So today I had a bit of a disaster - my new ‘dream horse’ went on a bucking frenzy and threw me into the dirt :ambivalence: I wasn’t asking him for anything tricky - he bolted as soon as I hopped on. (If you want to skip the backstory, go to the last paragraph.)
He’s a very new horse. It’s been uni exams, so I haven’t ridden him in probably over a month (I do have a family friend who I think has ridden him though). Last time I was down he went like a dream, a little forward but definitely manageable. Awesome ground work, was following me around and being very responsive. Easy walk, trot and canter. Was only able to ride him for a few days before heading back to uni halls.
This time was a new story He’s been split into an adjacent paddock to his companion (feed reasons). I tried to lead him out of the paddock last night and the further we got from his friend the more anxious and unmanageable he acted. Eventually he was practically jumping around my in circles until ripping the lead rope out of my hand and sprinting back like a madman.
Today I led him and his buddy up to the shed together, which meant that he didn’t freak out, but was still trying to pull ahead on the lead rope (which he didn’t do a month ago). Tacked them both up and led them down to the arena. His friend was being ridden around the other end of the arena while I did some ground work with him. A little distracted during lunging but still going fine. Leading was nowhere near as good as a month ago - he used to be very attentive and did everything I asked. This time I could tell his focus was on the other horse - he would spin his head around (and turn before stopping) if we walked away, and pull on the lead if we walked toward. I made the unfortunate decision to get on him anyway. As soon as I was in the saddle he bolted out of the arena and proceeded to buck like a psycho in one spot until I was thrown into the dirt :dead: before sprinting up the hill and back up to the shed.
The main problem here is that I don’t know what caused his reaction. Quite a few factors had been changed, and I don’t know which (or if all of them) pushed him over the edge. Since I don’t know the problem I can’t fix it, which means today might happen all over again. He was wearing a new saddle (similar make and same size to his old one) and new bridle. Also, he had recently been split into an adjacent paddock to his buddy for feed reasons - his separation anxiety was much worse this time, but I don’t know if this small separation would be enough to freak him out? He may not have been ridden in a while too. So what do I do now?? Do I split them up, or put them together? Do I keep him with the new gear? Do I just get back on and pretend nothing happened?? Help please!!
As an aside, if his main problem was separation anxiety why didn’t he bolt straight to the other horse like yesterday?