newsletter is a personal letter from me to you,
a fellow horse owner and
My goal is to answer some of your questions and send you interesting
and helpful tips for your horse care, training, and riding.
2003 Cherry Hill ©
1: Show Supplies You Need
2: Blanket Rods for a Barn
Up Stud's Feet Without Getting Kicked
3: Teach A Horse to Lay Down
4: 'Fraidy Cat Horse Solutions
5 : What is a Midweight Blanket?
6 : Why Spread Manure on Frozen Ground?
to "Ask Cherry"
Will a fraidy cat horse ever
I have a 3
yr old MFT gelding. I've been riding and loving horses for over 40 years (still
a beginner). I've always chosen colts with a quiet disposition, I'm small but
a scrapper in the saddle. I started this gelding in April, did 4 weeks ground
work, packed him.
solid quiet on the ground. I have been riding him under saddle for 2 months now.
He stands quiet (even after freaking out) moves forward, halts, turns and flexes
nicely. His herd instinct is extreme, though when not alone he goes just fine.
Alone he is fearful but compliant, mostly. I ride 3 times a week 1-3 hours per
ride. At least once on the trails, and then in the arena. I love your 101 exercises
mild mannered colt, when frightened, turns into a bronc, k, not just a little
crow hop, but huge sun fish leaps. He does this unpredictably every ride or so.
Tack fits properly,
using an egg-butt snaffle for 90% he seems solid, 10% championship bronc. Up till
last week I've managed to ride the storms and re-gain control without "pickin'
daisies". This week I took a hard fall when a neighbor galloped up to greet
I believe this is
a normal reaction for a young horse but I've never had one like this before. I'm
a 47 year young grandma, and have bruises to prove my mortality. After 2 months
solid steady riding, he still freaks out.
this horse ever out grow this? It seems to be his instinctual response to fear.
I guess I didn't really appreciate my brave heart angel horse who died in April
and who never flinched at anything. Is this gelding a keeper?
- Handlebar D Ranch
Ah. That little bugger!
Well, judging from your description and from my experience, this type of horse
will either grow out of this soon (by about 5 years of age at the latest) or he
will keep this tendency for life, which would make him more suitable for a cowboy
than a grandma, even a 47 year old grandma! Here are some things to think about
and maybe you will want to write me again with some answers to some of my questions.
training program sounds like it is fairly thorough (you have your own self-preservation
in mind, right?!). When you say he stands quiet even after freaking out, do you
mean he "spooks in place" - like he is NOT the type to blast forward
and run when he "freaks" but just jumps and freezes?
you say he is fearful alone, has extreme herd instinct.......so when he broncs,
are you riding alone?
like at this point he lacks the confidence to face the world. He feels safe when
you are on the ground because he can see you and knows those ground routines pretty
well, but when you get on his back AND he is away from herd/buddies, he just doesn't
have enough confidence to "carry the weight" of a scary situation himself.
It is a common physical reaction for a horse to explode like that the first time
saddled or the first time a stick pokes him in the belly when you are riding in
brush or something like that, and even a few jumps are understandable the first
time someone gallops up from behind you, but if the other situations where he
exploded don't seem legitimate, well...........
he tends to do this pretty darn often, it doesn't sound good. Can you find any
common thread in the episodes? Do they always occur when you are riding alone?
Is it something he sees, hears or what that usually brings it on? Have you become
a tense rider, kind of waiting for whatever surprise he has in store for you next?
to do? Well, keep your safety first and foremost. Go back to doing some groundwork
that he knows well and add new elements to it. You didn't mention if you did ground
driving with him, but if you didn't, you should. If you did, add new maneuvers,
ground drive in a new location, add things to the saddle to help sack him out.
referring you to books on ground training and I wonder how well you covered "sacking
out" in your ground training program?
a safe ride and let me know how your are doing,
more information on ground training, read these books:
Before you copy, forward
or post anything from this newsletter or Cherry Hill's Horse Information Roundup,
be sure you read this article!