Hacked out today on Chip with my daughter on Baby. Baby's in season so spooked at everything. Chip is nappy anyway but not as spooky but a lady stopped us to ask us some questions and when she walked off in the opposite direction, the two horses wanted to follow her, so after lots of spinning and walking backwards, we finally got going in the right direction
All was nice & calm again, had a bit of a trot and came to a house that had a round mirror in their drive...... well all hell broke loose I have never seen Chip react so violently! He was rearing & bucking, running down the road backwards, shaking his head ..... Baby hadn't seen the mirror so she carried on but had a mini tantrum of her own anyway because of how Chip was carrying on ! Chip usually leads until he finds something to nap at (always quite minor) but Baby will always walk forward and Chip 'always' follows her...... not today though, he wasn't having it. There was a car coming so I had to get off him to try to calm him, he's always better inhand. He grew to 19hh and was absolutely terrified. I eventually managed to lead him past the mirror and he was all over the place, running around me, up and down the banks on the side of the road, snorting with terror..... and of course every drive had a monster mirror after that. I lead him to a grassy area to let him graze for a bit and calm down and planned to get back on him.
What does he do next? Stood on his reins and snapped them!!!! So now I'm completely buggered ! So loosened his girth and put the stirrups up and proceeded to lead him. He was quite happy after that having his 'Mum' walk in front of him to protect him.
After 15 minutes I thought we were going too slow and the sun was starting to go down so I made a plan ! I decided to loop the remaining rein through his Dr Cooks bitless bridle did the girth back up, put the stirrups down and got back on! So off we went with one left rein !! My daughter was very upset and begged me not to get on him with just one rein but she came around eventually
He was very good after that and was so easy to control. I was amazed at how well he responded to my feeble cowboy neck rein manoeuvres and just using my body to get him to change direction.
Just goes to show as I rode with someone last week who had all sorts of gadgets including a too tight martingale..... only because she was told that you can't ride a TB without such gadgets! Chip's a TB...ex racer and he does very well without gadgets !
I was so proud of him for being a good boy with one rein
I'll have to take a mirror to the yard to get him used to it in case the mirror at that house is now a permanent feature . It's one of those convex traffic mirrors so not sure why they would want that in their circular drive ?!
Lou it was bizarre but all I can think of was that because the mirror was convex, all sorts of reflections seemed to be bouncing off it as if it was moving !
Even though Chip can be nappy at times, that is 'predictable' behaviour to me and I'm usually ready for it. He has met pigs, sheep, cows (they gave him the creeps but after a few backward steps he followed Baby) bikes, motorbikes, quadbikes & they don't bother him. At MF, he walked along that awful busy road in heavy traffic with idiots driving too close & too fast and he didn't bat an eyelid! I felt so safe on him in that traffic because he was never silly on the main road. It takes an incident like this to realise that we should always be 'ready' (without being tense!) for the unexpected !
Poor boy. I can imagine a mirror like that would look pretty scary. In Zim we used to have a great big boerboel, and one day my OH had bought a new mirror for our bathroom, and was carrying it across the drive to the house. The poor dog was so terrified he peed himself!! I guess mirrors are just very unnatural and when they are moving, or convex as in your case giving freaky moving images, it must be very scary for an animal who can't understand what it is.