Horse turned into a jerk!
 
 

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Horse turned into a jerk!

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  • 2 Post By Ian McDonald
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    01-23-2012, 09:49 AM
  #1
Weanling
Horse turned into a jerk!

I took my normal sweetie of a 4 year old (almost 5) on a trail ride yesterday. He'd been to this particular ranch maybe 4 times before and he was with his barn mates. I had not ridden in a week but normally that doesn't matter. It was warmer than usual and very windy. He starts out our day being rushy with a lot of head tossing. He actually struck out at my daughter's horse. I was shocked. Later in the ride he kicked out at another horse (whom he knew) and he also ended up bucking, which he has never done, not even when he was started.

When he bucked there was a larger group of riders about 50 yards ahead, a couple of us behind, then another small group about 30 yards back. I guess he thought he was being left, but normally he doesn't care and will just plod along at his own pace.

So his bad attitude has me puzzled. I don't know if he just had a bad day or if something was actually upsetting him. He wasn't bad the whole time, just in little fits. I'm not a very confident rider with him due to his age, although the buck didn't scare me, just made me mad. Anyone have any ideas of why he would turn so snotty?
     
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    01-23-2012, 09:59 AM
  #2
Weanling
Probably just a bad day. With the wind and the fact that he wasn't ridden for a while, he was probably just feeling a little extra spooky. If you don't feel comfortable riding him maybe ask someone who is experienced to exercise him a bit to see if they can get that little bit of an edge off.
Try not to be nervous if he does these things as well because usually this makes the problem worse. I always think, laugh it off but correct the horse. :)
     
    01-23-2012, 10:00 AM
  #3
Yearling
I'm increasingly of the opinion that a good saddle horse should stay tuned into me no matter what's going on around us. Wind, weather, and other horses shouldn't matter, but if they do then I probably just need to be a more active rider and get that horse more interested in me than in those other distractions (however I can).
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    01-23-2012, 10:34 AM
  #4
Weanling
One of my trainers and I switched horses for a bit and he was fine, so I got back on him. He normally doesn't require any lunging.

I guess the whole thing could have been boring for him. I asked him to cross obstacles when we came across them, but it was mostly just a lot of wide open pasture and walking.

We normally do dressage in an arena. He's done this sort of ride before, just not in a while. Perhaps it was a little overwhelming for him. He's normally so laid back when we go anywhere so the situation just bothered me.
     
    01-23-2012, 10:46 AM
  #5
Banned
It could be a million different reasons. It could be pain, discomfort, poor tacking up etc... it could be him testing you because he feels he can. He could have changed his place in his herd and now he feels you are next in line. Whatever the reason, he's just doing what nature told him to, so he isn't being a jerk, he's just reflecting what he knows because of what you've told him. If you say you aren't a confident rider, he knows that and will step up to be the confident one if you are not doing so. Not his fault.
     
    01-23-2012, 01:43 PM
  #6
Foal
Wind

I agree with ShezeCharmer, but don't underestimate the deteriorating effect of wind on a horse. I think, because a horse relies so much on their sense of hearing, that when it is windy, they easily become rattled. A horse's sense of sight is the worst of their senses.

I don't know how many times I've had friend's kids over with the intention of doing 'pony' rides, and I've rescheduled, because of the wind. It is a special horse to be unfazed by a windy day.
     
    01-23-2012, 02:22 PM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShezaCharmer    
Probably just a bad day. With the wind and the fact that he wasn't ridden for a while, he was probably just feeling a little extra spooky. If you don't feel comfortable riding him maybe ask someone who is experienced to exercise him a bit to see if they can get that little bit of an edge off.
Try not to be nervous if he does these things as well because usually this makes the problem worse. I always think, laugh it off but correct the horse. :)
I have to comment and laugh on this. On Saturday, I attended an 8 hour marriage seminar as part of the marriage class for my Church (wedding is in April).

Of course, throughout the class we discussed interaction as a couple and dealing with hurt feelings, conflict, and perceived slights.

As soon as I read your statement, I thought to myself, "Wow. If we (horse lovers) treat our spouses/partners as we do our horses, how much more fulfilling could our relationships be?"

Because, I would bet a Coke (I never bet money) that if one of our spouses/partners behaved in such as jerk-like fashion, we would not be laughing.

Hahahah - comic relief. I had to offer some.

OP- Don't let it get you down too much. I also have a young horse and my trainer has been reminding me often that young horses have more "days" than older and highly finished days. It's part of the experience of owning young.

But, I have to say, I am amazed that you "saddle and ride" a horse that young. I lunge Sam before every saddling experience (with or without saddle). Even if I have managed to ride him Monday - Friday, I will lunge him on Saturday before I get on board.

One reason is for my safety. I fully subscribe to the old saying, "A tired horse is a good horse." He is a lot of horse. However, if you were to ask me to describe his disposition, I would use words like quiet, calm, steady. But, he is in peak condition and on full feed. I can do a 30 minute arena ride on him where I am working gait transitions in big and small circles and he won't even breathe heavily. A 3-hr trail ride up and down rocky and steep hills barely creates a sweat in 30 degree weather. Lunging him for 15 minutes does not tire him out, but it does put his "game face" on, as we say.

If I miss even one day of riding, I lunge him at a fast trot to work out some of his wiggles. If I am going trail riding, I lunge him without saddle, saddle, then work patterns for at least 15 minutes before putting him in the trailer.

One day, I failed to do this. I had been riding consistently every day so on Sunday, I saddled, trailered, finished saddling an hour later at the trail head, and got on.

Yea. Erm, what a ride. It was cool, drizzly, with a slight wind. I can't even dare think of how he would have behaved if I had missed riding several days. He was WILD.

I'm by no means an expert, just using my horse of similar age for comparison. Some of your ride's frustration may have been extra energy. I bet next time he is a sweetie again.
     
    01-23-2012, 03:46 PM
  #8
Trained
I would agree that the wind was most likely a huge contributor, but I do think that the lack of recent exercise probably plays in there, and I would guess that you were holding him back a bit? I will say that is when I have had some of my worst trail rides ever. Big groups are tough. Makes no difference where you are in the pack, there will be horses ahead that he may want to be with. Years ago my 1/2 draft who is about the most plod along guy ever had a day like this-kicked others etc-and when I looked back he was the worst when we were "waiting" on something or someone.

Just a thought. Plus-he is only 4. He has a lot of maturing to do, and he will have bad days.
     
    01-23-2012, 04:07 PM
  #9
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by franknbeans    
Plus-he is only 4. He has a lot of maturing to do, and he will have bad days.
Right here. That's your answer. Just keep keeping him in line and praising him when need be, with a firm hand he'll be fine.
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