Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lesson #58: Bucking Bronco

I had a challenging lesson. It is needless to say that I didn't quite prepare myself for what transpired but I didn't do too badly either. I rode Lakota and it's only the second time I've ridden this gelding but I already know he's obstinate and cranky when it comes to working. Last time, he pinned his ears back when I asked to canter. He has a beautiful smooth floaty canter that is a pleasure to ride when he's willing.

Today, we have a new instructor and she starts us on getting into a working trot. I have to really push Lakota because he just doesn't seem to want to do anything. He ignores all my aids and signals; I really have to kick him to get him going. Eventually we sort things out and he starts listening to me--albeit reluctantly. Our trot isn't as quick as it should be so I goad him onwards into a more engaged trot.

But, Lakota is not excited to work and I spend a lot of effort pushing him forward. Eventually, we work out a temporary truce and he begrudgingly agrees to get into a trot. However, when I insisted on getting into a canter... this initiated war. I now have Lakota bucking and kicking in protest of this request. This goes on with ears pinning and a head shaking about. I am really not enjoying this right now. Thankfully, I didn't realize when he had bucked and stayed on just fine. Then the kicking was mostly startling more than anything else but he was still moving (check). Next obstacle: he is lifting his head up and back and losing the rein contact as a result. I am told to continue to shorten my rein to give him soft contact and regain control while continuing to push him forward. More kicking, head shaking, ear pinning and mini-bucking.

I do eventually get him into a canter but by then, we're both unhappy with one another and I'm pretty tired. I had been applying a considerable amount of leg by now and I am in need of a rest. We do a few more laps of my argument with Lakota and call it a day. Not the most progressive of lessons but definitely one where I learned some unusual tricks to counter a horse like him.

Posting Diagonal Jar Tally: 4 x $2.00 = $8.00


  1. Lakota is a difficult horse to ride, but you stuck with it!

    1. yea! too bad i didn't know earlier about his dislike of a tighter/heavier rein... might have (maybe) made a difference. i suspect he also isn't a fan of riders who are not experienced :(

    2. When I was in the lesson program, we had a horse (Mr. Bean) that was the same way and would not tolerate a heavy rein at all. He would sometimes just "go off" if he felt like the rider's touch was not light enough -- which was often among the beginners! One of my lesson mates got bucked off in grand fashion so the one and only time I had to ride him, I was petrified to do anything in case I set him off. ;-)

    3. that's how i feel too! i'm nervous that what i do will set him off like a firecracker and if I'm not ready, i'll be in big trouble! however, this has helped me determine to ride with a lighter rein and be more cognoscente of what i'm doing. it doesn't take a lot of pressure for a horse to feel that in their mouth!

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