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New Adult - Different Horses

This is a discussion on New Adult - Different Horses within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How to deal with a nasty horse

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    11-16-2012, 05:14 PM
  #21
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by freia    
A badly behaved horse isn't an advanced horse. It's a poorly trained horse or a horse with a bad attitude - either way it is a potentially dangerous horse. There is no reason you should push yourself after 5 months to try to deal with this horse's problems. It needs a trainer, not a fairly green student. An advanced horse is a horse that has had more training, more in-depth training, and knows how to do more skills, which usually means a BETTER, not worse horse.

It sounds like your lessons are set up to teach you horsemanship and care, not just riding, which is excellent. I would recommend that you take all the time you need to feel really confident and secure with all aspects of handling the well-behaved horses. Then you can start to ask for guidance in how to handle badly-behaved horses properly and safely. It's good to know, because even a great horse can have a bad day, and then you need to be able to handle it so it knows that it can't get away with that again and nip it in the bud.

I've been around horses for 39 years. I know how to handle a horse like the one you're describing. I still don't like to though, and I certainly wouldn't want be around a horse like that unless it were my own and I had to deal with it. I would certainly never put a green student in with one unsupervised and without guidance.

This is you dream you get to live. This is your money you're spending. Disregard what the young riders hint about. Do what feels right in your gut so you can enjoy the journey. If you don't want to go in with a nasty horse - don't. If youo want to be taught to deal with nasty-horse, tell them. You're paying the instructors - communicate what you need to them.
THIS!

Feria is speaking words of wisdom here.

I started riding as a 30 year old adult, and yes I would have been intimidated in that situation because I wouldn't have known how to handle it! It's their job to teach you, not to expect you to know.
     
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    11-26-2012, 07:38 AM
  #22
Foal
Nordic, congrats on following your dream. As others have said, a horse that does not behave in cross ties, or the stall, is not a more advanced horse, its a horse that does not have basic manners. When I first started hanging out at my barn, I would help with morning feeding on the weekends, and turn out to the pastures for the day. There were certain horses I would not take out because I could not handle their manners (or lack thereof). As time went on, I learned, and got more skilled at handling horses.

The fact that you re expected to catch, groom, tack up, etc. the horse you are to ride is wonderful. Some of the best "getting to know you" sessions with lesson horses are spent during the grooming/tack up process. But you can't get there with a horse that does not respect your space and is constantly jumping around in the cross ties. This is a trainer issue - not yours. And it doesn't mean you are a chicken - the nice thing about being a adult is that we are much more aware of our limitations.

Hang in there, Nordic - you are doing great!
badly behaved horse isn't an advanced horse. It's a poorly trained horse or a horse with a bad attitude - either way it is a potentially dangerous horse. There is no reason you should push yourself after 5 months to try to deal with this horse's problems. It needs a trainer, not a fairly green student. An advanced horse is a horse that has had more training, more in-depth training, and knows how to do more skills, which usually means a BETTER, not worse horse.

Read more: New Adult - Different Horses
badly behaved horse isn't an advanced horse. It's a poorly trained horse or a horse with a bad attitude - either way it is a potentially dangerous horse. There is no reason you should push yourself after 5 months to try to deal with this horse's problems. It needs a trainer, not a fairly green student. An advanced horse is a horse that has had more training, more in-depth training, and knows how to do more skills, which usually means a BETTER, not worse horse.

Read more: New Adult - Different Horses
     
    11-26-2012, 04:39 PM
  #23
Foal
Freia, Schrops & Justa -- Thanks VERY much for setting me straight!

I'm working now steady with a WONDERFUL 22 year old -- I love him - we've gotten to know each other, and it's REALLY cool having a school horse that recognizes you. I work with him 3 days per week. He's got a little ndependent nature, but he's like really nice, steady elderly gentleman that occassionally get "ornery" - in a comical way. He's a perfect learning horse. I've been doing groundwork lessons with him for about 5 weeks -- lots of grooming etc. Maybe it's just in my head, but I swear he knows me know and likes the extra attention and soft talking I do with him.

I like learning, and learning how to deal with the bad manners stuff will come. It's good to know though what reasonable expections are.

I didn't mean for a general disparagement of the teen helpers -- They are great and I know mean well. However to the points made in this discussion, they are more presumptuous or take things from granted more than the adult trainers. I'm not hesitant on asking tons of questions or getting their help if not voluteered. They are great young people and work their butts off too.
Shropshirerosie and jaydee like this.
     
    11-26-2012, 04:58 PM
  #24
Foal
Hi Zeke -- Not at all --- and I'd love to have you train me in handling ...

Just as a side note -- I did find out recently that this horse that was supposedly "great" for me to advance to, kicked a groom badly in the chest at his former stable.

This isn't a lesson horse, but one that one of the advanced teen jumpers owns likes to lease. I just wasn't shown how to react to "bad manners." Now I know -- ask. I was left completely alone to deal with this guy on the cross ties. I mananged.

This whole expereince was a good lesson learned - and will I know help me be better when I deal with this kind of thing again.

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke    
First of all, welcome to riding!

I'm one of those younger instructors, at 21 I often feel funny pushing my adult riders because I feel I'll be over stepping my boundaries to order around someone older and often much wiser in life then I. For me, I bring in some humor and remind them that riding is fun and to not be hard on themselves. I've noticed in nearly every new rider I teach over the age of 20 that they become very hard on themselves and cannot settle for small successes in the saddle or on the ground when really that's what this sport is sometimes all about.

If you were my student, I would step in and tell you that no, you probably do not need more supervision, you're adult and have the power to tackle the challenge of an animal who isn't a deadhead. Your problem here seems to be though that you have already talked yourself into not being able to handle this horse and he probably knows it. If it made you more comfortable I would come watch you catch the horse but (and this is strictly based off my experience with lesson horses at my barn and the surrounding area) would expect you to enter the pen and catch it yourself. A typical lesson horse, while feeling faster or moving their head more or is rumored to be a little on edge then the first horse you rode, is not a horse that a beginner cannot handle. Lesson horses are typically a bit saint like, but within schools can get bad reputations from the young girls who like to over exaggerate their poor experiences.

Here's where I get a little Caesar Milan/Zen like. You have to know, in your head and body, that you know how to talk to a horse and approach them with confidence. Horses can be very in tune to your body language and attitude and even some of the saint like lesson horses can come across as difficult if you fall asleep at the wheel so to speak and they feel like they've lost the leader you're supposed to be to them. The harsh reality is that a lack of confidence can actually hurt you faster then finding your inner power and stepping up to the situation. I've seen a handful of students get stepped on, pushed or have a pony decide to take them to the nearest grass patch because they're afraid to show the horse who's boss. Keep thinking, you're the boss! It's hard to truly offend a horse.


That was a long way to get to this point lol. Yes, you need to tell your trainer you want to be pushed harder. You also may have to open yourself up to be told to loosen up and put big boy pants on. Never mind that its hard to ask the 17 year old (sure that's how young she is? I look that young too at the barn....) for help because she's young, it's her job and she should be more then happy to help you get over this hurdle. Do not expect her to hold your hand though, I wouldn't, it wouldn't help you with horses in the long run. Failure happens in riding everyday, the best riders learn from it and move forward to the next experience.
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ETA- Oh great, I get to look like the insensitive young trainer!! Ill clarify that I do not believe you should have to learn through injury and by telling you to catch your own horse I don't expect to send you into a dangerous horse's pen and fend for yourself. I'm also questioning the ornery nature of this lesson horse, did he actually strike at you? In such a case of course ask the trainer for help, but I already said that. It's our job to help you and we enjoy doing so but you need to be honest about when you need genuine help, when you're afraid and when you are too intimidated to learn/do something. We may push you but we never intend to get you hurt.
     
    11-26-2012, 05:10 PM
  #25
Foal
Good for you, Nordic. Those elder schoolies can be the best teachers!

I used to lesson on an App/Arab cross (look up stubborn and opinionated in the dictionary - there he is). Tacking up for a lesson one day, comes time to put the bridle on, and he clamped his jaws shut and just dared me to do something about it. I tried everything I knew, thumb in the back of the jaw, you name it. Even got help from another rider - tag team if you will. He just stood there with his mouth clamped shut. In finally got a piece of carrot and held it with the bit. I could see the wheels spinning - how to grab the carrot without taking the bit.........he caved.

There was nothing wrong with him, teeth or otherwise - he just liked testing the noobs. Same thing with picking his feet - I had gotten used to the nice horses that just picked up their feet when asked - lean on the shoulder a little and pinch the chestnut if necessary. He would lean back into me! Finally, we worked out a system: for every foot, a piece of carrot. Eventually, we got to 1 carrot for all four. He taught me patience and creative thinking!!

Nordic, I am quite sure the horse you a riding does enjoy the extra grooming and conversation you give him. Horses are social animals and we get to be part of the herd at times. And I am also sure he does know you because you are pleasurable to be around. Every horse you come in contact with has something to teach - it's up to us to figure out the lesson.

I know exactly what you mean about the teens. They are fearless! I use the ones at my barn too!

I really enjoy reading your posts. Please keep writing about your progress!
     
    11-27-2012, 02:59 AM
  #26
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by NordicMan    
Hi Zeke -- Not at all --- and I'd love to have you train me in handling ...

Just as a side note -- I did find out recently that this horse that was supposedly "great" for me to advance to, kicked a groom badly in the chest at his former stable.

This isn't a lesson horse, but one that one of the advanced teen jumpers owns likes to lease. I just wasn't shown how to react to "bad manners." Now I know -- ask. I was left completely alone to deal with this guy on the cross ties. I mananged.

This whole expereince was a good lesson learned - and will I know help me be better when I deal with this kind of thing again.

Thanks!
First of all, I'm so happy to hear you've found a horse to teach you more about groundwork and that you're pursuing lessons in ground manners. Not every rider is willing but I think taking the time to bond with a horse on the ground will help you in the long run.

Unfortunately I can't say I'm so happy to hear about the horse in the OP previously kicking a groom so violently. My suspicion that it was not actually a lesson horse in the program is confirmed and I am truly happy you aren't pursuing that horse without some help first. I hate to say that I've previously witnessed "more advanced teen riders" try to pawn off their challenging mount to a less experienced rider but I have, I wish I could explain in polite terms why it happens.

Good luck with your lessons going forward and stick with it! This is a tough sport and we ALL learn new things daily, remember to keep it fun!
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