Afraid To Ride This Horse?

I recently started riding a horse of a friend. She had not been rode for a year. When I started riding her, I kicked her a little because she wouldnt walk, she went crazy bucking. I got her calmed down and everything else went pretty smooth. She was trained and boarded at a ranch I used to take lessons at for a while, then moved to the owners land. As I rode her, I noticed how nervous she was and decided to try to take it slow. Barely any cantering. But she has been getting worse and worse. She started rearing too. She would get really nervous and gallop up the hill to the barn. The last time I rode her, she went crazy and started to gallop up the hill, I decided to jump off and landed in the snow. Then I got her owner and he checked her over and said she was fine. So I got back on and rode her down the hill and started walking around. I had trouble and she started rearing a little, then she took off up to the barn, but she didn’t stop when she got there, so I decided to jump off. I don’t remember anything between then and after getting up. Her owner accidentally left the gate open and she got out and ran around. He decided she was in heat. I learned I got a concussion, but he does not know it because I went home right after and he went back inside when he caught her. Now I am afriad to ride her. I was before, and I know that’s bad, but I made myself go at least once a week. It got to where I could only ride her for a few minutes and then had to get off. What I really want to do it is take her back to the ranch and do lessons with her. I really want to keep riding her, because I love riding, but all I do is muck out the stalls for 30-90 min.( which he doesnt put shavings in and doesnt muck out very often) and ride her for a few minutes. I am to shy to ask the owner to move her to the ranch, because I don’t want them to think all that me riding her is doing is making them spend more money, and there is another horse that probably wouldn’t do good to stay there alone. But I don’t know what to do. I can’t start riding again being this scared, I think she can pick up on it. Please help me, I don’t know what to do.

Please don’t be rude in your answers. I really don’t want to give up on this horse. I feel so bad for her. She deserves better. I just want advice, if you don’t have anything worthwhile, don’t say anything.

The owner kind of knows what she is doing. He saw me fall off. But I don’t know if he cares. I don’t think he is mistreating them, I just think they need to be trained again. I honestly barely see him at all, and every time I talk to him, he is in a rush to get back to work or back in the house. I don’t know when I would be able to talk to him.
I started riding when i was 8 or 9, taking lessons every summer. the last 2 years i have been taking continual lessons year around. In my current lesson, I ride a horse that doesnt behave well either. The owner keeps the horse on his land, and does not have an indoor arena or an outdoor arena. Just a pasture. He used to board them and had them trained at Circle C Ranch, in MN. they are his horses, I can’t just tell him to move them and pay up to 0 a month so I can ride them. I’m 15, it’s not really my place. Thanks for all the good answers(except for the last one, I believe that a horse should be punished when needed, but the way you are making it, that would make the horse hate me so much she would probably kill me. I don’t know where you learned to ride, but the way you are riding is WRONG. I have rode enough to know that.)

8 Responses to “Afraid To Ride This Horse?”

  1. Kate Says:

    first of all, how experienced of a rider are you? if you’re a "green" rider, you probably shouldn’t be allowed on a horse like that anyway.

    second: the horse has outsmarted you. she knows that if she misbehaves you’ll get off of her and she won’t have to work. first get her vet checked for soreness. check her teeth and also make sure all of your tack fits. if that’s not the issue, try lunging her a before you get on her. wear spurs too and a helmet if you don’t already. and you obviously don’t need to be riding this horse out in the open either. ride in the arena or round pen, there isn’t really an excuse for a place to not have one or both of those. or maybe stick a cc of ace in her before you get on.

    also ride her as often as possible. maybe even more than once a day. especially ride the pee out of her in the summer when it’s hot and she won’t have the "winter stupids." on days when you can’t ride her, put her saddle on and crank the girth up tight as if you were going to ride her and then tie her up in the corner of a stall and let her stand there for hours on end. that will make her think that any minute someone’s going to come in the stall door and get her out to be ridden, which is a good mental workout. you could also experiment with tack changes such as harsher bits, a tie down, etc.

    when you ride, ride that biotch like you hate her stinkin guts. you’ll figure out what that means soon enough. you should be able to feel it if she’s getting ready to do something bad. if she tries to be a jerk, whip her butt and give her hell. if she pulls her nose down to buck, snatch her head back up and pull her nose to your knee because they can’t buck like that. if she rears, lean forward and give her the reins so she doesn’t fall over, then whoop her butt when her feet are back on the ground.

    every horse is different. some perform better if you’re nice to them, some need to have their butts chewed up and handed to them every day.

    if all else fails find another place to ride.

    in a nutshell: DO NOT BE NICE TO THE HORSE

  2. Fennec Fox Says:

    Getting a few minutes of riding time on a rearer for cleaning stalls is a rip-off. I wouldn’t ride her if it was me–not worth it.

    That horse needs to have her back, feet, teeth, etc. checked to rule out physical pain. I’d rear too if a saddle was pinching me.

    If it’s not physical pain, she needs an experienced rider to work with her.

  3. EmEquine Says:

    It sounds like this horse is in a bad environment, and that the behavior is a bit beyond your level. Here’s what I’d do.

    Firstly, stop riding. Obviously it’s not safe at the moment, and the horse isn’t enjoying it.
    Secondly, talk to the owner. Explain what the horse has been doing, what you’ve been doing, and that you’ve gotten seriously hurt.
    After you present the problem, if they don’t recognize this on their own, you need to tell them firmly that this horse needs a vet inspection and needs to work with a trainer. If they know how to work with horses, they can do it. Something obviously needs to be done. I also get a bad feeling from the fact that they don’t muck the stalls, and that they would be hesitant to spend money on their animals.

    If they don’t act, you need to asses if the situation is something that might need to be reported to authorities. If the horse’s aren’t getting exercise, are kept in stalls all day, are kept in un-mucked stalls, or if you have other evidence of neglect or possible abuse, (could be a reason the horse is acting up), don’t be shy about reporting the owner to the SPCA, ASPCA, or whatever other organizations there are around you. At the least, they’ll come asses the situation and stir the owner into needed action.

    Best of luck!

  4. Raven Riverstone Says:

    There is no one answer to your question. It could be a number of things. It could be as simple as getting the teeth floated or changing gear and bits. I think maybe starting on the ground is the bet. Have her learn to trust you and you her. Start by leading her around, spending time with her. A horse and rider work in symetry, not against eachother. After a few days, start by putting the saddle on her and walking her around. A few days later, move to riding her at a walk. She how she acts. a few days later, work up to a trot. Etc. You stated she hasn’t been ridden in a year… why would she like to be now? Start slow.. If she still continues to rear after a few weeks of taking it slow.. then she needs to have a vet look at her.

  5. Casey Mariee Says:

    Well if shes galloping away and you know shes nervous- thats her flight reflex just relax.
    i would start by lunging her where she gets nervous and teach her that its nothing to worry about. if she keeps her head held high and snorts alot- keep calm and keep working her. once you see her relax- drop her bottom lip, lower her head, let out a big sigh, yawn. stop her and praise her. once you see that you can take her down there and she shows no signs of stess or fear, start riding her down there again and in the case she starts to tense up hop off stop her, get her mind set in a stable condition and lunge her some more- wait till shes calm and ride again.
    NOTE: dont just take her down there to work, bring some grain down one day and let her eat down there, and let her munch on some grass, and pretty much just chill with her, and take some time out and instead of riding her just relax with her. dont make her think that every time she goes down there its to work.

  6. Joel D Says:

    I didn’t see an answer I’d agree with in the posts above me. First you should stop riding this horse. I know it’s not the answer you wanted to hear, but it’s the truth. The reason why is this horse is either green or misbehaved. I’m not being insulting, but at the moment you don’t have the skill and knowledge to ride this horse. I really do encourage you to ride horses, but not this one. If you ever feel uncomfortable about riding a horse then walk away. Don’t even let anyone guilt you or hassle you into riding. Your bad feelings are instincts. They are telling you it’s not safe. Everyone has them and I tend to listen to mine. You have to decide if what they’re telling you is unreasonable or not. For instance if you are terrified to get on a horse because you’ve never been on one, but it’s a dead broke kids horse, then it’s probalby unreasonable. If it’s a situation like you’re describing then it’s definately not.

    I can tell you from personal experience that the last time I had a bad feeling about a horse and ignored it I was almost killed because of it. It took me years to get over that fear and what did it was that I was riding a horse that I had 100% confidence in. You can easily find that in lesson horses and you’d be learning to control the horse at the same time. 90% of good riding and a good horse is you. Even a dead broke horse will test you and you need to know how to recognize the bad behaviour and the correct response. In your case you were accidently rewarding her for bad behavior. She bucked, reared, or ran and you jumped off. So she got what she wanted. Like I said above, this horse just needs training, consistency, and an experienced rider to tell her that certain things aren’t acceptable.

    One other thing I’d suggest is that you look into natural horsemanship. Any will do, because they all have the same techniques and lessons, but like most things you’ll find that certain ones will appeal to your style. I prefer Clinton Anderson, because he’s very clear and has very easy to understand lessons. They are easy to implement and are step by step. You can clearly see immediate results and those results last if you are consistent and do them correctly. He’s also got the most media, that’s the most well organized and cheapest. You can watch over 200 hours of his training if you join his online club for $20 a month. I also like Ken Mcknaab, Dennis Reis, John Lyons, and Craig Cameron alright. Dennis’ site I know from personal experience is terrible, though his training is good. Parelli is very popular, but I don’t like him because I think the mindset he gives people can be dangerous. He’s lovey dovey and cutsey and that can be dangerous when your horse doesn’t agree. I feel the same way about Monty Roberts.

    Either way, they all do a lot of ground work, Clinton more than most and this can give you a massive amount of confidence. It also gives you a tool box. If your horse misbehaves you can pull out one of your tools. If she starts acting bucky, then you can step off and make her really hustle her feet. Then get back on. She doesn’t win unless you get off and then dont’ get back on, but if you dont’ feel safe, then getting off is always fine. I hope i’ve given you some leads to either find a horse that you do have confidence in or how you can fix the horse you do have access to. Good luck.

  7. HJponygrrl15 Says:

    Horses like this make you a better rider.
    If your horse is bucking canter till she’s dripping. A nervous horse needs to go forward. A horse can’t buck at the gallop.
    Also going forward helps keep her energy channeled in a positive way, always reward your horse for going forward.

  8. Ninabi Bossert Says:

    Listen to your fear. Fear means you do not have the riding skills in your mental "toolkit" to ride this horse. If you knew what to do, you wouldn’t be afraid.

    That said, this is not your horse. What she needs is more than you can give her but you can’t because you aren’t the owner.

    She’s either dealing with pain or she has serious behavioral problems or both.

    Find another place to ride. Did you receive any lessons in horse handling on the ground? If not, seek out instruction in that area. If you do not receive respect on the ground from a horse, you won’t get it in the saddle. And I never get on a horse unless I’ve worked it on the ground to see how it moves and reacts.

    Be good to yourself and buy a quality helmet, too.