Please help- I'm a Newby - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 02-24-2012, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Please help- I'm a Newby

My wife has had this mare since we met three years ago. (just got married last June). I think the mares about 5. My wife tells me "oh I've sent her off to be broke three times, and each time they came back and said she can't be broke". Well I love my wife, but sometimes she can embellish a little bit, and I'm not so sure of the caliber of "trainer" she sent her to. (Probably some young guy that said he could break her so she'd think he was tough, since she was single then). Anyway this girl kicked my wife's teeth out when she was in the stall fixing her water bucket. Apparently she'd be fine one day and let you ride her, and the next she will buck you off. She has been a 1200 lb dog since I've known my wife. No one rides her, no one has even tried (including myself) in three years.

Now I didn't grow up with horses, and I know next to nothing about them. But as I have been feeding and mending fences and cleaning up after one for three years now, I'd like to learn and start riding. Is a 5 yr old mare too old to change? Should I try to get a professional trainer to get her started and teach me? HELP! what should I do?
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post #2 of 30 Old 02-24-2012, 01:58 PM
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So this mare is the one that "kicked your wifes teeth out"?
The short answer is, yes, you and the horse both need the direction, supervision and support of a professional trainer. The horse needs to go for training and you, in the meantime, need to work with a riding instructor taking lessons on horses that are already fully trained. Both the human and the horse in this situation need to learn, separately, before the two are even thought of being put together.
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post #3 of 30 Old 02-24-2012, 02:02 PM
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Either get a professional trainer for the horse or sell it and buy the one that suits both of you better (the beginner-friendly one). 5 years old is young, and definitely can be trained, but even the trained horse can be challenging for the beginner (depending on disposition, how forward the horse is, how spooky it is, and so on).
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post #4 of 30 Old 02-24-2012, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, the mare kicked her while she was just in the stall with her. No provocation. We're lucky she didn't do more damage. Stitches, some new teeth and a couple thousand dollars later.

What kind of $$ are we talking for a good professional trainer and riding instructions? I'm sure it varies across the US, but a roundabout $ would give me an idea of when I could get started?
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post #5 of 30 Old 02-24-2012, 02:04 PM
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A five year old mare can be trained, unless there is some physical or mental disability (yes, horses can be insane, too). I would guess she has not been taught any manners in a consistent manner.

You can't just send the mare off to be trained and simply bring her back to the same environment that spoiled her to begin with. The training will completely unravel.

I would find a GOOD trainer with a lengthy reputation nearby. Then, I would schedule training for both horse AND owners. Any trainer worth their good reputation will allow the owners to watch the work. The trainer can then explain everything they are doing and, more importantly, WHY they are doing it.

It may cost a little more for this, but it is crucial for maintaining the horse's training.

You need to do this soon, before any more people get hurt!!!
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post #6 of 30 Old 02-24-2012, 02:06 PM
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OH, by the way.....

WELCOME to the forum!!!

HA! Simultaneous posting!!
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post #7 of 30 Old 02-24-2012, 06:02 PM
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I would say if this mare has been treated like a "puppy" its whole life and neither one of you have had horses etc..give her up to someone who KNOWS what they are doing (she might be great for someone else) but now that she knows she can walk all over you it will take A LOT of time and PACIENTS to teach her. Find something else you can ride and ENJOY. Her kicking your wifes teeth out is a warning...expecially because there provoking (except maybe you were "in her space") There is no reason a horse should do that and because its extreme and you (i dont know about your wife)are a beginner that is nothing you need to deal with....just think next time it might not be her teeth and a couple thousand dollars, it might be her life.

Thats just my thought
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post #8 of 30 Old 02-24-2012, 06:18 PM
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I'm going to be blunt with you. Do not learn to ride on THIS horse.

THIS horse needs a serious attitude adjustment and correct handling. You can only learn that first hand with the help of a trainer.. otherwise it's going to be a very bumpy, painful road.

I think you should find a trainer that can help you both with groundwork and with riding. Riding horses that aren't hot pockets.. they should be nice and level headed.

Also I think that you should look at finding a beginner safe horse for you and your wife.. perhaps sell THIS one to someone that is looking for a project.

Your poor wife though.. hopefully her confidence is still intact.
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post #9 of 30 Old 02-24-2012, 07:14 PM
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Hi Newby1, I have a very different suggestion. Your wife has had the mare for three years and has sent her off to three trainers and hasn't been able to ride much during that time? I take my hat off to your wife, it sounds to me as though she is very committed to the mare - lots of people would have just sold her by now. Huge respect to your wife. I suggest she look at Friendship Training - easy to find with a google search. They also have a Yahoo group she could join if she wanted to get more of a feel for it. I started a thread on it here a while ago called 'Friendship Training does work'. It has helped me greatly with my 10 yo gelding who had been described as 'can of worms', time bomb', etc. People with lots or marginal horse experience can do it and it has helped turn around some extremely aggressive horses, as well as those who had been badly treated in the past.

I would be very happy to talk more about my experiences with it if your wife wanted to message me privately. I hope she recovers quickly.
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post #10 of 30 Old 02-24-2012, 07:23 PM
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Hi Newby,
Welcome to the Horse Forum -- (and welcome to the world of spoiled horses.)

I have spent a lifetime straightening out spoiled horses. I have learned that while almost all of them can be 'fixed', most have far poorer dispositions than what nice, trainable horses that make kind natured family horses have to start with.

Right now, nice horses are cheap. I would highly recommend selling this one (would be a money saver to give her away) and buying a nice, 'user friendly' horse that is trained and is easy to get along with.

You could put 2 or 3 months training in this one at $750.00 or more per month and still have a hateful wench.

It bothers me a lot that 3 people could not get along with her. I would want to know a LOT more about their qualifications and would rather talk to them before I decided to put a penny in this mare. You could very well just be putting good money after bad.

The other thing to think about is your wife's confidence. She is not going to be comfortable on this horse if you spend $10,000.00 trying to make her be a different horse. She needs a confidence builder -- not a horse that has already injured her. This is just not a good plan.

There is an saying among old horse trainers "You can't make chicken salad out of chicken s***!" It is crude, but it is pretty true.

40 or 50 years ago, our choice of horses was pretty limited. You trained what you had or what came down the driveway. The biggest single thing that has happened in the last 40 years is that we (breeders) are breeding a lot better horses with a lot better dispositions and lot more ability.

Breeding and prospects vary SOOOO much, that we still breed our own prospects when we could buy them for 5 or 10 cents on the dollar (or less) of what we could buy them for.
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