Difficult trail ride
I decided I was brave enough to tackle my first trail ride alone today. No one was at the ranch to ride with, it was a gorgeous day, and my gelding has been been doing great.
Well, it was pretty horrible. We started out ok, although I had to battle two very minor tantrums. About 5 minutes in, he threw an enormous tantrum. It started with hopping and turned into full blown rearing. I did all the things I have been taught; pulling his head to my foot and turning him and then setting him straight and trying to drive him forward. Things escalated to the point that I was really scared. I didn't want to give in and let him return to the barn, so I got off and made him walk the trail. I figured that once I got past a certain point, I would get back on.
I was unable to get on after 30-40 minutes of trying to mount. He kept backing up or running forward and refused to let me on. He even backed himself up a mountain to avoid it. I did circles and circles and more circles. Nothing would work. I was in tears with frustration. Finally, I decided to walk back, with the intention to do major ground work in the round pen. I gave it another try and finally succeeded in mounting on our way back. I then happened to run into two other riders that welcomed me to follow them. I turned my horse back and followed. He balked a teeny bit, but followed along and did as asked, perfectly.
Once we got to the point in which we needed to go opposite directions, I rode him back with no difficulty at all. He didn't rush and he listened well. I'm glad it ended on a good note, but I'm still discouraged.
Do you think it was the fact that he was alone that made him act up or do you think he could sense my lack of expertise? I certainly wasn't timid with him, but could he sense that I was super nervous? I guess I just don't know what the best course of action would be. Should I stick to riding with others or are there things that I could do with him that would help for next time? Any tips are appreciated. Thank you!