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new horse reared - I fell off :(

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  • new horse reared - I fell off :(

    I rode a new horse on Friday that I just recently purchased - he's a 3yo and lightly started. Never had a bucking, spooking or rearing problem with the trainer. I put my hunt seat saddle on him and she seemed girthy (he isn't usually) and then I lunged him and he was fine. I went to get on him and he was very funny in not wanting to walk forward, would take a few steps and back up. He took about a total of 10 steps and stood straight up on his hind end. I landed in a big heap -luckily nothing was broken and I had my helmet on!

    The gelding just stepped over me calmly (I landed between his front and back legs) and stood right next to me. Never even a spook out of hIM.

    Well, in my book that totally makes a horse a LOSER! So I called the trainer and told her and said I want to send him back! She was horrified (she's a well-known and respected trainer) and said this had NEVER happened before.

    Last night my friend (who rides a lot of young horses) got on him with just a western work saddle and the horse was perfect. Not the least bit girthy. They had a great ride!

    So now I'm wondering if I should push to send this horse back or let my friend ride her for a month or so until I decide if I ever want to get back on (at the moment I don't) but he's a SUPER horse.

    I did have a Thinline pad under the saddle and he is very high-withered, so could that have been it?

    What should I do??? I'm SOOOOO upset! Is this a complete no-go horse?? I've ridden lots of horses over the years (I'm 40+) and have been riding my entire life, so I'm not a beginner, but I don't want to get hurt any more!!!

  • #2
    The first thing I would do is decide if the horse is a gelding or a mare.

    If the former, I would refer to is as "he."

    If the latter, as "she."

    Sorry, it's been a long hot day. You're going to have a hard time getting a serious answer to your question if you can't even match gender to pronoun when referring to your horse.
    "I swear it happened just like this" - Leonard Cohen


    • #3
      I would bet quite a large sum of money that your saddle doesn't fit- and was causing the horse some pain.


      • #4
        If he's only three and the saddle doesn't fit that could absolutely cause him to rear. So sorry you had this experience, but if he's not rearing with other saddles that may be your problem.


        • #5
          One rear does not make a horse a bad actor. Are you working with a good trainer, one who has lots of experience with young horses? If you aren't, you might want to start, at least until you and your new horse get to know each other better and young horse is perhaps not quite so green.

          That hunt seat saddle may simply not have fit him well, and being a baby, he may have thought the best way to let you know was to rear. The Western work saddle may have been a better fit. Or maybe you did something funny that he wasn't used to when you got on, and your friend didn't. Sometimes it can be tough to tell with babies what's really bothering them, and their reactions to things aren't always "proportional" because they haven't yet learned what is a big deal and what is a Really Big Deal.

          For now? Make absolutely sure your saddle fits him. If he's still offering to go up, get a good trainer involved. (Personally I'd get a good trainer involved anyway, but that's just me ... some horses form habits more easily than others, and rearing is not something I would want to risk becoming a habit, so I'd be doing everything in my power to figure out what triggered this and how to avoid a repeat performance.)
          Full-time bargain hunter.


          • #6


            • #7
              Sounds like new horse and old saddle are a bad match, not that new horse is a bad horse.
              Originally posted by Silverbridge
              If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.


              • #8
                Agreed, saddle fit.

                If not saddle fit;
                Have a lesson with this trainer in her tack, she knows him/her. The 3 y/o mind has not experienced much, if you did or do something completely different from what your trainer or friend did, this could have made him or her react.

                Could be as simple as you being taller or shorter than friend and trainer.... Give the horse a chance. My 3 y/o bucked on me all of two or three times, never again because I didn't let her get away with it. Now she is a saint u/s. (for a 3 y/o )


                • #9
                  Ok. This horse literally just came from the trainers - and she is usually there when I ride most times. But when I was trying out this gelding it was with her there of course, and things were fine. But I do ride on my own at times, and this was one of those times!

                  It was a horrible experience, and I ended up in the ER for 2 hours getting xrays of my hip and elbow, but thankfully I'm just bruised. But I am scared! I've brought two other young horses along over the years, and maybe I've been lucky, but rearing is something that I've never encountered.

                  I must admit it freaked me out completely! Maybe I'm not cut out for a 3yo again...but he's so cool in every other way!


                  • #10
                    You said, he is a 3 year old and lightly started.. Then you described his girthiness... At this point already I would have been alarmed if it would have been my horse...

                    With a young horse you just have to be aware of any sign which might indicate trouble....

                    Maybe I would have just lunged him on a day like this. I have had a whole bunch of young horses over the last years and I´m elderly and very easy scared... So I just try to read my horses and try very hard to avoid any situations which I might be in the weaker position....
                    I think any situation which puts me in the looser position is bad... I try to avoid it before it happens.......
                    I´m strong in situations which I´m confident off... This way my horse never gets to know my weaknesses (hopefully)


                    • #11
                      I'd also bet it was the saddle fit. If he was being pinched he would not go forward. I am also going to say that if you can't judge the saddle fit and you are dealing with a young horse, you might want to consider getting your money back and buying an older horse that can teach you. You are bound to run into more training issues that you can't solve yourself and get in more dangerous positions until you are better trained as a horse person. It's the older horses that are generally more forgiving. Start with one of those!
                      "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


                      • #12
                        I'm 50+ and also have a relatively new horse. Things were getting a little more exciting than I liked, no rearing though, and I decided that I was at the point in my life that certain things, like BIG SPOOKS and BOLTS just weren't fun anymore even if I was staying on. Add to this that I work fulltime and ride in the evenings when it's cooler, darker and fewer people around.

                        My solution was to put him in training. We are making much faster progress than "home schooling" and he's happier in a program and I'm happier with him in a program with a great pro who is including lessons for me on him in the deal.

                        Give your horse a chance to be successful. If you are afraid, it's just a recipe for disaster. There's nothing wrong with being scared, sometimes it is exactly the right way to feel. If you can't or don't want to get help, give him a chance somewhere else.

                        A competent pro can also determine if the saddle fits
                        Last edited by atlatl; Aug. 15, 2011, 05:44 PM. Reason: of course check the saddle fit


                        • #13
                          Before you call the horse a loser in all capital letters I would suggest spending the money to get his saddle fit evaluated by a professional.

                          You will find that ensuring his comfort under tack is a mutually beneficial arrangement.
                          The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                          Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                          The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                          • #14
                            Another vote for ditching your current saddle. Also, another vote for getting on a program with a trainer. Even if you are doing all of the riding, taking 2-3 lessons a week can really speed up the process.


                            • #15
                              Some horses and people are wonderful creatures, separately, but do not make a good team. Does not make either party a bad individual, just not the right match.

                              If you do not want to get hurt anymore, want to have fun, and you are scared of this horse, DO NOT get back on him. Young horses are especially sensitive, they have not learned to "filter" our unintended messages yet, and respond to many signals we don't intend to send, nor aware that we are sending.

                              I have started a youngster that would stop from any gait if you held your breath for a split second, add leg - and you get a sliding stop, add reins and you are asking for a rear/flip. She is a lovely calm individual now, but it took very tactful and purposefully controlled and relaxed riding to get her there. She just REALLY wanted to do what was asked of her, NOW sometimes before one was aware of fully asking. LOL

                              Can you ride with the trainer at all times until you are quite sure of saddle fit and have regained your confidence? Or work on rehoming the horse to a more suitable match.
                              Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                              ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


                              • #16
                                With all due respect, I honestly really have a hard time taking any of your post seriously. Your calling your horse a 'LOSER' really irked me the most. That said, I'll add my $0.02 in the event you're not simply a troll. Hopefully I'm not wasting my time, but *shrug* I guess right now I have lots of it anyway

                                Rearing, bucking - these are behaviours horses make in response to something. While there may be no prior history of these behaviours, the right stimuli/factors to invoke such a response might not have been present in the past, where they are now. Your horse is honestly responding to something, so it's your job to figure out and address the root issue rather than labeling him a loser in all-caps. I highly suggest seeking the help and knowledge of a professional in this case.

                                If he seemed girthy when you first tacked him up, that was your first red flag. Red flag #2 was his not wanting to go forward. There were definitely other signs he gave you but when you ignored them, he had no choice but to escalate his communication to you - in this case, to rear.

                                I second having your saddle fit checked for fit by a professional saddle fitter (even two). If your friend and new horse clicked and she is a good trainer who can successfully bring along young horses, allow her to work with him and progress him. When you work with him yourself, do so under the guidance of an instructor with experience working with young horses. If he is not appropriate for your level of knowledge (which is the direction I am leaning toward based on your response), I do recommend sending him back or selling him (perhaps through the trainer you purchased him from); you are then free to find a horse more suitable to your level of knowledge (and as already mentioned, there certainly is absolutely no shame in that).

                                "There are no problem horses, only problem riders"
                                - it's always more about us than it is the horse.

                                Do what's best by your horse and yourself. Good luck
                                Last edited by naturalequus; Aug. 15, 2011, 06:18 PM.
                                ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                                ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Sure I'm Famous View Post
                                  What should I do??? I'm SOOOOO upset! Is this a complete no-go horse?? I've ridden lots of horses over the years (I'm 40+) and have been riding my entire life, so I'm not a beginner, but I don't want to get hurt any more!!!
                                  Sorry to be blunt, but if you've ridden your entire life and brought on other youngsters (even just two) your first assumption in this instance should have been, "this horse is in pain". Instead of assuming it is purely behavioral you should have immediately reviewed everything you have done differently from your trainer and friend. I agree, it's probably the saddle, but there are a few other possibilities as well. But I also agree with Velvet - you post suggests you might not be suited to bringing on this particular 3 year old, and there's no shame in that at all.
                                  Proud COTH lurker since 2001.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by naturalequus View Post
                                    With all due respect, I honestly really have a hard time taking any of your post seriously.
                                    Me too. I think maybe someone is making a funny.

                                    If not, OP, you missed a whole bunch of signs in which your horse tried to tell you something was not right. He/she told you in every way he/she could. You didn't listen. Horse is not the LOSER.
                                    "Aye God, Woodrow..."


                                    • #19
                                      Why would you think that a strange saddle would fit in any way and be comfortable ? If I was that horse i would have stepped on you.
                                      ... _. ._ .._. .._


                                      • #20
                                        Sounds like a classic case of Problem Exists Between Saddle and Helmet to me.
                                        Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique