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Kylie has been scared.....
Something else that hasn't been mentioned, anytime you encounter a scary object or an a$$hole like that on the trail, turn your horse to face it until it moves off. I would think that, just looking at that boy, there was probably a tip-off that he was a smart aleck. This would go for other scary things, too, such as dogs, 4-wheelers, bicycles, etc. Of course, if you have an ex-police horse trained to kick on command, you might consider putting his rear toward the brat.
"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer

You have gotten some good advice here. I think it would be a safe bet to say that almost ALL of us here have had to deal with fear issues at one time or another. It just shows what good common sense Kylie has to feel fear and to listen to it. She knew that it could get beyond her ability to handle that situation, but she handled it just right!
The ground work with Diane or any horse would really improve her comfort level. I have to agree with appygirl here. What would do her the most good would be a confidence building horse right now. It takes time to learn your horses mind and how they react to different environments, and even then they sometimes surprise you.
Lots of hand walking might help. I used to take my horse out for walks almost like a dog![Smile] I would pack a goodie bag for him, and away we'd go. We did a lot of good exploring that way. He learned to relax and that good things happened around me, even when we came to a scary part. We would stop at the scary places until he calmed down and then he got some goodies. Don't praise the horse UNTIL he calms down, but definately talk to them.
There is nothing worse than wanting to ride, but being afraid to. I have been there and it's very discouraging. Time and patience along with lots of good experiences will get her where she wants to be.
A good rider has a thinking mind, fine emotions and a sensitive hand.-Tu Yu,72 BC

Originally posted by appygirl

Going in a different direction with my suggestion. . . I've never thought it a good idea to pair a green horse with a green rider. What Kylie needs is a tried and true, been there and done that horse that will help build her confidence in herself as a rider and trust for the horse. Bad experiences early in one's riding years can leave indellible impressions forever. Any horse may have had a reaction to the silly boy smacking it on the rump, this is true. But a well-seasoned horse that is not prone to over reactions or blow ups will only better aid Kylie in developing the skills and trust issues that she is needing.

As someone who has more horse than ability, I can second that. Every once in a while, something will happen and the only thing that gets me back on the horse is stubbornness. Those moments are fewer, but they still pop up.
I'm so busy, I'm not sure if I found a rope or lost my horse.

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