not a good day today...
I was *supposed* to go on a trail ride today with Pyro and the rest of the barn, but it did not go like I had planned.
Okay, so Sunday, my trainer asks if I would like to go on a "trail ride" with her on the XC(cross country) field, and I figured it would help get him used to riding in the open as far as trail riding and XC. He did amazing! The other horse who was more experienced was being a little fart and kept running into him... He sort of made a disgusted face and put his ears back(not pin them, he was listening to me to see if it was "okay") and that was it.
Yesterday I got to the barn early to ride with my friend, but she I guess forgot about me so I finished clipping him instead(I have two threads about that, one in tack+equip. and grooming). He was sort of being a good boy... he started getting impatient with me towards the end, nothing bad though. So fastforward to today...
I get to the barn early and he's done eating. Everyone is already there getting their horses ready to load. I go to the pasture and bring him up to do the same. He was acting fine, he was still mad at me from the night before I think... It took me like 4 hours to clip him and then I gave him a bath to top it off xD hahaha. Then we trailer over to the trails and unload. Now he's being REALLY difficult.. He would stand still, but when I went to brush him, put on his boots and esp. his saddle, he would move all over the place, he didn't run me over or anything, just being a jerk about it. I get it all on, and take him to the level ground and lunge him. After about 10mins, he seemed all right and I decide it was time to mount. After waiting for everyone to use the mounting block, it was my turn. The lady that trailered us over there, who is also a horse trainer, helped me *try* to get on. He's acting fine, standing still and everything. I get both legs over, gather up the reins, and he starts to move forward... She makes him stand still and he completely freaks out... He was bucking like a madman! And she wouldn't let go! I finally screamed at her to let go of the halter(we had them under the bridles because we were going to stop to eat lunch..) but it was too late and I was already on the ground. His front feet almost landed on me, but he moved out of the way in time. So I'm sitting on the ground, holding the reins and he's looking at me like I'm the anti-christ. And this all happened with-in 5 seconds. Okay, so she's all like, alright it's time for some R'n'R(rest and relaxation)... and she gave him some sort of calming stuff.. it takes 15 minutes for it to kick in. about 3 seconds later, she's leading him to the mounting block.... I'm standing on top of it, petting him and soothing him and all of a sudden, he just flips out! He rears up and the lady is holding onto his halter again, and it just freaks him out even more. He somehow flips over and lands sideways. I almost get kicked(on accident) by his back legs and somewhere between not getting kicked and keeping my balence to not fall onto him(I'm still on the mounting block), I let got of the reins... Once he gets up, he looks at me and trots off xD he wasn't galloping or anything, just trotting off. It took like, 30 minutes to find him...
So with all the happened in the last couple of days and today, what do you think caused this behavior? He hasn't bucked before, not even on the lunge line. Do you think it was the clipping the night before? Or not riding the previous day? Did I not lunge him enough before getting on? The person holding him took me back to the barn and on the way there, told me I need to get rid of him ASAP and he's the most dangerous kind of horse out there and there is no way to fix it and yada yada yada... My actual trainer didn't seem too worried about it.
He stands PERFECTLY when riding in the arena.. I think he's just not a "trail horse" and it was too much for him to handle..
Please, any and all opinions are wanted and welcome!
(The person that held him is a VERY good rider and trainer, don't get me wrong. I am not trying to make her sound "stupid", inexperienced or anything of the like, she had the very best of intentions for everything she did today. She just doesn't know my horse.)
Has he ever been fully clipped before? His hair might have just been feeling really funny under the saddle... You know like when you shave your legs or something (I'm assuming you're a girl, =P) and after a day or two they start to feel weirdly prickly? Maybe it was like that for him and the saddle was making it worse then when you got on it made it unbearable... Just a thought. Good luck!
I don't know... He's an Ex-Racehorse, so I don't know if they give them full body clips or not. but yeah, that's what I was thinking because he's never done ANYTHING like that. Even when we trailered him from the lady's house where we bought him to the barn were at now with all the new horses(and he arrived at the ladies house only an hour before that..) and we rode him THAT day, he was fine... unexperienced, but still a good sport. I want to go on a XC schooling Thursday, but I don't know if its such a good idea to ride him until his hair grows back in more and he's less sensitive? I don't know though, this is my first time to clip a horse... I don't want to NOT get back on him, but I gave him a break this time because of all the comotion that happened today... But IDK... I hope he doesn't encorperate that to "I can buck her off whenever I want" -.-
If he were my horse I think I'd go do some ground work stuff for his lesson and if he did well with that maybe put the saddle on and see how he does but not ride him until the next day or so if he continues to be good. It could also have been a "new things overload" where he had so many new things happen too close together that he just went crazy for a day and would be fine now. That happens to people sometimes, why can't it happen to horses? =) Good luck!
hahaha, that's EXACTLY what my mom said! xD and I lunged him tonight, after he got a mental break from this morning, with the saddle and side reins on and he did fine... My mom has me scheduled for a lesson tomorrow, so I'll see if he's up to it and let you guys know how he does... I don't think we'll have the same problem, but you never know?
It could be a combo of both the clipping and all the new things. Maybe he might have been able to handle all of the new stuff if his coat didn't feel so itchy weird? Maybe if you give him a full clip again leave the area your saddle pad covers (and maybe a strip for the girth?) so the saddle doesn't feel so weird.
It certainly sounds like something was upsetting him. If he's a particularly sensitive horse and him being clipped was upsetting him, it would explain him moving about so when you were brushing him, saddling him etc. And even if he's not all that sensitive, the peculiar feeling of his coat being shorter may well have caused him to act so.
You mention that this lady grabbed his halter as he went to move off when you were mounting and he freaked. If him being clipped was involved, his outburst could have been due to confusion as he may have interpreted the possibly different feeling of being clipped, as something he should be responding to such as an aid, and therefor he was trying to evade from the pressure as this is how aids work (generally). The lady stopping him with the halter while you were still getting settled in the saddle may have confused him, as he may have felt that he was supposed to be moving forward and yet he was also supposed to not. If that makes any sense... :-S. I'm not always good at explaining theories lol, they can get a little muddled.
The way in which this lady grabbed the halter may also have played a part in how violently he reacted.. I don't know this woman or anything, and certainly do not want to say anything that may cause problems. But horses being sensitive creatures not only physically but in thier ability to sense things about their riders, or the demeanor (sp?) or people/animals around them. I can only suggest that perhaps this lady as a trainer has a certain apporach which may have seemed rtaher forceful to your boy and upset him more than perhaps he may have been if she hadn't've acted and you alone halted him. Am only saying this as the way she reacted in telling you you should get rid of him has sparked my suspiscions etc. - Is only a suggestion, I don't mean to offend or give anyone a bad name :l.
Other than that.. Being an x-racehorse they can associate a group of horses (such as was present when he acted as you've explained) with the group of horses in the same area when assembling to be put into thier racing stalls before a race. But then you've said he's been fine with other horses around at other times. But, it's something to be aware of I suppose :).
Other than that he could have just been having an off day which got worse because of conflicting factors. Being clipped, any confusion he may have felt or even somethign you may never know if he was sensing something completely unassociated with what you and him did that day or the day/s before hand. Or as you say maybe he couldn't handle it, or wasn't ready or something. You and YOUR trainer would know him best. I wouldn't listen to the other trainer.
Hope things can be resolved for you :). Goodluck for the lesson :).
You said you gave him a bath straight after being clipped... Is it possible that with less coat he could have had a reaction to the shampoo being so close to his skin? I've noticed my horse is allergic to shampoo, he would go bonkers after having a bath, bucking and jumping around, when normally he is a very sane horse. He could also have had a reaction to the oil used in the clippers. The combination of the new sensation after clipping, plus itchy/sore skin from the shampoo, plus a saddle on top may have set him off.
I would NOT wash him, or if so, just with plain water. You can use showsheen or baby oil to add some of the moisture that would have been stripped through clipping and help soften up the coat again.
i just wanted to add that some horses wont tolerate that sudden grab at the halter. my horse is like that....if someone trys to reach up and grab is halter really fast, he will freak out. im sure that lady grabbing at your horses halter at least contributed to the problem (although i know she meant well)
Thank you everyone for the great responses! I think we have decided it was the clipping that set him off, not to mention all the new stuff going on... his poor little mind couldn't take it. We're going to give him a week for the hair to grow back and then try to ride him again.
Wild Spot;; I used baby oil on the clippers, so I don't think it would irritate him any more than he normally would being clipped. And your probably right about the shampoo, but I made sure I washed it all off. My trainer also said not to put anything on him as far as sprays... except stuff with aloe vera in it.
Sandy;; Yeah, he's not normally headshy, but I don't think he liked that at all... he gets claustrophobic and when he does, his only way to get out is by going "up".
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