Join Date: May 2010
Location: Queensland, Australia
Do they have a box that you enter to go into it? My old sporting horse used to go off his nut just walking up to the 6m line, so I had to enter from the side of the box on a long rein.
Now, I see that no one else has asked this, but what could you be doing that makes him like this? I'm not saying that you are winding him up on purpose, blah blah blah... A girl I used to know used to gear her horse up with a standing martingale, stock saddle, pelham, short sporting reins, and huge roller spurs with a fairly sharp rowel. She would walk him up to the start line, tense up, saw at the reins, hold her hands in her lap (a near impossible feat with sporting reins), and constantly nag him with her spurs. Not just nag, like full on jab. She would do that until the starter told her to go and she'd release the reins... That horse is no longer rideable and is banned from most pony club grounds. So ask yourself, do you do anything to make him rear? I don't mean anything to the extent of the girl I know. It could be an unconsious thing. I know I tense up and my adrenaline levels rise when I'm about to go, so Barcoo tenses up himself, bucks and surges forward. My friend always unconsiously holds the reins a little tighter and grips with her legs so her horse gets nervous and prances up and down. Little things like that can get to the horse and get him excited - you probably won't know you're doing it until you look! There's a different point of view for you. It may not be something you are doing, but it's always best to look at yourself before the horse. "A bad workman always blames his tools" and all that - I got that saying absolutely drilled into me at pony club. I find it's the best piece of advice ever given to me.
If it's over excitement, then I would suggest having a break or taking all of the events extremely slow like in a walk or trot. You'll know if it's over excitement if he's chomping on the bit, frothing up, ears pricked, surging forward at the slightest touch, and a few other behaviours that I can't think of right now... If he continues with it after a while of breaks and going slow, you may like to think that he's just not the horse for it. I gave up sporting my horses because they got too over-excited and it was becoming dangerous, especially as most TBs are large horses and aren't as easy to sport as ponies, stock horses and QHs. Sorry if my response was a bit long, I really hope you get it back together with him and become a speedy team together. (I hope I didn't offend you in any way! That's why I don't like posting on forums haha.) =]
...Every rider has that one horse that changes everything about them...