Fix or sell

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Fix or sell

This is a discussion on Fix or sell within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        04-12-2010, 02:56 PM
    Fix or sell

    I started a 2 YO 4 years ago.I was ill and he was pastured 28 miles from the house and did not get worked on a regular basis. He has the ground workdone and is perfect on the ground, dog gentle, even licks your hands, can not make him buck. My problem is he has to try me some time, every time when we first go out. He drops his head and jabs his front feet in the gound. Once that is done he goes on down the trail. I have started alot of horses in my time and never had this problem. I am now 62 and don't have the "bounce ability" I used to. I also live alone all week so if something happened to me no one would find me till the weekend, therefore I can only ride once a week. This horse is so smooth and doesn't hurt my old knees in any gait but needs a job. If I send him out they want a fortune to start from scatch and I know he doesn't need that. Really all he needs is someone who is a better rider to just "get on him" each time he does that. Will he ever be safe if I could find someone that would ride him a few times? It has worked out that he is also stalled in a 24 X 48 pen without a turn out area right now. Can changing his feed help cool him down some? Bermuda and alfalfa is what he is on.
    About to give up.
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        04-12-2010, 03:17 PM
    Try the post "looking for ideas" I posted some ground exercises on there that you could work with your horse before going out. This will get you both in the right frame of mind. If your horse is soft and giving to the bridle he will not be able to do what you mentioned. Get him more responsive and the problem will go away. If your knees are an issue you can do it from the saddle, but that is where the problem starts so I would suggest you start from the ground first.
        04-12-2010, 04:38 PM
    RE: looking for Ideas - fix or sell

    Thank you RT: my horse does all the ground work without any resitance. Walk, trot, canter, stop, stand or come to me on voice or hand signal commands. The farrier rode him and said he has a very light responsive mouth. He reins pretty well using roping reins to neck /plow rein at same time and is starting to yeild to weight changes and leg pressure without using reins. Maybe he just can't get enough use here and needs some one with a job for him? I would rather fix but have to be able to trust him.
        04-12-2010, 05:06 PM
    I would look into finding someone who is experienced but currently horseless in your area. Explain the situation to them and see if they are interested in riding him and working with him. Maybe just getting him on a serious exercise program would work out for him. I imagine if he is still in the "baby" mentality then he might just need to get it out of his system because he's so excited to ride. If he is ridden more often and some of the hijinks are worked out of him he might come around. I know there are a lot of people who would gladly work with a baby or problem horse in return for free riding time in my area. I'm sure there are some in yours as well. Just make sure to watch them ride him and make sure they are good for him and will be a good fit. Bad riding is never better than no riding. Also, you could work into it that part of the deal is that they are on hand sometimes when you ride so that you too can ride more often. Make it beneficial to both and lay down ground rules from the start. This would be an inexpensive way to see if he could calm down and be the riding horse you need. Good luck!
        04-12-2010, 05:14 PM
    Green Broke
    Have you ever considered a half lease? I am half leasing a mare from a woman in a similar situation as yours only she used to be one of the county's leading horse trainers in her time. I have a horse to ride without "all" of the bills (I do pay part of them) and her horse is good to go when she can get on her....sort of a win win situation for both of us. I like half leases because you still have a lot of control over what happens with your horse and can have pretty much any stipulation you want such as the horse staying on your property, no jumping, etc etc...whatever you wish.
        04-12-2010, 06:24 PM

    If you otherwise like and enjoy this horse, I think it's worth exploring whether spending some time with another, more assertive rider won't get him out of the habit of testing you every ride. I think you are very smart to recognize the problem for what it is, and to question if you want to continue dealing with it.

    If the more assertive rider doesn't change the behavior, or the horse reverts to the old behavior shortly after you start riding again, then you may have to consider selling him and finding something else.

    Truthfully, I doubt your feeding regimen is the issue. However, if you can change/increase his turnout, I would certainly try that. Increased turnout improves a *lot* of behavior problems.
    I have a horse almost exactly as you describe. I call him a "riding school dropout." You don't have to be a particularly skilled or sophisticated rider to to ride him, but you do have to be willing to deal forcefully with his "You can't make me, nyah, nyah!" moments. I never put anyone else on him for that reason. When I come back to riding after surgery shortly, I'm going to start back on my guest horse - I just don't want to be in a situation where I let the "dropout" win that "make me" battle because I'm not physically up to it.
        04-12-2010, 07:25 PM
    Thank you all so much for your ideas. I have been looking for someone to ride him but doesn't seem any one is available out here in the hills. I will try to build a bigger turn out as soon as I can. My friend in TX took an older horse for retirement and my daughter wants me to take one of her horses. I can get the one anyone can ride - use it so someone can ride with me.

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