Did I do the right thing by ending the ride early?
 
 

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Did I do the right thing by ending the ride early?

This is a discussion on Did I do the right thing by ending the ride early? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        03-07-2014, 12:07 AM
      #1
    Foal
    Did I do the right thing by ending the ride early?

    So tonight I went out to the barn to ride my horse, as usual, but after I got him tacked up and into the arena, he was being a total pill. It took several tries to get him to stand still next to the mounting block. And once I was on, we couldn't even go a half lap without him "spooking" and shying at something he's seen a million times. He wasn't listening to me and he was extremely wound up - rushing around the arena, ignoring my leg and rein aids, at even a walk. This behavior MAY have been because there was a lot of activity at the barn tonight, more than usual. Regardless, I expect my horse to behave, so that's definitely not an excuse.

    He tends to be pretty "hot" and acts spooky both in hand and under saddle (I'm working on it), but tonight was unusually bad. I REALLY didn't feel like being thrown, and it seemed like if I were to continue riding him, he would only get more fractious and the situation would escalate. So after less than 5 minutes of riding, I got what I felt was a halfway decent half lap around the arena and I dismounted. I took off the reins and stirrups (bridle and saddle still on) and free lunged him (I free lunge him often, so this was not new) for 10 or 15 minutes until he seemed to relax and was paying attention to me. At that point, I called it quits for the night.

    Did I do the right thing? I was starting to get frustrated when riding him, and I know at that point, it's better for me to take a step back, but I'm worried that I might have started to encourage a bad habit in him... Does he think he "won" tonight?

    Edit: Oops, sorry, perhaps this would have been better in the "Training" forum.. Mods, feel free to move my post if it would be better elsewhere.
         
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        03-07-2014, 12:20 AM
      #2
    Super Moderator
    Moved it.

    I dunno if you did THE right thing, but I know that if the wee small voice in my head says "this is not a good time to ride, too much chance for things to go badly and you get hurt" . . . I listen.

    One day of retreating with common sense does not make a huge training error. I'd just move on.
         
        03-07-2014, 12:26 AM
      #3
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Monkey    
    So tonight I went out to the barn to ride my horse, as usual, but after I got him tacked up and into the arena, he was being a total pill. It took several tries to get him to stand still next to the mounting block. And once I was on, we couldn't even go a half lap without him "spooking" and shying at something he's seen a million times. He wasn't listening to me and he was extremely wound up - rushing around the arena, ignoring my leg and rein aids, at even a walk. This behavior MAY have been because there was a lot of activity at the barn tonight, more than usual. Regardless, I expect my horse to behave, so that's definitely not an excuse.

    He tends to be pretty "hot" and acts spooky both in hand and under saddle (I'm working on it), but tonight was unusually bad. I REALLY didn't feel like being thrown, and it seemed like if I were to continue riding him, he would only get more fractious and the situation would escalate. So after less than 5 minutes of riding, I got what I felt was a halfway decent half lap around the arena and I dismounted. I took off the reins and stirrups (bridle and saddle still on) and free lunged him (I free lunge him often, so this was not new) for 10 or 15 minutes until he seemed to relax and was paying attention to me. At that point, I called it quits for the night.

    Did I do the right thing? I was starting to get frustrated when riding him, and I know at that point, it's better for me to take a step back, but I'm worried that I might have started to encourage a bad habit in him... Does he think he "won" tonight?

    Edit: Oops, sorry, perhaps this would have been better in the "Training" forum.. Mods, feel free to move my post if it would be better elsewhere.
    i think you did the best you could, under the circumstances. In the future, if your horse is having some issues when you try to mount, I would step back and do ground work. Then try to mount again when your horse seems to calm down. You always want to ride when you have your horse's full attention.
         
        03-07-2014, 12:27 AM
      #4
    Started
    I think your first clue was him not standing for the mounting block. Definitely would've longed him then. You want the "relax and was paying attention to me" part at the beginning of the ride too xD
    tinyliny, Elana, waresbear and 2 others like this.
         
        03-07-2014, 12:35 AM
      #5
    Super Moderator
    That^ I should have said that^
         
        03-07-2014, 03:03 AM
      #6
    Foal
    I think you did the right thing. The one time when my horse was agitated and wouldn't stand still for me at the mounting block was an evening when there were tons of mosquitoes and I had already lunged him and he still wouldn't calm down, then I round penned him and he was still being nuts. My trainer told me I couldn't leave it at that and that I should get on and ride him. I didn't want to leave things on a poor note with him acting up and didn't want to tell my trainer no, so I got on.

    Well, like I said he was agitated and moving at the mounting block., which he never does As soon as I got on he bolted and galloped around the arena until I was able to get him back under control. I will NEVER disregard that little voice that says 'it isn't safe to ride right now', ever again.
         
        03-07-2014, 03:23 AM
      #7
    Super Moderator
    I agree that you should have lunged him first when he was being a prat at the mounting block. You did what was best for you, had it been me I would have worked his butt off at trot and canter before asking him to concentrate.
    AFull99 likes this.
         
        03-07-2014, 02:08 PM
      #8
    Foal
    Thank you for the advice! Yes, I probably should have lunged him before getting on. I typically DO. I don't know why that didn't even cross my mind last night...

    So moving forward, when I go out tonight, should I lunge him, tack up, and ride as normal? Or is there anything I should do or be prepared for?
         
        03-07-2014, 02:39 PM
      #9
    Super Moderator
    I would not 'free longe' him. I would longe him on a line, either before tacking him up or with side reins if he was tacked up. I would ask for many stops, reverses, transition and make him be prompt and precise. It would be a 'training session' and not an 'exercise session'.

    Mindless circles and exercise accomplish little other than to get a horse fit and more difficult to train and ride.
         
        03-07-2014, 03:30 PM
      #10
    Green Broke
    Yup. If he is being a Jack @$$ and not a horse, make him work his (Jack) @$$ off and that means he needs to be thinking. This is not a conditioning session but a pay attention we are working session. It really matters not if you even get on him if you get his attention and focus and get him working. THAT is training.

    BTW what you did was not wrong. Getting tossed off a horse teaches NOTHING and it hurts.
    waresbear and sarahfromsc like this.
         

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