What went wrong!? Today's ride was horrible! - The Horse Forum
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  • 3 Post By Celeste
  • 2 Post By trailhorserider
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-29-2012, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gallant, Alabama
Posts: 2,470
• Horses: 8
What went wrong!? Today's ride was horrible!

Ok so I had a not-so-fun ride today... If you want the truth, the ride today made me just want to quit... quit everything to do with horses... It was -that- bad...

It didn't start off bad, though... it started off pretty good. I caught Dakota and had him riding around the yard just fine by himself, then one of my cousin's came down and caught her mare, and we went for a ride. Dakota kicked up his heels a bit while cantering uphill, but it was nothing major, so I reprimanded him and let it go. Then, we were riding back towards home and had to go past my neighbor's place, where he has three stallions, several mares, and a gelding. His horses were pitching a ruckus and running around, and my cousin was ahead of us...

Dakota. Flipped. Out. He went into a frenzie because he wanted to run and I wouldn't let him and started throwing these HUGE bucks, like GET OFF ME bucks... I stayed on and got him to quit, but if he hadn't stopped when he did, he would have thrown me. He took two steps and started up again because I still wouldn't let him run like he wanted and nearly went down in a deep ditch because he was bucking along the side of the road and right beside a four foot ditch... Again, I got him stopped and made him walk on. He wasn't happy, but he didn't give me anymore trouble until we got to the house.

We got to the house and he started acting up again trying to run to the barn, which is where my cousin and her mare were. I made him walk, though he was very pissed off, and got off him, but didn't let him go. I made him lunge at a trot and canter for about twenty minutes, then got back on and we rode up to my great uncle's house, where my cousin's sister and friend were riding other horses. We got up there and I asked Dakota to stand still, which he did fine while they were running around. I got off him and asked him to park out and back up and keep his attention on me, which he did pretty well.

He did try to kick my cousin's mare, though, and I made him lunge for a bit more then put him up and caught my mare, because she's usually very well behaved... but not today! All she wanted to do was run and not listen to me at all! She was jigging and sidestepping, trying to spin around and take off with me... She tried to throw my cousin, etc...

So my cousin and I decided to go back home. We decided to cut through the pasture since it is faster than going down the road... Gypsie kept on trying to take off with me, though she's been ridden in the pasture hundreds of times! And my cousin's mare Buttercup was a saint, but Dakota really pissed me off... He ATTACKED Buttercup with my 13 year old cousin riding her and RAN them into a corner of the pasture, trying to kick Butters. My cousin fell off and her foot got caught in the stirrup, but then came loose... we led both mares back across the pasture, but after that, Dakota didn't try to attack Buttercup again...

After letting the mares go, I got Dakota out and lunged him for over an hour, trot and canter, trying to get him to join-up with me. The most he gave me was locking an ear on me, but even then it wasn't constant... like, he'd do it for a few moments, then quit paying attention to me and ignore me... I did several directional changes with him and nothing... I finally just gave up because he was so tired and hot that he had sweat dripping off him and couldn't hardly trot in a circle without slowing down to rest and I was so tired that I couldn't hardly move...

I just wanna cry! Today was horrible, and it's my only off day from work/college this week! What happened today!?

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-29-2012, 09:55 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Small town in Kansas
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I am almost positive that EVERY equestrian has had days like these. The first one I've had in a long time was Thursday night. I've been working with my gelding on bareback and bridleless, and thrsday, it was a cool evening and he was full of it, and unresponisve. After seeing the other horses bucking and playing, he decided he was going to gallop for half a mile down a dirt road, with me trying to stop him with a flimsy rope around his neck...What you have to remember is there will always be another day. Don't put too much thought into it. Just think of the positives. What did your horse do right that day? But also don't forget about the bad, just think of positive ways to correct them next time.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-29-2012, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gallant, Alabama
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Thanks... I needed to be reminded of that... and you are right... Dakota does have days like this, a lot of days...

I don't know if he's just not got the right mind to be a trail horse and ride in groups or what, though... sometimes he's great, sometimes he's horrible... He rides perfectly with my mare, but add other horses in and he gets very upset.

He rides perfectly by himself, but add other horses in and he's very bad most of the time... aggressive, sometimes, too.

I will focus on what he did good, today, though... he neck-reined... he parked out for me and backed up very well... and he performed excellent directional changes when I was lunging him... He was extremely pleasant on ground, which he always is... just undersaddle around the other horses, he was bad...

And what makes it so much worse is that he's my main trail-riding horse nowadays since my mare is partially retired!

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-29-2012, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gallant, Alabama
Posts: 2,470
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I guess I just needed to rant for a few...

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-29-2012, 10:20 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Georgia USA
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He needs a lot of training. I think that you should work on the basics at home every day for a couple of months and then try the trails again. He needs to be ridden a lot. I would do a lot of SLOW rides when you go out on the trail. Once you start going fast, he is going to get excited and act bad again. You have plenty of time to go fast once he is doing better. I would avoid riding by the horses that got him all stirred up. He is just not ready for that.

Carpe Diem!
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-29-2012, 10:27 PM
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Fall is in the air. The horses feel it. they have more get up and go.

But, most any horse will act up if horses in a nearby pasture are running around , and up to the fence. Next time you have to ride through the pasture, and horses are loose in there, take a dressage whip with you and warn them off right away.

sorry I don't have anything better to offer you.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-29-2012, 10:30 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Georgia USA
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I really don't like to ride in a pasture with horses that are running loose. I think that it is an accident waiting to happen. I also will go out of my way to avoid riding right by crazy horses in pastures that try to make my horse act up.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-30-2012, 12:25 AM
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Location: Arizona
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From what I understand it all went to heck when the neighbor's horses were running around and your cousin took off ahead of you. That was a bad combination!

It is hard to keep horses calm and cool when there is a pasture full of horses running next to them AND it is hard to keep horses calm and cool when another horse is running ahead of them and increasing the distance. You had to deal with both at once which is very difficult.

I'm not sure lunging your horse to death is the answer. I trail ride all the time and never lunge. What helps my mare is to ride her away from home, then back, then away, then back. Pretty soon she doesn't know if she is coming or going and she calms down. Sometimes I will ride her back and if she's been hyper leave her standing tied for a few minutes at the tie rail, then get on and ride her back out again. For some reason that resets her brain.

I would also instruct your cousin not to take off and leave you when your horse is acting up. That is only throwing fuel on the fire. She needs to be willing to stay with you when you are having problems and then work on seperating the horses only when they are both calm and relaxed.

Yes, in an ideal world your horse should listen to you and not the chaos around it, but reality is that most horses have a hard time dealing with both of the things you were dealing with. So don't feel bad, it's a hard thing for most horses.
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