I Feel Like A Coward :(
Alright, so, it’s been almost a year since I got my gelding (10 months, going on 11), and it’s been one struggle after another. It seems as if every time we manage to get past one issue, another pops up.
When we first went to try him out, my trainer and parents both thought he’d be a good match for me. He hadn’t been ridden in about a year, but the lady we talked to (she was selling him for a friend/client of hers) said that she’d ridden him a few times recently, and that he was doing really well. She rode him, my trainer rode him, and then I did. He did pretty well – he was a little hyper, but nothing unexpected for a horse who hadn’t been worked for a year.
Almost as soon as we got him, he started showing just how little he really knew. I wasn’t really planning on doing much more than pleasure riding for a while, so it didn’t matter so much – we could work through it. We worked through behavioral problems, built his muscles back up, and basically had to start re-training him from the walk up. The problem is, it’s been 10 months, and as far as he’s come, he still has a very long way to go. I wasn’t looking for a project horse to begin with, and I’m still not.
In addition, due to a problem that cropped up in his right hock, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to do much jumping in the future (hard, since I’d love to get into eventing). In order to attend jumping clinics, etc., I end up having to use some of my trainer’s lesson horses. Between that and varying unsoundness issues (due to the hock), there are times when it seems like I ride other horses more than I do him. He really needs a rider who isn’t planning on doing any jumping – he’d be a great pleasure horse, or even lower-level dressage, if someone had the time, patience, and experience to work with him.
What would you do if you were in my place? I feel like if I give him up now, it will feel like surrender. We’ve tried to push through the problems for 10 months, and to give up now… but at the same time, we clash personality wise. We’re both stubborn and easily frustrated, which, in re-training a horse, is not a good combo. It’s gotten to the point where I almost don’t want to go out and work with him, which only makes me feel even more horrible.
I feel horrible for debating selling him – I feel like a coward, and I feel like I’ve given up without giving properly giving him a chance. I know that I should just put on my Big Girl Panties and work with him some more, and that I’m a horrible person for putting my desires above working it out with him. I’ve pretty much cried myself dry these past few weeks, and I know my family is beyond frustrated with my seemingly-random mood swings.
Sigh. Sorry for the rant. I just don't know what to do :(
Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground.