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What to do after my horse acts all rodeo when I try to dismount....

I am a VERY inexperienced rider who, at age 45, is just learning about horses. I took my gelding Paso Fino to the round pen today just to get up on him and sit a while and let him walk around a little to help my balance.  The first time I dismounted he was ok, but the sencond time, he started bucking and went all rodeo on me.  I made him yield his hindquarters both right and left when I got him and I also made him back up some too.  Was that the right thing to do?  It scared me to see him buck like that---he's never done that before. I felt like I should have got back on him, but frankly I was just too shook up. I need advice from some experienced horse people! Thanks.

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Is he a new horse or one you've had awhile? It is a bit hard to really follow your question with the way it's worded. Yielding his hindquarters and making him back are normal things to ask a horse to do, especially if they know the cues. Perhaps he is full of grass (if he's out on the pasture) and feeling good. It's hard to know without seeing him and watching you and knowing his past behavior history.
Rhonda, Any way you can get this horse to a trainer or a riding instructor so they can see what is going on and help you? You were right not to get back on him feeling shaken up, he would have picked right up on that and you might have had a worse outcome. Stay safe!
Definetly work with a trainer but in the meantime keep him working at least on the ground in the round pen to get rid of some possible extra energy.
The paso fino is in the same catagory as arabian and thoroughbred as far as temperment and nervous system goes. Which is one reason I like them. But it means they can be very sensative to various things.
I've watched the paso fino discussion groups for some years and there have been several issues with someone buying a paso fino thinking they were getting a good riding horse, and then discover that either the temperment wasn't sutable for ineperienced handling, or the training was deficient and the issues caused made them difficult and dangerous.
But also when they're trained right and the rider understands their sensitivity they can be a real pleasure. I've ridden some who couldn't handle much side pressure or they'd take off at top speed, had to be super light with them. And then there's the whole range of paso fino temperments depending on their genetic haritage, from the extremely nervous to the very calm. From very tight gaited to those with major extension capability. (speed racking style) But a lazy paso fino is almost nonexistant. I've heard of an occasional one with a somewhat laid back easy going nature, but that's the exception. Generally they get reved up real easy.
However with what you describe I'd suspect he just hasn't had enough training. He needs ground work, most trainers skip a lot of ground work and some horses need it, specially the more sensative ones.
I might just do what Clint Anderson demonstrates all the time, make him do things on the end of a lead, lots of things. But watch his attatude, start very light and don't push too hard.
I'm heading off the get one shortly, but I've spent years studying them and riding a number of them to decide just what kind I want. I've decided on one of the ones bred for a very easy to handle and train temperment along with range of gait.
If you havn't already found them,
The two primary paso fino discussion groups frequented by several full time trainers are;


and this one is owned/managed by a trainer of pleasure paso finos.

Thanks for those links. I am new to the Paso horses (getting my first one on Friday) and I am looking for all the info I can get. I am fortunate to have two local trainers to help me find just the "right" horse for me. Really looking forward to getting out on the trail on the "glide ride!"

Are you sure your saddle fits? If it has too narrow a gullet it may be pinching or pressing down on his shoulder area, which of course would be worse as you dismount (all you weight on one side). Always make sure your tack fits comfortably and correctly before assuming it is a training or behavior problem. The first saddle I bought for my mare was too narrow for her, and she just would not do anything for me until I changed that saddle. Another time I was just sitting on her, talking to a couple of other riders, when she went to spinning like a top! Once I got her stopped, I got off and took her to the round pen to do some ground work. Once there I noticed that a thin blanket that I had put on her first (to protect a new saddle pad that I had bought) had become bunched up under the saddle pad. I had done this several times before and it hadn't bunched up, but it did that time and was putting pressure on her back. So...moral of this story is...check your tack first!
I was thinking the same thing, or maybe she just poked the horse in the side when she dismounted?
Actually, it is a custom paso fino saddle. This is the 5th saddle that I have had on him, and the two times prior to the rodeo incident (LOL) was the only time that he woul stand to mount! Upon reviewing the incident I think that there were a number of things that could have contributed to his actions, the primary one being that he has my number! LOL I have someone coming out on Friday to help me try to gain more confidence. She said that I have turned him into a spoiled brat, which is probably the most accurate thing! LOL But, to be fair, when she had him as a rescue b4 me, he was in horrible condition. Now, he has floated teeth (1st time in his whole 12 yr life!) a FULL belly, and doesn't have to worry about all the other horses picking on him because he was low man on the totem pole. So, he has come into himself a bit.
You are doing the right thing by getting help. Nothing is more frustrating than having one intimidate you.
Number one is be SAFE. If this is not a horse with enough experience to make you feel comfortable then keep looking. No matter how much you love them if they are not a fun, safe ride neither one of you will be happy.
I had to learn this the hard way. Getting old really stinks!

Also, I highly recommend you find a certified riding instructor in your area and take some lessons (if you don't have a knowledgable person to help you already). I rode when I was a teenager, but after all those years of not riding, I knew I needed to get a 'refresher course' when I got back into horses. It was a tremendous help! You say you are very inexperienced, and ignorance or inexperience can get you seriously hurt or KILLED! Making him yield and backup is a good way to start a ride, but I also try to lunge mine a minute or two before I get on, just to gauge his 'mood'...if he is frisky and feeling good he will be more animated in his actions, head high in the air, he has even kicked his heels up a little sometimes...or if he isn't frisky, but real laid back and in a ho hum kind of mood he will just walk around, head will be lower, etc. I like knowing before I get in the saddle what kind of mood my gelding is in (he is still fairly young). I just feel safer this way. It only takes a second to get hurt...and I don't like pain! I can tell in just a minute or two of lunging how his mood is that day and I think that minute or two investment in time is well worth it. If you live anywhere close to Josh Guin (he is a member here) he has several great programs for beginning riders or riders who just want to expand their knowledge and skills. He is pretty affordable too.
I imagine you have a vision of what you want to experience with your new rescue and you have an emotional attachment to him and there could have been a number of things that caused him to act the way he did, but it is an excuse and I imagine there will be another thing and then another and another. I am recommending you explore all the reasons that might have contributed to this behavior. Get a trainer to help, but as an inexperienced rider you need a horse that is going to take care of you. There are to many good horses out there that you can fulfill your horse riding dreams with out putting yourself at risk. Maybe one day this may be a great horse for you, meantime...
Hi Rhonda,
I am 40 and inexperienced too. I bought my first horse last year. I have a 17 year old quarter horse. He is a retired barrell racer but very laid back. I have a trainer come to my house on weekends these days. I thought I would ride my horse across the field to see my neighbors horses. Yea!!! That was a big mistake. LOL. He was doing good, then seen the others and ran to them. I just held on for dear life. when we got to the other side i leaned over the put my feet back in the stirrups......He turned to walk and might have arched his back and down i went. Wow. I have never fallen of a horse before. Needless to say I have a trainer now. my first mistake was going across a new field alone, 2nd was going near strange/new horses, not knowing the brakes etc.... i could go on and on. it took me two weeks to get back on that horse. But now i am learning the ground work and lots of it. As it turns out, my horse thought he was the boss and now he is learning i am the boss (although we do struggle a bit). I never thogught you could love a horse too much..... well I'm learning.

I wish the best of luck to you, but do get a trainer. its makes all the difference in the world. I was really getting frustrated but now I have a lot more confidence. I'm not ready to take my horse out of the yard yet but we're working on it. I am hoping to take him places for trail rides real soon.


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