|Kentucky almost 7 year old Racking horse
ridden on dirt road where they took up the tracks by novice rider.
Question: I've only had the horse for a week. she's a Palomino Mare.
From one day to the next you don't know if she will do what you want or
not. Yesterday she was fine
Where I live they have took up the train tracks behind my house so it
is a great place to ride her but she stubs up and doesn't want to go up
the hill. I have no idea what to do and am starting to get really
scared of her. I don't want to sell her but leaving that as my last
alternative! If anyone can please help me it would be greatly appreciated!
From Panelist Carol
A lot of new horse owners have problems with their horses. It could be that your horse is not trained very well or it could be that you are not communicating what you want her to do in a way that she can understand it. I reccommend that you look up the Parelli natural horsemanship site on the web and take advantage of the help that they offer to new horse owners like you.
I don't usually solicit personal business on this forum but if you would like for me to evaluate your mare, I am located near Nashville, Tennessee and may not be too far. The Parelli website is www.parelli.com
Carol Camp Tosh
From Panelist Liz
I might check that the saddle is fitting her. This is one possibility and is she in the same type bit that she is familiar with? If you find that this is not the problem. I would recommend getting some help such as riding lessons.
Someone that can help you to hook up with this horse, learn what her signals are and teach you to work together and avoid fights and handle challenges she may be doing to test you. The very best horse can at times challenge a new rider or you may just be giving signals that are unfamiliar to her and she is getting confused and showing you the only way she can.
From Panelist Stella
One week is not a very long "period of adjustment." Remember that horses are more so creatures of habit than humans, and not machines; she is having to get used to new surroundings, new people, new food, possibly different daily routines on eating/working, new tack, different "feel" of how the rider is communicating, and when.
Put yourself in her position, if everything in your life suddenly totally
changed - it would take you some time to adjust-physically and mentally
- to again be "your best self." It may very well be that your saddle doesnt
fit her properly, as far as her kicking at it; she may have been fine a
day, then had some back muscle soreness from the saddle by the next day
where it was put on the sore spots again; perhaps the saddle pinches more
While its true that horses often will "test" their new riders to see who's the boss, that usually happens AFTER the horse has adjusted and gotten used to new surroundings. Initially, its more a matter of simply not yet "having their bearings," understanding differences in cues, unsure of the surroundings, not yet trusting the owner/rider or clearly understanding whats expected.
It best to give the horse the benefit of the doubt the first few weeks.
If she did not respond, the first question to ask is - did I give the cue
correctly - and thats true for experienced riders, not just novices. If
she refused going towards an area NEW TO HER....first check to see what
there may be making her fearful of approaching. We tend to get familiar
with our surroundings and eventually not really "see," and a good rider
needs to hone their consciousness and empathy, develop a sense of seeing
from the horse's
Even though she's almost 7, being you mentioned you were told "she just needs to be rode" usually means she's still green and not very experienced, and likely not to dealing with lots of new places either. If a new horse refuses, then on continued quiet yet firm encouragement from the saddle, gets frantic, I'll assume there's something new to them in that area that is making them fearful, and being they dont know me yet well enough to trust me,get off and handlead them all around it, putting myself between them and whatever out there may be "the boogieman;" encouraging each timid step, yet establishing myself as their "fearless protector/leader." Then you can either mount right there, or repeat the entire scenario from the saddle. There may be several places you may need to do this, but its a good opportunity to establish your leadership position and gain trust by still "getting the job done" in a safe, non-frustrating, non-combative manner. On a really timid horse, it usually only takes 2-3 times til a new place may make them respond cautiously,need only a bit of gentle coaxing, but no longer overtly refuse....and then you're working as a team. And thats the most rewarding part of horse ownership,not the ride but the interrelationship, mutual responsiveness and trust.
You mentioned that you had "no idea what to do, and were starting to
get scared of her"...well, your horse may be feeling exactly the same way!
Try to have a fresh outlook by trying to see from her perspective, too;dont
take things for granted, increase your awareness - visual,auditory,tactile,kinetic,
the other non-verbal communication forms
From Panelist Nancy
Lisa, you are really apt to get hurt by this mare. Rather than
continuing trying to get along with her, I would suggest that you let the
people who say she is "really a good horse and just needs to be rode" have
her and they can ride her and you get a nice horse that is well trained
and gentle. If you do change horses, be sure and test ride the prospective
horse very thoroughly. Sorry for this answer to your problem, but
I don't believe that a novice
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