Having a few issues on trail
It might just be me but my horse seems to be getting worse at trail riding instead of better. The first time i took him out last September/October he did quite well; we were in a large-ish group and only walked and trotted, he only spooked once when a deer practically jumped on top of him so it was completely understandable.
This last time we went out a few weeks back he was a nightmare, he bucked, he reared and was downright dangerous. I managed to stay on and handled the situation quite well, got him back under control and calmed down and we made it back home in one piece. It just feels to me like his behaviour on trail is deteriorating the more he goes out.
Looking back on the last ride i feel like saddle slippage might have been the issue that caused the 5 or so bucking fits he had so i invested in a breast collar and will be taking him out this weekend (barring bad weather) to test my theory.
I have the trainer scheduled to come but he isn't available until June. I'm not sure where to go from here, do i keep taking him out on easy rides with sensible calm horses? or do i bench him and ride in the arena until the trainer comes out to help me?
If his behaviour gets much worse we could both end up seriously hurt, it's a miracle we weren't hurt when he reared, he went straight up on a hill side and was maybe less than an inch from toppling over backwards :/
Luckily i have a few friends who are sympathetic and understand he's still earned and are willing to ride their sane horses with me.
Saddle slippage could definitely be a problem - especially if you are riding in hilly terrain. The slippage could cause the hair to turn and rub the wrong way - or actually cause pinched spots - especially in the girth area.
We were riding up a muddy hill after walking the creek area when he had his 'incidents'. Plus, he's lost weight with being sick over the winter so i put the bucking and rearing down to saddle issues. I have a new breast breast collar now so i hope that sorts out a lot of his issues. He's never reared before and to be honest the whole thing was pretty scary.
I hear you. Dancer has had weight issues over the last couple of years - finally got her where the vet wanted her as far as poundage goes - need to work on moving the poundage from her belly to her back, now - LOL.
She is very hard to fit, saddle-wise. She has high withers and a semi-broad back with very well sprung ribs. Ugh. Last trail ride we were on, she carried my fat backside up a steep ravine bank, and decided she had had enough, and refused to go forward. She'd back up like a dream, but no forward going at all. I ended that before the buck started. Since she was carrying twice the weight that the other horses were carrying, and she was still a little thin and really out of condition, I figured she'd done pretty well.
I'm hoping that now that she's up to weight, my saddle will fit a bit better. We shall see!
Phoenix needs to do that now, move weight from his belly to his back. He was once a big fatty, he lost a good amount of weight with diet and exercise and then when he got sick he dropped way more weight than he should. I also have the problem with him that he doesn't do well on too much grain (get him all hyper) yet the barn i'm at won't lower his grain because he's "thin". I'm going to have to put my foot down and make her lower his grain, he's getting way too squirrely for my liking.
I had to get one of those half pads i can shim so his saddle would fit better and fit evenly. It feels great to ride on but i also think it makes the saddle shift more when doing hills.
I'm used to the buck, i mostly expect his first response to anything will be a big buck (as you can see <<<), it's his go to move but rearing is just not cool.
Spend more time asking for gives as you ride. The horse needs to know who is the boss, and it is better to ask for lots of small gives vs having to be the big mean boss when he blows up.
If you keep him busy with lots of small request. Hes not going to have the time to blow up. Now don't be a nag. You hate when your mother nagged you to clean the room. Buts lots of small request and atta boys.
Circle a sagebrush, speed up, half halt, full stop, back up, move out, circle left, circle right. drop his nose, give and touch his nose to your knee on the right then give to the left. Nothing really drastic or that leaves him way behind the group. But commands that you know he knows how to obey. Just get him used to saying yes to everything you ask.
If he is busy, he won't have time to worry about a shade boulder or being scared about a shadow behind a tree.
I've rarely found it to a saddle problem, Unless there is severe pinching or burr under the saddle. Most problems are the horse just being resentfull of not having his way. Just give him a job and keep him focused and he will behave better.
I think the 3rd or 4th set of bucks was set off when the lead horse barrel raced a tree and Phoenix just loss his head thinking his buddy was running off. The trainer is going to come take us on trail as a group and work on other horses leaving and coming back slowly and at speed, it's one of the things he frets about and when other horses leave or canter off that sets him off bucking too.
I will try to incorporate more exercises and giving into the next ride we go on, even if i have to stop the ride to work with him, my friends will understand, they want him to get better at it too.
While not nearly as dangerous as what your horse is doing, mine does seem to completely forget his trail training every spring. Every year we have to re-learn everything, he's a saint again by mid summer, going out alone by fall, and next spring it's a spooking, bucking nut case all over again. Just keep taking him out with the others until he remembers his training. Good you have others who can go out with you to help you out.
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