3 spooks and I stayed on! Wonderful lesson!



I apologize, this may be a bit long but I'm so proud of myself, I just had to share!

This RS where I had an assessment lesson months ago offered me a cancelled lesson spot so I took it! This was normally a situation that would have given me nightmares a few months ago. Lady, the horse, was headshy and very sensitive. 4-5 others were in the ring with their own lessons. One instructor was yelling at her student. One of the students was having trouble with a pony who we needed to stay away from. To top it off, ice was falling off the roof and scaring all the horses.

Well, Lady and I came through it, and I think we did pretty well. She was extremely forward but I managed to coax her to slow down her trot so she wasn't racing the ring. I softened my seat and legs which got her into a nice frame (she had a big trot) and steer around the traffic jam without losing speed. Lady had beatiful gaits, so nice to ride. Katja, the RI, noticed some balance problems in the transitions and we were able to fix it in the walk-trot transition but didn't have time to fix the trot-walk one.

Then came the first spook. Right when we were trotting by the windows, a piece big of ice fell outside and Lady jumped about 5 steps inward and turned. It happened so fast that I didn't have time to react and miraculously I stayed on without losing my seat. Even more miraculously I wasn't scared. I don't know why, I just tried to calm her down with soothing words and gentle hands. I was getting proud of myself that I was able to get her to trot by that same window without startling. We were just getting ready for a walk-trot transition near that same window when another big piece of ice fell. At this time, all 4 nearby horses spooked, but Lady was the winner of the first place spook prize. I managed to keep my seat again and I was not so much scared as annoyed about it spooking Lady again when I had just calmed her down in that area. I was surprised my seat stayed in the saddle and didn't slip.

After this, Katja had me walk Lady around to calm her down. We did another trot and came down to the walk when Lady spooked again. One of the other students said it looked like a really wild canter pirouette. We don't know what caused this. After that, Katja said no more trotting and we cooled down.

I was really pleased with this lesson. Mostly pleased that I didn't get thrown off or scared by the spooks and I could positively influence Lady. It could have been more stressful but we really did well. I felt bad about not being able to calm Lady down completely after the 2nd ice fall but at least I was making progress at soothing and handling such a sensitive animal. Of course I'd like to get better at it but for the first time, I don't think it was so bad. It was great to learn the rhythm of this magnificent animal and be able to face challenges with it. Also Katja's advice was really good and gave me something to work on.

My only disappointment is that Katja's schedule is so inconvenient to mine. :(


New Member
Apr 11, 2008
well donw you. and even more well done you for sitting it more than once.:D

my horse spook and i spook dnt know why its just a reaction i cant stop.lol


New Member
Oct 26, 2008
Well done :D To sit 1 major spook is good, to sit 4 is fantastic. You should be very proud of yourself and your positive attitude as that sounds like the kind of lesson that could easily knock someone confidence.
Sounds like you found a good instructor too. Hope your schedules coincide lots and lots so we can get more positive updates like this.
Have fun x


Thanks ladies. :)

My lower back was a little bit sore last night but other than that I'm fine. Katja was great. She was very calm and encouraging but she noticed right away I was losing balance in the transitions. A light bulb turned on - so that's why I was having trouble going from a trot to a walk.

I wonder if balance in the transitions is a common problem among riders?
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