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RadHenry09 09-07-2009 10:48 PM

Give me a kick in the rump!
I have been kinda sidetracked for the last few months ..moving , getting married etc..and it has been taking me away from the time I need to spend with Mustang gelding.

I had girl who was riding him for the last several months but she stopped the end of July and since then he has been ridden maybe 2 times.

I have owned my Mustang for 3 yrs and he has come such a long way as far as thinking and not overreacting and his ground manners are wonderful I think. I have used Parelli 7 games and it really has done wonders for me and he is much happier too I feel. He still meets me at the fence : )
I have been working alot more with our other horse because my daughter has taken an interested in riding and wants to show in 4H so I have been focusing more on him and my daughter.
I really want to start riding my mustang again but I dont feel confident as he has some spooky tendencies under saddle and can be really unconfident . Lately I feel as if I am not adequate enough to ride him , I dont know if it is because I havent been riding him lately or because others have made other comments about how I am not confident , or he is too much of a horse for me ....etc...
2 summers ago , I was riding him about 3 times a week /ground work and we were doing very well. I did send him to a trainer before that summer for 60 days where they used natural horsemanship training .
I love this horse and I dont want to sell him but I am not sure where to go from this point and now with winter approaching (no indoor) I feel as if I am starting all over again with him or me! Nothing really bad has happened when he spooks, he is fast and jumps sideways and it can catch you off guard.

I need some opinions on where to go from here, should I sell him to someone that could do more with him ? I am not looking for someone to tell me what to do I just want some insight from others who may of been in this situation.
Also , what are some things that I can do this winter when riding may not be an option......I feel kinda stuck because everyone else is "riding" their horse at my barn except for me, but I feel just fine riding my Paint who is very laid back .
I thnk I need a swift kick in the rump!

kevinshorses 09-08-2009 12:57 AM

Suck it up get on and ride. The horse sounds like he's had plenty of training so don't be a coward and just do it.

RadHenry09 09-08-2009 07:04 AM

Thanks , that is what I needed!!!

Spirithorse 09-08-2009 07:04 AM

Don't push yourself to ride. If you don't feel confident to get on him, THEN DON'T DO IT. There are plenty of things you can do with him on the ground in the meantime while you build your confidence. Listen to your instincts, they will keep you safe. Don't let anyone pressure you into riding him if you don't feel confident. After all, it's not their bodies getting up there on him ;)

The place to start is on the ground. Get back into a routine of working with him again, saddle him up but don't get on, just play with him. Do you have the Level 2 pack with Stephanie Burns' book?

Scoutrider 09-08-2009 11:29 AM

I agree with both Kevinshorses and Spirithorse, to a degree each way.

Fear can certainly keep you safe. To that I say, if your knees are knocking and your teeth are rattling it's best to keep on the ground and get some confidence there. You being nervous, tense, and jittery will radiate right into your horse and make for a decidedly un-fun ride.

That being said, there are some times when you do need to give a gulp and just ride. My first horse was a chronic spook, and there were many times that I had to just suck it up and get on. The horse never did anything "bad," he was simply nervous and energetic by nature. If I was calm, he was better.

Something that truly helped my confidence was teaching that horse a solid one rein stop (incidentally, I started with lateral felxion on the ground, so the groundwork suggestion always holds :wink:). By teaching it, I gained muscle memory in the cue, and confidence in my ability to teach the skill and to stop my horse from each gait. The training payed dividends when we were on a trail ride, and the horse shied from behind, bounding forward. Sheer habit and muscle memory kicked in for me, and one second later my horse was again calm, obediently flexing laterally to the bit. After that "incident," I quite literally felt like I could ride that spook basket anywhere, and always have enough control to stop him and dismount if I wanted/needed to.

If it's just nerves and "what if?" feelings, I would pony up and try to work through it. If it's a real "this is dangerous now, or will become so soon," kind of feeling, dismount and do groundwork for a while. That's good for both of you, too. Also, if you don't wear a helmet for every ride, do so. Even a quiet horse can be unpredictable, and wearing the thing and knowing that you are somewhat protected from injury there will help your confidence as well.

Good luck, and happy horsin' around!

RadHenry09 09-08-2009 05:57 PM

Thanks Spirit horse and Scout rider....that is some very good advice...I guess I have been feeling kinda down about the fact that I am not riding him but our ground sessions are alot of fun. He loves playing with the big green ball and I have just rode him around chasing after the ball...laughing the whole time .

I do have the level 2 pack and that is a great place to pick up from and I do have Dr Burns book that I have read but will re read to help with my confidence.
As far as a helmet , I always ride with one in fact on Sunday I went with 2 others on a trail ride who didnt wear helmets but I did and even though my Paint is a great trail horse this was the first time that I have taken him on the road with cars passing and dogs barking and he was a gem and I felt very comfortable on him with my helmet too. I also believe that to teach my child the importance of wearing one I must give a good example for her.

It is nice to be able to have support from others who have maybe been in the same shoes and learn how they have overcame it.

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