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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
on my last 3 rides (one ride a week) the horses have been progressively acting up. first it was constant spooking, then some spooking and bucking, and today they were refusing to go because there was people walking on the road that was far below and away from the trail, they also cantered without being asked and wouldnt stop no matter what. it was very frightening and my friend cantered across the road (a back road) and i couldnt make angel go any slower than a trot over the road. this is NOT normal. these are good horses that are used to road riding, people, bikes, you name it. in the last few weeks the horses at the barn i work at have been having similar problems.

has anyone else's horses been acting strange in the last few weeks??
 

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Here in Maine, we say that you have a "new" horse with spring, summer and fall/winter. Yes, the horses are feeling their oats at the moment, and have temporarily lost their good sense. Fortunately , it doesn't take that much to bring their minds back into business as usual.

Just the other day, my steady Walka, decided that a car was about to kill him and we needed to jump 4 feet sideways INTO the road! He was snorting and blowing and just working himself up into a frenzy. I got off, and worked him where I could to get him to think about me and pay attention. He did, and we were on our way again.

When I get too comfortable with my "summer" horse, I remind myself that the fall/winter one is just around the corner! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We have "season horses" too but inthis case today, there is a difference between being exited and prancing and cantering at will and not stopping even with pulling reins until you cant pull anymore .__.
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Do you have a lot of public land around your trails where there may be hunting going on? Deer season (firearm) just opened yesterday - all through Oct. is small game/turkey/archery deer.... aside from the bird hunting, all others require hunters to stay still for long periods in the woods - if so, maybe your horses are smelling/sensing their sudden presence? Just a thought to throw out there.
 

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Do you have a lot of public land around your trails where there may be hunting going on? Deer season (firearm) just opened yesterday - all through Oct. is small game/turkey/archery deer.... aside from the bird hunting, all others require hunters to stay still for long periods in the woods - if so, maybe your horses are smelling/sensing their sudden presence? Just a thought to throw out there.
There were all sorts of shots being fired in the woods this morning. It was no fun. I just keep thinking, all those bullets are going somewhere.
 

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It's 60+ degrees in November in Connecticut today. Riding my normally sweet calm horse was like riding a pinball darting around the machine. He was spooking at white horses. Hasn't done that in the 6+ years I've had him. I can only attribute stuff like that to weather. Yes, the varying temps and seasons definitely come into play. Can't wait to see what I get on Tuesday after it drops another 25 degrees.
 

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We have "season horses" too but inthis case today, there is a difference between being exited and prancing and cantering at will and not stopping even with pulling reins until you cant pull anymore .__.
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Sounds like your horse and the others were feeding off each others anxieties and not thinking about their riders. Basically, herd mentality at work.
 

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My horse gets a little loopy when the weather changes drastically. In the spring when it first warms up, and in the fall when it gets cold. A lot of people I know say the same for their horses. I agree that it is a herd mentality, too.
 

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I second hunting season. If you don't see/hear hunters they are out there. We have had folks walk into our yard with guns wanting to know where they were (short answer was our yard). I would wonder weather the horses heard/smelled something like a hunter or an injured deer. The smell of blood from a deer might frighten them up a bit. My mothers mare spooked and trotted forward when she smelled about 15 dead coyotes. This was the first time the mare spooked and trotted. If she had not done that my mother and I would have never seen the coyotes.
 

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I second hunting season. If you don't see/hear hunters they are out there. We have had folks walk into our yard with guns wanting to know where they were (short answer was our yard). I would wonder weather the horses heard/smelled something like a hunter or an injured deer. The smell of blood from a deer might frighten them up a bit. My mothers mare spooked and trotted forward when she smelled about 15 dead coyotes. This was the first time the mare spooked and trotted. If she had not done that my mother and I would have never seen the coyotes.
Agreed, the smells really do seem to affect them. The hunters might also be flushing deer out into areas where they wouldn't normally be too. You know how those silly horses are when they see something that wasn't there a minute ago!
 

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on my last 3 rides (one ride a week)
Is once a week normal for you and your horses? My horse can be rough when we don't ride at least twice a week. Depends on the horse, I know.

Also, my horses are pastured with me at home. We have 34 acres, and the pasture wraps around our house. As the temperatures have dropped, they have been VERY playful. Lots of galloping, trotting, chasing, bucking, kicking, crow hopping and general craziness! They love it when the temperatures are 40* F. This is the optimal temp for horses
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
we do have hunting in the area but i heard no shots (the area would be within an ear shot, if there was shots fired). where we were riding there is no hunting. i would blame it on the season if it was minor things, but this is the first time in all the wether changes that they completely refused to listen. they have also been stalling/backing up in the road, and they are usually great on the road.

once a week is normal for them to ride. i think we are going to take it slow for a while and just walk and maybe trot (though that usually leads to a canter), and jest work from the bottom up. after having a perfect horse turn into a dangerous ride, i am not enjoying riding anymore :-( me and my friend we really shaken up yesterday after they bolted on us.
 

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Its only archery season until November 30th and then its shotgun. The mass fish and wildlife has a complete list of all their seasons here http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/downloads/2013 Massachusett Hunting Schedule.pdf.

Its possible a deer was injured, bleeding and the hunters were searching for it. It could also be the weather. It might be worth lunging before riding to get some of the P**s and vinegar out of them.

I completely understand your feelings its absolutely no fun when a fun relaxing ride turns into something where you feel you are in danger. If the horse is usually a steady eddy and turns into a wild man, I usually look for a reason. My horse does not act like a fool unless she has a reason. For her weather changes are not a great reason (for her brother they are an awesome reason). Its all about your horse. If you are worried a bit of ring work or round pen work before a ride might set you more at ease which would set your horse more at ease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
the weather changing isnt a good reason for these guys too. i would warm up in the field behind her house, but my horse cant seem to do ring work (my friend says she's fine with everyone but me for some reason). she tries to gravitate to other horses, people, or worse the exit. she 'side steps' which i can't stop no matter how i put the reins of use my leg. i am restricted to one corner of the field to do small circles, its the only place where i am "safe". i tried to do small circles in the middle of the field and i got bucked off and she ran out the "exit" of the field... that was the 2nd time that has happened. the first time before those 2 times that i tried to canter in the field, she bucked and i got a a full speed neck ride back to the barn. i work horses at the barn i work at and i dont mind field work because i can do my own thing even with horses there. i just dont feel "safe" doing ring work on my horse because i always end up on the ground :-(

this was from when i experimented with doing work in the middle of the field rather than in "The Corner". it was a while back and she and i are/was better now. during ring work i do use a crop because kicking doesnt always work. this was taken before we did a lot of cantering on the trail which led to her having good transitions with just kicking, before this current problem. my reins are snug or else i wouldnt be in control. no critiquing because this is an old video

 

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I have been thinking about your last post. First, I want to know if you have gotten back on? The fact that your mare "cant do ring work" for you but will do it for others concerns me a bit. I have a mare that I can't/should not put in a round pen (she looses her head due to a poorly applied Join up session but a trainer). The thing is that she is consistent in that. She can't/should not be round penned by anyone. The fact that others can get your horse to work in a ring sends the impression that your horse has figured out how to avoid working with you in the ring.

In my opinion, the trail is wonderful but it requires the full attention and rapport be established between horse and rider. The trail is full of unknown entities and you can really see how far and strong your rapport with your horse is. In general, the ring is safer and its only once you have mastered the basics in the ring that one should go out on the trail. So, it worries me that your horse misbehaves in the ring and goes okay on the trail. It makes me think that your horse is good on the trail because they find that more interesting. Which is great that your horse loves the trail but it is sort of a band aid to what may be an underlying issue.

I think it might be a good idea for you to work with an instructor and take some lessons. This might get you comfortable in the ring. Which may give you confidence and get you back on the trail. Either way, I am sorry if this sounds rude/harsh or mean I have just been pondering your situation. I hope you and your horse work it out and you get back to having fun rides. Nothing worse than getting off a ride and saying "that was scary".
 

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I know it might sound silly but horses are so sensitive to drops in barometric pressure, and just look at the devastating tornadoes that ripped through IL and are moving our way. Our horses will feel that much sooner than we could ever feel. That said, I've been trail riding every Sunday with a group at our 600+ acre farm in southeast CT, and other than a couple guys on dirt bikes trespassing on the riding trails and spooking one of the mares who happened to be carrying the most inexperienced rider, I haven't seen any odd behavior from any of them. My favorite mount, Halo, barrels through head up ears forward like the intrepid leader she always is.

Truck your horse down and come riding with us! You're not that far! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I have been thinking about your last post. First, I want to know if you have gotten back on? The fact that your mare "cant do ring work" for you but will do it for others concerns me a bit. I have a mare that I can't/should not put in a round pen (she looses her head due to a poorly applied Join up session but a trainer). The thing is that she is consistent in that. She can't/should not be round penned by anyone. The fact that others can get your horse to work in a ring sends the impression that your horse has figured out how to avoid working with you in the ring.

In my opinion, the trail is wonderful but it requires the full attention and rapport be established between horse and rider. The trail is full of unknown entities and you can really see how far and strong your rapport with your horse is. In general, the ring is safer and its only once you have mastered the basics in the ring that one should go out on the trail. So, it worries me that your horse misbehaves in the ring and goes okay on the trail. It makes me think that your horse is good on the trail because they find that more interesting. Which is great that your horse loves the trail but it is sort of a band aid to what may be an underlying issue.

I think it might be a good idea for you to work with an instructor and take some lessons. This might get you comfortable in the ring. Which may give you confidence and get you back on the trail. Either way, I am sorry if this sounds rude/harsh or mean I have just been pondering your situation. I hope you and your horse work it out and you get back to having fun rides. Nothing worse than getting off a ride and saying "that was scary".
i dont mind doing ring work but she just always gravitates to other things and i get frustrated. when i do ring work (which is rare, but might be more common in the future) i do a lot of walk trot transition to keep her mind busy before i go in the to corner to do circles of cantering. with this horse and my friends horse (before this whole mess) you can just tack up and go. there is no need to lunge or do ring work beforehand, they are just "get on and go" horses. i would take lessons, but i have never had the money too. over 4 years from just learning from my friend, i have gone from just walking to cantering and galloping, any other trail things, and i can handle her really well, again, before this whole bolting thing happened. i could take a semi private (2 people) lesson with my friend with her really good instructor, but that $50 that i have, but would rather save. and Angel isnot truly my horse, if my friends moms horse, so currently she will be riding her to find out the problem. :wink:

I know it might sound silly but horses are so sensitive to drops in barometric pressure, and just look at the devastating tornadoes that ripped through IL and are moving our way. Our horses will feel that much sooner than we could ever feel. That said, I've been trail riding every Sunday with a group at our 600+ acre farm in southeast CT, and other than a couple guys on dirt bikes trespassing on the riding trails and spooking one of the mares who happened to be carrying the most inexperienced rider, I haven't seen any odd behavior from any of them. My favorite mount, Halo, barrels through head up ears forward like the intrepid leader she always is.

Truck your horse down and come riding with us! You're not that far! :)
i never thought about that. but its not the first time we have ridden with tornadoes and storms happening elsewhere, so i am still trying to find why she is acting up.

i would love to ride with you on a giant farm, but as said above, she's not my horse, i just call her that :lol: thats up to my friends mom if she want to truck them for that far. southeast CT is pretty far away considering i would be coming from the center of MA. maybe you could come ride with us when this mess is cleared :D
 
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