Three Weeks of Training Ruined in Two Days!
 
 

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Three Weeks of Training Ruined in Two Days!

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  • After 27 weeks of training, what level at horse training
  • Trail riding bit for greenie

 
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    06-13-2011, 12:13 AM
  #1
Green Broke
Three Weeks of Training Ruined in Two Days!

Since my mare's been out for a few weeks, I've been riding Firefly, a 10-year-old QH mare. Firefly had a reputation around the barn. She is a "one person" horse, and her person had moved away. Aside from "her" person, she behaved for no man. She presented vices such as head throwing, trotting/cantering off, diving into the bridle, and jigging. She also didn't allow herself to be caught in the pasture. Her overall attitude was almost as rotten as they come, so no one wanted to touch her. She sat in the pasture for weeks.

I came along and started to work with her. I rode her every day for three weeks -- I missed maybe two days total. Her vices began to disapear. After I got through to her, she was a pleasure. I rode her bridleless down from the pasture and galloped trails bareback. She was an angel and a lovely, well behaved trail horse.

Then the kids came...

It started three days ago when she was ridden on the trail by a beginner student. I figured that Fly had gotten over herself enough to be ridden on a walking trail ride. I was wrong. Fly quickly became her old self... Worse then her old self, even. She trotted off, threw her head, and just made the trail miserable.

I was riding my green four-year-old, Rascal, on his third trail ride, so I couldn't trade places. The BO got off her horse and tried to ride Fly, but Fly wouldn't even act right for her.

The next day, more kids. These kids were intermediate riders, so I wasn't as dismayed. We barely had enough horses, so one of them had to ride Fly. I rode Rascal once again.

Fly acted like an f-ing idoit for these kids as well. I couldn't stand it. I switched with the kid who was riding her. She rode Rascal (Rascal was being an angel; he was the best horse on the trail that day!) and I hopped on Fly. After a two minute little fight, Fly remembered who I was and behaved beautifully for the rest of the ride.

After we got back to the barn, the kids took Fly to the arena. They jumped her and stuff like that. I wasn't there to watch, but I assume they allowed her to get away with some stuff.

Today, I rode her. She acted like this was the first day of training all over again. All my work... Gone. All her vices were back... She settled down a little after a fight, but she wouldn't go back to the Firefly I had four days ago.

Worst of all, my "hero" was there, riding a horse she was training. She probably thought all the work I had put into Fly was a joke... She saw that horse at her worst. Therefore, she saw me at my worst. That horse is an extention of me... I was so embarrassed I just about cried.

My BO suggested I put her back into a hackamore and a running martingale if I couldn't control her, and that maybe she needed to just be sold... Mentally, I cracked. I COULD control her! I didn't need a martingale! This horse could go in a bit beautifully! This horse is GREAT!

Just not today...
     
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    06-13-2011, 12:32 AM
  #2
Trained
Well that stinks. I'm curious though. If she sat in the pasture because nobody wanted to ride her, why was it suddenly a free for all once you got her back into work? Did they just see her behaving for you and decide she's good for all? It certainly is scary how quickly a horse can be untrained.
     
    06-13-2011, 12:39 AM
  #3
Trained
I can relate...my mare is a one person horse, so I could imagine what would/could happen if I were to ever have her in that sort of situation.

Can you lease this mare, so she doesn't have to be ridden by others all the time? Your BO is pretty much spot on when she suggested she should be sold...a horse like Fly doesn't deserve to be in this sort of situation because mentally, she obviously can not handle it.

I wouldn't beat yourself up too hard; horses have bad days, and even though you've had really good time with her, inevitably what happened today, was going to happen, due to the inconsistency she experienced all weekend...she's confused again. I bet you go out tomorrow and you get a few more lights to go back on, and the next day, more, and so on... If she's got such a history of what you've described, you will go through this often...it's taken her a long time to learn those bad habits, so it will take a long time to 'unlearn' them as well. The general 'concepts' may be there, but it doesn't take much in the beginning for the horse to revert sometimes, and you feel like they haven't learnt a thing!
     
    06-13-2011, 12:41 AM
  #4
Green Broke
Yep. They (the general barn population) figured she just needed a little refresher... She was acting so nicely for me and use to be a lesson horse before she got soured up. I was hoping the general population was right and she would be good for everyone again...

This "one person is my boss and I hate everyone else" status certainly makes her future complicated. She isn't my horse. If no one but me can ride her, she's useless. She might end up sold after all.


Mom2pride:

I'll try not to lose hope. She's had a messed up few months. Her lesson horse days fried her brain... She was ridden by different three people a day, none of which knew how to ride. She couldn't form an actual horse/rider relationship and I think it stressed her endlessly.

Tomorrow is another day... And the next day, and the next... I just don't know how much time I have left beyond that until she gets sold out from under me. From what the BO said today, I'm afraid.

If she's sold to the right person, great. But whoever gets her can't take her as she is... It takes a while to see how nice this horse can be.
     
    06-13-2011, 01:30 AM
  #5
Green Broke
I read this post on your little diary you have on here. I may not always comment on it but I do read them.

Anyways,Fly sounds a lot like my horse! She really does. No one wants to ride her but me. I ask people all the time but I already know the answer but figure someone might change their mind...anyways you will get through to her as you have already. Mom2pride is right.Horses have bad days like we do.Green riders will let the horse get away with things even if they aren't aware of it..I know I did this..I'm not sure if you are able to intruct but if she is a free for all I would be with the rider and see about intructing them on how to ride Fly or better yet don't let anyone ride her untill you know you have a solid base on her or it will make her go back to her ways. She may always have an attitude but there are ways to go about it....don't give up
     
    06-13-2011, 02:22 AM
  #6
Green Broke
Even if the person riding her is doing all the right stuff, she still misbehaves. The kid who was riding her on the second day was good -- she wasn't doing anything to betray a skill level any lower than mine. I'm an intermediate rider; I still do some of the things greenies do. I imagine that, even under close instruction, Fly still wouldn't listen to the kid...

It's a strange situation. All factors were similar between me and the one who was riding Fly. (All the factors I could see, at least. I can't take into account how tense or out of control the kid felt.) I'm looking for some congruence among all of Fly's "people" to see if she has a type she likes.

Or maybe it's just as it appears and Fly only likes one person at the time. Like Mom2Pride said, she's had a rough time. Maybe changing riders is like separation anxiety... But I thought that was a movie thing, the horse that only lets one person ride it. One person horses exist, but this is pretty extreme.

Maybe I'll try letting others ride her again in a few more weeks, once she's very solid and well behaved for me. If she pitches the hissy fit she did today then, we're going to have a problem.
     
    06-13-2011, 02:27 AM
  #7
Green Broke
Well I believe some horses are sometimes a one person how..kinda like dogs...I know two different species but it might be like that.

She may have bonded with you without you knowing or maybe you do know she has..obviously she likes you.Maybe she needs someone to show her what to do as I know some horses seem "lost" and need a sense of direction and maybe you are the one helping her.....tell your parents you want her :P ;)
     
    06-13-2011, 10:25 AM
  #8
Weanling
My horse is much like your little mare. He was the "guest" horse that was never used, and was very mistrustful of people. I dread the day that will come if I ever need to part ways.

Have you tried having another person work with you? That way Fly starts associating others with work as well. Even though people are wanting to ride her, they still may be regarding her as the same bad horse and inadvertently tensing up. If you can get her accustom to some more advanced riders, it may help her out.

I think her being sold/given to someone who can dedicate the time you have would be the best thing for her. Not all horses are mentally capable of being a lesson horse.
     
    06-13-2011, 12:45 PM
  #9
Started
Honestly some horses do not do well with multiple riders and it sounds to me like this horse needs her person to be her only rider. Hack / lesson horse life just doesn't seem to be a good fit for her and if she is continually put into that situation it sounds like no matter what work you put into her, her vices will come back.

It's not just a "movie thing" to have a horse that really only goes well for one person. I see it ALL the time with the rescue horses here. One mare is so nervous she will jig and dance and prance and toss her head and even try to bite/attack anyone handling her. This means getting her to progress here is a challenge so we are dilligently looking for an intermediate/advanced person for her to be her ONLY person. I've even seen horses literally die from stress from being separated from their lifelong owner that just weren't ever "right" for anyone else - even if they weren't developing vices, they just weren't all there once they lost their person.

Animals - like people - have a very complex psychological makeup where changing owners, homes, barns, relocation, herd mates, and so on can be every bit as detrimental to them as to a child constantly changing their school, their friends, where they live, what class they are in and so on.

My advice is accept this horse for who she is and what she is telling you - and if you can't take her on, push the owner to sell her to someone who can be her one and only person.
     
    06-13-2011, 12:54 PM
  #10
Showing
I'm actually quite surprised that BO knowing this horse let the beginner on it. I mean, 3 weeks is not enough to make a horse beginner-safe (if possible at all). If its a trail riding barn the best way to go is to get rid of that horse. Or use it just for one person (trail guide).

BTW, she doesn't sound like a one-person horse to me (from my experience). She sounds like a horse with not much of correct training trying to establish itself as a leader and taking advantage of those who could be taken advantage of.
     

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