I realize that this is extremely long, but I could really use some help/advice pleaseÖ
I have a beautiful paint mare, Snickers, who is about 7 years old. I've had her since I was 13 and she was 3, my first horse. When we first got her, she was the sweetest horse I'd ever been around, and had consistent good behavior. She rode better and had better ground manners than my uncles 24 year old mare that he had been working with for over 20 years. My uncle was the one helping me train her, as I was one of those people who wanted to train their very first horse (as I realize now was a very stupid idea).
After about 4 months, she started biting and occasionally cow kicking when I was working with her. My uncle and I were trying to be consistent with getting her to stop, although sometimes she would surprise me and I would forget what I was supposed to do when she did those things. Her ground manners went down the drain, but in the saddle she was still a perfect little angel at the time.
A little wile after that, she stopped responding when I was lunging her. What went from a 5 time a week start to training suddenly turned into her threatening me in any way she could and would not listen to my commands. She would work with my uncle, but never me. After 8 months of riding her, my uncle could no longer take me riding with him and help me with training her.
When we got a second horse, DJ, for my mother to ride (which I admit was very stupid when I already had a horse that I couldn't handle. Especially since the new horse was only 2 years old.) things got progressively worse. Over the next few years, I didn't have much time to work with them because of family issues. The new horse was well behaved, and for two years he as also very good under the saddle.
Over the course of March to Mid-June of 2012, I had more time to spend with the horses and would often spend hours on end with them, until these behaviors began, and even less after they became dangerous for me to be around them.
After that DJ has become an unpredictable horse. When tied he used to be able to sit there for hours, but now he would rear back, and break his halter then continue to run up and down the roads, and wouldn't stop to think about barreling over anybody in his way. When riding, he would randomly buck and rear out of control, with no provocation. Not knowing how to deal with that, we let a good friend of ours work with him. This guy kept him for an extra month than planned, trying to get him to stop these things, but he couldn't do anything. We sold him in July. (Yes this may seem off topic, but I think it ties in later hopefully)
(One note about DJ, I will admit that I did not spend much time with him. He was my motherís horse, and we always fought over him when he was well behaved. In the end, spending time with him got me in a fight with my mother, so I stopped. Of course, she never spent time with him unless it was feeding him.)
Snickers in the last year, started being very well behaved when on the ground, when I was working with her in late spring. She would let me handle her, and being careful when working in a few areas kept her from biting or kicking, and she was respecting my space. Of course I could not ride her that often as I had when I first got her. In mid-June, when I was able to start my yearly riding lessons, she suddenly became that terrible horse again. She would bite and kick and the worst habits showed up. She would rear up whenever I asked her to something she didn't want to, and when on the ground, she would rush at me head on whenever she wasn't tied. I was most scared of the rearing, we were all scared she might fall back on me, and being 105 pounds, I probably would not survive a fill like that.At this point my riding instructor told me that she two should probably be sold also.
Snickers and DJ were incredibly buddy bound, and when being worked with they would not go more than ten feet from each other. Although after a week of DJ being away from her, Snickers always turned around went back to acting like that well behaved horse I had before we got DJ, still with some biting problems however.
After DJ had been gone for a week when we sold him, Snickers stopped biting and kicking when tied. It took a few weeks until I could bring myself to work with her on the ground, out of not only my own fear but my motherís also. Snickers was working very well for a month or two until I started having family issues and again couldnít work with her as much, and as of now sheís been, for lack of better words, put up for the winter until either spring or we sell her. I never could bring myself to ride her after the last few incidents we had.
Even with all of the trouble I've had with her, she was my first horse, I love her, and I donít want to sell her. Her being better this last week or so has just made me think that there may be hope for her, if I could get help with someone and work with her more once spring comes. I donít know if itís worth the trouble to keep her and pay for her feed when itís just a gamble of whether or not she will get better or worse. I donít know exactly why I want to keep her so much, most likely because of all of the things she helped me get through since I last got her, and how important a role in my life sheís played.
We have bought a new horse in July. We did our research before we got him, unlike when we got the other two. He had already been trained to be a mounted shooting horse, and has behaved amazingly under anything we have thrown at him. We originally bought him for my mother, but after being told to sell Snickers, he has become mine (Partially because I was the only one who ever spent time with him.)
Itís probably obvious that I should sell her. Going to the trouble of writing this is probably just going to bring people making fun of me not being good with horses, telling me not to work with them, or to just sell her anyways. Although, I do thank anybody who read this entire thing, however, and I am extremely grateful to anybody who has something to say on this. I would love to keep her, because even though me and my mom fought over DJ, horses are the only thing weíve ever bonded over, and it would be nice to start having riding lessons with my mom until sheís comfortable enough to take me on trail rides. Iím also not allowed to go on trail rides without her anymore.