Wondering if I made a mistake. Opinions welcome. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-23-2012, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Wondering if I made a mistake. Opinions welcome.

Now I can't tell if I'm just overreacting, or if I actually have a reason to be concerned.

I have agreed to let someone on my equestrian team use Ruger since her horse is very green. Ruger is inexperienced in the show pen, but he is more than ready and more than capable of doing all the events. The problem isn't him. The problem is the girl I am letting ride him.

She just doesn't listen to anything I try and tell her. Ruger's biggest challenge is remaining balanced; But she can't seem to find the way to use her body. When I try and tell her something, she just says "Yeah I know, okay." and then ignores what I told her. She lets him just fling his body everywhere, overbend or counter bend without correction, doesn't really use her legs, has pretty heavy hands...It would be fine if this was a forgiving horse and she would listen, but she just won't. Towards the end I finally just said get off the horse and let me ride him because it was painful. I've spent so long getting him to lope perfect circles, change leads, turn in a balanced manner, serpentine, counter canter and counter arc, he spins/sidepasses/turns on the forehand, all that. I can lope a western eq. pattern on him on a very loose rein. He has an amazingly smooth handle on the barrel pattern.

I'm a little concerned about this lease now. It was all fine at first but now it's just falling apart. It's been two weeks. We want to start taking a group lesson with my trainer but there's four of us and I'm wondering if that's going to be enough one-on-one time with her and Ruger to get on the same page or if she's even going to listen. Two of us have been showing for a long time (Me and one other girl) and then the other two are very inexperienced.

Do you guys think I should just give this time? I have been letting her come out and ride when I go but if she won't listen to me I don't want Ruger regressing. Do you think it might be a good idea to just limit her on him to lessons? I'm still riding him often but I don't want to be fixing every little thing. He's a very sensitive horse. I'm worried I made the wrong decision agreeing to let her use him...

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-23-2012, 09:16 PM
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I'd say get her to take private or semi-privates on him as a term of this "lease". Also, I would just her some pointers on how exactly to ride him. She isn't going to ruin him in a month and if it doesn't work out apologize and just tell her the truth on why its not working out. You can even be up front with her and say "I want you to take private lessons her him and I'll give you pointers too. If its not working in a month then we will have to think of something else". That might her also make her take it a bit more seriously!
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-23-2012, 09:24 PM
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I disagree with Slide. It's VERY easy to teach a horse bad habits in a month, and if she isn't listening to you (and giving attitude when you try to tell her what to do) then I would haul her butt of your horse and terminate the 'lease'. Did you write up any paperwork? If I lease my horses out I ALWAYS include a section stating that if, at any time, I feel as if the lease isn't working out / could be detrimental to my horses training or health I can terminate the lease before the end of the month. If you don't have any paperwork... is she paying you or are you letting her borrow him? Either way I would say "I'm terribly sorry BUT..." but then again I'm overprotective of my horses and am in a similar situation where it took me MONTHS to get my horse where he is today.

So no, I don't think you're overreacting. I think you're underreacting, the second a rider didn't take my advice while on my horse they would be OFF of my horse and not permitted to ride again until they were taking private lessons AND showing improvement.
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-23-2012, 09:25 PM
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Be honest with her. Tell her everything you just typed on here. If she wants to use Ruger, she will listen. If she doesn't, then she can find someone else's horse.
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-23-2012, 10:04 PM
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Sorry, from what I gather its not like she is a dead beginner and she is under supervision. If you horse get ruined in a month of intermediate riding WITH schooling from its owner then your horse probably has some holes in its training. Heck, I've ridden retired reiners that get back into the swing of things after months, if not years, of not reining AND being a lesson horse. The horse I trained took me years (well a year and a half) to get her to where she is. She is a lessons horse now and when I get on to school her she is 90% of where she was. That's with dozens of other people riding her and her being extremely sensitive. A well trained horse with a solid foundation will not forget their roots!

All and all. I give her one month. Shape up or ship out with her. It's an opportunity she should take seriously!!
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-23-2012, 10:07 PM
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I think that at the end of the day he is your horse and you have to do what you think is correct. I also know that I see and magnify things 1000x more when I see someone else riding my horse or working my dog. Its like all the little things that really should not matter become glaring mistakes. I would ask your trainer if they are seeing the same things you see. You might have your bias owner/trainer eyes on and could be making mountains out of mole hills. I would also take a moment to evaluate how you give these critiques and suggestions. Its possible that they are voiced in a way that they are not inviting the rider to listen. I think a lot of riders can get into that. I had a woman come up to look at a sale horse and she started to lecture me about "disengaging his hind end" when the horse was at the stand. I stood there thinking "if he is standing then all of him should be pretty well disengaged". To the point where she took the horse to try to demonstrate what she was talking about it. She meant well but I was not a receptive learner. Its also possible that the rider is trying but is not fully understanding the request.
I would also say that there is a risk for him learning bad habits. I would ask your instructor for an opinion before terminating any agreement. The instructor having worked with both of you and Ruger will have a better idea of if this is a good match or not.
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-23-2012, 11:08 PM
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One thing I wonder is do you know for sure that she knows what a counterbend feels like, or that her legs are important, or that her hands need to be lighter?
Stay with me.

My first thought is that she may just be uneducated as far as "technical" riding goes. I know for myself, I have very little technical riding under my belt but a whole lot of horse experience. I can tell you what a horse is gong to do before he even makes a move, but would have absolutely no clue what to do if someone told me my horse was "counterbending". I have a pretty general idea of what that means and an intuitive understanding that it's probably bad but no idea how I would fix it. Obviously I would like to learn that stuff and I would not be anti-someone teaching me, but I would be seriously confused if someone just told me my horse was "overbending" and that I should fix it.
The same with the other ideas. I never realized how important leg was until I got Lacey. I had previously been under the impression that leg was a back-up aid and that your hands were where it's at. I had taken YEARS of lessons and ridden tons of horses but never picked up on the leg thing. HAH. Lacey schooled me on that one! But without her, I might still be riding with my hands and have no understanding of why or how to effectively use my legs.
A "trick" you could use (if you're in a position to give her a sort of "lesson" without making her feel demeaned) is to tell her to pretend she's a double amputee centaur. She literally has no arms but she needs to communicate with the horse (this also depends on Ruger being pretty good at working off leg). I tell that to my lesson kids and after a few misguided adventures out of "the arena" they soon pick up that leg is key. I give them a few figures (like a triangle and a circle - really simple stuff since it's hard at first!) to make and we spend the lesson "figuring out" together how to make those simple figures without using hands. They also think being a double amputee centaur is hilarious but that's besides the point.

Of course, I could also see why you wouldn't want to have someone lacking in those areas on your green horse. I totally get that. I probably would feel the same way about letting a really handsy person ride Lacey. But, before you cut off the lease, make sure she knows what she should be doing and just isn't doing those things vs needing to be taught. If she just needs to be taught and is embarrassed by her own lack of knowledge, you could be doing her a world of good by gently coaching her in this area.

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Rest peacefully, Lacey.

Last edited by Wallaby; 11-23-2012 at 11:11 PM.
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-24-2012, 05:55 PM
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Your not overreacting. If i were to put somebody on my horse, they need to listen to my tips, because he is my horse and i know what he is like. And if your going to ride him, you will ride him how i ride him. I think you should end the lease. I wouldn't put the horse through that. And especially if you trained your horse, and you don't want that to be gone, i would end it. Obviously she needs another horse that is more experienced. (not saying your horse isn't). Remember, it's always the rider, never the horse! I trained my horse and i am very cautious of who rides him. My best friend is lucky even if she gets to ride him! LOL. Your just a loving owner of a horse you truly love, and i think you need to do what best for the horse :)

Meagen and Rowdy<3
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-24-2012, 06:05 PM
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I dont think you are aver reacting either. If the girl is giving you attitude on your horse she needs to get off. Just tell her (ultimatum) If you cant do what I am telling you to do then find another horse to use. Some horse and rider combos arent great combos...

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post #10 of 15 Old 11-24-2012, 06:24 PM
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is there an actual lease agreement on paper? or was it just you two talking? I think mandee has a good idea with giving her an ultimatum: either listen to you, when riding Ruger or nor ride him at all.

Equestrianism; 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain and 100% reason to remember you're absolutely insane to be riding a beast that big.
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