Need your help! My horse gave me a good concussion and almost broke my jaw today!
Okay so I have my young TB mare and latly things have been so good! just amazing! Picking up her leads, being so relaxed Im kicking her to walk on! lots of happy snorts and chewing and drooling when I ride her.
I lounge her ussally beofre riding first to get her yay ya's out then I add in the side reins and she is really good for all of that. I do a lil ground work before getting on her to make sure she is really paying attentiona dn isnt on top of me.
Today I didnt lunge her, cause she seems so nice and calm and wanted to tak her out to the outdoor arena (I have been working her in the smaller indoor for the last few weeks) and we didnt get 10 steps in the arena till she dead stopped (not spooky or staring at anything,not pinning her ears or acting mad or hurt) just dead stopped, she has been known to rear and ussaly does it when she wont move forward off my seat and leg so I tried to turn her in a circle, just for her to move her feet so she wouldnt be as easy toget up and rear. After completing my 15 meter circle she dead stopped again on the rail. This time i used my voice telling her its okay just walk on, and gave her a nudge with my lower leg, she then emmeditally poped up ina 1/2 rear and I gorwoled and just tried to get her to move forward, in any direction but up in the air, she didnt..but did just shoot herself straight up in the air I saw her head come up adn (having been smacked in the head beofre like this) I moved my head to the side, but she wacked her poll right into my right cheek bone this happend 4 times in a row very fast. I now havea slight concosion, a very swollen right cheek bone thats fire engine red and is already starting to turn into a bruise. It was more scary and out of control feeling then hurt feeling. I got off and took her into the barn ( iwasnt going to ride alone with her like that)
anyways after having some close friends come help me out put my horse away and iced my face and went home. I am now wondering what can I do to fix this, or start to fix this? I know all her tack fits. I know she isnt sore anywere, I know I should have lounged her before now. and stuck to the indoor arena.
Im now getting a new helmet.
That sounds horrible and really scary! I've never had a horse REALLY rear on me before, just little mini hops. I feel bad for you because you're kind of typing like you have a concussion. The proof is in the pudding! What good friends you have too.
Anyway, sometimes bad stuff just happens. Horses are unpredictable, especially young ones. It's POSSIBLE that there was something out there that just spooked the hell out of her. Someone left a Slip N' Slide next to the arena a few summers ago, and it took me forever to figure out that that was what was causing the horse I was riding to avoid that side of the arena. Maybe go back to the "scene of the crime" and look around with fresh eyes to see if there is/was anything unusual.
Maybe not lunging her was the cause, but maybe it wasn't. I would recommend lunging her in the outdoor, and then riding her in the indoor for a while, until you feel brave enough to brave the outdoor on her back again. You can't stick to the indoor forever. We'll you could, but if you have any plans to show her or don't want to die of heat in the summer, then she's going to have to get over it.
Yeah it was a nightmare
I am so sorry to hear of this very scary incident. I can imagine how awful it must have felt. And rearing is something that is really serious. I know it scares me for sure.
I am going to say that you and your horse need more work on getting her more attuned to the idea that when she is frightened she must go forward. It was right of you to try to move her feet, anywhere, but something in her feels that she cannot move foreward and she must go up.
I am not a trainer, but I remember watching my teacher work with a horse that when scared would kind of freeze, until he could freeze no more. Then he would fall apart. She wanted him to not freeze at all. She wanted him to react while his fear was smaller. So, she held him on a line about 6 feet long and kept moving the scary thing (in this case I think it was fly spray) on to him and actually asking him to move at the same time. He would freeze, then explode, but since she had the line, he could only go forward around her. At first she stopped spraying she he went forward with the fear instead of trying to bolt away. Eventually, she continued spraying him gently but allowed him to move forward (around her) until he decided he could stop AND tolerate the spray.
You might be able to do something like this with a tarp or some other scary thing. I guess it's kind of "sacking out" but the object is not that the horse just stands there and flinches, but that it walks forward until it really is relaxed and doesn't care about the object . NOT just standing there, frozen , gritting it's teeth until it can't stand it and must go out or up.
Again, I am not a trainer so this is just something I observed. You can make of it what you will.
I hope you can find a safe way to progress through this.
And hope you feel better soon.
The problem is that she just randomly goes up, last time it hapend was about 2 months ago. and then since then has been an angel. its not thats she scared of somthing, its like her just says screw you nooo.
Oh. That is really a challenge. I think there are others with more experience than me with good advice. I sincerely hope she grows out of it.
I would consult a trainer or more experienced rider that has knowledge of the mare. i would also as suggested go to the arena and look with fresh eyes to see if anything was causing er to act up. I would check her feet and legs and back for physical causes.
I hope you get to feeling better poor thing, such a scary situation. maybe you should get a riding buddy or just someone to watch you ride until you feel safer and more confident.
She knows she doesn't have to go forward when you ask.
The most important lesson that every horse should learn is that when in doubt, go forward. When a horse is truly forward, not too much can go wrong except for not being able to stop - Very preferable to rearing, bucking, sideways...
Any horse whose reaction to pressure, or fear, or any other stimulus, is backwards - Can turn into a rearer without a second though. That mentality of back, soon turns into up - And lets be honest, rearing is terribly dangerous and scares the bejeebers out of most people, so they don't push the point, and the horse is successful at evading. The backwards tendency becomes more and more ingrained every time this happens.
If I am on a horse who plants it's feet but isn't thinking backwards, I just quietly persist with the aid until they get bored and move off. It can take a loooong time but I have always won so far!
But on a horse who plants it's feet and thinks backwards - Entirely a different matter. I give no second chances and I don't ask lightly. I will do whatever it takes to get the darn thing moving forward - I will growl, kick, whack with my reins - I want the horse to think it will die if it doesn't go forward, NOW.
Hi glad you are ok. You are getting great advice and you do know what you are doing as trying to get your mare to unlock and move her feet. You just need to get in your mind that this horse is different and you will have to take certain precautions until this horse is older and well trained. No horse is worth getting hurt over. You get relaxed and think that because you have to push her a little you are ok but this horse has still the mentality ...screw you I don't want to do it. I am riding a head swinger and I am a little worried about getting my teeth knocked out so I am using a single side rein with a lunging attachment to the bit like a tie down. Not too tight and I have lunged her allot with this on so she is used to it. I do dressage and didn't want to use draw reins because they shorten the neck and this particular mare already has a short neck and I was working on getting a connection more through. Having some one on the ground to help chase your mare forward would help when she does lock up. I had a couple of horses that reared when they were young and they grew out of it with proper training. Hope this helps and please be careful, you might have to have someone else ride this horse for awhile.
You seem to have got some really good advice! i'd also lunge in the arena, but maybe lunge before riding but less often as ive found that although lunging calms them down before riding it also increases their fitness level, hence more lunging is needed before their calm.
I'd also maybe suggest doing more with your mare in that arena and allow her the freedom to check the arena out if shes not used to it, maybe leaving her in their alone for 10mins if you can. I'm on a horse course at the moment and the college recently got a lot of new horses, who had all been ridden in the indoor, we brought them in for a ground skills practical and alot of the horses had a newly found fear, which we put down to seeing the arena in a way they havent before.
It definatley sounds like your going in the right direction though :D
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