I feel Lost...

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I feel Lost...

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    11-03-2008, 08:36 PM
I feel Lost...

So I have been riding Western my whole life. I have maybe a year or two worth of lessons (English), but most of my knowledge comes from very informal training and watching videos and reading books. Right now I ride at a barn that does a lot of AQHA showing (Home of Kissock Center if you want to see what kind of barn they are). We have been working with Diesel in some lessons once a week with just getting him collected, and on the bit. My trainer wants me to do some local horsemanship and western shows. But while I would definitely like to do this, I really want to start doing dressage and jumping. My problem is my horse is really not suited to this. He is a barrel horse. He is pretty good at doing all around type stuff, but I do not really feel comfortable trying to teach him how to jump considering I don't know how to jump or do dressage really. I know I should sell him to find something better suited to what I want to do right now, but I couldn't live with myself if I sold him. Any advice? Where I board right now is really the only show barn or lesson barn of any type in my town. I am looking to transfer colleges to Montana State University in Bozeman next year for their equine program as they show IHSA and such.
I just feel like I am left behind because everyone I board with has these beautiful show horses and have all been regional/national champions 10 times over. They all have super fancy finished horses too. Diesel is 15h on a good day and I just don't know how I can make him an english horse.

-end rant-
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    11-07-2008, 06:59 AM
If I'm reading the post right - you sound like you're in a bit of a pickle!!

First of all, don't go comparing yourself to anyone else.... ask then to neck-rein and they probably wouldn't have the first clue. You will have experience and skills that are enviable to other, I am sure.

How old is Diesel??
I'm not against retraining horses, as long as they are at the right age (i.e. Not too set in their ways... 15+) and are happy/relaxed in their new work.
I think it's difficult for you both to re-train though - that could get frustrating!!

Have you considering loaning Diesel at the same yard? Or perhaps keeping Diesel and having lessons on a school-master in English riding? Or just going out and buying another....

Don't get yourself stressed about it - these things work their way out. Just enjoy it!
Best of luck.
    11-07-2008, 07:16 AM
Don't feel bad!

LOL.. If it helps at all, I appears that I am faced with the same dilema to a point! I own a few myself, and most of them are my show babies (they are all babies to me)! I am off to regional shows every year, working alot with Halter, Lunge line, Trail and so on.. but it comes down to western style. I work and train in western events.. And now until recently with most of mine having a QH build for these events...

Up pops a jumping bean! Fortunately she is really young and has the ability to work HJ.. the problem being me! If Ember keeps clearing barrels and poles and having fun doing it, I see it will be time for me add a new aspect to learn! I have never done dressage or HJ training or events, but I don't want to short her because of my lack of knowledge and skill in this area!

Now I hear with yours it's a matter of yours being able to. If yours isnt, then that's alright! I would suggest buying one breed for this.

You will find in any stable and show that it's a competition, in everything. Don't let others competitive nature detour what you have! Even if you have the perfect one for that environment, the situation will still remain the same!
    11-16-2008, 10:57 PM
Diesel is 10. I have lunged him over some small jumps, ridden him for fun doing some english stuff and taken a few english lessons on him, but nothing serious. He seems to like it okay, but I don't know how to actually get him into it. I loaned him out to a girl who wanted to do 4H with him, and had a really bad experience. I left for a week to go visit family, and when I came back, he had horrible manners. The only thing I can find so far here is having him used as a lesson horse but...I don't think that would do very much good. I don't have the heart to sell him though it would probably be the best idea. And the closest english lessons I can find are $55 an hour. Right now I am paying 12.50 for group and could do 25 for private. My BO right now keeps pushing me to ride diesel and do everything with him, but she is more or less trying to teach me to teach him and I don't really feel that is the best idea. We both seem to get frustrated with it.

I dunno, its kind of frustrating. I get too attached and just can't sell him. If only I had the money to afford another horse or find a lease or something =/
    11-17-2008, 10:59 PM
Green Broke
Can you take 2 of 4 monthly lessons on another, well-trained english horse? You would definitely learn more this way! Hang in there, it'll all click eventually
    11-18-2008, 12:12 AM
I guess its hard changing the way a horse carries itself and balances itself and all that but personally I don't think there is a huge difference between English and Western. Its always been my opinion you can do almost anything with any horse regardless of breed (except the draft and other exceptions). I presume you are riding in English tack and such. What I would do is just keeping going. Dressage isn't an insanely complex discipline, it is just the principles of riding, and they are practised and perfected. Its a matter of a horse responding to aids and showing he will work in harmony with the rider. All horses can do that, some can show it better, or have better strides, but the basic stuff any sound horse can do.

Work on contact, flexion, aids and circles, these are not things that really need to be taught for a horse or rider to get. I don't know if there are things like half halts in western, but these concepts are pretty easy to get. If you like your horse there is no reason to get rid of him because he isn't doing what you want now.

Jumping isn't something that needs to be "taught". All horses can jump, some just do it better than others. To be able to jump higher and wider jumps better things such as collection, extension, rythm and balance need to be improved, but these are things all horses can do, not only some.

So what I am saying is I don't think your horse can't do it, I just think he needs some time and work. If he's been ridden western all his life he can't just become and english horse straight away. If you feel that your instructor is not addressing your needs get another one, its not to do with how nice an instructor is or how good they are, its got to do with the way you learn, and the way they teach.

As for leasing your horse out or lending it to people, I can understand why people do it, but I would never do it myself. It takes a while to get a good solid relationship with a horse, to where you know when they are going to move and how, and if you put your leg in a certain spot what will happen, and it takes a while for a horse to know you, so letting other people ride your horse is like ruining all that work.

If I have a horse that I want to ride and compete on I do not let anyone else ride it. And I don't know why other people do either. No two riders ride the same, and that can confuse the horse.

Anyway my advice would be to stick in there, do what you feel is right. But if you feel that this horse isn't right, then move him on, get one that you enjoy and want.
    11-18-2008, 09:06 AM
In rush but want to answer so haven't read any replies so sorry in advance if I repeat etc etc.
All is not lost I did see you said He was 10 older but not too old never too old. You will need to concentrate on his schooling but I don't see why you can't expect him to be both and I have turned a barrel racer into a nice jumper, I don't know much about about western mind you. But this horse was used while and prior me jumping her and as far as I am aware she still does some jumping and a little barrel racing but she must be nearing 18 now.
I am assuming you horse works well walk, trot, canter in western, so when your riding him english is he long and low?
My first start would be getting him to just round a bit more and have his head a little higher, I don't know how far you got in your riding lesson etc. But to get him to do this I would sit deep, hold your legs on and just lift your hands with a nice light bit firm contact on both reins. Bring lots of circles and surpintines into your schooling. Also learn to crawl before you run, so before you do too much trotting or cantering, get his walk nice, then proceed onto trot work.
Lunging as well I would recommend the pessoa system or side reins. To help establish a more correct headset to start jumping.
But my first rule of thumb is get the flat work right before jumping, and if you can at least have a few lessons with someone experienced the first few times you guys jump together will make life a bit easier for you both.
And never fear you schooling him to do something else shouldn't mean he won't still be a fine western horse.
Good luck and hope you make a jumper out of him yet! Sorry if some of this doesn't make sense....rushing....but feel free to pm me if you want any tips or advise I will try to help if I can.
    11-18-2008, 10:16 AM
This is all making a little bit more sense. I have been taking lessons once a week, but I don't really feel like we are learning too much from the lessons. I found a combined training trainer about an hour from me at a school I am going to transfer to next fall. She also knows a good dressage trainer. Once I get a trailer, I think I am going to go over there once a month until I figure out what I am doing.
Its nice to hear that everyone thinks my horse can pull it off! He's a stocky little horse but he tries really hard so I think we should be okay for a while doing local stuff.

As far as the pessoa, I have heard alot about it, but it is a bit pricey for me and I want to try it out on him before I buy it. I have been lunging him once and awhile with this contraption my barn owner has. Let me see if I can describe it...
Its a stretchy type rope and you start on their left side and it goes through the bit and up over the pole to their right side and through the bit on that side then both the loose ends on either side of the horse go through their legs then over behind the saddle horn and are tied. She does it pretty tight with her horses, but I have been keeping it pretty loose on him. It definitely makes him rounder and stuff, but I am always hesitant because I don't want to force him into a frame. So far we haven't had any bad results.
    02-05-2009, 09:33 AM
Well, I have a 27 year old qh that was trained to chase cattle that I trained to jump last year, and he did wonderful, I think you would be surprised at the hidden talent of some horses ;)
    02-11-2009, 05:40 PM
Green Broke
What I would do in this situation, is lease him to an experianced rider that you know will love and take care of him and not screw his manners or stuff up and try to take lessons with a good trainer on a school master, so once you get a feel for english and jumping, you then can try to train him. I think it would be quite difficult for you to try to train him and yourself at the same time!

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