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Hidalgo | Lessons Learned

I am trying to make sure I get my memories straight. I can't remember if I took one horse at a time during the weekends on purpose or there was another reason. Or we were keeping them separate to give Frisky more time to mature before she had a foal. I knew that they were very hard to separate. They would listen to each other versus listening to me. Hidalgo was pretty much the leading man.

Whatever the reason was I got more one-on-one time with each of them. It was going well at first. However, Hidalgo was becoming mature and he was a "rebellious teenager." He was jumping fences. Finding other horses. Luckily my relatives were understanding and we also had some of their horses end up on our farm for similar reasons haha. Still it was frustrating.

If he would see any other horse he would be very hard to control him. He had to have a halter. If it was a male horse he would want to fight. If it were a female horse. Welp. Trust me I had my tactic which invovled me making a lot of noise and sporadic pulling (versus trying to out pull him) to get his attention on me. It was much worse when I was on his back. I didn't know how to canter yet and he would go into a "gallop" downhill and put his head down. (I say "gallop" because Hidalgo is the slowest horse I have ever ridden) Frisky would want me to point out that despite her tiny stature she was way faster than him without effort. I would freak out and jump off. My emergency dismount skills are amazing because of him. He learned that was a great way to get me off and I would have to chase him. I had a huge fear of going downhill after that. Even just a little inclination I couldn't do it. I would have to get off. Soon this fear spread to everything. I couldn't ride him. I was so afraid that he would "pick up speed" and I would jump off. Again looking back he was just scaring me. He never actively tried to buck me off. For me at the time, it felt like I was going to die. Trying to just control him while finding/keeping my balance was too much.

Note: Gelding horses was not a thing back then. That has changed in recent years.

My cousins who had him during the week as a workhorse had no trouble riding him. He was more confident and didn't let Hidalgo get away with anything. I was once again jealous and I was disappointed in myself. I would watch Hidalgo and him gallop around no problem.

It then got worse in all aspects. Hidalgo started bossing me around. Pushing me around, dragging me if he didn't have his halter on. He never kicked or anything like that but he would snap at me. All bluffing and bullying.

Defeated I just didn't want to ride anymore. I didn't understand what was going on. He was just a colt turning into a stallion. All of this was pretty normal behavior. Once again I was unknowingly reinforcing his bad behaviors because I didn't stand my ground or know how to. It was easier with Frisky because she was easy to startle. He was not at all. I have to admit he was a good-looking horse. There were moments when his mind wasn't clouded by hormones he would act like the easy-going friendly horse I loved. I wanted him to stay like that. I just didn't know-how.

Eventually, as long as he had a halter on I would be able to control him on the ground. I was at least pretty confident there. Riding-wise, I needed to learn the basics before I could ride him again, that is when I turned to Frisky.

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