To sell or not to sell....
 
 

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To sell or not to sell....

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  • Horses not selling

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    06-06-2010, 05:29 PM
  #1
Foal
To sell or not to sell....

Hi everyone. This is my first post here, so let me give a little background. After a 10 year break (college, marriage, babies, etc.), I have returned to the horse world. I have a varied background in horses...have done a little bit of everything from western pleasure to hunter jumpers. I prefer English riding disciplines but find myself doing a lot of trail riding these days, which suits me just fine.

Now that my kids aren't babies anymore, I decided I couldn't be away from horses any longer. My husband was interested in learning to ride, and had never ridden before. We decided it was something we would do together, kind of like date night, but on horses! We found a horse for him first. To make a long story short, this horse turned out to be slightly more horse than he needed to be dealing with as a beginner. I stopped looking for a horse to suit me, and decided I'd just take his horse for myself, and we'd find him a better horse for him. We found him an awesome horse that has been great for him, and that has been a fantastic thing.

Now back to my horse. I didn't choose this horse with me in mind. He's bigger than what I would choose for starters, and very "westerny" in looks and movement. All that is ok and not too big a deal for me. However, for whatever reason, I have never clicked with this horse. It doesn't make sense to my husband and he is struggling to understand what I mean, but I think it takes a horse person to know what I am feeling. I like this horse ok. He's absolutely stunning to look at, and I always love the compliments I get about him. Most of the time he is lovely to ride and work with.

But....

He's a total beta horse, always looking for an edge and a way out of work, and I find that I can't ever let things slide with him. I know we should never let things slide with our horses, but with this horse, an inch always equals a mile! I get tired sometimes of this, but again, not a total deal breaker.

Another big factor for me is that this horse is a very forward walker. When my husband and I trail ride together (or when I ride with just about anyone) I am always way out ahead. I am either stopping to wait up or circling back. This horse has a ground eating stride, and to be honest, I'd love it were it not for the fact that it makes a pleasant side by side ride almost impossible. When I do take this horse out on a solo ride, I love it!! He's got a go all day attitude and he has the most lovely expression. You can see that he enjoys being ridden out on the trails. But for the most part, I don't ride by myself and I find myself annoyed by the constant back tracking. We ride with walkie talkies now so we can talk.

I know to some people this seems like a no-brainer! Sell him and get something else. Right? Well...for me its not that simple. First and foremost when I take an animal on, whether it be a horse or cat or whatever, I feel like I'm making a commitment. I am concerned about finding him the kind of home that he deserves, and I am plagued with doubt about all the unknown factors that could arise after I sell him. Once he's out of my hands, anything could happen and that bothers me. I also truly detest the process of looking for another horse. I mean detest it. Part of me feels like it will be less stressful to keep this one and make do. We board so it is not possible to keep him and buy yet another horse, so I have to decide one way or the other.

The constant back and forth is driving me crazy, and I need to make a decision once and for all and then proceed. Period.

I am curious if others out there have any advice for me or can give me some new and different ways to approach this problem.

Sorry to be so wordy!!
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    06-06-2010, 06:25 PM
  #2
twh
Weanling
You have a Tennessee Walker, correct? What breed of horse is your husband riding?
     
    06-06-2010, 06:47 PM
  #3
Showing
Gaited horses will ALWAYS walk faster than a trotting horse. Either get your husbands and kids gaited horses, or get yourself a trotting horse. I know it's hard, but that's what I would do.
     
    06-06-2010, 07:01 PM
  #4
Foal
He's a paint! Not gaited, although he could certainly keep up with a gaited horse My husband has a paint, too.
     
    06-06-2010, 07:08 PM
  #5
Showing
Oh! Well that changes things. Teach that horse to slow down and shorten his stride lol! What I would probably do, even though it's probably going to be bashed on here, is have your husband carry a carrot in his hand. Make sure your horse knows it's there, and make him adjust his pace to stay near the carrot.
     
    06-06-2010, 11:40 PM
  #6
Started
Yeah... I'm not trying to bash or anything... but a carrot in his hand is likely only to get your husband's fingers bitten off as the horse gets more insistent about getting it and may annoy your husband's horse to the point that he acts up if he feels like he's being crowded.
     
    06-07-2010, 12:20 AM
  #7
Yearling
I understand your frustation, personally it sounds to me it would be better for you to sell and buy another horse. But I completely understand how you feel about selling (going through it now w/ my mule), and w/ buying, strangely I find I like horse shopping for other people better then for myself.

That said I do most of my trail riding alone (or did, but not so much lately), and would love riding him! But that's how my mare is, she loves to go, she actually hates going home, and it seems to have rubbed off on our gelding. On the other hand my mare was missing a shoe so I ended up going for a ride w/ my brother in law on my neighbor's horse, and we could have used your walkie talkies. I was thinking man she'd be great for solo rides!

If you want to make it work w/ this guy I would either try to teach him to slow down, or teach your hubs horse to speed up (that would be my preference if it was me), it worked for our horse, our gelding moved so painfully slow I couldn't stand to ride him alone.
     
    06-08-2010, 01:15 AM
  #8
twh
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by equiniphile    
Oh! Well that changes things. Teach that horse to slow down and shorten his stride lol! What I would probably do, even though it's probably going to be bashed on here, is have your husband carry a carrot in his hand. Make sure your horse knows it's there, and make him adjust his pace to stay near the carrot.
A gaited horse naturally travels at a speed that is faster than a trotting horse. Trying to get him to slow down to the speed of a trotting horse may get in the way of his gaits if you're not experienced w/gaited horses, and besides, it's not fair to the horse.

If you don't want to get your riding partner a horse than can keep up with the gaited horse, then you should sell the gaited horse.
     
    06-08-2010, 01:53 AM
  #9
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by twh    
If you don't want to get your riding partner a horse than can keep up with the gaited horse, then you should sell the gaited horse.
Umm... the OP literally just informed us that he is not a gaited horse so this has absolutely no relevance.

When it comes down to it, you need to ask yourself whether you can make a commitment to working on "retraining" this horse. It will be a long and painstaking process, but will it be worth it in the end?

If you want to try to work on getting him to slow down, I suggest working with him extensively on the ground to yield to pressure, to respect your space, and to respond to your cues promptly without resistance. Once you've established this on the ground you'll need to work on the same sort of stuff while mounted in the arena. Develop your half halt and work on turns on the haunches, plenty of circles and serpentines, side pass, etc. The more responsive he is to you, the more you'll be able to ask him to slow down and such. Plus if you get really good at side passing you can make him move from one side of the trail to the other constantly until he slows up and decides that it's easier just to chill out and slow it down a little.

While what I've just told you is a basic "framework", you'll need to research more about doing these exercises appropriately and effectively.
     
    06-08-2010, 06:50 AM
  #10
Banned
My two cents?

Sell the horse. I applaud your attitude about making a commitment to the animals we keep, but you wouldn't be dumping or giving up on this animal, you'd be finding it a good, suitable home.

I *love* horses that walk on in the manner than you describe, and I love horses that will cheerfully hack out alone. There is absolutely a market for this horse. Training the forward walk out of him seems crazy to me when it's otherwise such a desirable trait.

I completely understand your reluctance to either buy or sell; I find both processes tedious and time consuming. However, you're in this wonderful situation where you've gotten your husband to share your hobby and it's something you can do together. Find a horse you do "click" with so you can get the full enjoyment out of it.

In re: "clicking": I have consulted with a lot of students and clients on horse purchases, and one of the things I learned, painfully, is that if the horse and rider don't "click", no amount of lessons and training will change it, no matter how wonderful and talented the horse, not matter how talented the rider.
     

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