Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Taranaki New Zealand.
long long story contd
I battled with him for two and a half years I had long stopped being scared of him but I didn’t like him one little bit. I got so sick of the pattern - every ride would start ok, he would then get sick of being made to go forward, we would have a big fight, I would end up belting him and win the fight and then we could continue. A friend of mine got so sick of hearing me complain about my horse. She felt that something was wrong with either my gear or me. She felt that I must have been nervous and timid and that was what Max was picking up on and why he acted the way he did. Or my saddle was hurting him or my weight was. She asked if she could take him for a while and try him with a different saddle and a smaller rider also she is an extremely competent rider and felt her confidence would transmit to Max. I felt like anything was worth a crack although I didn’t think I was nervous on Max, I had long got past nervous and was now just angry. I felt like I rode him very confidently while at the same time I was always prepared for what ever he chose to throw at me. So she took him, the first time she rode him she couldn’t get him out the first gate, he performed in true Max style. She had him for a week and never managed to ride him further than 500mts. I know it sounds nasty but I was really happy to know that at least I had been able to get out doing proper trail rides on him even if we did have fights along the way. Her advice to me was to sell him.
Funny things about Max, like I mentioned, amazing on rough terrain! No matter how bad the footing he would just float, I would just drop the reins and let him go for it and he never put a foot wrong. He never baulked at a creek or something nasty, he thought nothing of sliding 2mts on his haunches into a muddy creek then jumping up the bank on the other side. He was completely bombproof, he wasn’t scared of any type of heavy traffic or machinery, blowing plastic, gunshots, road bollards, push bikes, motorbikes. He was AMAZING in the arena. The arena was the one place we never had fights he was a natural show horse. He was the softest horse I have ever ridden, when we were in the arena schooling it was as if I just had to think of a direction and he would do it. Backwards, forwards, sideways all with the lightest of touches. I didn’t know anything about flying changes but he did it naturally I didn’t teach him he taught me. He had the most beautiful collected canter on what ever lead I liked. It was bizarre I could ride him for a couple of hours at a time in an arena and he never resisted.
By the time I decided to sell him he had markedly improved. He hadn’t reared in months I was riding him on nice long rides, yes we still had fights but they were noticeably easier to deal with. Unfortunately there were things that I wanted to do but wouldn’t even consider doing them on Max. I never rode with more than two other people, he was way too excitable. I wanted to do the annual horse ride we have in my area, 70 to 100 horse and riders participate each year but there was no way I could do that on Max, he would be way to dangerous for me and others as well. Although he had improved in some ways he was totally unreliable.
I decided to sell him to a performance home, he was stunningly beautiful I had him on the internet for two days and he was sold. I sold him very cheaply and was totally honest with the lady who bought him. She wanted a team roping horse and I honestly felt that Max would be perfect, he was an amazingly athletic, well balanced horse and I had done some stock work which he seemed to enjoy. Also most of his time would be spent in an arena. So his new owner drove 7 hours to come pick him up. By the way I had spent quite a bit of time over the last couple of years making sure that Max loaded well and was good on a float. Anyway Eve decided that she wanted to put Max on the float herself to get an idea of his personality. He fought like a mad thing for three hours. It was as if he had never seen a float before in his life – I was mortified – again. Only this time he had discovered a new trick, go on the float then bolt back off it as fast as possible. The battle included us sitting in the shed (it was getting dark and raining) having a hot cup of tea listening to Max have a tantrum on the floor of the float where he had gone down, again, because Eve had had to tie him in to stop him bolting out. I thought I would be sad to say good bye to my boy but after watching his last performance I couldn’t wait to see the back end of him. The last update I had about Max from Eve was that she loved him in the arena he was the softest horse she had ever ridden. He had learnt to do a rollback in 15 minutes (I don’t know if that is a good thing or a great thing but she was happy) and his turn of speed is impressive and she is thinking of getting into barrel racing with him as well. Unfortunately when she rode him out of the arena he was rearing and refusing to walk forward. She was now riding with a stick and spurs which was helping.