I took Remi to a ranch horse versatility training last Friday. He is still acting real spooky so I wanted to see how he would do away from home. He was relaxed when I loaded him but when we got to the new place and he saw lots of riders with ropes he got very worried. I did ground work on him for the first hour of the clinic because I was pretty sure if I got on he would buck.
Lots of people who are better riders than me would have probably gotten right on and ridden Remi through any bucking. As a Yang Ming horse temperament he is not looking to buck anyone off but is simply acting out of self preservation. My feeling is that I don’t want him ever thinking bucking is his answer to being nervous even if I could ride him through it.
My goal is to help Remi learn that moving his feet in a way I direct is his answer to things that unnerve him. I want him looking to me for comfort. That is why I spent a hour working him from the ground. I did not get on him until I could toss the tail of my macate rein up on the saddle without him trying to scoot away from it. To Remi’s credit he never did break in to bucking when I was doing the groundwork even though he was shying away pretty hard from the rope.
When I could finally toss the rope at him and he did not react I got on and rode with the group. By this time they were swinging ropes and dragging logs. Remi handled it beautifully. I rode for about an hour with the group and then got off. They were about to start doing some exercises where 10 or so riders take off from one side of the arena, lope to the other side, then roll back and lope back. I felt if Remi got bumped it might spook him and I wanted to end on a good note.
I held Remi at the fence for the last hour and a half of the clinic and he yawned and took a nap. I think overall the day was a great success. Madalyn