I loved riding horses-until I bought my own
I bought my first horse a few months ago (a 12 year old gelding). I have ridden occasionally since I was very young and had never been the slightest bit nervous riding, even galloping full speed across a snowy plain in colorado last winter, but everything changed when I brought my new gelding home. I rode him several times before buying him and had no problems and was not nervous riding him.
After I got him home I was happy and excited to be on my first ride around my place with my new horse, only to have him distracted, testy, and bolt across the pasture. I held on and didnt fall off but it destroyed my confidence. The biggest surprise for me bringing this horse home was that I couldn't just jump on and ride the way I had always rode someone else's trained trail horses in the past.
My eyes have been opened to how long the process is for bonding and creating a confident obedient horse-especially being a novice about the whole business of training and riding a horse of my own. When I am uncertain about what I am doing it is hard to be the confident leader he can respect and trust. Luckily he is a gentle horse and has never tried to bite, kick, buck, or run over me. However, he senses my unease around him now, especially when riding and the experience is not as pleasurable as it used to be.
I've been riding him in a smaller corral for the last few months so if he did decide to bolt again he couldn't go too far and luckily he hasn't. I'm trying to slowly build a better relationship of trust and respect and gain my confidence again.. I know if I rode more confidently he would feel better about it. He obeys me but I feel my unease and therefore his unease when riding.
My project this weekend is to build a roundpen so I can do more groundwork with him to help this process along.. I thought a bond and obedience would come so quick and easy, when in reality it takes knowledge and work and time. Hopefully a year from now I can post about the progress and how much I've learned along the way. I definitely wont give up- I am just awakened to the process that is horse training/riding.
This forum definelty helps me learn about what to do/ what not to do and hearing about other people working on training and bonding helps to encourage me.
First off - Your stirrups need to be let out. Your toes are down and heels up so if he bolt and you fall off, there is a good chance you'll get drug....Just a safety issue, don't want to see you get hurt.
Have you taught him a one rein stop for the bolting? What I do is I grab one rein to my hip, other hand on the horn, and while his face is in my boot I'll kick his hip and disengage it. Do you know what I'm talking about? That would probably help you.
Also, maybe a trainer...
I'm glad this forum has helped you.
Thank you. This picture is from one of the first rides I had on him but I greatly appreaciate the constructive criticism.:-)
A woman a few miles down the road is the trainer.. I have really been considering giving her up a call to get a few lessons.. I am a poor full time college student though so I don't think I would be able to get lessons too often but a few would probably help me along.
You could ask her too about working off lessons. :)
You might try working with him from the ground to build your confidence and his, to refresh him on WHOA means stop right now, yielding his head & hind to stop a bolt, just moving his feet at your direction. Also, lots of grooming and petting time to build the bond.
Lessons will help, in fact, you will enjoy riding your horse and build confidence. Working off lessons and saving up for as many lessons as you can will be the best thing you can do. I commend you for looking for help, so many just give up and let the horse rot in the pasture, when all it takes is some knowledge & practice. Good luck and keep at it. And yes, lengthen those stirrups!
Is he out with other horses? He needs a buddy!!
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Reading your story sounded just like me and my horse when I got him. I really worked on the bond between us and just kept getting back on in a round pen. Now I can ride him along highways and on trails. He was definitely worth all the work. ;) You two look great by the way!
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