To kind of reference my last post about Red and my anxiety, I wanted to touch on how I feel a bit. A commenter mentioned a horse that starts moving off when you mount because they realize they can, and it made a lot of sense to me. See, when I ride a new horse, I am fine with being the boss. I don’t have history with them, and I’m okay with making them be good. Take Patches for example – she was getting barn sour and started slinging her head and warning me, kind of like “I’m going to the barn, if you don’t let me, I’m going to pitch a fit” if Red had’ve done this, I would’ve been nervous. Actually, Red has done this before…except he never slings his head that bad. He normally is just a bit hard to turn back but is fine otherwise. So why is it that I was calmer on a horse that was doing something worse than he would’ve done vs. being on him?
I trust Red 100% on the ground, we have a great relationship on the ground. He listens to me, he responds well. I have put hours upon hours on the ground because of not having time to be in the saddle. And I realized today that I may be really nervous about disciplining him. My mom is constantly nagging me about my lack of backbone on him. He starts acting up…and I let him. I don’t do that on other horses. I put up a tiny fight, then I just want to dismount because I don’t want to end on a really bad note or have him hate me or whatever because I put my foot down and became the boss. It’s like I’m scared that disciplining him is going to ruin our partnership and what I’ve worked on.
The thing that is keeping me from being calm isn’t Red. It’s me. I need to become the boss and have a confident attitude when I ride him. He’s amazing and he has so much potential, I just have to be willing to get it out.
Red’s hack is giving me no control (pretty much like a halter, according to a few trainers I’ve talked to..) and I’ve noticed that he kind of braces against it when I ask him to do something harder. I’m going to try a few more hacks on him, and find something that works better. My mother has also reminded me a few times that my horse has not been ridden often enough, he needs to be worked. Our round pen is going to be finished by the end of June, and he’ll start lunging a couple times a week and being ridden 3+ times a week, but he’ll be worked almost every evening, I’ll give him rest obviously so he’ll probably get a day or two off a week.
And the next time I ride him, I’m going to be the boss.