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roller coaster

Roller Coaster

It’s official: I’m on a roller coaster with Miles and I want off. And I’m not talking about the double loop or the corkscrew; I’m on the Top Thrill Dragster. Let’s recap my week:

  • Thursday: I ride and Miles is terrible, horribly stiff and I freak out. I also lose my shit over his coat condition (See: Stressed).
  • Friday: I ride again and my friend N watches us and gives me some pointers. Miles is not stiff, and I’m starting to feel better.
  • Saturday & Sunday: I again ride both days, incorporating our new warm-up and grooming routine. I feel fantastic, albeit slightly bad for totally wigging out (See: Steps to De-Stress).
  • Monday:Β It all comes crashing down.

Monday Lesson

Monday evening I scheduled an extra group lesson to make up for the week the polar vortex took. I was pretty pumped and went out feeling great after my AHA! moments from the weekend. We started with a flat exercise and Miles was fairly grumpy, starting with his classic head in the air, I can’t move forward routine. I pushed him through it, and got him to canter. Halfway through a canter circle, he bucked. I stopped him, backed him and made him move on.
Next, trainer set out a small gymnastic — a bounce to start with. We trotted in and that went fine. She moved it up to a crossrail with one stride to a 2′ oxer. We went over, landed and Miles took off bucking, rodeo bronc style.
My life flashed before my eyes and I really thought for a second I was going head-first into the wall. Somehow (no idea how) but I stayed on and got him stopped. After that, I was terrified; totally shaken up. We trotted around for about 20 minutes while the rest of the group finished their lesson. I made Miles bend, circle and move up all in a frame.
One of the working students got on Miles and he was grumpy with her, even on the flat. She took him over a few jumps and after about the third one he landed and TOOK OFF running. She did that jump a few more times, stopping him hard when he took off and he finally did the jump like a normal horse.
So what the fuck happened? I’m still not sure. We cut his feed down, and we’re going to see if maybe the group lesson format isn’t really his cup of tea.
I’m going out to ride tonight, and I have a semi-private flat lesson scheduled for Thursday. Here’s hoping I get to ride my horse and not a bucking bronco.


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

26 thoughts on “Roller Coaster

    1. Slight grumpiness is characteristic. Bucking is not! And I’m not ruling out pain, but the inconsistency of his bucking makes so that I’m not convinced that it is… if that makes any sense at all, haha

  1. Oh, man… I have to go with Hillary. Is this a pain response? Fancy Pony had a ropey muscle knot (likely been there for years), and she was having random melt-downs, especially when jumping grids! Had no idea that was the problem until the massage therapist worked on her. Since that first visit, she has been on a steady upswing and putting muscle on her butt that was lacking. MT has commented about how much better she keeps getting with each massage, and she could finally go through grids without issues. I had the chiro see her as well as the dentist, but the massage did more than anything, and the results were almost immediate!

    1. I’m definitely keeping pain in mind, just trying some other things first. I’ve never been super impressed with massage, but it’s definitely worth a try! Thanks for reminding me of that option πŸ™‚

  2. I second Hillary.. that doesn’t seem normal for him and he might be trying to tell you somethings wrong… or he could just be being a punk.

    Hope you can figure it out asap πŸ™‚


    1. Unfortunately his behavior only creates more questions, and doesn’t answer any! Hoping he “speaks up” soon and lets me know what;s really going on

  3. I guess I would also wonder if there is some kind of pain going on. I know he tends to be a little grumpy naturally, though, so it could be that he has decided to test his boundaries a little more now. πŸ™

  4. Fiction has had a lot of grumpiness under saddle. It has been one issue after another that has caused it. Just in case you need ideas, his naughtiness spawned from: too much energy (cut him back on his platinum supplement), digestive issues (put him on smartomega3), saddle fitting issues (adjusted saddles & now ride with very light saddle pad), and now hock issues (legend and adequan injections). Each stretch of naughtiness was rectified with treatment- even now he is getting better with his injections.

    He could just be being a jerk too πŸ™ I hope you get it figured out!

  5. Sorry to hear he’s being a tool. I agree that it is so out of character that it may be pain related. Worth ruling out, at the very least! Sending good detective vibes your way. πŸ˜‰

  6. When my Saint Sam became of humping whale after jumps, it only took us a year to figure out it was the saddle whacking him on the back on the landings. πŸ™ Sometimes it’s so obvious even when it’s not. Not very confidence building though. *hugs*

  7. πŸ™ Dealt with that this past Sunday. So much bucking on one lead, and that’s after lunging, and trot sets and lateral exercises to loosen up her back. Finally got the right lead with no bucking but the left was a no-go all the way. My back is so sore from riding through the bucks. Stay strong lady. I’m chalking it up to the polar vortex and horses not getting out. If it happens after this week, and I know they’re getting out, then we’re calling the chiro.

  8. I’m sorry you’re having so many issues. It’s SO frustrating!

    I’m with Amy… between the bucking, how much he hates being groomed, and the dull coat, it could be a digestive issue. I went through this with Echo and after a month of changes, he was SO much happier. Gastroguard is of course the gold standard for ulcer treatment, but it also costs about as much as gold, so I tried some alternatives with my vet’s recommendation. A small mesh haynet so they have hay all the time helps a ton. Alfalfa too, for the CA/MG buffers it provides. Aloe vera juice in the feed (1 cup 2x/day). MG supplement. Ranitadine with feed (Costco has it for super cheap). Blue pop rocks (check COTH for info).

    I hope you’re able to get to the bottom of this so that both you and Miles can be happy and stress-free!

  9. Hugs as I know how frustrating this can be. You will get it figured out. Bucking, grumpy, dull coat…could be signs of ulcer? In the meantime don’t get to down on yourself and stay positive πŸ™‚

  10. Pain? Saddle issue…definitely look into it.

    Also, could just be the time of year. Maybe a good lunge with side reins before you ride is in order.

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