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CharliesMom 12-02-2012 02:59 PM

Really needing some opinions
I'm only putting this on here because of an experience recently. I trail ride but not all over, just around my farm between arena work with my OTTB who for the sake of this post is very level headed, nonspooky and pretty much a giant saint. He's about as bombproof as I've ever seen, I'm not saying he doesn't have TB tendencies cause that would just be a flat out lie. ANYWAYS, I was invited to trail ride with some folks at my farm and as I was going up to meet them, they all started cantering towards me and my horse, instantly my horse gets freaked out and turns to run, I got him down at a trot and calmed down. I thought it was rude but hey, new farm, maybe this is the norm. It just got crazier after that, around a long bit of trail other riders take off which sets my guy to Track mode and I ride through a number of bucks and rears before getting him to settle for a marching trot, still, i'm okay with it. When I get mad is when one rider in particular can't seem to keep his horse (his horses bum) away from my horse in the least. My horse kicks out, hard and proceeds to run and buck until about five seconds later I get him under control.

I have been trail riding for a number of years and I was just kind of... shocked that it was normal for said horse to be all over the place, riding up to a new horse and rider at a canter, having more than one horse running up another horses bum. Am I just being a wimp or is this rude?

QOS 12-02-2012 03:07 PM

I think it is rude. Some horses can handle that, some can't. That happened to me one day on my OTTQH. Straight stretch of level grass, woods on one side, slope down to drainage area on the other. They ALL took off at a gallop, hubby included. I wasn't that strong of a rider yet (bad accident year before) and I wasn't in my own saddle. My normally sweet darling somewhat lazy QH had a meltdown. He actually has a 98 Speed Index with an ROM in racing from AQHA. He is fast and in his horsey mind he was like "Girl, I can mop up this track with them" and I know he could but I had a whirling dervish on my hands. I had to finally dismount after nearly going down the slope a few times. It took a good 10 minutes to calm him down. I walked a mile and a half back to the camp when the group returned from their gallop.

Sometimes it helps to know the people you are riding with. Hopefully, this won't happen again, as it never has with me. I have a different horse now and am comfortable cantering or holding him back but no, that was rude to do that especially when they saw it was cranking your boy up to do that. Sorry you had a ride like that. It sucks the fun out of trail riding!

CharliesMom 12-02-2012 03:11 PM

It made it incredibly stressful, one rider in particular (the one who couldn't keep his horses bum away from mine) made it worse. I'm not trying to bash on the western cowboy style, because I've ridden with riders like that before, but this guy was a cowboy. At one point, and I'm not proud of this in the least, its terrible behavior, my horse kicked at the horse and kicked the rider in the leg. I apologized, said, hey man I think your horse might be a little much for my guy, but it was the riders fault. I wasn't mad at my horse in the least, he felt threatened and reacted, but it was a dangerous situation. One that I had never encountered before and really didn't know how to handle it.

BarrelracingArabian 12-02-2012 03:12 PM

My trainer and i like to let the horses stretch their legs but we always ok with each other before picking up speed. I do agree they were rude or rather they dont know basic etiquette which isn't uncommon. Next time ( if you go again) voice your opinion on the previous happenings and what you would like and if they can't respect you then don't ride with them anymore.
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CharliesMom 12-02-2012 03:15 PM

I don't think I will be, I was invited to go with them, and I was so happy to because its a new farm and I haven't been able to trail ride with anyone and really wanted my horse to have some nice calm company to enjoy a ride with. It was just, not a good first go and now I'm a little worried that every time we go out he'll remember that and just lose it. :-(

BarrelracingArabian 12-02-2012 03:19 PM

Little advice don't think that he will remember it of you worry he is going to act up 9 times out of 10 he will, based on your body language. Just treat every ride as you would have before :).
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tinyliny 12-02-2012 03:53 PM

Just them cantering up to you is not ok, in my mind. YOu don't know each other at all. I would not canter up to a horse, unless I knew for sure that horse/rider would be ok. I am not a super timid rider, but I also do NOT like to be riding an out of control horse.

So, them galloping off on the flat stretch is also not very considerate of you.
I would have asked you if you wanted to, and offered you the lead. That way your horse would not be so panicked.

Darrin 12-02-2012 04:44 PM

Sounds to me like these guys are used to riding with each other and really don't know basic etiquette or have forgotten it. Not really unusual with a group of friends but pretty **** rude when inviting a stranger along.

flytobecat 12-02-2012 05:16 PM

Sounds like these guys didn't have very good trail etiquette. I'm always cautious when I ride with a new group for the 1st time. Not because I worry so much about my horse, but more because I'm worried about the other people's horses.
Since you can't really control other people, the only real thing you can do is control your horse better. As soon as your horse puts his ears back correct him, and let him know that behavior isn't ok. In Drill practice we weave in out of each other at a slow canter, it helps get the horses used to something coming towards them..
Even though Willow likes to ride in front, if we are in a large group I usually hang back and let everyone else go in front. Just so I can see them.
I sorry it was an unpleasant ride for you, but your horses will get used to each other the more you ride together.

Endiku 12-02-2012 05:28 PM

Yes, that was very rude of them to do those things without at least letting you go ahead of them before they galloped. A lot of horses just can't handle that kind of excitement without reacting.

We have a 7 year old ASB who is very hot but usually a steady mount under the hands of an experienced rider. However, she always feels like she needs to be leading a trail riding group and works herself into a lather if she isn't. Other horses taking off without her or towards her would very easily cause her to go beserks.

I hope that both you and your gelding are ok and that you don't have less-than kind trail riding buddies next time!

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