Our First F(l)ight

airamateurI have mentioned this before but it is pretty crazy how fast I forgot all of the trials and tribulations of bringing Houston along. Green horses are a very rewarding but it isn’t a walk in the park as many of you know.  I jumped head first into horse ownership with a barely 3 year old thoroughbred and it really has been smooth sailing. We have some baby willies and tantrums occasionally but nothing too extreme… Until Wednesday night that is.

Annie’s conflicting personalities

I am fine. Annie is fine. No one was hurt. I didn’t even hit my head which probably would have made me more angry than the fall itself if I had to replace my helmet.

I had a few choice words, lunged her for a minute, and hopped back on. As Amanda said “welcome to babies”. I was going to have a fall eventually and I would rather have it happen at home. I will start riding the little ginger with a stick. I hate carrying one but I won’t lie I am ogling over the Signature Spurs Bat that Gingham purchased recently… Realistically I will most likely just buy a monogram for my Beval Bat because $$.

Can’t stay mad at this cute

Anyways I hopped back on and what do you know Annie was a little angel. I think that the combination of not being ridden since the weekend and no turnout due to weather probably gave her a little more spice than she needed and once I got the edge off we had a really nice productive ride. I really don’t like to lunge before each ride but I will probably make it part of the program if I can’t ride consistently until she is more broke.

Do any of my fellow green bean survivors have any tips or tricks for a sassy ginger? She gets obstinate about going forward and then throws a tantrum. I am really thinking that the stick will help provide more serious reinforcement but I’m open to more ideas (in addition to the ones that I have from my trainer).

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  1. We had a total green moment at our barn last night, so it was good to read your post this morning. Comfort in numbers! I purchased a 4 yr old “backed a few times, has been sitting for a year” Holsteiner gelding in December. It will be worth it in the end:)

      1. I currently do not. I have toyed with the idea ever since we got Gingham’s Gus because he is too fun not to share. With school and running the farm- not too sure how much time I would have to commit to one. Really enjoy reading yours and others while I think about it. What made you decide to blog?

  2. My gelding does the same thing. I found spurs to be more helpful than a stick. Using the stick just ticked him off but with tiny spurs I could push him forward a bit more. I’m sure it’s something dependent on each horses personality.

  3. When I had a green (and even when not so green) thoroughbred I lunged before almost every ride. She was a bit of a bucking wing nut. Lunging, even if only for a couple minutes, helped with my confidence. It made me not as worried she’d pull something with me on her back and made our rides much more productive right from the start. Do whatever feels right to you and helps you both have a better ride. Hope you aren’t to sore.

    1. I should add that my VERY not green draft X throws tantrums on occasion when asked to go forward. I find carrying a dressage whip helpful.

  4. I usually just giggle and make the work harder while cooing insults at my horse. As in, if Fiction doesn’t want to move off of my leg, I ask a bit more and shorten the circle a bit. I continue to ask over and over, no matter how pissy he gets, until he gives in just a little bit, and then I praise him and lighten the workload. He also sometimes throws a fit with moving forward, especially if it is moving forward properly, so when he does, I throw him on a circle to get his head back, and then straighten him out, put him into shoulder fore, repeat, etc. If he’s going to be sassy, he’s going to work harder 🙂 Though, if it appears he is about to melt down, I do back off a bit and transition to something easier until he relaxes.

  5. I am with you about not loving longing but definitely have been using it as my fallback when weather is changing or he hasn’t been out…or if when I get on there are shenanigans. I try to make longing work so it isn’t just goof off time and then when I get on or back on, Odie is usually much more focused.

    Glad you are both ok!!

  6. aww sorry you came off but glad it was (relatively) painless!! i’ve also found it very useful to carry a dressage whip for horses with sticky go buttons. particularly, the green ottb gelding i rode would try to bait me into arguments with little snit fits, but with the whip i could just tickle him forward without having to change my position much or let the tantrum distract me from our objective. quick and easy!

  7. With my own cheeky readhead, I did lunge if it was needed, not so much to get the willies out, but to actually get her working. We found that a lot of her issues had to do with lack of strength, so lunging in side-reins helped. And spurs, which seemed weird to me since she was so reactive to leg pressure. But after using them for about 6 months, I was able to take them off and she’s better than ever. But sometimes, they just have those days when a good lunge with sidereins where the only thing she can fight is herself is much better than an actual ride.

  8. My mare still needs pre-ride lunges if she’s sat more than a day. Especially if she can free lunge in the pen where she can kick her heels up. She bucks a few times and I guess it knocks her brains back in the right spot.
    I started her with stubby spurs and just carried the dressage whip for when she really didn’t want to move and now if she’s in brat mode and even sees a whip she moves out.
    Glad you both are ok. And helmets ok 😉

  9. I like roller spurs. They don’t anger the Mare, but they make her listen. She throws tantrums about not going forward (today…), but a growl and some spur make her move. Glad to hear you and Annie (and the helmet) are okay!

    I don’t ride baby-greenies, so I haven’t had to lunge pre-ride, but sometimes, handgallop or make the energy go forward or lateral with lots of turns.

  10. As kind of a side note, even if I never need to use it, I make it a point to always carry a stick with babies, if for no reason other than making sure they are used to it should I one day need it. It also makes sure that if a new person gets on carrying a stick, the horse won’t be surprised or upset about it being there. For me its a case of preferring to have it and not need it that to need it but not be able to use it without doing more damage. I have also heard that roller spurs can be good (I think they’re also sometimes called soft touch spurs?) for those that are a little sensitive or balky because they’re less “pokey.”

  11. Glad you are ok! 🙂 Oh the green bean world. I guess my only advice is to try to shoot her forward before she gets the chance to really stop and balk. Lean way back, flick your reins at her if you have to. Sometimes with the young ones I will smack my leg with my hand. It startles them forward a lot of times.

  12. I can send you some monograms, just let me know how big the head or triangle of your crop is. 🙂

  13. I think you’re on the right track with the lunging and carrying a stick. It’s all about preparation with babies. I’ve had to really learn to plan for all outcomes with my rides. I’m sure she will come along fairly easily, given your descriptions of her personality 🙂

  14. Glad you’re both ok! I have found that Mystic (4 months under saddle now…) does not do well with time off. She had four days off once because I had a misunderstanding with the trainer about which days she was riding…and she was a firecracker. Eek! The joys of baby neigh neighs!

  15. Glad you are ok!!

    When Henry was younger, I just had to lunge before rides. It let him get the crazy out and gave us a more productive ride bc then he was ready to work… He’s still that way sometimes- just now it’s a much quicker lunge 😜

  16. So glad you’re both OK! I recommend light/quick lunging before each ride to just let her get the willies out just in case. Especially when she’s not turned out or hasn’t been ridden the day before. My best advice, just trust your gut. If you think there’s even a hint of naughty in there, lunge 😉