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OnlySamwise 04-12-2009 11:32 PM

I Don't Know What To Do
I got my first horse on the 3rd but I didn't ride her until yesterday (cause she had a leg problem). So when I get on she goes out and around and when she's coming around she heads right toward the gate and picks up speed like she's trying to see if I'll fly off. I'm kinda new to riding so I didn't exactly know what to do then so she did that about three times and the last one she ran at the fence at a gallop. Luckily I didn't fall. So after that my mom suggested that I keep her at a walk (I know "duh"). So I did that and was practicing my turns and stops. She doesn't listen when I try to turn her and stop. She kinda acts like she's not broke but she doesn't buck me off (just tries to see if I'll fly off).

My friend rode her today (I warned her but she still wanted to ride) and she fell off twice (and she's a better rider than me). Both times she fell was at a gallop. It's like once we let her get up to the trot she just shoots. She was a barrel horse before so that's probably what it's from. A lady that was at the stable just said that we should keep her going in a small circle at a walk or trot and practice stopping. She's really bad at stopping.

Before I got her she was only ridden on the weekend so she hasn't really had that much riding time in. And the only time she got to go out of her stall was when she's used to ride. So she's cooped up in her stall (at least) 5 days a week and not getting any exercise. (Not anymore though cause I got her.)

I also didn't lunge her either days. I tried but I didn't have a whip to get her going so I'll go buy one tomorrow. They don't have a round pen either :? only an arena.

Right now I'm at a loss and really discouraged :cry:. So any advice would be real nice. Is she doing this cause she's challenging me? or why do you think? What would you do?

close2prfct 04-12-2009 11:57 PM

There could be several different factors working here, I would really work on lunging with her get her to obeying commands from the ground before taking on riding or at the very least let her burn up some of that energy before I jumped on board. Also is the gate by any chance close to the barn? She could have some anxiety about being away from the barn considering how much time she had been spending confined. It could also be a trust issue she doesn't know you well enough to be comfortable with you climbing on board yet, as I said it could be many different things so I would slow down, be patient and work her from the ground A LOT build her confidence in you and your confidence in her then tackle riding again.

LeahKathleen 04-13-2009 12:06 AM

You mentioning the gate and her bolting, in addition to the fact that she was only taken from her stall to ride with her previous owner, makes me think she's a bit barn sour, and resents riding/working.

You need to start on the ground building a relationship, especially since she's so new to you. Take her out of her stall or paddock to groom her. Walk her around, let her graze, give her a hand full of grain, then turn her back out.

Purchase a lunge line (you may not even need a whip) and work on lunging and get her listening to your commands, like close2prfct said. Once a trusting, working, respectful relationship is established, she'll soon understand that working with you is a confident partnership, and not just "work."

I would also recommend lots of walk/trot work, backing, stopping, and directional changes to get her listening to you. Once all of that is solid at the walk/trot, then consider taking her up to the canter.

Best of luck. :]

OnlySamwise 04-13-2009 12:14 AM

Ya I realized that I really need to lunge her. oh, and the commands sound good too. It's like right next to the barn. I think she also goes to the gate cause she'd prefer to not have anyone riding and just take her grazing instead (cause that's what we've been doing since we got her (cause her leg)). Ok. I thought she'd be ok cause she's such a sweetheart on the ground (not doing any work though just walking her around) so it seemed like she was ok with me. I didn't know to do that cause all the horses I've ridden they just say saddle 'em up and go and they're fine. I guess I was expecting her to be the same way. I will work with her on the ground more and lunging. So we can start working together. The trust thing you said sounds spot on. Thanks a lot. I do really good if I have someone to tell me what to do. My head has just been spinning wondering what to do and if this was a mistake. It sounds good now to work on the trust thing. So when would you start to ride? Like how do you know?

LeahKathleen 04-13-2009 12:23 AM

Start riding when she starts -looking- to you for the commands. A horse that waits on you is one that respects you and trusts you - she knows you won't ask anything of her that will hurt her. Does that make sense?

On the ground, she needs to be able to do everything on your command, and nothing without your command. Make sure you use lots of a praise and rewards for her responding to your commands.

You said you do well when you have someone telling you what to do. Do you take lessons with your horse?

It's also good that you have recognized that lesson ponies - are exactly that. Lesson ponies. They are used to have newbies on their backs constantly - that's their job, to teach. Your horse may not be that way, and it's going to take lots of work to get the kind of relationship you guys need.

OnlySamwise 04-13-2009 12:23 AM

Hmm, I don't know. The lady who rode her before said she was fine and she'd take her on trails and she'd do good (I haven't talked to her since I rode though).

Since I got her I've been taking her out and letting her graze everyday and grooming her. I just gave her a bath yesterday too. She does real well with people. She's seems completely comfortable with us. We give her carrots and things too.

I have a lunge line (that I got from the previous owner). I tried to lunge her the other day but it didn't really work cause she didn't really move. She'd just walk to like humor me. So I'll be getting a whip tomorrow (and of course I won't hit her).

Ya I think that's a good idea too but once we get up to a trot she shoots off to a gallop (I guess the barrel racing in her). So I'll practice at a walk for now and try a trot and keep her at it. I didn't mean to take her faster before, she'd just shoot. I'll work on it :).

OnlySamwise 04-13-2009 12:29 AM

Ok. Ya I understand that.

Ok so do you not ride until she pretty much follows it completely?

No. Not yet at least. The stable I work at (a different one then the one she's at) I get lessons there. Even those horses are fine with you just getting on so this came as a total surprise to me. (those horses there aren't lesson horses but they all are 15 and up.)

LeahKathleen 04-13-2009 12:30 AM

That's what I would suggest - working with her on the ground until she's completely listening to you and focused on you, every time.

OnlySamwise 04-13-2009 12:37 AM

Ok sounds good. It'll take a while for me to catch on too cause I'm used to round pen lunging (as in without a rope). Thanks a lot you guys :).

LeahKathleen 04-13-2009 12:40 AM

Sure. One thing you can do with the lunge line is hold it in your left hand, and take the end in your right hand (provided she's going around counter clockwise; switch the hands for clockwise,) and swing the end in a circular motion. It works similarly to a whip without "chasing" her. Also, look at her shoulder and put "pressure" (figurative pressure) on her shoulder, and that will ask her to move out around you. You should be able to stay relatively stationary while she goes around you.

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