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Spooky horse

(10 Posts)
Glackley Mon 15-Aug-11 23:07:04

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AlpinePony Tue 16-Aug-11 08:53:11

Tbh I think it all comes down to your confidence and unfortunately he's made you feel a bit nervous and these fears will be transmitted to him and you have a vicious circle. sad

You said yourself that leaving the yard if you were firm, he would usually settle.

This is my experience too, I had some problems earlier in the year with my mare and napping on hacks. I put on good walking socks and when we got to her sticky spot I thought "damnit, we are doing this route whether you like it or not" - I was too scared to push her on (as she rears when she's having a paddy) - so I dismounted and led her for about 45 minutes. But damnnit, we did it - and the next time I made her do it.

For in the school I would suggest getting in and getting firm. Mine takes the piss if I'm not really riding her, you know, if I get on and my reins are like washing lines and I'm just a passenger.

But, be kind on yourself, you've only just taken on this horse of of course you're feeling a bit nervous of it. It'll all come in time and the fact that he doesn't buck/rear/charge off and is a sweetie on the ground is a massive bonus.

There are a couple of books out there about riding with confidence - maybe give one a go? I had a podcast once for hypnotherapy which I used. Alternatively, and this has worked for me a few times hmm, have an hour on an "easy" horse and remind yourself that you can ride! smile

StopRainingPlease Tue 16-Aug-11 16:41:28

"Tbh I think it all comes down to your confidence and unfortunately he's made you feel a bit nervous and these fears will be transmitted to him and you have a vicious circle."

Just have to respond to this! I have a spooky horse (a 5-year-old). So many people have told me that he spooks because I'm nervous. No, I'm not! Yes, they say, you are subconsciously nervous and he reacts to that. No, I'm not! They never believe me.

My instructor got on him the other day (she's not scared of anything) and took him in a field where he gets scared. One of the trees looked at him the wrong way smile and he leapt sideways.

Just saying, it's not always the rider!

Repetition is helping. He is no longer terrified of puddles or plants with big leaves hmm, though obviously we have a way to go with trees... If he reacts to something while we're out we walk him backwards and forwards past it till he calms down and gets bored. The next time we pass the same object he usually ignores it.

Amieesmum Wed 17-Aug-11 02:21:25

Hmm does he do it with his owner on board in the school? Tbh sounds a bit like he's taking the mick out of you, if he stops when you're firm. Keep at it, things should improve, if not, try something different. No point killing your confidence over little spooks. One of My old horses, a welsh d was as spooky as they come, but would really take the piss if who ever was riding him wasnt confident and firm with him. Maybe also see if an instructor can give you some lessons? Might help you gain some confidence, or an insight to any problems causing it. s he do it with his owner on board in the school? Tbh sounds a bit like he's taking the mick out of you, if he stops when you're firm. Keep at it, things should improve, if not, try something different. No point killing your confidence over little spooks. One of My old horses, a welsh d was as spooky as they come, but would really take the piss if who ever was riding him wasnt confident and firm with him. Maybe also see if an

kayb123 Wed 17-Aug-11 12:10:49

As your post say's you have 'recently' got this horse on loan/share... As a new rider to any horse, the horse will ALWAYS test the new rider. After a while this extream spooking should calm down to the normal spooky horse spooks if that makes sense, stick with it, and if you are worried about confidence/riding skills im sure a couple of fun hacks of a good riding school horse should do the trick.

p.s. i know how it feels to be a long way down ...my newist horse is only 2yrs and already 17hh!!

olderyetwider Wed 17-Aug-11 13:47:45

My tip for anyone who feels it's a long way down is to put a neck-strap on while this is going on. It'll give you something to hang on to if you need it, and just having it there helps me to stop thinking about coming off (I have a hunting breastplate so nobody knows it's realy a comfort blanket!)

sprinkles77 Wed 17-Aug-11 22:05:16

I'd agree with much of what has been said above, and add that riding out in company will help while you and horse get used to each other.

If he is a bit full of beans so has more energy than you need and is putting it into spooking, try lunging him for 10 minutes before you ride.

I also ride spooky thoroughbreds. Their owner is very clear about this: any sillyness and the horse should be smacked, hard, on the back side not the neck, and immediately with the stick. The stick needs to have a wide flapper so it makes lots of noise! This was not something I was initially comfortable with though. If approaching something likely to generate spooking on the horse's left hand side, carry your stick in your right hand and keep your right hand down and with firm contact, like your outside rein when riding a circle. Ride really strongly forward, using half halts to keep the horse's attention. It feels counter intuitive to ride these flighty horses so firmly forward, but it keeps their attention on the job rather on the tigers plastic bags in the hedges. These horses are clever, they will test you out, and they know what they can get away with. They used to really scare me, not least of all because of their size, but my more forceful attitude has made a massive difference (I still see them take the piss with one of the other girls who carries a stick but doesn't use it)

Glackley Wed 17-Aug-11 22:54:13

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AlpinePony Thu 18-Aug-11 04:59:49

Very glad to hear you had a positive ride today!

When my confidence was at its lowest with my mare - and yes, she's big at 17.2hh and I'd come off a few times busting my collar bone - I went out and bought a 13.3hh Haflinger. It just feels safer and it gave me a confidence boost. He's long since been sold on, but I had some difficult times earlier this year with my mare (as I said before) and I had a few lessons in the summer with my old pony club teacher (another story entirely! grin) on one of her little 15hh cobs. It felt TIDDLY! wink But again, a massive confidence boost.

olderyetwider Fri 19-Aug-11 12:25:36

I have a diddy little mare because I'm a wuss! She's done wonders for my confidence.

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