I'm About Ready to Give Up - Does she hate me?
I am having a very frusterating time with my horse.
I have been riding her for a little under a year. I have been having absolutely no problem at all with her until now.
I have just moved to a new barn. My horse really likes it there and she's been really good with me. She hates when I tighten up my reins and don't let her go until I say so. She hasn't really been having a problem with that except that she justs gets a little ticked off.
Well I think it was atleast two weeks ago and I tightened up the reins. I told her to wait and then when I told her to go she bucked. She has NEVER bucked with me on her back before. I thought that maybe it was because I was tightening up the reins. So the next day when I rode her I told her to canter then tightened up the reins but she still bucked. My coach thought that it was the saddle because I had just bought a new one. So I switched back to my old one and she bucked more!
I decided that I would lunge her because maybe it wasn't only when I was on her back. When I lunged her she was perfectly fine but then I got on her afterward and she did the same thing!
When I keep her head up and ask her to canter she wouldn't buck but that looks really ugly in the show ring and I have to use side reins now. Also, when I trot her and then canter her she doesn't buck. It's only from walk to canter...
There's also something else that has been really bothering me. My horse used to follow me everywhere. When I got off her back and walked away she would just follow me around the ring and back to the barn. Today when I got off her back she didn't follow me. She just went straight for the gate. I just don't think she likes me anymore and I don't know what I'm doing wrong!! Can anyone give me some answers. Please! I'm begging.
PS. here are some things that have changed with her.
- new saddle, girth, and bridle (but i dont think thats the problem)
- she has gotten front shoes on
- she's very testy around her tummy near her back legs (she'll kick out whenever you touch there)
- it's the beginning of spring
Check for ulcers and saddle fit, and I'm guessing she also needs a chiro.
From reading it I have to wonder if it's because you are applying brake and accelerator at the same time and your mare has decided she's had enough of it. This is just the first thing that popped into my head when you mentioned tightening the reins and then cuing to go. 1) Why are you tightening your reins before you ask for a faster gait? 2) Have you tried keeping off her mouth while asking or before asking for a faster gait?
Is she in heat maybe? Have you had the vet look at her? If she kicks when you touch her tummy there may be something wrong with her that you cannot see.
have you ever riden her in spring? if so and she was not like this then you might want to make sure that her eating habits and everything have stayed the same. if everything seems to be in order (other that what you mentioned) you might want to have a vet look at her. best of luck!
I have tightened my reins because my coach has always told me to do that before I canter. And I actually have never tried giving her her face because I always had to have her head flexed and hae contact and now I'm using side reins.
She's not in heat because she acts WAAAYYY different when she's in heat.
I have actually never have ridden her in the spring because I have only had her since the summer.
I don't think she has ulcers because she's really healthy and she's only seven. What is a chiro?
Chiropractor. Your horse my have something misaligned in her spine (very possible). Most of the time you use a vet that has training in equine chiropractics. Where I'm from it's illegal to use a chiro that isn't a vet. Be very careful when selecting one as it can majorly screw up your horse to have a poor job done. For sure go and make sure she is not in pain before looking at this from a training perspective.
If you have ruled out pain- you want to be maintaining a consistent pressure through all gaits. Not varying it from gait to gait. Also more pressure mouth pressure should not be the only thing getting her to flex at the poll. You need to ride through your seat and legs to get her to give and flex. Your contact should actually only be enough to 'catch' the energy that you are creating through your seat and legs. I must also wonder why your trainer feels it necessary to use side reins? I don't know your situation or your horse so I won't rag on your for it but from the sounds of it you are focusing too much on forcing a frame. Sorry for getting off track but your mare might just be getting very cranky and has decided that she is sick of it. She may be getting confused with the conflicting signals you are giving her.
I don't have a remedy, but I think what onetoomany said was accurate, that it could be a really confusing signal to the horse and she's just like wtf mate??? Just try giving the signal without the back pressure you could say.
But I have to throw out there that, there is defiantly something different happening with the horses moods lately, something with my mare super affectionate, super lovable and caring, and than all of a sudden this year she just doesn't want to be around people, she doesn't let you catch her or anything she isn't an awful horse, but something wierd is happening.
so i had a chiro out for Maddy and it worked wonders ... i would also encourage the follow up appointments because they ensure that the work they did stays ...
also being a trainer, i am not sure about the tightening up when you canter- that teaches the horse that when you "choke up" on the reigns that means it's coming- if that makes sense. Try keeping constant pressure and asking her softly- i have to remind my students of that a lot and it seems to work wonders when done :)
as for the relationship stuff try just spending time with her, groom her, give her treats, sit in her stall while she eats- this will help her remember that you aren't there to just ride her :)
good luck and don't give up- keep us posted!
you might also want to have her teeth checked. one of the geldings that came into my trainer's barn was super sweet and eager to please until she started working him with more contact and all of a sudden he would buck anytime she touched the reins. she had the chiro out, no issues with his back, not heath problems nothing at all seemed to be wrong with him. she just could not figure out what was going on and finally switched to a hackamore to see if that helped. after a few rides he settled down and my trainer had the vet back out to check his teeth. turns out, his jaw had been broke by a previous trainer and the fracture had not healed properly which led to an absess under his premolers. a little antibiotics and a new bit and he is back to his wonderful sweetheart self and hasn't bucked since.
As for the bonding issues your best bet is to just spend time with your horse. i used to take a book and a cd player out the pasture and sit on the ground and hang out while my mare was grazing and such. other times i would turn her loose and just watch her in the arena.
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