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Sarahandlola 01-02-2011 06:49 PM

Confidence issues.
So I have pretty bad confidence when it comes to horses. My TB mare is not making that any better! She can be so bold sometimes! while I am riding her she stops and pulls her head down then when I pull it back up she tries to rear and walks backwards. Also sometimes when I ask her to go forward she jumps forward then stops and does a little buck. She is not in pain anywhere as she was checked all over. Her saddle pinches a bit at the withers but I started using a saddle riser a while ago and it keeps the saddle well off the withers. It fits everywhere else. Would the saddle being a bit close to her withers make her behave like that? I know it doesn't seen like much but it terrifies me and people are starting to give up on helping me because I am always to afraid to ride her. They say they are sick of me complaining about her and I should just sell her. But I really don't want to as she has huge potential and I feel she could help me in the long run. I don't mind her bucking but the pulling her head down it was scares me. Is there anything I can do to stop her doing it? Also she has only started backing up the past few weeks so I dunno what she is doing! When I ride her she is a brat. When other people ride her she might give a little buck and throw her head around a bit but she never pulls her head down or backs up. What am I doing wrong?! She also only pulls her head down while walking. I rode her the other day for the first time in over a month. Somebody else rode her before me. She was fine but she started with her head again so I got her trotting to cool her off then I got down. I felt fine on her then but I still think she is gonna do something bad next time I get on her. One day she is extremely good and then the next she is the total opposite that is why I am always afraid to get on her...Can anyone help me with my confidence?

Sorry for the long post XD

Gizmo 01-02-2011 07:30 PM

Well number one is DON'T LET HER BULLY YOU! When she does the head thing or a buck don't be afraid to give her a smack or a quick snap with a rein and say "hey! That is enough!" When I was younger I got bulled really bad by this little morgan mare and it stopped me from riding for a really long time and then I started to work on a farm with Mustangs and they are super smart, like to play around with your a lot especially the one I used to own. So I got confidence by not letting him get away with things and he respected me for it. Since she is wanted to rear when you pull her head up, do you think possibly something could be wrong in her mouth as well? Maybe you have too harsh of a bit in there? What are you using? But like I said she could be picking up on your lack of self confidence and saying "hey, I bet I can get away with this!" and she does. Don't let her! Even if you have to get off and give her a good smack and a talking to, do what you got to. There isn't a reason you should be afraid of her. She needs to know who is boss.

Sarahandlola 01-02-2011 07:36 PM

She has a dutch gag. And she just got her teeth done a few weeks ago so they should be ok. I don't always pull her head up because I am afraid of what she will do so I just let go of the reins !

Gizmo 01-02-2011 07:50 PM

Hmmm... that's not really a harsh bit so I don't think its that. And you said her teeth were just done so its not that. So I think she is taking your for what you got. I definitely wouldn't let go of the reins. Sometimes, when my horse wants to eat I have to give him a little kick to stop. Have you ever tried that instead of pulling on her? Anther opinion is instead of pulling straight back, pull her to one side, even if you have to go around in a complete circle.

tinyliny 01-02-2011 08:55 PM


Sorry to hear that you are this place of fearing the very horse that you want to keep. To be honest, you might rethink the keeping her decision. I am not suggesting that a person should give up every time they start having difficulties with their horse. But the overall atmoshere between you guys feels kind of uncomfortable for you. The horse may do better in the hands of someone who is not scared of her. No insult intended to you. I am scared of some horses and would not keep them if they were given to me.

I used to ride a horse that often scared me. It was that never knowing if it was going to be a good ride or a bad one that never allowed me to settle and kept me from growing as a rider. Some folks thrive on the challenge. For me, no thank you.
Now that I am riding a different horse, I enjoy riding so much more and I have become a much more confident rider, even if I ride a more challenging horse. I just needed some experiences of success, piled one on the other, to change my overall view of myself as a horsewoman.
This would be my advcice to you; think about getting a different horse that better suits your personality. Maybe not a Thbd. Maybe a nice Cob? I hear that Irish Cobs are wonderful horses.

However, here's one bit of useful advice if you want to keep working at this;
When your mare goes to put her head down, drive her forward. Do it as briskly as you dare. You will give her a good thump with your heels and she will throw her head up and leap forward. When she does, shorten the reins and move her immediately into a working trot. when she settles and brings her head down, come to a walk and walk on. Instead of pulling against her, you drive her forward.

I would look seriously into having a saddle fitter look at your mare. A painful saddle can cause some really bad behavior. Over time, the nerves become irritated, then numb and then muscle will atrophy.
Feel free to take some photos of your mare with the saddle on her back, no pad at all. Take it when she is squared up on flat ground and in good light. Front, angled, side, rear, both sides. I would love to see it.

Don't be ashamed of having fear. Only a very few horse people don't have fear. The fearful rider who gets on is the brave one.

Oxer 01-02-2011 09:54 PM

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is she off the track? have you had a trainer ride her? does she misbehave with someone whom is more confident.... just as much as she misbehaves with you?

Sarahandlola 01-03-2011 04:03 AM

I have wanted to sell her a lot of times but I think I cannot just give up. And the people that are now telling me they are sick of my complaining were the ones who told me not to sell her because she could be a great horse if I kept working with her.

I will try get some pictures of the saddle on her today. I checked over all of her back area and withers for pain and there was none so I don't think it is the saddle.

She was never raced as far as I know. She was supposed to be used as a trek horse but when someone else got on her he said all she wanted to do was go. I suppose that is just her breed. She can be extremely lazy though!

A trainer rode her in the first week I had her but not since then.

She does misbehave a bit with the other person who rides her but not as bad as with me. Because he actually does not take her behaviour and she gets a few slaps with whip from him when she is like that.

WalkerLady 01-03-2011 08:22 AM


Originally Posted by tinyliny (Post 873745)
I used to ride a horse that often scared me. It was that never knowing if it was going to be a good ride or a bad one that never allowed me to settle and kept me from growing as a rider. Some folks thrive on the challenge. For me, no thank you.
Now that I am riding a different horse, I enjoy riding so much more and I have become a much more confident rider, even if I ride a more challenging horse. I just needed some experiences of success, piled one on the other, to change my overall view of myself as a horsewoman.

It could have been me who wrote this. I used to ride a horse that would spook at absolutely nothing, jump, whirl and bolt. I think at sometime in the past he'd learned if he could dump his rider he could get out of work. Sometimes I stayed in the saddle and sometimes I didn't. And I never knew when it would happen. Some rides were great. He was my first horse and I spent two years with him. When I look back I feel that time was wasted, because I didn't grow at all as a rider and in fact I lost a huge amount of confidence. Now I ride a calm, sensible horse and am slowly regaining what I lost, but I really regret the time I wasted on that horse.

EmilyandNikki 01-03-2011 10:48 AM

Sounds like to me, you need to regain your confidence on a more mild mannered horse. You need to get on one that will boost your confidence so you can bring that confidence BACK to your TB and stop what your horse is doing. Your horse is simply taking control of you.

My instructor thought that I was ready to ride and deal with a quarter horse that we have. Sure I could ride him like a dream, but on the ground, he destroyed my confidence. My instructor put me on the oldest lesson horse we had. He was calm and mild mannered. I can't say I learnt a lot of technique from him, but he boosted my confidence. He also tripped a lot, and I had to learn how to support him and limit his trips the best I could(ex. reiner retrained english with arthritis. Still kept in lessons because my instructor/BO wanted to keep him going as long as possible. Usually used for pony rides, but every few days he had a student on him). I have to say I did learn a fair bit from him. He allowed me to now deal with the aggressive quarter horse, and our clever and foolish quarter cross.

So ask someone you know if they'd mind giving you lessons on there not so dominant horse, so you can bring it back to your horse.

Sarahandlola 01-03-2011 06:48 PM

So I rode her today and she a bit better. She maybe pulled her head down twice but I did not take it from her and pushed her forward. But she kept swinging her behind around and backing up! When I kicked her forward she backed up. The only way I could get her to move was to hit her on the shoulder with the whip or make her follow another horse. Also today she kept swishing her tail while trotting. she has never done that before. She also pinned her ears back :/ Maybe it was because horses were cantering up behind her or something...I did feel a lot more confident on her and kept her going so I guess that is an improvement. I would usually get off. I did not canter her though. Maybe because she seemed angry while trotting so I did not want to push it XD

And I checked her saddle out. When I am on her I cannot even fit my baby finger between the saddle and her withers! So I am gonna get a new saddle but I wanna know for certain it is the saddle making her a bit mad so how do I know?

Here are the best pictures I could get of the saddle...

She has a big behind I could not see over it XD

While she would not go forward I tried to get her to accept the bit :p

Look at those withers! How am I ever gonna get a saddle to fit her! Is there anyway the back muscles would like build up to the withers so they are not so high?

As ya can see the riser raises the saddle off the withers a bit but it is not help while I am on her :/

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