Is my horse is to advanced for me? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 60 Old 03-28-2014, 10:01 AM
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I think this is not a matter of respect. This is a horse that is poorly trained and this rider is waaaay over-mounted. Then, there are other factors that can play into this whole situation. And Yes!, you are not experienced enough and probably have the wrong experience.

You do not need 'organized' lessons in the manner they are given at a lesson or boarding barn. You need to learn how to control a horse. We encounter people that have had several years of lesson. They are clueless what to do when They want to go north and Dobbin wants to go south. Until you know how to get a horse to go north that wants to go south, YOU CANNOT RIDE. You would learn 10 times more from a good mentor that knows how to ride. We do this all of the time. We exchange knowledge and riding time for helping saddle and get horses ready to ride, etc. 100% of the people that have done this around here tell everyone that they learned more accidentally by being around us and helping us than they ever did taking lessons.

Back to the horse -- What is this horse being fed? If she is eating a 'hot' diet with too much grain and supplement, this can be a big part of her 'hotness'.

How much free exercise and turn-out is she getting. I would opt, if possible, for living out all of the time with free choice hay and little if any concentrates. I would give her absolutely NO Vitamin or mineral supplements that contain the blood building components like the B Vitamins, liver, iron, etc. If you feed and stable one like a race horse, you have a much better chance of them acting like one.

Next, make sure she is getting supplemented with Magnesium. This can also be HUGE for horses that have a natural tendency to be hot, chargy and/or nervous.

Next, longe this horse a LOT -- BUT not any faster than a slow trot. When you get a horse to relax and jog slowly on the longe, their whole attitude changes. Most people longe one too fast and too hard. They only develop a pattern of charging off on the longe or in the round pen. Create a mentality of slow and lazy. All fast longing does is get one fit and make it take twice as long to slow down. You don't want to practice charging around; You want to practice 'slow and easy'.

Next. Never go to a stronger bit for this problem. With too much impulsion AND too much bit, you will create a horse that rears. You give a chargy horse nowhere to go but up, they go up.

She is not guiding well enough for you. You are 'letting' her turn around and go where she wants to go. Both you and her need to know how to guide. A horse (and rider) needs to learn how to 'follow their nose'.

You are green and so is she. You are only teaching her bad habits and spoiling her worse. You need to learn what to ask her to do and how to ask it. She needs to learn that when you ask her to do something, she MUST do it 100%of the time without an argument.

You (and her) both need to learn 'leg yielding' exercises. This way, you can ride with one rein at a time and can push her around with your legs.

You and her need to learn how to do a 'one rein stop' the right way. Then, you have a 'off button' and can get her mind back on you without pulling on both reins at the same time. That just never works with a chargy horse.

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post #22 of 60 Old 03-28-2014, 10:23 AM
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To be honest, when I first got Stitch he terrified me, and was way too much for me to handle. He wouldn't walk, he just wanted to run. But I had fallen in love with him and was too stubborn to sell him and get a more suited horse. He was a giant teddy bear on the ground.

It was as if he didn't know how to be calm under saddle, due to his abusive past. After about 5 months of constant riding and groundwork he became the most calm, trustworthy horse I've ever rode. Now, I've had him for 9 months, and he's my show horse. We compete in hunters and jumpers and other English classes, and halter and trail trials as well

That being said, I had a trainer. Yes this horse seems like too much for you, but IF you can get a trainer I wouldn't give up on her just yet. (Unless the trainer agrees she is too dangerous). Most problems like you're describing can be fixed.

Unfortunately, if you cannot get a trainer or any help you'll risk being hurt. And in that case, it's probably best to just sell her.
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post #23 of 60 Old 03-28-2014, 10:34 AM
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Why not post an ad and begin looking for a straight up trade? I'm sure there is someone out there looking to get rid of their current horse for a more challenging mount. That takes cash out of the equation for you and gets you on a more suitable horse. The warm months are coming and I'm sure you would rather spend time enjoying your horse than becoming fearful or getting injured.
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post #24 of 60 Old 03-28-2014, 10:42 AM
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I think Cherie is talking about bad lessons maybe when she mentions that people didn't learn enough or the right things from lessons. If you get a good instructor they will teach you those things. My trainer helps me "make" my horse do something if he's decided to blow me off. I do think you want to find someone who will work with you AND the horse. When I truly can't get my horse to do something (he really hates leg yield, it's hard with his weak stifles), I have her get on and ride and tune him up, then we try to figure out what I'm doing wrong.
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post #25 of 60 Old 03-28-2014, 10:50 AM
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If your parents are not willing to help and can't understand the need for a trainer, then your best bet is just to downgrade to a horse that does not need the work. A horse that builds your confidence and that you have fun with will do more for your riding than a horse you are afraid of, because when you are feeling safe and having fun, you actually WANT TO RIDE!

Alternatively, you might be able to see if there is someone at your barn you trust who can show you the ropes of handling some of her issues. She does not sound dangerous, but since you don't have the skills or knowledge to handle the issues yet, it's pretty much the same as having an actual dangerous horse on your hands.

If you board, talk to your barn owner about the situation - perhaps them putting a bug in your parents' ears would mean more coming from an adult. Your parents need to understand that WITHOUT GUIDANCE, your skills will not "progress"- in fact, they will do the opposite. People in the Olympics still have coaches and trainers, that's how they got as far as they did! They didn't take 1 year of lessons and then try to figure out the rest on their own.

Take it from someone who has a lot of fear issues to contend with - there is nothing wrong with admitting you need help, or guidance. And just like with men, sometimes you gotta kiss a lot of frogs before you find your Perfect Horse.
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post #26 of 60 Old 03-28-2014, 10:58 AM
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A lot of good advice here, just one point I'd like to add/expand on-

There's a perception that I see over and over again that poorly trained/poor mannered horses are "advanced." While these horses need an advanced rider to correct their issues, the horses themselves are not advanced. They aren't ready for high level competition (or sometimes even low level competition). A dead broke schoolmaster is an advanced horse. This is the type of horse that already knows the paces and it's up to the rider to improve her own abilities to take advantage of them. The fact that you only test rode your horse on a lunge line is a huge red flag. It implies to me that you/the seller/the trainer already thought this horse was too much for you. You've ended up with a horse that needs an advanced rider, not an advanced horse.

If you are only sticking with this horse because your parents won't buy you another one then that's probably a good sign that you should sell her. Perhaps you can reach an agreement with your parents that you will go back to lessons or lease a more appropriate horse instead of buying another one, and then you can give horse ownership another go in a few years when you've gained more experience. OTOH, if you really like this particular horse then do what you can to get a trainer to work with her (and you!)
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post #27 of 60 Old 03-28-2014, 05:37 PM
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I've been riding for four years and I study horse care and management at college and I wouldn't even consider buying myself a horse yet, simply because I don't yet have the experience to look after a horse on my own.

I think you are out of your depth, 1 year of lessons doesn't make you experienced unfortunately and this horse is clearly too much for you. Getting a harsher bit will not solve anything, that is not what you should do.
It sounds to me that this horse needs a more experienced rider who knows how to get the best out of her. If I were you, I would try and sell the horse because you don't want to either get hurt, or come to hate horses because of the difficulties you are having with this one.

If you really don't want to sell I would work with a trainer and your horse. Get some experienced help for you and your horse. You sound like you need a beginner safe horse, and that certainly doesn't mean your riding can't progress, safe horses who know what they are doing and will forgive your mistakes are the best horses to learn on. I think you rushed into ownership a little bit and if you do sell, I think taking more lessons and then maybe leasing would be a little bit better. You sound young and have years to think about owning a horse when you have more experience. I don't want to offend at all and am just giving my opinion. Good luck with whatever you do :)
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post #28 of 60 Old 03-28-2014, 06:28 PM
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OP, are you still logging on and reading this? I would bet that if you are really dedicated to horses, then you are reading this, but due to some comments are just plainly too discouraged and embarrassed to post a reply. There is a lot of good advice here, but there are also some people that are just being plain discouraging and too harsh on a young person. However, I have a different view on things because I chose the hard path in horsemanship.
The first thing you have to decide: are you truly dedicated to this horse? Do you WANT this horse? If you are not willing to put work into this horse, sell the mare ASAP. Since you've had this mare for FIVE months, it sounds to me like you are dedicated to the mare and are just getting to the end of your rope here. Your parents are not helping the situation, but they are probably just as tired of it as you are. Another thing-take your pride down a few pegs. Realize that you ARE a beginner (there is no one in the world who knows everything about horses, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise), and that you DO need help, and whether you have riding talent or not, there is no need to mention it anywhere. It makes people feel as though you are being boastful and will make them bitter towards you.

You know that old saying "green+green=black and blue". Well I have one thing to say. STICKING WITH MY GREEN HORSE WAS THE BEST THING I EVER DID.

The second thing-find a knowledgeable horse person and learn as much as you can! See if you can get them to take you under their wing. Find a trainer and work for lessons! Muck stalls, groom horses, whatever they need, you be their go-to gal. People will WANT to help you if you are a hard worker and help them!

Third-I'll tell you the turning point for me was when I apprenticed for a dressage trainer and she took me and my horse straight back to ground work. That's what you need. People who have said this is not a matter of respect-IT IS! along with the combination of inexperience, this is a matter of respect. Your mare is EXTREMELY barn sour, and you should not be taking her out alone. If you don't know how to ground work a horse, get someone to teach you. If you have a round pen available, use it! What will help with the problem is to get a horse friend and walk your horse with their horse down the road, with your friend leading/riding theirs and you preferably leading yours. The friend's horse MUST be a calm and quiet individual who is NOT barn sour, otherwise it will just make the situation worse.

If you are not already-WEAR A HELMET!

If you are humble, determined, willing, hard working, listening, and being patient, you will get through this. I could give you my whole story but it would take WAY too long. Absolutely everyone told me I should sell my horse, but I didn't. I stuck with her, and we have come far! She will go out alone or with other horses, trailers in any trailer by herself, rides english and western, carries flags, and has simply turned into an absolutely fantastic horse. Guess what? She used to be just like your horse, did everything that your horse does and more. I honestly think that if I hadn't stuck with her she would've ended up in a glue bottle. I could write a whole book about everything I have learned from training this horse. It's been an incredible experience and I don't regret any of the trials or hardships. The point is-we have come out of it a stronger and bonded horse and rider pair. And I am PROUD of what we have accomplished. I hope that this works out for you, and whatever you decide to do, may you be blessed, safe and happy.

P.S. I got my horse when I was 13 and am now 17. =) God Bless!
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post #29 of 60 Old 03-28-2014, 08:46 PM
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The idea that you need a challenging horse to take you to the next level is odd to me. A lesson horse can teach any rider something. Also how experienced are you? Walk trot canter jump? How high have you jumped?
Also when I am riding I have to act like a brat, don't take no for an answer. Get what you want and don't look back! This may sound selfish though it is the only way I can get things done when riding. You have to make it happen and then make it look fabulous. I am sure you can ride this horse but you have to believe it and make it happen
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post #30 of 60 Old 03-28-2014, 08:47 PM
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Well, now is the point where you learn the difference between liking horses and knowing horses. They're not the same. You can read book after book after book on them, know them inside and out from an academic stand point, and then you can get on one and all that text book knowledge goes straight out the window

I know. Please don't think I'm trying to be rude - I'm not. I was in the horse market a few years ago too. There was one horse that I saw and wanted so bad. He was fiery, spunky, flashy, tall, young, and fast. I was 17 at the time I was looking for a horse and I had been riding since before I could walk, had been in lessons since I was 4. I fancied myself pretty experienced.

So my ego and I went to visit this horse. He was a four year old gelding. 16.1 hands and had a super flashy black and white coat. I was like, "Yup! I can ride him! No problem!" Swung myself up there and you know what? I soon realized that this was NOT the horse for me! He was nervous, VERY green, and VERY fast. Now, I like fast. It was an attribute I was looking for in a horse, in fact. But more important to speed was my comfort with him. I put him through his paces and it was very obvious to myself, my mother, and his owner, that I was NOT a good fit for him.

I test rode about 10 horses before I decided on my current boy. My current boy, Sonny, was 15 when I got him. He was a seasoned trail and barrel horse, had the speed I was looking for, was broke but not bombproof. He matches my skill level. His old owner is my mom's friend and she met us out on the trails with him and I test rode him there. We went through our paces while she explained to me how he reacts to certain things (the poor fellow is afraid of stumps and cows ).

To be honest, when I first rode him I thought he was boring. He just plods along and does his thing - where's the excitement? I tell you what, the excitement is when we're plodding along and suddenly a giant deadly stump appears and he jumps to the side. Or when I ask him to go and he goes 50 mph.


Yes, I believe your horse is too much horse for you. You did not test ride her in a conducive environment. You did not test ride multiple horses. You either need to get a trainer to help you out or get a more beginner friendly horse. A year does not make you not a beginner. If that were true then 2 year old me would be an expert! Also, there is NOTHING wrong with bombproof horses or dead broke ones. Sonny could be considered dead broke as when he spooks he doesn't do much but jump sideways and he's a joy to ride and still manages to keep me, someone who's been riding for 20 years, on my toes. I feel you need to consider something other than the fun factor or the beauty factor when you go looking for your next horse. A test ride in a controlled environment like yours, I personally feel does nothing to determine what kind of horse you're dealing with.

Best of luck to you in your decision making.
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