Originally Posted by cherriebark
Thanks for the replies!
I know the accident was more my fault then his. I was being careless. The thing is, he is not recently broke. When I was getting on that day, it wasn't like the first time I'd been on his back, it was like the 200th time. Normally, he is great under saddle and I get compliments on how calm and obedient he is. But when something spooks him, which is totally unpredictable, he goes crazy..
It really could be his diet. Nutrition plays a HUGE role in horse behavior. Different types of hay and most commercial feeds can cause negative behavior in horses. My mare's attitude changed 110% once I got her off grains and pelleted feeds. My husband's spooky gelding (who was also good most of the time, then would blow up) is rock solid now.
Also, 4 is still VERY YOUNG! It doesn't matter if you started riding him at 18 months old, he's still only 4yrs old. It's going to take another 2-3 years for him to mature mentally and "even out". Some horses are dead broke early, others aren't. Yours is one of those 8). He sounds just like my husband's gelding. He needs daily work to stay "focused", and daily attention to keep his mind going.
I think the root of my problem is that I have been focusing on refining him under saddle when he really needs more work just being desensitized to things like surprises and new conditions. I need to know that he will be safe if something spooky pops up while I am riding, and it is much easier to teach him calmness from the ground rather from just getting on a putting miles on him. That's what I have been doing for the past 8 months - putting miles on him, but I think I need a different approach.
It's definitely always good to try something new with horses. They appreciate the mental break ;). By miles, do you mean miles in the arena or on the trail? Miles in the arena really won't do much. He needs to get out and experience the world.
I am really, really attached to this horse. I love him like a baby and I do not blame him one little bit for the accident. I know he was just acting naturally for a 4 year old horse who is 1/4 arabian. But I am under a LOT of pressure from my family and friends to get rid of him. Besides, my confidence has been shaken and I don't know that I am brave enough an longer to give him the consistency he needs. I have fallen off and hurt myself before and it never phased me, but this time I came a breath away from never walking again.
Get some help! A good trainer to advise you will do wonders for you confidence. Take some lessons on a school horse, or just borrow a friend's horse that you are confident riding once your doctor okays it. Time in the saddle on a broke horse you trust will help build your confidence back up.
As for your family, just tell them you're taking care of it and move the conversation on to something else. You need to do what YOU feel is the right thing. They can't make that decision for you.