So yesterday it was BEAUTIFUL outside and I decided to ride my guy out around the property. He is usually much better on the trail, so I was assuming it would be a nice relaxes ride.
NOTE: My horse is GREEN. He is wonderful and I love him to death, but he is green. I have worked with green horses before, and do get tips from fellow boarders//riding instructors at the barn, but wanted to hear here..
The second we got outside he started whinnying for his friends. I had him do some basics that he already knows how to do, hoping to engage his mind. I disengaged his hindquarters and forequarters from the saddle, had him do some serpentines, etc. He slowly calmed down and I decided to walk him down to the outdoor ring instead of trying to go out on a trail when he was clearly more hyped up than I wanted.
I was just going to walk around the ring. Notice:JUST. Haha. He decided to take off at a full canter, from the walk, when I rounded a corner. He was not responding to a deeper seat or a normal "ho," so I had to one rein stop him. I moved him in a tight circle from there.
Every time he tried to take off on me, it was back to tight circles. I am afraid I was too hard on him and got after him too much about it. The last thing I want him to learn is "hmm, mom goes to ride and all she does is make me turn hard"... ugh.
Finally, I got him around the entire ring by doing Trot, halt. Trot, halt. Trot, halt. By the end, he was very responsive, although sweaty. I am thinking he just tired himself out...
All this to say, he clearly favors the gate. He speeds up towards it, wants to be at the barn with his friends. Whenever we pass by the gate he sidepasses past it (tries to go through it!). Even if I turn in the MIDDLE of the ring to avoid this, he still sidepasses the entire way through the middle of the ring. No amount of leg on his shoulder helps, either.
Any pointers? Did I do the right thing when he took off? I want him to know that taking off is more work than it's worth.