Is it normal to be more comfortable riding a hot/spooky horse than walking one?

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Is it normal to be more comfortable riding a hot/spooky horse than walking one?

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  • How to ride a spooky horse
  • My warmblood is spooky on the ground

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    05-08-2010, 12:09 AM
Is it normal to be more comfortable riding a hot/spooky horse than walking one?

I was at the barn today and really realized how much I need to work on my trust with horses on the ground. I was trying out a horse today who is a huge 17.2 warmblood the tallest I've ever ridden( I usually ride 15.2-16.2 hand horses and feel completely at ease around them both on their backs and on the ground), This horse was at the barn for the first time on a 3 day trial and was spooking all over the place,no problem when I was on his back, he bucked a couple times and I was like "no problem" but I feel so intimidated on the ground I was terrified that he's step on my foot he kept pacing back and forth and pawing the ground while I was giving him a hose down afterwards, as he was cranky that he was still out during dinner time, I admit I was extremely uncomfortable, all that was going through my mind was, "don't let him step on your foot", "don't walk in front of him or he might bolt and trample you".
(i had a bad experience with a horse stepping on my foot and me taking 30 seconds to get him to lift his hoof) Are my worries when doing ground work justified or plain silly?

Anyone else feel the same way?
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    05-08-2010, 12:22 AM
I can sort of understand where you're coming from. I think the reason you get intimidated when you are on his level is because you know that if he pulls some crap and acts up that he's either going to drag you with him, break something in your body, kill you etc. You know he's more powerful than you especially when your on the ground, at his level. When you're on his back, you have more control due to a bit being in his mouth, and you know that if he bucks, rears, takes off, etc, that all you have to do is hold on and ride it out. Sometimes I get the same way as you, but the more you work with those kinds of horses the more you know what to do in certain situations and how to avoid them.
    05-08-2010, 03:56 AM
It depends on what your definition of normal is. I think it's perfectly normal to be intimidated by a huge, hulking sack of muscle when you're leading it and it's dancing all over the place. Like PechosGoldenChance said, if you're on top of him and he starts being silly, you just have to ride it out. But a 17.2hh hothead Warmblood... wow. Just thinking about handling him is giving me chills

I'm exactly the same, and I've almost been crushed by a flailing, terrified horse on the ground. Once was with a big, spooky TB. The other time was with a dead quiet, Welsh pony. But I rode both of them without any fear whatsoever.
    05-08-2010, 06:43 AM
I would say no. But maybe it's because when you're riding you have to be constantly thinking about what to do next, where as on the ground, not so much..
    05-08-2010, 02:45 PM
If I were you, I would do more work on the ground, even though it scares the crap out of you. It will help you greatly! Also, wear a helmet if you feel more comforable. Even if you're just doing some ground work with him, there is nothing wrong with wearing a helmet during that as well. Oh, and try to work him with a long lunge line instead of a lead rope. In case he does decide to act up, you can either let the rope slip out of your hands, or try to hold im back with the rope, while being a far, safe distance away. Have you worked with him at all today on the ground??

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