If you think about selling, maybe you should...?
I have had thoughts of selling my horse. For those of you who have followed my other thread about my confidence issues, you have a head start. Just a little bit about him...
I got Smoke last November. I've learned a lot since then, and I think I was just so enthusiastic about horsey life that I overlooked a lot of details that are now coming back to the surface. Perhaps I may be able to describe him more succinctly with the following:
-he is amazing on trails. will go over and through anything I ask of him.
-he's a hard keeper. We keep the boys on 24/7 turnout [with freechoice hay] and there is only one pasture, so separating him at mealtime is not an option. I feel bad that he is still too skinny for what he and I are comfortable with.
-he is buddy sour. He vocalizes constantly if he loses sight of the herd - this is extremely distracting at the 4h clinics we've been to so far this year. The last time, his horsefriend trotted away to do a pattern for demo, and he began to piaffe and get generally upset. If I hadn't have spun him in tight circles and kept his mind busy, he probably would have attempted to follow the other horse, or worse. It could have escalated easily.
-he doesn't know his leads on canter, has a difficult time holding a consistent gait [yes, I am prompting him correctly], and his transitions are absolutely terrible. The resulting movement is painful for me. Additionally, I would like to take him to some local shows this summer, as well as the county fair, but I feel that due to his buddy sourness and movement issues, I would more than likely be sitting in the bleachers watching the others have a good old time. I don't want ribbons, I just want fun...
Aaaand wow, it was not until I finished writing that list that I realized how sparse the pro category was.
Anyway, I guess I'm just in a quandary as to how to proceed. I don't know if I aiming too high for my level of experience, or if I'm not being fair to him. He's a great trail horse, and maybe that should be enough for now to continue to build my confidence?
Or maybe, it's like being with a man. If you ever think the relationship is over, or that you should move on, be with someone else, then it probably is and you probably should.
Am I wrong? Would you sell if you were me?
And who would buy a horse like the one I've just described? Anybody feel like a project? Heh.:-(
Sorry for rambling. Just some thoughts. I'm interested in yours.
What have you done to correct his issues? I hear some folks talking about selling, but never what was done to correct the issue/s. I'm not trying to be harsh, but you are the herd leader, so lead...
That's a dilemma for sure.
I went through similar things with Lacey after I had owned her about a year. The questions that really helped me decide where: what kind of home could I expect for her to get? Would I be decidedly unsatisfied if her new home was a downgrade? Were her training issues increasing or decreasing the longer I had her? What quirks of hers could I live with? What were her behavioral "dealbreakers"? If I decided to keep her, how was I going to go about solving her "dealbreakers"? Was she "totally over my head" wild or did she have a soft side I just needed to reach? Did I have help if I needed it? etc.
Some of my answers were yes and some of them were very much no. However, once I basically made a list of her "issues" and looked at options for solving these things, I realized that though I really didn't want to be dedicated to her (at this point, I was leaving her after working with her literally in tears because she was frustrating me SO much, and I don't cry), I was dedicated to her and I couldn't live with her being overused or abused by an owner after me. That's when I realized that I had acquired a crazy horse for life.
Eventually I realized that I just needed to experiment with her. What works for other people, with other horses, didn't necessarily work for us. Of course, I already had a bit of experience with "difficult" horses but she was the first horse I was "solving" truly on my own, in a sink or swim situation.
I had to back off my own expectations and just go with what she showed me she needed. For her, that was a full 6 months of groundwork, followed by 6 months of just walking. Then we started moving up the gaits and we've really only been cantering for 1.5 years currently, out of the 4 years I've owned her. We JUST started galloping.
In our case, I was sixteen and got a horse and pretty much wanted to just go go go. However, I got a horse (unknowingly) that was totally unprepared for these things. It was challenging but she's taught me so much more than I ever expected and she's definitely one in a million. I didn't exactly WANT to learn what she had to teach, to begin with, but she convinced it was worth it...and it has been. :)
With the thing about feeding him more, do you see him everyday/most days? If so, you could just get a bag of beet pulp, soak it while you're catching him, and let him eat a pound or two while you tack him up. You could also mix in some rice bran, I know beet pulp is great for weight gain and I've heard the same about rice bran. :)
That's what I did with Lacey, back when she was in a herd and was being chased off all the food. It put some weight on her. It wasn't crazy amounts but it was enough to make her look less like a refuge horse.
It can be really disheartening to have a sassy horse who looks bad too. I find that I can deal with sassy so much better if Miss Sass-Pants looks like a million bucks. It just makes me feel more optimistic! haha
Anyway, I totally understand what you're going through. It's tough! *hugs* You can do it. Just make a decision you can live with, not one you'll regret.
Think through all the possibilities of what could happen to him. If you'd feel guilty or hold it against yourself if something DID happen to him and you found out, I'd hold on to him longer. If something bad did happen to him and you wouldn't be overly broken up/guilty, I say sell him.
In my previous thread several folks suggested I was outhorsed, and perhaps they were right. I know it is extremely difficult to break a horse from being buddy sour, and what's more, I would prefer not to get hurt in the process. His behavior told me the other day that separation from a herdmate has the potential to be a flammable situation, and I am just not ready for that kind of challenge. I need a horse I can trust.
He is also a cribber. This speaks volumes to me about his psyche. He is revealing himself to be a nervous, insecure kind of horse and I am a nervous and less than secure rider. In other words, we are heading for a disaster at some point. So, you would advise I just get on him and "be the herd leader!" even if that means breaking my neck? I do not expect horsemanship to be easy, but I am way too green for a project horse and way too poor to send him to a trainer.
Wallaby: I do worry about where he would go if I were to sell him. If someone were interested purely in trail riding, he may be alright. I care for him, even if we lack a connection. I don't want to put his welfare in jeopardy, but at the same time, how can I justify making excuses to not go riding? Sure, we have good moments, but there are also moments when I think to myself, "what have I gotten myself into?" I feel terrible for saying that...
As for the beet pulp and such, I only see him once a week. I don't even know if that would make a difference, in terms of putting weight on him.
I'm not saying he's completely without good qualities, of course. But, I don't know if he is nearly the horse your Lacey is. And I don't know if I am the right person to take him to that point either.
I'm just starting out... so why would I want to fight an uphill battle right out of the gate? I want to build my confidence, not call it into question every time I interact with my horse.
Gah, I just don't know! I feel like the moderator should just merge this thread with my other one because I'm basically a broken record. lol
I would say screen buyers carefully but advertise him as a trail/project horse. I would find yourself something with more training and more of a confidence builder you aren't giving up on him you have probably(don't know the whole story) taught him some stuff as he has you and now its time to find something more fitting to your needs.
Maybe if you sent him to a trainer for a month or two he would be the horse you want him to be.
Those are minimal problems in my eyes, but I can see how it could be overwhelming for someone who was not prepared for those situations. Your best bet might be to sell him. However, I would NOT jump into another horse. I would get into a situation with more lessons and a possible lease.
Hmm have you tried working with a trainer? How was your horse when you bought him?
I'm going to be honest.. I used to think about selling Sky (I know!! Crazy me!) but I was a beginner as well and he was a handful. I was scared to death of them putting him down or him hurting himself or being in a terrible situation.
So instead I dedicated myself to ground work lessons, I dedicated myself to two different kind of riding lessons, I researched and asked questions and sat with him in the pasture to see what was going through his mind.
And it worked out for me, and now I would rather chop my limbs off than give him away or sell him.
It all depends on what you want. No horse is perfect, and even the really nice horses have their days or problems arise. You could send him to a trainer, you could work on bettering your horse handling skills (like how to deal with a barn sour horse, etc.) or you could sell him, encounter another horse.. do well and maybe you'll like that one better. But maybe he'll start acting up too.
It's up to you, what you do. But I found that it's worth educating yourself and working through it. You don't have to do all the training, but at least KNOW how to deal with it.
He just sounds unfinished to me :) Like a project.
Do you have a trainer that could work with you and your horse
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