Lesson Recap – I Don’t Want to Talk About It!

I am going to talk about it though. I need to get these thoughts out of my head. It was bad. So bad I almost take back what I said about Tucker being my heart horse. The honeymoon period is definitely over.


I’m feeling discouraged. I feel like he’s testing me again. And I don’t know how to respond in order for me to come out on top. I think the lines are blurred between horse and human. Between who’s supposed to be listening to whom.

Yes, yes I know it’s a bit of a two way communication and partnership. But ultimately when I ask for something he should be responding in appropriate ways. I don’t necessarily expect correct responses right away. It’s a work in progress. But I do expect appropriate.

Appropriate does not mean giving me the horse version of fuck off when I ask for a turn on the forehand.

I recognize that this is not all his fault. After all I’m learning how to properly ask for all these lateral movements at the same time he’s learning to do them. Without a doubt there is some user error going on.

I don’t think that here is enough error on my part to elicit rearing. That’s what I got. Him threatening to go right up 3 times. And bucking and backing and teeth grinding. He was right pissed off. How dare I ask him to move his body around.


It shouldn’t have been that bad. For weeks now we’ve been doing/working on shoulder in, haunches in, turn on the haunches. He’s been frustrated. But he’s worked with me. And we’ve been figuring things out. Those lessons were very satisfying and productive.

But Sunday there was no working together. It was a battle of wills. Eventually we had to give up. Hopefully not in a way where he feels he’s won. We were very boarder line of teaching him some very bad aversions. Not good.

I feel like a failure. Like 23+ years of riding have been a waste of time because clearly I know nothing. But at the same time how could I possibly know how to respond to questions I’ve never been asked. Ugh! Frustration.

So what now? Do I back off a bit and re-evaluate how I’m riding and asking for things? Or do I make him work like he’s never worked before, making sure he knows I’m the leader not him? I just don’t know.

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9 Responses to Lesson Recap – I Don’t Want to Talk About It!

  1. Tracy - Fly On Over says:

    Ho boy, this sucks and I’m really sorry you’re going through it. My best advice is to talk to your trainer about your issues and concerns immediately, and see what s/he thinks. I agree that at first thought, you may need to back and work on something else for a while, or you may need to push through it. I’m just not knowledgable enough to know which one would be best!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stephanie says:

    Ugh, what an awful feeling! For me and my horses, it’s always worked well to back off and work on something else for a week or two; I know I get too frustrated when I’m getting the big “fuck you” from one of them, and I realize I’m better off switching tracks than trying to escalate the situation. When I can be calmer and more reasonable about their behavior, I return to the problem and push through. (I pretty much have to achieve zen-like patience to convince Gina to trot over ground poles/jump something constructed from poles.)

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. L. Williams says:

    Carlos used to flip me the bird a lot, but we just worked through stuff and he got it. Sometimes when doing a lot of lateral work they get sore from using all the muscles. Ramone gets easily frustrated so I need to calculate when to take the pressure off so he doesn’t become so frustrated it becomes unproductive. Wishing you luck! It’s a hard line to walk.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emma says:

    Ugh I hear your frustration loud and clear – so sorry 😦 you are NOT a failure tho. my mare definitely does better after a change of subject. When I feel like we are both totally losing it, i try to switch to something we are both good at so I can reward her and help myself calm down too. Anyway good luck – hopefully it’s just the winter doldrums rearing their ugly head…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Grace C says:

    Don’t give up! Worth looking into if there are any other sources of pain happening but it could just be him saying let’s do something else. Rethink and regroup- you can do it!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. carey says:

    I would take a break work on something you are both good at to get your confidence back up. Or, is there a horse you can hop on who already knows turn on the forehand so you can practice without him getting upset, and then come back to Tucker with more precise aids? Riding a friend’s horse a few ago reminded me that I do know what I am doing, and Cosmo was just being a turd.
    Stick with it, you’ll get through.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wendy says:

    A really simple rule of thumb I use is if the horse knows the task but is being a pushy/stubborn/*&$hole, then push through. If they are learning something new and confused, always back off. In that case brake the task down into parts and only do one part at a time with reward. For example, turn on forehand can be broken up into one step at a time: think about how you will ask for that first step, what his body and your body should be doing for it to be correct. If you get your horse to accept that and do one step correctly, just release and walk off or pet him or treats. Then you can build on it slowly and change his attitude about learning new things. Think about how you can set him up for success and build his confidence in you as a leader. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: The Story So Far ~ One Year of Blogging! | The Story So Far

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