Riding in a Crowded Indoor Arena - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-08-2016, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Riding in a Crowded Indoor Arena

Today's class was a disaster. The rather small indoor arena was full of horses (I am talking about 15+). My sweet 'hopefully soon to be my horse' doesn't like it crowded nor do I. I have never fallen off him but Im not keen of being trampled to death by other horses if it would happen. Things got worse when my horse started bucking when I kicked him (something he almost NEVER does) and I got nervous and he sensed it. The cycle began. In the end my trainer had to ride him for 10min to start things off. I am SOOOOOO ashamed.

Can anyone give me good tips about riding in a small overcrowded space PLEASE?

Let me add P DOESNT have a bucking problem. He is street safe etc. and has the most wonderful character.
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-08-2016, 10:57 AM
Green Broke
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Can you avoid it next time? I feel like its so hard to be productive and listen to your trainer in a lesson with that many people around. Sure you need to get used to it for shows..but in shows everyone will be doing the same thing...not everyone taking different directions from different people around the arena.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-08-2016, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you! Sundays tend to be the terrible days but today we had a National Holiday so thats why it was crowded. P is completely fine with a handful of other horses and actually enjoys groups hacks etc. Normally if he would buck I would get him to obey even forcefully but Im scared as hell to risk it in a crowded arena. I am happy you mentioned avoiding it...I felt like a loser when I wanted to turn around when I saw all the horses today...
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-08-2016, 11:08 AM
Green Broke
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Nope! You want to set your horse up for success every ride! If that means avoiding a situation that you feel makes you both uncomfortable...then avoid it!
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-08-2016, 11:14 AM
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I'd avoid such chaos too.

My horse use to be a bucker, put well over 200 miles on him last year and no bucking. Went to the trainer for an afternoon clinic last fall with 6 other riders. I pushed him and he bucked. Ug Tried to ride him a few times since and I could feel him wanting to blow. I was pregnant so I never rode through it. Lost the baby and rode him last week.... he behaved himself.

So its a new year.... I'll start putting miles on him once my helmet gets here.

I dont know why my horse bucks when pushed.... its something I will have to work on.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-08-2016, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I am happy to see other riders feel the same way about overcrowded arenas. I am not a quitter but I would neither like to train in a pool with kids jumping on me from all directions, if you get the comparison!

Also, I am not a great rider, but I am neither someone who likes to gallop out of control as some people at the arena do. Next time Ill do stable work or something until it gets more quiet.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-08-2016, 01:26 PM
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I also do not like crowded arenas. Not so much for myself, but for all the IDIOTS who seem to have no sense of arena etiquette.

When I first got my horse Red, he did NOT like ANY horse passing him at any speed at any time. Now I've gotten him to a point where he will tolerate it but he still doesn't like it. So I usually go do my own thing and avoid the arena if it is packed; because I don't like it either.

Ultimately, it is up to you. If you don't want to bother with over-crowded arenas, you don't have to. Don't!

But if you want to work on your horse and get him accepting of it, then go ahead and work on it. Are there other times when the arena has a few riders in it, but not over-crowded? I'd start there. Or if you can have a friend work with you, who purposefully rides around you (in a way you can both control), to work on your horse's responses to another horse.

Just take it small steps at a time.

∞*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-08-2016, 02:35 PM
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I've been riding in a very small, very crowded arena all winter. I really dislike it and so does Raven. I usually end up cutting my rides short- I just give up.

I don't mind so much riding with "grown ups", but when I'm sharing the space with the kids who have no clue I get really frustrated.

My solution is to go to the barn at really odd times- after 9pm or at 7am is usually pretty quiet where we board. I guess that won't work for you.

Sorry, I have no other ideas, but I sure do know how you feel.
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-08-2016, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2015
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This can be a problem at some of the larger barns where you have lessons going on and boarders wanting to ride or lunge their horses. In all fairness to you, you are not getting the most from your ride and it would be better for both you and your trainer to use the arena when it is less crowded.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-08-2016, 09:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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when I used to ride at a fancy barn with an indoor arena, they had an "8 horse limit". once there were 8 horses in the arena, you had to wait until one came out to go in.
12 or 15 is crazy!
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