Buy a horse that is balky? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-30-2012, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Buy a horse that is balky?

I think I found 'Mr. Right'- he's a 5 1/2 yo chestnut gelding with very nice conformation and movement for dressage. He's a TB-Paint cross. He is very forward, seems eager to please, has a more QH temperament (not spooky or nervous).

However, the second time I tried him, he was a little bit balky-- making me kick him and use my dressage whip to get him moving out. He didn't do anything bad and I was able to get him more 'hot' off my leg after a few minutes, so I think he was just 'testing' me.

He's spent the last year with a fairly novice rider who is nervous around him and has perhaps not been the best influence on him, although she has had him with a couple different trainers, one who specializes in dressage.

I'm going to try him one more time before I decide. What should I test out with him? Is this balkiness a bad sign or just 'normal' what you'd expect from a smart 5 yo horse?

Thanks for any input!
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-30-2012, 07:45 PM
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It just sounds like he was testing you. If he's had a more inexperienced, timid rider he probably has been allowed to get away with being naughty.

At 5 1/2 I woudn't expect him to be completely finished, and he's still somewhat a youngster mentally.

Nothing you've posted makes me think he's going to be too much for you.

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-30-2012, 10:07 PM
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purchasing balky horse

It sounds like he is both testing you and not fully understanding what you are asking him to do. The brain of a 5 1/2 yr. Old horse is still "young", requiring you to pack a little patience and not ask too much of him all at once. I agree that that combination of a novice rider and a young horse might require you to do some re-training for a little while.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-30-2012, 11:30 PM
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Sounds like he needs more training with someone who isn't afraid of him. He should be fine for you if you work with him.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-30-2012, 11:35 PM
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Agreeing with above. Also, did you ride him in the saddle he is used to? Or your own saddle? If the saddle does not fit, this can often make a horse baulky.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-31-2012, 12:34 PM
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I'm sure you'll be fine with him... But if he had a nervous and inexperienced rider (like you said) he's bound to have found tricks that make him/her uneasy. I'd go ahead with it- besides the balking, he sounds fairly stable for a younger horse.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-31-2012, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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That's a relief...

Thanks, I agree with all of you. I was just a little worried that I am so enamored of this horse that I might have a blind spot to potential problems.

I did ride him in the saddle he was used to and it seems to fit well. I also changed him into a snaffle as he had been ridden in a curb (no shank, but with chain chin strap) and it didn't seem he liked that bit. I think he goes better in the snaffle.

Wish me luck. Next step in trainer approval and vet check :)
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balking , testing , young horse

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