my worst ever ride, totally gutted and not sure what to do...

shadowboy

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I have a 4 year old native. I have been riding 22 years and have backed all my horses myself. I consider myself to be experienced but over the years my confidence has ebbed away as I have become older...
Nevertheless I have felt safe on ky youngster as he has proven pretty unflappable. However, he has been spooky recently but nothing serious until today......
I was having a lesson with my instructor, he was going amazingly and so we decided to do some canter work (we haven't done much as he's young) he went into canter beautifully but then bolted, full on bolted 3 laps full pelt of the arena before I finally got unsealed and was thrown into the fence as did a sudden turn as we came to the fence as pulling him to stop didn't work. I will be honest and say I've never been so afraid in my life. I don't really know what to do now as obviously my confidence is shot and will affect my riding, and its also made me wonder if I'm the right person for him as I'm not very confident and he obviously needs it.... pointless post really but I'm just so upset.
 

mjcssjw2

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oh dear, hope you are ok. I think the confidence can receed with age (ops that sounds rude- its not meant to)
What about stepping back a bit and doing some lunging again making sure you can get him back to trot without an issue.
What about lunging him with you on?
If you are not to happy with the canter go back to walk and trot and do lots and lots of transitions until you are certain he understands.
Could you try a calmer for him to help with his spookiness?
May it help to try the canter behind a very steady horse to give him some confidence, just a couple of strides to start with?
I would keep going with the lessons as it always seems easier with someone telling you what to do.
What did your instructor do whilst all this was going on, did she give a clue as to why she thought it happened?
 
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FairyLights

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(((((((((HUGS))))))))))))) Not a pointless post at all being bolted with is terrifying. Cut yourself some slack. I think its a good idea to go right back to the beginning. Just do work on the ground for now , leading, grooming walking out in hand. Do this for several weeks until you and your horse are really comfortable together. Then start long reining and back him all over again. There is no rush or pressure. When you feel a bit better then riding a very quiet old schoolmaster should help with confidence and getting back in the saddle.
It goes without saying to check your horses back and teeth and saddle fit.
 

Syrah

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Sorry to hear that :(

Do you know what causes the spooking? Or what caused the bolt? Has your instructor ridden him?

I would go back to ground work, build your trust in him and also cut out any hard feed if he's getting any.

Take your time getting back on. Make sure you have someone with you and take baby steps. Even if you just get on and walk for 5 mins the first time, longer the next then try trotting and progress at your own speed.

I think confidence is a bit more fragile the older we get :)
 

Goldenstar

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Get him cantering on the lunge . Meanwhile ( speaking as someone older myself)
Get a good young rider to ride him until the canter is established and perhaps get some sessions on a schoolmaster to rebuild your confidence.
If you have not been cantering much concentrate on that don't give up on a horse you like just because you need a bit of support to get you though a difficult stage.
Good luck
 

shadowboy

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The instructor and my OH who was watching can't figure out what caused it! Once I fell off she caught him and walked him over to where I fell off so I could get back on. She then led him round while I was on him as I. Was too chicken to ride alone to start with. He had done canter work on Saturday and was foot perfect then. He is currently on a herbal calmer. I'm so worried I'm too chicken to do him justice anymore. Instructor is coming to ride him for me on Monday next week.
 

darkhorse123

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I agree with the giving yourself some slack. Im 46 and can confirm confidence in everything does so decrease with age!
My cob has been spooky since we moved yards and i have gone to step one with him - bonding.
I just brought him in and groomed him for a couple of days then slowly led him round yard.
I then increased the leading further and further each time - nice, slow and steady - having a good old natter and occasional stroke and rub on way round - love it. Just me and him enjoying each others company again instead of dreading it!
Theres no rush! Your meant to enjoy him - take the pressure of you and him and step right back to basics - I promise you wont regret it :)
 

fatponee

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Awww what a crappy thing to happen! I'm not very good at advice, but I would say not to panic or make any rash decisions. Tomorrow is a new day! See what he is like with your instructor on Monday and take it from there. :)
 

Holly Hocks

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Calm down - it won't seem as bad tomorrow. I speak as someone who has lost all my confidence with a nappy TB mare! Think about whether you really want to carry on with the horse in question or whether you can part with it. If the answer is (as it was in my case) that you want to carry on, then you have to rebuild your confidence slowly. Forget canter ( I have!). Stay in walk and trot only - as slow as possible and go from there. Good luck - I know exactly how you feel right now - probably sick to the pit of your stomach and quaking at the thought of getting back on. I still start shaking inside when I get on my mare, but each time is getting easier and my riding is getting more confident and it will for you too. Good luck, I hope you succeed.
 

Goldenstar

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Don't panic take a little time if your instructor will ride him that's great you just need some help though this stage some youngster are difficult in the cantering stage it uses different muscles particularly in the back you just need to step back ride him in walk and trot and let others do the test piloting for a while .
I really would ride a schoolmaster a few times to check your balance in the canter.
 

Syrah

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Agree with everyone else, don't panic and don't put too much pressure on yourself.

Riding a schoolmaster/mistress is a great idea. I did that when I lost my confidence totally last year, it gave me the confidence in my riding to get back on my mare (even though it wasn't her who lobbed me off).

Watching someone else ride him before you get on will help and if you ride on the lunge/lead rein for a while - so what, if it helps, do it :)
 

Bethie

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Deep breathe, tomorrow's another day. He's a baby, its probably a one off. If it does happen again then you can start looking for links/causes.

Is he cantering happily out on hacks yet? If not, then I wouldn't be cantering in the school, even big schools are small areas when you are a horse that can't balance yet going round corners.

In the meantime, teach him an emergency stop aid. Start on the ground, then on board in walk, then trot and get it really established that he KNOWS that what you do means to stop immediately, and make it something that you don't do at any other time, and that every time you do it he responds and gets an appropriate reward, whatever that may be for you and him. Then you've got a chance that he might remember it if he goes into a panic. Mine stops when my hand goes in my jacket pocket - he knows to stop and get a polo, he works well for food! My old horse stopped to a complete drop in the contact and stroke of the neck.
 

shadowboy

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I think it was the complete loss of brakes which scared me. It was a genuine bolt, total lack of control. I don't know what could cause this? Especially after 20min of outstanding work. I have run through reasons such as something wrong with his eyes? Teeth? (last done mid August) spring grass making him wired? Me, bouncing down on him by accident? (i don't think this happened but I may have inadvertently) or a genuine spook- but then I can't understand the bolt which consisted of 3 loops of a 30x40 school. I guess I'm concerned he will do it again and that he's now a 'bolter'
 

iris

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Hi I've been here for yonks but have never actually posted but I really feel for you so I said I'd reply.
Perhaps you are well able to ride him it just maybe that you need to re-address your perception and reactions and take control of situations that weren't on the agenda.
I've seen many youngsters do the "bolt and jolt" gig with riders but I've seen where riders didn't tense and went with the movement and as the youngster tried to pull up they cantered them until they were very tired. They tend not to use that trick again as it results in a lot of hard work- 1-0 to the rider!!!
 

shadowboy

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Thank you all! He canters very well on hacks- and round our gallops.

We were running through a walk trot test I was supposed to be doing on sat... I think that will be out now :( despite spending 80 on lorry and 12 on entry fees.
Hopefully will feel better tomorrow! Thank you for all the advice it been hugely reassuring and supportive
 

Goldenstar

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I think it was the complete loss of brakes which scared me. It was a genuine bolt, total lack of control. I don't know what could cause this? Especially after 20min of outstanding work. I have run through reasons such as something wrong with his eyes? Teeth? (last done mid August) spring grass making him wired? Me, bouncing down on him by accident? (i don't think this happened but I may have inadvertently) or a genuine spook- but then I can't understand the bolt which consisted of 3 loops of a 30x40 school. I guess I'm concerned he will do it again and that he's now a 'bolter'
It's a blip that's all young horses have them but as we age blips become harder to deal with so just work though it with help he spooked you probally a guess lost balance perhaps ? Banged his back all horses are hard wired to bolt its in their nature it does not mean if he's been a sane and sensible youngster you have a huge issue to deal with you are so spooked by this because it's hit you that you don't want to deal with it it's shaken you when you were a brave rider when young that does shake you it shook me but you just get help and make a plan and get though it trust me you will.
 

dafthoss

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First of all dont feel bad at all. Its great that your instructor will ride him, can she do the dressage you had planned on him?

I'd get your instructor to school him a bit more and just stick to what your happy with for now. He is young though so dont hold it against him he was probably tired at the end of the lesson as well which wont have helped (if its any reasurance my native is finding monsters in thin air right now). Does any one else have something of similar type to him that you can get on and have a canter round a few times? it might make you feel more confident.

Hugs, dont let it get you down.
 
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