Forever a School Horse?

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Forever a School Horse?

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  • 1 Post By Piper182

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    06-17-2013, 12:35 AM
Forever a School Horse?

I'm posting about Harley aka Goober. Harley is a very special horse to me. He is a quirky, silly, playful 13 year old, 18 hand Hanoverian gelding. He is currently a school horse but he could be so much more. I apologize now for the length, but I want you to understand all that is Harley.

Harley was originally trained as an eventing horse. At age 9, he was donated to be a county Police horse. He was amazing for the demonstrations, but he became bored of standing still after a few hours on patrol and would find things to spook at. The cop who rode him never blamed him for it and offered him to us as a riding horse. At age 11, my boss took Harley on and he was my project.

The horse is amazing. He loves to jump. He has the ability to do the 4' comfortably. He likes dressage and knows many upper level moves. After a year, he was working beautifully and we had high hopes of finding him a great new owner.

An upper level jumper trainer came in and took Harley on. He attached ropes from his bit to his girth with no give and didn't treat him with the care and understanding his sensitive personality needed. When my boss realized he was not an appropriate trainer, she took him away but damage had been done. Harley was scared of crossties completely and when we attempted to put him back in the program, he failed to break a pair and ended up hitting his head on a tack trunk (a now previous trainer had made them unbreakable so her horse would stop breaking them without care of the danger).

Harley had to undergo shock treatment for his head because he tore the ligament that attaches his head to his neck. His head is alright now, but I had to take him back to the beginning. He was worried about he conformity of framing and he seemed to forget where his feet were.

After 9 months, natural horsemanship, some intense dressage work and no jumping for 6 months, Harley is back in action. I have not allowed him to jump over 3 feet until I find the right riders for him. He takes amazing care of his riders, but he has many quirks. He spooks at silly things if you aren't paying attention and, because of his size, he scares many potential riders. He is harmless mind you.

How do I go about finding him the right home? Because of his training and his potential, my boss will want a fair sum of money, but I want to find him a Mommy. He needs someone to take care of him and love on him constantly. As much as I adore him, I want him to move away from being a school horse and find him one rider. When I was the only one riding him, he thrived with the attention, but he does have to earn his keep and I have other horses to care for. I ride with a renowned dressage instructor once a week on Harley and even he says his talent is beyond being a school horse (he specializes in Andalusians and doesn't know anyone interested, I've tried).

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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    06-17-2013, 09:02 AM
Green Broke
It's hard balancing price with a good home.

As you say, he has great training and could be great for a lot of riders. But on the flip side he is a huge horse and, if his pricing is prohbitive, it's likely many of his riders might be serious and competitive riders. Nothing wrong with that, but the kind of rider focussed on competition and performance rather than understanding and developing a relationship with the horse might not be ideal.

Obviously, if you think a home is not ideal you can refuse to sell him. However, depending on price you might not have a lot of interested buyers. If home is really important, I guess be more flexible on pricing, and try to get prospective buyers to try him out multiple times, take some lessons on him and even have an on site trial. That way you can make sure they're a good match.

Take him to riding club days and get people familiar with him, so interested riders can approach you.
    06-20-2013, 11:12 AM
Being a school horse isn't the worst thing that could happen to him either. If there is no rush in selling the horse, then you can be a lot picker on who ends up with him. But as Saskia said, be flexible on the price. I listed my QH for 5,000. I sold him for 3 to a woman who adored him to no end. She keeps me updated from time to time (I never ask for it, she just sends it to me) and I know it was a perfect fit so that 2000 that I didnt get, doesnt mean anything to me knowing he has a wonderful, loving home.

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