Loosing hope with Section D

Goldie's mum

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I had a Welsh D x TB . We had a lovely bond but she was two horses in one skin, depending on how the details of her life were going.

1 When she was getting lots of interesting, varied and tiring things to do and lots of company she was forward but very safe. Hacked on the roads ignoring lorries, dogs, whatever. We were once in a group lesson when it thundered very loudly, right overhead. There was general mayhem, 2 horses bolted, a lady was injured, people were crying and running about; my girl stood in the middle, not just standing still but that "see, I'm standing TALL because I'm GOOD" kind of still.
2 Bored or over fed she was class A1 drama queen, no brakes and the spookiest horse I have ever ridden.

If you feel its safe to continue I'd get experts to ride her, both to teach her and to assess for you how to proceed. If you can just find the right buttons to press you may find you get along ok. See how you get on - remember you shouldn't feel guilty to find her another good home that suits her better if you need to.
 

AShetlandBitMeOnce

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The warmblood in my picture to the left absolutely had to be in front when cantering on a hack with anyone else otherwise he would deck me, without fail, everytime - and everyone else who tried for that matter. He wouldn't stop until you had hit the deck and once you had he was like a lamb for you to get back on and walk home, no adrenaline, no jogging, no misbehaviour or spookiness.. It might just be that your mare is the same as him and its something that they can't tolerate or deal with.

He could walk/trot behind, didn't mind lots of horses being around him in the school etc. Just that one situation.
 

SEL

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I used to be the crash test dummy for my friend's Ds if they'd had time off. Like others have said - at the front, on a hill, neck strap, heels down and keep riding. In those days I could sit a Welsh rodeo - a passing mountain bike team even gave me a round of applause 🙄 I think you've got over excited, haven't done this for a while exuberance IMO.

It's not just welshies though. My Appy cantering in company gave me whiplash with the bucks once. Fortunately she was so fat at the time I was wedged in place. Some horses just find fast work in company ridiculously exciting.
 

exracehorse

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I'm sorry you had a fall. It is a horrible feeling. Cantering in company is Very Exciting and some horses just react very strongly to being held back. My Welsh type lad is an angel to canter alone but did have a bucking fit when asked to canter behind my mare last year. 🙄 Nothing wrong with him physically, he was fine to canter alone, just being a pillock wanting to be in front.

Trust me he very much got threatened with being sold at that moment. Dingbat horse. We persevere though because of his angelic qualities and his big, handsome face. 😍🙄🙃

I'm lucky because when I feel a bit lacking in confidence or I'm worried about what the horse might do I can put my husband on the horse instead. 😝 If you don't have a willing husband it might be an idea to pay a professional to take her out for a hack and canter by herself to check how she responds without the excitement of company.

Basically it is up to you whether to continue or not. I don't think one incident in a very exciting situation means that there's anything wrong or that the relationship with the horse is hopeless. It does sound like there might be a slight mis-match with your confidence but only you can really determine that.
My boy is great to canter out. Solo .. or in front … put him behind in canter is a different matter.
 

Suzie94

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10 September 2021
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Wow, I’m so grateful for all the responses. Thank you all.
she is just on a snaffle bit. She’s not very strong on the mouth really and listens well to my hands (when she’s not being a buckaroo) She had her teeth last done in November and now you’ve mentioned it… the vet mentioned wolf teeth. But said they didn’t seem to cause her any issues because of their positioning but I definitely think I should get them out asap and see if that helps at all. I hate to think she’s in pain. But also hate to think she’s just being a d**k!!
We normally only hack out with company but now I’m on my own land and not on a livery we tend to go out alone a lot more. She is a lot more relaxed with company and likes to follow behind or side by side so I thought I’d go behind for the canter so the other (super chill horse) could pick the pace and when we stop! But maybe that’s it as well.. the pace was to slow for her and because she’s still young and unbalanced, it was hard for her?
feed wise she’s not on anything. Just grass and a hand full of light chaff to have her scoop of oestress supplement in.
I’ll try her this weekend on a hack by herself again and try for a short canter and see if she’s calmer about it. I’ll wear my BP!! If she’s good for that I’ll try her in front next time I’m with my friend.
Like I said, I’ve only had her just over a year and when I was at the livery yard there wasn’t really anywhere good to canter on a hack and she was naughty when I asked for it in the school so that’s why we haven’t done much of it. I will persevere. I will try everything and anything before selling her. That would be a last resort.
 

dixie

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Can you get a professional to ride her out a few times and explain you want to be able to canter and enjoy your hacks. They will know what to work on. Then they can come out with you a few times and give you guidance when you need it.
a few lessons in the school would probably help your confidence as well.

Taking a look at diet may help you as well. There are a few different things that some D's (most natives tbh) just don't do well on, especially when mixed with spring grass. Alpha, Soy, etc
I think this is a good idea.
you will be understandably nervous if you want to canter out again (well I know I would). If it were me I would get someone suitable out to take her out a number of times and makes sure she will canter safely in front and behind, and more than once. Probably at least half a dozen times.

Just think of it as schooling, like any other discipline. She is a young horse after all and you need to instil good discipline from the start.
Good luck - it sounds like she will be worth the effort.
 

Goldenstar

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I knew someone who works extensively with D’s who says if you proceed as if they are insane you will be fine .
You don’t say how old she is .
However I don’t think she’s an insane D I think she’s not getting enough work all horses who where bred as farm workers need as much work as they need to be calm and happy .
I think if you up her work and get a pro on to canter her at least twice a week things will likely to be fine .
You need to make cantering an everyday thing .
There’s no shame in selling her on to someone she suits better .
 

linka

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on a hack with another horse yes. Iv cantered in the school briefly (not asking her for too much). So I would say it was her being over excited but i know her excited little buck. This was about 5 massive bucks and a spin and drop of the shoulder to get me off.
speaking from experience some of the hacking Welsh Ds have been trained from a young age to expect speeeeeedy gallops as part of any hack out experience, so she might have snapped into that mode when you asked for canter. More brake installation by incremental means (training + bitting) might be the way to go.
 

chaps89

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I do love a Welsh, but as my current rides owner says, you need to have a special sort of sense of humour to deal with them.
It sound like it needs to become a more frequent and therefore boring thing for her - definitley get someone else on board for a few times if you can to get her over any yeehahs.
 

Dynamo

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I have a very quiet D, well most of the time, who is even a bit on the lazy side, but it took time to be able to canter calmly out on hacks. He would get really frustrated behind and do all sorts of out of character stuff. I was out on him yesterday and when the big horse in front had a little trot he had a bronc. It's mostly just as simple as wanting to be in front, and it's really not unusual, OP. Don't beat yourself up about it.

First, wear your body protector. Decide on a safe place and have someone with you on the ground (not necessarily walking with you, but say, meeting you at the spot where you're going to have a canter). Safe places for me would be not in a wide open field, but on a track, preferably slightly up hill. When teaching my niece to canter on her C I would take her to a sand track with hedges/fences along both sides, walk up ahead a few hundred yards, and then she would canter towards me, just focusing on going forwards, knowing that I was there at the stopping point. It might help you to do something like that. Being on a track of some sort gives the pony forward focus, which helps avoid any bucking.

Do that until you feel confident that you can go and stop when and where you want on your own. Give it time. One tiny canter per ride to start, then a little further, then two, and so on, until you feel you can canter whenever it suits you and come back to walk safely and calmly. When you go out with someone else, don't go from walking along the road to suddenly having a canter on a field. Trot a bit, ask pony to go behind in trot if you can, or alongside, or in front if necessary. Agree with your hacking buddy where you are going to canter and where you are going to stop, and ask to go in front. It's often the case that the more experienced person will automatically go in front to lead, but you need a hacking buddy who understands how to help you and to allow you to go in front. Agree it before you set off; explain your aims. Take it one small step at a time. You may find that you always need to be the one in front - some are just like that and no amount of training, saddle fit checks, different bits, etc. will change it.

If you plan it and put the time in, with the right help, it should only take a a couple of months to get to where you want to be. If your aim is to be able to amble along in canter now, in front or behind, side by side, without having to think about it, without having to take the time to do the training type stuff (and absolutely no suggestion of criticism at all, if that's the case), then sell and get something that is a more experienced hacker, used to doing fun rides and farm rides in company and very easy going.
 

Leandy

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The behaviour you describe could easily just be that of an excited or unsure green horse although I would certainly get those wolf teeth seen to if I were you. Of course not all section Ds are the same. All horses are individuals, both because they vary in natural characteristics and because they all have varied training and experiences. Have you made a mistake? Yes possibly in buying (by the sounds of it although you don't give specifics) a young, green horse when you are not a confident rider. Is she what you bought, yes by the sound of it she is still a young green horse and it seems that what you have done with her has not made a more educated and established horse. Is she now what you hoped she would be? It sounds not. This is all resolvable I would think if you have the confidence and ability to do so but probably not if you haven't. I think you need to work with and get advice from a good instructor.
 

LaurenBay

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Sounds like she just had a bit of a yipee moment! super fun for her (not so much for you)

Next time you try, try up a hill if you can, it will make it harder for her to buck as she will need her back end to get up the hill. Also I would be tempted to try her in front. My late mare could be a PITA cantering behind but was perfect in front. Go with a calm Horse and ask the rider not to overtake or come up next to you and to stay behind you.
 

Ratface

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Thinking some more about Ms. Buckaroo, I think the idea of going in front, if you're out in company, is a good one. I had a Welsh C who would try to do handstands if she was no first off in caner. Sweetness and light, plus immediate brakes if she went first.
Worth a try? Keep safe, and good luck.
 
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