Hating myself after tonight's ride
I have a bit of a greenie when it comes to dressage/getting on the bit, she's such a sweet girl, but tonight she was just not having it. Monday was a great ride, tonight not so great. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, after my warm up someone else wanted to hop on to help me do something so I think she got confused and uncomfortable, but then she was just giving me a hard time for an HOUR. I was kicking and squeezing and trying to get her to trot. I ended up pulling on her like crazy and I must have kicked her hard (not like a barrel racing hard kick, but harder than a tap for sure) and I just feel like a terrible person. As soon as I grabbed the whip she was on the bit perfectly and I barely used the whip, so I know it was behavioral and not that she was in pain or anything but oh my gosh I feel horrible and I feel like a terrible person and I know I didn't do anything really that horrible but I just don't even know. I need someone to honestly tell me if they've felt this way or if I'm overreacting.
honestly? you are overreacting. by your standards, I am like some kind of serial killer.
Just trying to lighten the mood!
dont' worry, if you horse won't go, you need to get bigger, whether that's a good smackaroo, or a show of the whip. it's not a crime, so look to tomorrow for a new and better ride.
Thanks. My horse is my best friend and sometimes I treat her like a piece of glass. I'm afraid I'm going to undo all her training in one night. Plus I rode her around mostly in the same direction and didn't switch it up much. I just feel like I put her in human terms and assume that because we had a bad ride she won't like me anymore or something. Please continue smacking the sense into me. You can be mean I need it lol
I also had to pull her head around so she was losing balance and literally overbending because that's like the only way I could control. Oh dear.
it's pretty typical for a person to have the hardest time disciplining their OWN horse.
One thing that helps is to say, in your mind, "here, let me help you!" wehn you have to insist on something, and get firm. Think of it like your horse has forgotten, or is stuck and can't seem to respond like they normally know they need to. they need your HELP. get firm a lot sooner, and think in you head that you are "helping" them be a good riding horse, and if they weren't a good riding horse, well, they might be dogfood.
Don't worry too much tomorrow is a new ride with new experiences
Been there, so I know how you feel. Best thing you can do when she refuses to go forward after you've asked politely, is to use the whip (I don't mean beat her; just a smart tap) as a reminder that she must obey. Then come back to the walk and ask again, nicely. If she doesn't obey, use the whip again. Come back to the walk a third time and ask again. She should get the point by that time and move forward obediently and quickly from your leg.
I agree OP, it's a terrible feeling, especially if you feel like you sunk to a low.
I am working on learning to post and change from western discipline to English. I know that this is new to both of us, and I am causing much of the issues with balance, but this one night Sam was a dork, mouthing his bit, trotting sideways, just being a butt.
I felt myself losing my patience over his behavior and then bang! I gave him a solid pop with the reins. He had no idea what to make of it and I felt terrible for taking my frustration out on him.
I went around the ring two more times and ended our session on as positive a note I could.
The next riding session, he acted like nothing happened. I, however, managed to keep my patience in better check. I still felt like heel.
As a person who is always too hard on themselves, I understand. But relax, tomorrow is a new day and a new ride. You horse sounds like she was in a mood tonight anyway and needed someone to get stern with her. Clint Anderson says "soft as possible but firm as necessary" or something to that extent.
Your kicks are like mosquitos bites to your horse, and pulling her around, well, she chose to be a witch, she was treated as such. Don't be a pushover, she will get your number quickly, be assertive, like you were in the end.
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