Advice Needed
 
 

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Advice Needed

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        08-16-2008, 08:14 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Advice Needed

    I'm going to a show tomorrow (Sunday) and I'm a bit nervous. Gizmo just got back from the trainer and he's doing really well, but they didn't get a chance to take him to a show. He's a 4 year old AQH.

    So. Gizmo has started getting nervous when horses are coming towards him faster than a walk. He used to freak when horses came up behind him when he was younger (scooted his butt up underneath himself and bolted, but didn't go very far 'cause I could stop him) but I fixed that after doing it over and over. So, I am not the most confident or aggressive rider. I'm actually working on being a bit more assertive because I'm.. under aggressive lol. There's been a few times in the warm up rings at shows where a horse is trotting or cantering towards us and I'm walking or jogging along not suspecting a thing and then we get close and Gizmo slams on the brakes and swerves away.

    Lately, this has been happening more and more often. I anticipate that he's going to get scared so I tense up and then he feels me and then stop and swerve. We were getting a little bit better during fair two weeks ago but then he did the stop and swerve when a horse started acting up behind us and I fell and landed on my tailbone. Couldn't ride the next two days. I was really nervous after that and I rode him three days later (trainer rode him the day I fell, his daughter did the next day, and then my trainer rode him again before I rode on the third day). I got on him, and I was nervous but we did all right. There were other horses around but I was really careful to just stay away from them.

    So now tomorrow will be my first show since falling off and I'm nervous about it. I know a lot of it is my fault because when I get scared, he does too. I just know I'm going to be freaking out tomorrow trying to warm up and I won't really be focusing on working him and more on watching what other people are doing and trying to stay out of the way. >.< Any tips on what I can do to try to stay calm and get him to realize that the other horses aren't actually coming at him to hurt him, they're just passing close?
         
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        08-16-2008, 10:12 PM
      #2
    Banned
    Best advice I can give is just take a deep breath and relax. Part of the problem that he's acting up might be because you, yourself, is tensing up.
    Horses can sense your emotions by your body language...and if he senses you tense up he'll think something is wrong and he'll tense up.
         
        08-16-2008, 10:14 PM
      #3
    Foal
    Just remember to relax.. no need to tense up. I know its easier said than done, but try to relax.
         
        08-19-2008, 12:32 AM
      #4
    Foal
    Well I survived. Actually, I took the easy way out. I steered clear of the warm-up ring and rode around out by my trailer. I was just getting too worked up over it and I knew if I went in there I'd be a nervous wreck and I'd end up reinforcing his fear.

    Today, though, one of my equestrian team coaches decided to do a little exercise to help me out. I had to stand in the middle of the arena on him and she was next to me just incase. We had each other member walk closely past and around Gizmo one after the other. Then they did the same thing trotting. He kinda looked at them like 'omg' but didn't spook, so that was good. XD Then they all trotted on the rail and I walked the opposite way getting close each horse as they passed. He was all right with that, a little nervous, but didn't spook. Two of the horses were told to canter and I locked up and Gizmo shied a little to one side but then I relaxed and we went past the other person just fine. We ended it on a good note so I'll be doing that every Monday and Thursday now. :)
         
        08-19-2008, 01:25 AM
      #5
    Trained
    Glad to hear it went well!

    I think it's a combination of a unsure horse and rider.
    When you get a unconfident horse, they really depend on their rider to help them feel as if they are not in any sort of danger, and when the rider gets unsure about it all.... well, I'm sure your tailbone knows what happens next!

    But just as a general rule and note, horses should always be travelling in the same direction in an arena to avoid the risk of a "head on run in".

    I suppose it's okay for training purposes, but I wouldn't make a practice of it at the show rings otherwise you could get some upset (or you being the one upset) people!

    Sounds like you're on the good road and have a good coach to help you along!
         
        08-19-2008, 07:51 AM
      #6
    Showing
    I"m glad to hear that you have a coach that is helping you. Too many riders send a horse off to be trained but never receive training themselves.

    I would think that your nerves are reinforcing your horse's. He is a young horse that simply does not have the experience that a 10 year old would have and is looking to you for the support he needs at this stage. As Sunny said, you are transferring your nerves to him but as you gain confidence, so will he.

    I always like to see an inexperienced rider on a much more seasoned horse but at least you and your horse are getting trained together.
         
        08-20-2008, 10:23 AM
      #7
    Foal
    Your horse is sll young and perhaps he has not the habit to be close to other horses . You can start at home, riding near otrer horses, warking in the arena, or having a nice walk. I think it would be a goo idea go step by step with this matter, your horse is a little beat scared and needs his space for the moment. Also needs to trust his rider, "the boss", talk to him but don“t be very permisive with him, he must have a discipline and be obedient too. In the stud I work all horses are young stallions and normally, this works!!

    Sorry for my English and I hope it will help you.
    Regards,
    Marķa (Spain).
         
        08-20-2008, 02:52 PM
      #8
    Foal
    Thanks for all of the advice and encouragement everybody. :)

    WS Arabians, I really agree about horses traveling the same direction. Unfortunately, at every show I go to, everyone is going every which way trying to warm their horse up because we all have to share one warm-up ring. I try to go the direction that most people are going, and if I want to switch I'll just yell and ask people to turn around. XD Some people don't care though and they just try to weave through traffic and that's where my problem begins. >.<
         
        08-21-2008, 12:15 AM
      #9
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mira
    Thanks for all of the advice and encouragement everybody. :)

    WS Arabians, I really agree about horses traveling the same direction. Unfortunately, at every show I go to, everyone is going every which way trying to warm their horse up because we all have to share one warm-up ring. I try to go the direction that most people are going, and if I want to switch I'll just yell and ask people to turn around. XD Some people don't care though and they just try to weave through traffic and that's where my problem begins. >.<
    I know, some people are either just ignorant to or don't care about good riding etiquette.
    To be fair, at first I didn't get why it mattered until I had a few run ins and a few very close calls, and now it drives me crazy.
    I can imagine how imtimidating it would be for a horse... sort of like someone driving a car in our own lane! No wonder the poor guy is spooking, just hopefully he realises soon that the other horse doesn't want to run into him as much as he doesn't run into them! :)
         

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