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Stubborn Old(ish) Arab...is he worth it? (long)

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    08-02-2010, 12:21 PM
  #11
Foal
A lot to cover from those most recent posts. Thanks to all of you. I'll address as many of them as I can.

One person horse - Great. I can handle that in a house cat. Not sure my delicate nature can take that kind of rejection from something larger than me. While it's not ideal, I guess I can hope that "his person" is actually a member of my family. Haven't seen that emerge yet, though.

Trainer/Time/Commitment - I believe we've decided to employ all three. We found a trainer in Des Moines, Iowa that we really like and seems interested in working with Hell Horse. In light of the "one person" mentality you're telling me about, I won't be the person working with him. He's better fitted to one of my daughters - probably the fearless one. So I think we'll get her to put in the time with the trainer and watch for positive growth in both of them (my daughter and the horse - I expect the trainer has grown enough).

Admittedly, he pissed me off pretty good and scared me more than a little, but we can't bring ourselves to give up on him. We made a commitment when we bought him and I don't want to give up on that.

I really appreciate all of your input and encouragement. I'll keep you posted on progress.

Blink
     
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    08-02-2010, 01:10 PM
  #12
Green Broke
Here is a funny story about Arabians 'choosing' their humans that I just found out about last week:

I am breaking in a beautiful Arabian gelding at the moment (he is pretty much finished actually). He knows how to walk, trot, canter in the round yard, in the arena and on the trails. He will yield off my leg and is beginning walk-canter, canter-walk transitions. I have found him to be agreeable and a pleasure to work with, his owner (an older lady) is also beginning to ride him without difficulty.

I was away for a week and thus the gelding was going to have the week off work and I would pick up where we left off when I returned. Well his owner had another trainer work with this horse while I was gone. Now this other trainer has much more experience working with horses than me, especially Arabians. He is knowledgeable and an excellent rider, I have absolute confidence in his riding and training. Well this gelding decided that he just wasn't going to perform for this trainer. He wouldn't move. Every opportunity the horse had, he tried to drag the trainers leg across the side of the round yard. He wouldn't turn. He never went further than a simple walk-trot in the round yard. The trainer (much to my embarrassment) told the owner that there was nothing he could do with this horse as the horse clearly didn't know how to do anything.

The first day I came back, I rode this horse and he was an angel, did all his transitions with only the faintest cue from me, I can actually feel him waiting for my next command. Is it because I am any better than the other trainer? Hell no!!! The **** horse just decided to be belligerent and refused to perform. Luckily for me the owner can ride him without problems also, otherwise I would look like I wasn't doing my job properly!

One thing I will say about Arabians though: Once they have 'chosen' you, a superior mount you will not find. They are courageous, intelligent and have a lot of heart. These qualities also make them difficult occasionally and sometimes give them a bad reputation, undeservedly I believe. I hope you can win this horse over as I am sure he will prove to be an amazing horse, good luck!
     
    08-03-2010, 09:14 AM
  #13
Foal
My mother also has an arabian and he loves everyone, but not everyone can ride him. The lady at the barn is trying to use him as a lesson horse... but I don't think this will work... When I ride him he is amped up and wants to go, all I have to do is tap him with my foot and he trots. Tap him again he canters, with my mom (and this isnt a she's not my owner thing) he wont trot... she has health problems and isnt allowed to trot and the horse somehow knows this. He tiptoes with her on his back. Each person he lets ride him he is a different horse with. Me he's strong and fast, with my mom he's soft and quiet, with the girl that is taking lessons he's attentive and nurturing, and with someone he doesnt like he looks like an a** who doesnt know anything.. he just stands there...

lol its just an arabian thing so don't take rejection bad.. lol anyone whos dealt with arabians has been there once or twice =)
     
    08-03-2010, 09:23 AM
  #14
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by blink    
One person horse - Great. I can handle that in a house cat. Not sure my delicate nature can take that kind of rejection from something larger than me. While it's not ideal, I guess I can hope that "his person" is actually a member of my family. Haven't seen that emerge yet, though.


A lot of folks try and romanticize their relationship with their horse. While I would admit there are horses that do get along hugely well with some folks and not so much with anyone else, it's not a breed or sex or age of the horse - it's the whole package.

Do you really like everyone in your network of friends? Nope. Some folks you get along with because it's the PC thing to do.
     
    08-03-2010, 06:01 PM
  #15
Foal
Haha yeah, I can relate. My peruvian is "nuts". She actually belongs to my neighbors, but she's pretty much turned into my horse because I'm the only one that can ride her. She HATES men, like, deathly terrified of men, she's too aggressive for little kids (nor does she like little kids), and anybody who isn't a man or a little kid hates her because she has no interest in being friendly and she's really spooky and jumpy.

She's extremely independent and stand off-ish. She's not one of your friendly in-everybodys-face horses, so that makes it very difficult for people to bond to her. I'll admit, I didn't even like her when I first started riding her. I thought she was a stubborn you-know-what and I could hardly catch her...She'd even threaten to kick, she was barn sour, she occasionally bucked, I could hardly get the bridle on because she hates having her ears touched, and you tell her to go and she'd just practically take off. Probably not a good way to describe it, but she'd take off quickly into one of her faster paces, so fast that I'd almost fall off her.

I continued anyway and insisted that she interact with me and she's finally started to come along. She'll walk up to me and I have no issues walking right up to her and snapping a lead rope on. She's still a very nervous horse because of her past abuse from a previous owner (most likely a man), but we're making progress.

My horse has other problems because of the abuse, so I'm actually having to practically retrain her (bad training is no better than no training, either way the horse doesn't understand what you want). She's also much younger, 8 years about, and high strung. But I bet if you insist your horse interact and do what you want and don't give up, he'll start to come around too.
     
    08-03-2010, 06:25 PM
  #16
Trained
Some horses and people just have a personality clash. It's how it is.

However - He may not like you, and that's fine. But he DOES still have to show you some courtesy and work for you. He doesn't have to give cuddles or come running, but he does have to do as you ask.

I had a horse I clashed with - A stubborn, obstinate, simple, big headed brumby. I had him for a year to campaign in Mounted Games. We worked together ok - He improved out of sight in that time - but I never 'liked' him and I daresay he never liked me.

I sent him back to his owners and about a year later a girl I knew and was helping find her feet with horses had an opportunity to lease him. I was all for it as I knew the horse and knew him to be fairly simply and safe, if a brat.

They got on like a house on fire! She loved that little pony.

*

I honestly don't believe in that 'bond' stuff a lot of people talk about. I believe that horses all have different personalities, like people, and some will get along and some won't. I believe that you can create a working relationship with a horse that is so complete it won't perform quite as well for anyone else - I ahve experienced it. But I think it is more about time spent in the saddle learning that horses quirks inside out than any 'bond'.

*

I think your trainer will probably get along fine with this horse - He will know very well how to make a horse work for him even if it doesn't like him. The trick will be teaching you to do the same. You may be lucky and he will get along better with one of your children - or you may not.

Personally, I don't see the value of keeping a horse around who I don't 'mesh' with. As the above story shows, there will be someone else out there they will mesh with.

But hey, it's up to you :]
     
    08-03-2010, 06:33 PM
  #17
Weanling
Like everyone else has said, Arabs are super smart and quick on their feet so to speak. They're also notorious for being one person horse's ( I think someone said that already). Ha Well it sounds like you have a older arab that knows the ropes but also know's your greener so he is taking advantage of that. It also sounds like he's taking advantage of the fact that you might be a little bit nervous when you go out solo when he throws a fit, don't get off of him when he does that or he's getting what he wants. Most horse's that are barn sour have lets call them goals right ok so they have a short term goal which is to get as far as THEY want to go and throw a fit, when you get off he wins. ( that's his short term goal) Your ruining his long term goal by making him walk further away from where he wants to go but when you get back on and he wants to go right back to the barn don't let him. If your comfortable, let him turn in circles, push him forward with his head tucked to your side so he can't buck, i'm not going to lie he will fight back but if you can out last him he'll tire out and want to stop, don't let him and when your happy then let him walk back to your barn. Wow that was long lol Sorry about that.
     
    08-03-2010, 07:03 PM
  #18
Foal
I agree ^

Its what I always tell a friend of mine with an older arab. He acts up and sometimes scares her (she's 15 and its her first horse), but she needs to stay on him and keep working, at least for a few more minutes. The horse needs to know that being a jerk isn't going to get him out of work.

And he does that sometimes despite liking her. That's HER horse and you can tell he adores her. You should see the games he plays with her older sister who is afraid of him. The 15 y/o girl can go out there with buckets of grain to feed the goats and he will respect her space and not get pushy because she's feeding. Her older sister goes out there to feed him and the goats when she's gone? He gallops around and bucks and rears...She has to go out there a couple hours before feeding time and tie him up under the tree.
     

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