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Tantrum in the arena

2769 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  garlicbunny
Today, I wanted to ride in the arena for a little while (we usually do trails). My boy was not in the mood apparently and threw a little tantrum about it. He wasn't responding very well and I did not feel like I had good control. He did some hops and a tiny rear. Being a novice, misbehavior does scare me. I made him take a few more steps and just sat for a few minutes, so that he would not think that behaving that way would cause me to dismount. Then I led him to the round pen and lunged him for a few minutes to make sure that he didn't think his work was done.

What do you do in this situation? He's mostly a good boy, but occasionally he acts up. Did I do the right thing or should I have made him go around the arena? Sometimes he does this just as we are leaving the barn, but will settle down when we get moving along the trail.
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Sometimes they are just 'feeling good' and act up and try to play, either way however good they are feeling they should not be stupid about it. When you're in the saddle they need to know that they need to behave.

If he acts up like that again, I would start by serpentining him down the wall, backing him up, doing tear drop turns etc...if he is still being stupid, it is okay to get off and lunge him if you work him harder on the line that when you are on him. Better to do that that put yourself in a situation you are not ready for.

If my mare is being stupid I work her harder. I am pretty comfortable up there so I wont get off, but if I wasn't I would get off put a long line on her and make her work hard, then when she calms down and slows down on the line I would ask her to stop and stand for awhile, then when she is standing and has reled I'd ask her to move forward slowly....if she does this and remains calm about it I'd ask her to stop again and I would go about remounting.

I have seen other horses have this done, in fact my boyfriend was taking lessons and an old hand decided she was feeling frisky and she tried to take off. Him being a novice rider was not comfortable giving her crap in the saddle, so the trainer got him off and put the mare on along line and made her canter around for a while...the horse tried to gallop or go uncontrolled and buck, she would push her harder. The mare realized that if she behaved she didn't have to work as hard and after that she was good. Differnet things work for different people put horses are by nature minimalists so when they're shown the best way to do the least amount of work they'll typically go that direction :p
 

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Newby, I figured I'd share my experience and what I did with it as I thought of you when it happened. I rode my 3 year old mare last night, she was in the arena alone and really she hasn't been ridden alone in there since the summer as we often ride in groups for the fun of it. She was just being a little stupid. Sable is in general a solid minded horse so her spooks although she may have them don't last long and she comes down quick and with her if i hold my ground she gives in easily without much of a fight.

It was really windy last night and the spooky door that she hates so much was blowing a bit in the wind and to top things off the barn was creaking the 'creak of horse death' lol so it was a 'fresh' ride last night. But a good one.

Anyways we were riding past the door when it blew up at us a bit. She jumped and tried to scoot away as fast as she could while still staying in gait (I believe she thinks if she stays in a run walk (she's a twh) that I will not make her face the door because she is "doing it in form" lol) Anyways I stopped her as soon as possible and backed her all the way to the door. When I got to the door I made her stand there until she calmed at which point we would move out. IF she started out trying to run from the door I would back her up and make her stand there until she was calm...repeat

Each time we went past the door, if she would spook or shy at it I would either spin her (if we were close enough to the door that backing to it wouldn't do much) or back her back to it where we would stand until she was calm.

See what I did by making her stand at the door was I turned the door into a good place for her, a place of rest so rather than be afraid of it she was eager to go to it in case she got to stop there. I also dismounted in that spot. I know my horse and standing still is a great reward for her lol by the end of the night I could drag my hand on the door while we went past it and she didn't flinch, we even cantered past it with no issues.

I know you may be a bit nervous on your horse and his misbehaving can be nerve racking, but there is a huge benefit to gaining his respect and trust in you while you are in the saddle.
 
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