Horse bucked me off
I have ridden Apollo 5 times in the past 2 weeks and he was doing great. Tonight he was acting anxious and kept circling the mounting block when I was trying to get on and he would NOT stand still and would walk forward or back when I would try to get on. I stayed calm and kept trying. I finally had to call one of my friends in to hold him and he was still being antsy but I finally got on. He had this scary look in his eye, pinned his ears and took off bucking. I flew off over his head onto the ground and he trotted off. I got up brushed off my pants and tried to get back on but he was acting antsy again and kept circling and I knew he'd throw me off again, he had that look in his eye...I kept calm and I hand walked him around then took off his tack and free lunged him and he took off running, he ran himself for a good 5-10 minutes nonstop, so he didn't get away with not having to work.
I just don't understand why he bucked me off...I've ridden him a couple of times and he was fine and really seemed to enjoy being ridden and was so willing and tried so hard. But today he was like a different horse. I don't know if something was hurting him, if it was because it was dinner time and they were about to do grain, the weather change, built up energy, not being worked in a couple days, I didn't lunge him before? I just dont know...I'm not scared to get back on, I just don't want to hop on again and get bucked off and have him think he can get away with it. Its really hard to stick bucks in an english saddle...
I'd appreciate any advice. In the mean time I'm just going to do more ground work until I figure out whats causing his bucking.
Horse is showing you the holes in training more than likely.
Cold, dinner and energy level all contributed to this, as well as you may only now be seeing the real horse.
And yes, he DID get away with not having to work, as he did what he wanted, and running around was not working to him. He got you off, he won.
I don't know anything in depth about you/horse or situation, but I would suggest getting a trainer, if you don't already have one, go back to some basics, and see if your feed is making him too hot as it might be.
I also wonder if you haven't been overhorsed, and are just now going to be seeing the real horse. But really bad for horse to have unloaded you, as he will not forget it.
And if you are doing any babying of horse? Stop it.
Please get a trainer to help you with him. You don't want to get thrown again as it will do something to your psychie and you will begin to lose confidence. Once you have been thrown once or twice, fear and mistrust start to creep in. Sounds like it may already have.
Call in a professional to work out the bugs. You will be glad you did. And absolutely stop babying and trying to be nice. Horses don't appreciate you the way humans do.
Your first clue was when he didn't stand still to get on. Instead of calling your friend, you should have gotten out the longeline or ground work immediately. You simply did not read your horse from the very beginning.
Before I get on, I always do a "flight check". Is my horse standing still, letting me flex from the ground? Does my horse disengage the hindquarters from the ground with ease? If at any time I feel as if my horse is not listening to me, or not responding to me, I do a course of ground control straight away. Especially in winter, sometimes horses need to get off a little energy and warm up to the saddle and adjust to putting their whole focus on you and not on environmental factors.
You made several mistakes, but the biggest one is that you failed to 'read' your horse. He tried and tried to tell you that it was not a good idea to get on. He really did.
When he acted antsy and fussy and tried to NOT let you get on; he was screaming at you that he was not 'ready and able' to do what you wanted from him.
You broke rule #1: Make sure your horse is ready and able to do what you are going to ask of him. It is all preparation, preparation and more preparation.
Under the circumstances, you should have round -penned or longed him until his head was hanging and he WANTED to stand still. I do not care if you longed him back and forth with 100 direction changes --- or longed him over a tarp on the ground that he did not want to go near --- or round penned him over and through and between places he did not want to go. I have taken one like that to a pond and longed him up and down the pond dam. I've made them go back and forth over a big log. Get the point? In a while, that mounting block would look pretty darn good.
Then, if I had time I would mount and dismount about 10 times and when he was standing there bored out of his gourd, I would have put him up.
I'm afraid that Palomine is right. He did chunk your butt and he got away without being ridden. He plainly won. He would NOT have won if you had stayed off until he was ready to get on and stood perfectly still AND RELAXED. This is how their brain works. Now, he will be 10 times worse and it will take a pretty good hand to get him ridden.
The only time I've seen any of our horses or the horse boarded here was at feeding time, they knew it was feeding time and would be antsy......I usually try to feed them when we are done riding for the day.
He definetly was trying to tell you he was not wanting you on, yes you should have done some ground work at that point rather than get on him but hopefully now you've learnt from your mistake and it won't happen again.....good luck and hope he doesn't throw you off again!!
Thank you all for your comments and advice, I really appreciate it.
I am going to start looking for a trainer. When I took lessons I always had a trainer at the barn I was riding at so I never had to go out and find my own...I will talk to my grandma since she still rides, and most likely knows of some trainers in the area. But if any of you know of any trainers in the Chicago area that'd be great.
The only thing is, I feel I did a great job on his ground work. I have completed everything I have read about online regarding groundwork, (most of it on this forum) and watched in training videos and had advice from people at my barn. I put A LOT of time and work into it and I feel it is very good. When I rode him for the first time, at my barn, he didn't think twice about having me on his back...or the next 4 times I rode him so that is why I am confused as to why yesterday he decided he didn't want me riding him...
I agree I should have listened to what he was telling me, but I felt if he kept walking circles around the mounting block he was getting was he was wanting as well, me not riding him. I planned on just sitting on him for a second and hopping off because he was so antsy, and if I sat on him for a second he still wouldn't win the battle at the mounting block...but he had a different idea.
Just to clarify, you are the one who has done the training of this horse? More or less that you broke him? This was only the 6th time he has ever been rode?
Assuming the answer is yes to all 3, here are things I see:
Even though you think he is doing good on the ground, there are holes in the training.
He is green. He's testing you.
There are times to remain calm and there are times to get after them. We weren't there so I can't say for sure why he was acting like he was. But, if he was acting antsy, I probably would have got after him. I definitely would have got after him after bucking you off. I would have made him work hard and got back on, but thats just me. Hand walking and remaining calm did nothing to correct it.
When you free lunged, did he do what you asked? Doesn't sound like it because you said he took off bucking. Definitely should have got after him to make him listen to you. Essentially, he won there too.
Learning off the Internet, reading books, and watching videos is ok. But having someone there in person is so much better. Timing is everything when training. You can't learn that over the Internet. Having someone to show you how and when to release or apply pressure is necessary. You may have a good understanding of what to do, but there are things you are missing that just come with experience.
As for the mounting block issue, if he wants to move, make him move and energetically. Make standing still easy and moving around uncomfortable.
Dinner time is a big deal to horses! So if it's that time of day and someone is out rattling feed sacks and handing out the grits I'm not surprised he was not attentive.
I fully understand a horse should listen to you and all but I would plan your riding and work time before or after meal time. I don't know the age of the horse or his training level at this point but I would plan the work sessions at a time that you are likely to have the most positive results. Just my humble opinion.
Glad you weren't hurt. I've hit the dirt a time or two and it isn't fun.
Ground control is not something you do and move on from, ground control is a tool for you to use whenever you have a problem. He is perfect at ground control usually? Great! Now see how perfect he is at ground control when you have a problem! Time to use those tools.
Some people run into a lot of problems when their horse is great at ground control in a relaxed environment; but when the horse goes to a new environment, or is scared, or is excited and fresh, all the ground control they learned is thrown out the window. Now you're up to the next step, actually putting your ground control to use!
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