The other day was my boys first trail ride without being ponied (he's 3 1/2 and has previously always been ponied by an older horse and been very good).
Anyways, he sort of freaked out. I'm not entirely sure whether he was scared or just excited, but we got ten minutes down the road and he was wayyyy out of line. I used to ride a hyper arab so I wasn't too worried about how jittery he was being...nothing I hadn't dealt with before.
But then, he did something that surprised me...He reared!
We were walking along and he just planted his feet and stared off into the distance like there was either something really neat or really scary out there and let out a little squeal.
I urged him to keep moving and that's when he reared up.
So I leaned forward and sat through it. When we came back down I gave him a little kick and walked him in some circles to keep him moving.
I was honestly more shocked that he would do that (he has always been so mellow) than I was afraid.
After that he straight up bolted on me! I wasn't 100% on my guard and he got two steps of a trot in and then just bolted! I did a one reign stop and he went through a few bushes and then back to a walk. This went on for maybe half an hour. I didn't want him to think that he could just get out on the trail and misbehave and then go home, so I remained calm and kept reassuring him. Many one rein stops later, I had a fairly manageable horse and he did so well on the way home! We encountered a ton of potentially "scary" things and he didn't even flinch. So, we ended on a good note.
However, I haven't taken him out since then and frankly, I'm worried about him rearing again. I don't want him to make this a habit and I'm not entirely sure that I dealt with it properly the first time...any thoughts or criticism or ideas anyone can offer?
I'm really crossing my fingers that this was just a rambunctious, new-found-freedom, one time sort of thing