Help with a huge decision.... - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 31 Old 06-19-2012, 03:07 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland, OR
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I can see where you're coming from. Last year I leased a horse who was very good for about 6 months until I had to travel for work for 2 months. During that time he was ridden maybe once a week by a very timid girl, and when I came back he was terrible. He bucked me off twice, bolted, and generally made riding him not fun at all. It was very upsetting for me, because I do love to ride. My trainer offered to let me ride one of her horses, but I felt bad not riding my leased horse because otherwise he didn't get much attention (the timid girl was no longer riding him, probably for the better) . I was immensely relieved when his lease ended.

I've since purchased a horse who is an amazing fit for me (in pretty much all aspects) and I'm really enjoying riding again, which is good because riding is pretty much the only thing keeping me sane these days

You're not clicking with your horse, and you have an easy way out. Take it and find a horse that fits you better!
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post #22 of 31 Old 06-19-2012, 03:59 PM
Join Date: May 2012
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My suggestion might not be easy to hear but I mean no disrespect, only the opinion of an old cowboy that has an opinion on everything... I don't fully understand Bipolar disorder and this may show my ignorance. But if you are not in good control of your emotional state I would think you need to find a horse that is less reactive to your emotional state. Let riding be therapy, fun, relaxing. Save the BS and frustration for real life.. it contains enough of it.. if you don't enjoy riding then it isn't doing what it should for you.. riding ought to lift you when you are down and take the edge off when you are strung out.. Dunno but I say find a buddy horse...
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post #23 of 31 Old 06-19-2012, 04:46 PM
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While I have never been diagnosed with any kind of depression, riding has always been my "happy place," and in many ways is also my therapy. Not too long ago I was miserable while riding too--the horse I had been leasing (and who I loved, loved, loved) broke his patella in a pasture accident, and I just didn't click with any of the other horses available at that barn. As a result, riding just wasn't as fun, so I started riding less, and I actually got to the point where I had to go see a real therapist on a weekly basis to sort my brain out.

I also recently adopted an OTTB. He too can be very sensitive to my moods, and once I learned that I was able to adjust my riding. When I start getting frustrated, he gets frustrated, or sometimes he gets frustrated which in turns makes me frustrated. To combat this, when I feel either of us getting into an anxious/annoyed/whatever mood, I shut things down. We walk, and we keep walking until he stays at the same pace on a loose rein and I'm relaxed. Then we start again. I saw the same thing happen with another OTTB on a lunge line the other day--he got worked up, things got a bit nasty, and the girl working with him got equally worked up, which fed the horse's anxiety further. I told her to start trotting him and not ask for anything more, and less than a lap around you could see him visibly relax. Two laps around, and you could see her visibly relax. After that they worked like a dream together.

You're the only one who can make a decision on what to do. Think about the above examples though--when you're with your mare, can you find a way to just shut things down when one of you gets worked up? Or do you just have that feeling your personalities aren't going to work? If she goes back to the rescue and you take the gelding, at least she'll go to a good home eventually and you're still saving an OTTB. But please remember that most OTTBs are sensitive. Just riding the gelding once won't give you a clear idea of his personality... like others said, that will take months or years. There will likely be times that the gelding will get worked up too. But please do whatever will make you happiest, because if you're happy, the horses will likely be happy too.

Good luck with your decision!
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post #24 of 31 Old 06-19-2012, 10:05 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Central Tennessee
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Hmmmm..... If I have been riding a horse consistently for two months and we still don't mesh, its time for me to get another horse and let that one go to someone who does. Sometimes you need to get a horse divorce!

Seriously, riding should be hard work and FUN too, not all about stress. And if you are hating to ride her, that's not good. It costs just as much to feed a horse you hate to ride as one you love.

Call me selfish, I don't care, I won't keep a horse I don't enjoy. There are currently 9 horses here, I ride 6 of them and enjoy them all. Otherwise, I wouldn't ride.
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post #25 of 31 Old 06-19-2012, 10:49 PM
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Honey I haven't read all the posts, but it seems like most of us think the same thing. Take a little more time. I had a paint mare before I had my Hunny and this paint mare and I absolutely did not work together. But, I owned her for a year and tried to work it out regardless. I got her started under saddle and she did turn out to have started well and absorbed a lot more then I gave her credit for when someone came to ride her before buying. This lady and her worked great together, however, by the time this darn mare left we were giving each other death glares and plotting how to get each other. We just didn't click.

Then I got Hunny. I regretted it at first because I thought she had no personality. Surprise! It took us about 9 months of work, bonding, and riding and now it's been a year since I bought her and she is my dream girl :)

Invest some more time into it dear, do all your lessons at a walk before you move on. Don't care about how other people do with her and don't think of anything but her when you are riding her. Don't let your mind wander. I know it can be tough to do, but you need to concentrate on her.

You have to learn how to fall before you can learn how to ride~
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post #26 of 31 Old 06-19-2012, 11:16 PM
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I liked Longshot's reply. I adore TB's, but I think you might do better with the other horse, so I'd make the trade. I kind of wish I knew where your rescue is. I'd love to adopt the OTTB. Oddly enough I just adopted a "grade" mare at a rescue here in GA. where I volunteer. She is as sweet as pie, but doesn't know ANYTHING. She's supposedly 15 yrs. old & is like a baby. I'm old & really have little patience for an older horse that has no idea how to pick up her feet, lunge etc. I might also have to part with her, but I don't have your option of trading. Since your friend rode her and did well I think you & she may just not be a good match. Your rescue sounds like they will find her another good home. LOL
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post #27 of 31 Old 06-19-2012, 11:19 PM
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I think everyone has a different take on how long to try to mesh with a horse, but I have first a question. Do you enjoy riding her when you are mellow and have yourself collected?

Separately, as someone who has suffered from manic depression, I can say that if you are still having the swings, even if they are better than before, you should still talk to your doctor about going on a different medication or dosage. I rode for almost 15 years while dealing with my mental state in various ways, talk therapy, medication, meditation, you name it. About 4 months ago, I started on the medication I am on now and the difference has been amazing. I can honestly say that even on the same horse I have ridden for at least 7 years, I have meshed more totally, made more progress and ridden more strongly in the last 4 months than the entire last 15 years.

The choice to keep her or move on is a deeply personal one, but I would still consider discussing your feelings with your doctor no matter what you decide about your mare.
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post #28 of 31 Old 06-19-2012, 11:45 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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I don't think this horse is right for you... Like someone else said, sometimes people just don't mesh with horses. And I think this is one of those cases. The gelding you are fostering sounds pretty promising, so maybe keep him? I don't know, but I think Crystal should go. Chances are, she will find a great, new home. But beware, if you REALLY want to be sure that Crystal is not sent to slaughter, abused, or stolen, then you may have to keep in contact with the rescue, or keep her. But hey, it's your call. I vote you get rid of Crystal, and get a new horse. Maybe a change of pace would help. Like a different breed? A gaited horse? A draft? Hope I helped!


Hello! I wish I had a horse of my own.... I am working hard to earn $1500 this year though! There just doesn't seem to be very many good horses on the market though......
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post #29 of 31 Old 06-20-2012, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Location: South Florida
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Thank you all for your advice. It's been really tough the last couple of days, but I think Crystal made the decision for me. I went to go ride her, just to see and she wouldn't let me put the saddle on. She kept dancing around. I lunged her for probably 20 mins and she stood, but not happily. I was in a fairly decent mood too :( then my friend walked over and her ears went forward and she stood like an angel as she finished tacking her up. I know some of you think I should give it more time, but neither of us is happy. The rescue is great about keeping track of their new homes and I work with them closely.

I will say that I am not going to adopt a new one just yet. This gelding is looking promising, but I don't want to have another horse that in two months hates me. I am going to continue fostering until I am SURE we work together.

Thanks again for all your advice, you all really made me think :)
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post #30 of 31 Old 06-20-2012, 02:10 PM
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Crazy filly, there are plenty of horses that would better suit you. Don't feel guilty if you can't take on a rescue. Just find a horse that works for you. I have one of those horses, a gentle soul with good manners and nice pleasure training but he's not for sale. He's not a firecracker but one always feels safe around him and that's what you need.
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