we had five wranglers that day AND the group was scheduled for a two hour lesson.
We did all our regular stuff and then the wrangler decided to introduce some basic trotting from one cone to another on the short side of the arena. She had one of us wranglers run next to the girls' horses when they'd trot to keep them balanced and keep the horses under control better (the mares we used were also used as polo ponies in the summer, so they were used to going). We had several uneventful trots and then it was my turn with this little girl on Sassie. Sassie is probably one of the fattest horses I have ever seen. I rode her once and I felt like I was doing the splits the whole time! We had one of the littler girls up on Sassie because she is only 13.2hh. So, I got the girl kicking Sassie into a trot and giving her the verbal command. We get about halfway to the next cone (right where I have to leave off and let the girl continue to the next cone/wrangler on her own so I can get back to the next girl in line) and I start to peel away. All of a sudden I hear all the girls starting to shriek and the other wranglers saying "Watch out!" I thought I was going to get run down by a run-away horse, but nope. Poor little girl on Sassie had lost what little grip she had in the saddle and was bouncing off the side! Luckily she was bouncing toward me (the left) and I was able to swing back around and catch her before she came all the way off. Sassie just kept going until she reached the next wrangler, then looked around like "Wait. Wasn't there something on my back a minute ago?" Thankfully the little girl was laughing more than scared and wanted to go again right away.