should we take a chance on this prospect? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-19-2012, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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should we take a chance on this prospect?

We have been looking for awhile for our first horse. First some background. I had horses as a preteen but no formal lessons until I started once a week lessons last September. My daughter is 9 and she has been taking lessons for over 2 years and she is competent at walk/trot and canter and she is starting to jump crossrails. I am working on getting comfortable in a canter. We are looking for a safe sound well trained horse that we can share in a price range under $3000. We have been having trouble finding a horse that meets all three criteria. So our latest prospect is the horse we are half leasing to evaluate. He has been out of work for at least 6 months. We have been working with him for the last 2 1/2 weeks. He is calm and has a pleasant attitude. He appears to be healthly (we will have him vet checked). He does pretty well for my daughter (all 72 pounds of her) at trot, but he seems to be unbalanced by me (5-2" and 190 pounds) at the trot. He also is unbalanced at the canter for both my daughter and her trainer. My daughter's trainer says his canter will get better with work and she is working with him, but she is also the person who is selling him (he was abandoned due to unpaided board). While I don't doubt he will get better with work, I am unsure whether we are qualified to be the people doing the work. We will continue to work with her trainer, but can a beginner adult and a preteen help a horse gain balance and the skill he needs to become a decent 4-h horse?
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-20-2012, 06:49 AM
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There's a certain product that is used during lunging that my instructor swears by for teaching horses to balance themselves out.. it's just that I can't remember the name. I'll try to remember it though and I'll let you know!

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post #3 of 7 Old 07-20-2012, 07:49 AM
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Side reins probably?

Balance takes time. Since he's been out of work, he's out of shape and the muscles he needs for better balance need to get back into good fitness. A steady increase in his work for now should be enough though adding trot poles will definitely help as well.

By 4h horse do you mean gaming? Barrel racing and such? That's going to depend on the horse and how competitive you want to be. He can do it - barring health issues - but how well will depend on a lot of factors. How old is he? What breed? Does he have any training besides bein broke to ride? Is your trainer skilled or experienced in gaming?
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-20-2012, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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The kids in 4-h in our area can and do compete english and western equitation, showmanship, gaming, and some jumping so there is a wide variety of things she could do. That said, she currently rides english and she prefers that to western. She is starting a bit of jumping and seems to like it and her trainer is an eventer, so I think that is probably the path she will take.

As far as training, he doesn't seem to have many specialty skills in place. He understands the basic forward, left and right and he crosses the barns trail class bridge without a hesitation, but he seems resistant to backing up under saddle (does it great on the ground). We haven't tried it yet, but it is doubtful that he knows how to turn on the haunches or the forehand or sidepass. We have been working trot poles with him and he is getting better at them. At first he was very awkward but he has never balked at going over. My daughter's instructor had her do a few cross rails with him last lesson and he doesn't refuse but he more steps over them than jumps. All in all I kind of think of him as a kind and willing but ignorant horse. My question is whether my daughter and I have the skills to educate him.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-20-2012, 09:15 AM
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OP, lots of horses appear to be rather green and unbalanced when it comes to the canter, and sometime even to the trot. I'm pretty sure if he's unbalanced under you he's also unbalanced under your daughter, but with her weight it's harder to notice if you are not experienced.

So if he doesn't have a training under a good trainer under his belt, it's not something surprising. If you plan on working with him with the trainer (even lessons usually sufficient enough) I don't see why he can't be trained any further.

BTW, I do NOT recommend to use side reins to teach balance, especially if you don't know how to use them. Correct riding and properly muscling will help him with the balance issue - just takes time.

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post #6 of 7 Old 07-20-2012, 10:53 AM
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does the horses personality fit for both you and your daughter to be comfortable with? if yes then theres already a plus side to getting him. you will already feel confident when working with him.

as for his training. being out of shape will lead to being unbalanced as said but does not mean he wont be able to get his balance back with work. as for training wise if you stick with your trainer or with another trainer and work diligently with them and come up with a training plan for all three of you daughter you and horse then i dont see why you wouldnt get him. but since he is not finished in anything i wouldnt be training him for mulitple different disciplines all at once. you and your daughter will have to agree with one way of riding until all three of you are comfortable on him in w/t/c, turning on haunches, forhead, sidepass etc..once he understands the basics then you can start working with him in other disciplines.

but the key is everyone agreeing to one way and sticking with it until he is good at the bassics
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-20-2012, 11:01 AM
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First blush, skip this one. Slowed down and thought a little and came up with this. Dependant on passing the vet check, if you like him well enough, then I'd make this kind of offer. I'd give her XXXX, IF she will give him 6 months re-training. You pay the board portion of the bill and she includes 1 lesson per week for you and your daughter. So, out here most trainers are charging $600/mo for full board and training. I'd offer $300 for the board portion and she gives him the training for the next 6 months. See if she will put her money where her mouth is.
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