Pa-eternally laboring in the infinite creative and sustentative work of the universe
Originally Posted by JustJump
And I can't BELIEVE the variety of answers you are getting here. They are all over the map. A great reason not to rely on advice from strangers on the internet.
I think thats because we are assessing from written information from one party. I might feel differently if I were to handle the horse, or actually see the owner handle the horse, or listen in on a session between owner/trainer.
We are getting only one side and a paraphrased side of another -- if the horse could talk, well, then.... Im sure there would be even more options!
But, the dilemma is a rider falling off -- obviously, some backing up needs to be done somewhere.
Ive seen riders overassess their abilities, their horses abilities, Ive seen trainers push students too fast 0r keep them paced much too slow -- we all have experienced this to some degree --thus, this is what makes learning so individual.
From what I can gather here, the horse and rider need to build a stronger foundation of basics -- no, I dont ever advocate riding without stirrups, no, a trainer flinging their arm isn't cause to spook, (but then a trainer should know not to make sudden movements as such either) -- the owners statement of jumping higher caught my attention -- never right to go higher , if you cant manage the course/ gymnastics of a 2'course, that simply wont work.
Each day, each lesson should be an assessment before planning the next day/lesson -- thats true training.
OP, I have read only about half of the responses but I agree with young horses can a challenge at times. But I have also known "bomb proof" ones to suddenly rear, spin, bolt and terrorize their riders at times. I think your falls are part of deal we make with horses (I would not be taking my feet out of the stirrups with a young horse).
Horses are not the only sport that puts us in danger of severe accidents. My son plays ice hockey and has had a few injuries. Checking is allowed next year and it really is a rough sport. And yes, I am much older and have a young OTTB and have had one accident to date on the ground walking him. Take care, be super carefull and enjoy.
Exactly. Based on your description of the horse, yourself, and the falls in question, I'd keep the horse. The stuff you are describing is just the kind of thing that happens sometimes with horses. You seem to realize that. This trainer person has her own issues to work out.
I suppose they have their place, but in my mind, no practice ride is so important I can't wait on the farrier. JMHO.
You didn't say why your trainer "flung her arm up", maybe there was a bug.
You ride a green OTTB, I don't see Mike Smith dropping his stirrups on the way back from the race, perhaps that isn't such a good idea, at least not on this particular horse.
You're 23 years old. We don't know how well you ride. If he took the big one over a 2' fence, perhaps you should return to crossrails until he is so bored he trots over them dragging his feet. If you didn't feel the big one coming and lost your legs to the rear that bad, then well, perhaps you should really really work on your lower leg and core strength.
Here's what I suspect. You have a decent OTTB who may or may not have lots of talent, he's what you could afford. You ride just well enough to stick with some, but not all of the baby stuff.
You've already been hurt. Next time, it may be very badly. I speak from experience. All my horses from age 20 thru age 40 were OTTBs because, that's what was in the budget. Before I got the first one on my own, however, I had started 10 or so under expert supervision and both my skills and fitness were top notch. I'm guessing yours is not.
You don't say why you left your last trainer, but... I'm guessing you wanted to progress faster than she thought you could do safely, since you said she was very safety concious.
A great many of us learned to ride exactly the way you are doing it, and what most of us learned is this.
#1. Concussions add up, really.
#2. The ground is hard
#3. No matter how wonderful you think a horse is, if he's too much horse for you, both of you will go backwards, you 'll be scared, he'll be a hot mess for the next girl.
#4. You don't ride as well as you think you do. (None of us do, it's just confidence)
The funny thing is, these lessons still apply, no matter how far up the ladder you go, there will always be a horse you own that perhaps, is not the right horse, or not at the right time. Age and wisdom, while humbling, decrease that possibility, at some point you will go "uh, no, not ever again will I own a horse that (fill in the blank).
It may or may not be the right horse for you, you may or may not have the actual ability to train it to do what you desire. Determination, while admirable,is not a substitute for actual knowledge, though you've at least learned two of the good lessons from the "I own an OTTB handbook" the first being, never, ever, let your guard down" the second is "damn, that sucker is quick".
My suggestion is you have someone who's opinion you truly value (not someone who tells you what you want to hear) come and evaluate both you and your horse and give you honest feedback.
Then, try not to ignore that and try not to get hurt.
Concussions add up. Something I wish I'd learned in the 70's and 80's.
I make my living with my brain, I'm trying to take better care of it now.
I think the key thing is not so much that concussions add up, but that they add up IF you don't let them heal fully. (Which takes longer than you might think, because you can feel better before your brain has actually fully recovered.) This is an important distinction because someone might go 'oh, well, I'm a rider so I'm at risk for concussions anyway so I'll probably end up with problems no matter what' if they think that it doesn't matter how you treat/care for the concussion, the damage is done. Recent research indicates that it very much does depend on how you care for the concussion - if you let it heal fully before risking another one, the indications right now are that you're not generally at any more risk for cumulative damage than someone who gets a concussion for the first time ever.
(Generally because I imagine it depends on the severity of the concussion and so on, also.)
So take it seriously, take time to heal, make sure your doctor is aware of the most recent concussion research and treatment protocols, and BE PATIENT. It might seem like forever now to not be able to ride, but go and read about some of the problems people have from cumulative concussion damage and weigh how important it is to get on your horse Right This Second against a lifetime of major issues. (Some of which may prevent you from ever riding again.)
What exactly are you feeding this horse? I have TB's and TB/warmblood crosses. They do quite well on a handful of straw/grass chaff and a smidgeon of oats balanced with vits, mins, and flax. I add an alfalfa chaff, more oats, and sometimes rice bran when competing. They are not skinny by any means. Really, less is more. But in this day and age if you aren't spending a fortune on food and supps you get frowned upon. Take it with a grain of salt if you like. FWIW, mine aren't spooky. They don't need lunged before ridden and nobody has ever fallen off of them no matter what has happened.
Next point. He's quite reactive from your description. While we can never prepare them for every eventuality, we can get them to cope with less than perfect from us. I can canter around the ring on a loose rein and pat my mares on their butt and nothing happens. I broke mine too so I've gotten them used to all sorts of things beyond always being in the perfect position at all times. My feet have been on their shoulders, up their sides, wherever. I've had awkward jumps and landed funny and yet I've not had any silly responses. Obviously I ride my horses normally but they've also had lots of me "cheap suiting" them as well. I don't see the point in worrying about what happens if.
If at 23 you are worried about what if's this is going to be a long road to travel. Stuff happens on the quietest of horses. You sound to me if you are starting to worry on this horse. Outside people are also making you feel this way. If you start riding defensive things will go downhill rapid and horse is only going to get more reactive. Are there any other horses you can ride to give you a bit of confidence? This actually does help when riding a more difficult horse.
None of this may help you. It's advice over the Internet. I don't know you or your horse. Also being a TB you won't need the reserves this horse has. You say he gets fit easy. I'm sure he does. He will also hold that fitness better than most breeds. Meaning lunging before you ride and over feeding isn't going to help. You said he paces in turnout. Does he have a buddy? Is turnout all day? These little things can contribute to a bigger problem.
Best of luck,
COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.
"I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.
Sounds to me like he is a green bean and he's acting like a green bean. He's been out of consistent work for some time too which is affecting his fresh behavior. From your description; it does not sound at all like he is intentionally bucking you off, it sounds to me like he's feeling his oats and he wanted to have some fun. If you're not afraid of him then i'd suggest keeping him and carrying on where you left off.
Falling off is part of owning and riding horses and if he's young and inexperienced: he's going to have his moments. Horses like this are the type that teach people literally HOW to ride; it's how you handle the situations he presents you with that are going to tell you what to do. If you're afraid; sell him to someone more experienced.
If not, pony-up and continue on. When dealing with youngsters, no matter how much you want to trust them, you always need to be expecting them to do something stupid. It's going to happen. I'm sure I won't be the first to say that takign your stirrups out to cool the horse down is not a brilliant idea. It's ok to be on edge and prepared for anything but make sure your nervousness (if you have any) is not affecting the horse.
If he's randomly spooky; then I'd suggest doing plenty of groundwork. Pull out the blue tarps, set up some umbrella's around the arena, buy ballons and tie them around the jump standards. Start with lunging and then progress to riding with distractions. The more distractions presented to him NOW; the more confident he gets.
Lastly; I'd be a bit concerned if a previous instructor called me and started dishing advice about a situation she didn't even witness. If you're confident and you like your horse; keep at it. Don't let anyone discourage you. Wear a safety vest and a cetified helmet and take the proper precautions. It sounds to me like your confident in yourself and your horse so enjoy him and keep working. Consistent, daily work is a must so keep that in mind
I don't even think that the situations you described that led to your falls were even "green horse" related. I think they are just "horse related," lol. Horses are not robots, after all. Stuff happens. Horses play on the other side of fences after a long one sometimes. Horses spook at someone making a sudden movement, or a bush that looks ready to attack, or, heck, sometimes nothing at all. Hopefully, most of the time you can sit through the sillies. Sometimes, not so much.
Hyperfocusing on it doesn't help anyone at all, so I think it was frankly a disservice that your former trainer called to you freak you out about this. I'd personally forget that call ever happened, put the falls behind you, and start riding again when your doctor clears you.
As for the Easy Boot: I agree that I wouldn't ride in one - I would just wait for the farrier to put the shoe back on (and I wouldn't use a farrier that wouldn't do that pretty darn quickly). But, to each his own on that kind of thing. I know people who do it. I don't think it is some big lapse in judgment that proves you shouldn't own or ride horses, ever.