Feeling awful...horse flipped over in side reins
I have a very quiet and laid back 6 year old who is green but going well w-t-c and learning his dressage basics. I'm an experienced rider working with an instructor. I have lunged him in side reins before, starting very loose and gradually progressing to a light contact.
Today in a lesson my instructor increased the contact a little more than before. Not cranking him in by any means, just a steady contact with a bit of bend to the inside. He was going well like this trotting and cantering, but at one point stopped and wouldn't go forward. With little warning, he went over backwards. When my instructor was trying to adjust the side reins after this, he went over again, almost like he was throwing himself over. He was not visibly hurt and was sound (thank god) but was shaken. She decreased the contact to almost none and he finished the session well like this. We gave him a bute and checked him over, and he seemed just fine.
I am feeling horrible about this. He is an incredibly sweet horse who has never resisted going forward under saddle, much less to rear. Obviously the contact was too much for him at this stage, which my instructor freely admitted - she was just as shocked and horrified as I was.
Has this ever happened to anyone out there before? If so, did it cause long term training damage? Does anyone have suggestions on how to minimize the trauma from this unfortunate event? My instructor told me to just longe him for 5 minutes a few times this week with very light side rein contact to let him know that it is OK.
Any advice would be helpful, but I ask that you please do not attack me or my instructor. I am sincerely asking for constructive ideas for the best of this sweet horse. Thanks.