Well, he sure isn't Bart.
I'm making this thread so I can't track Dozer's progress (hopefully there is some..) and convince myself to stick with him.
You see, I've had Dozer for 3 years, maybe a little longer, but he was never my go-to horse. I always had Bart. My brave little 12.2hh pony that I trusted with my life. He was my grouchy old man and mine alone. Unfortunately, after 9 years of owning my little Bart man, he got really sick and we tried to fix it but couldn't. We lost him four weeks ago tomorrow. It's still really hard for me.
Anyways, since he has passed, I've had to count on Dozer to be my new bonbproof, go-to horse. And he just hasn't been doing what I want him to do. He's not being Bart. In all honesty, if I could trade Dozer for Bart, I would in a heartbeat. There's no doubting that. But I can't. So I figured I would just make Doz into the same horse Bart was. Easier said than done, I guess.
He is pretty good in the arena in my backyard. He mostly sticks to the fence during walk and trot (he always shortens the circumference when we try and canter) and he listens fairly well. If he doesn't listen, I make him. Thats easy in our arena.
However, taking him out of the arena is always a toss up. Since I don't have Bart, he has to go places alone. Which, last week he did fairly well. Only two spooks the whole three hour ride. But today I took him out early to go meet a new riding buddy and he was completely horrible. He spooked at EVERYTHING and he is not the type of horse to do that. I have seriously never seen him be that bad, but he was. After spooking countless times, we finally got to the hill that the lady was waiting for us at the bottom. I figured I'd walk him down, just because he was being bad and one of his bad habits used to be running and crow hopping down hills, so I started walking him. He spun and ran toward the drop off part of the hill at least four times. Why? Because a dog was barking and because a kid was swinging on a swing. We had JUST walked right past them problem free.
I broke down. I felt like he was gonna end up killing himself or hurting himself or something. I called my dad and we got picked up.
Today is the first day I have EVER thought about selling him and I know I don't really want to, I really do like him. But I just don't know if I can deal with him anymore if he is never going to calm down.
Well, I really needed to get all that emotional barf out of my system. It probably doesn't make sense but I think it cleared up some of my thoughts. I think I'll take him out again, just later on. I need to cool off and calm down. Then hopefully he can be a little angel and make me like him again.
Each horse has their own personality. Dozer will never be Bart. Sorry for your loss,but Bart was the one you rode & were a team with. It takes a lot of time & wet blankets to make a partnership-it doesn't happen by just wishing. Start out w/small steps & try to forge a bond w/Dozer before going out on the trails-soundsl like he misses Bart also-they were pasture mates right?
Aw, it's hard to bond with another horse .. Bart will likely always be your heart horse.. but you have to learn to love Dozer for who he is ..
*hugs* I'm sorry for your loss.
Yea, Doz and Bart were buds. They went to shows together, out on trails together. They were always together unless I took Bart out for a ride alone. And unfortunately, Bart died at the hospital so Doz didn't get to really see him after.
But I don't think his acting up was because he misses Bart. He did the same ride a week ago and the only things he spooked at was when we had just crossed a street and a bike rider zoomed past us out of nowhere and when the garbage truck started lifting up a can.
I know bonds take a while, Bart and me took two years! But I have been riding the three years I've owned him. And I've always been comfortable in the arena with him. Its just when we try and leave the yard, whether in a trailer or riding out, his behavior is a toss up, sometimes good and sometimes bad. Just never this bad.
The lady I was supposed to ride with understood why I left, she knows Doz is big and I'm little (He is 18.2hh and I'm 5'6" and about 110lbs) and she has offered to meet with us before the big hill and just ride around. I know the more he gets out the better he will be and I know she really wants someone to ride with, so this should be good. It should get better.
Okay, I took him out again about two hours ago. Tacked him up and walked him up and down my street. No spooks but he wasn't completely 'there'. He would get distracted and then not focus on where his feet were going and I found my self shaking the reins at him more than once to avoid getting my feet stepped on. I didn't ride on the stree - forgot my helmet - but he did do better. Not great, but better. After walking him on the street for ten or fifteen minutes, I took him into the backyard and rode him in the arena, which he did great in (like always) which actually kind of annyoed me because when I was riding back there, my brother and his friends were tearing up the field next door in gokarts and making a ton of noise.
I did play music off of my phone this walk, so maybe that helped him not be so spooky? I don't know. Me and the lady I was supposed to ride with today made new plans to go saturday. Meeting at the same spot but later in the day.
I think I'm going to blame today's disaster on Doz not being a morning person and me not getting any sleep the night before. Hopefully, this doesn't happen again.
I think your expectations are wayyy tooo high. He's a completely different horse, completely different personality.
You need to stop being so hard on him.. it sounds as though he's really trying and your emotions may be affecting him in a negative way (remember they're very sensitive.)
Take a breather and try and come back to it without any kind of judgement.. just as a horse woman with a new project.
You can do this, together!
I guess I just figured that since he had done so many things side by side with Bart, that some of it would have rubbed off on him. It might have just been a bad day. He has never THAT bad before. Ever. So I'm taking him on another walk today and once he is completely calm I'll ride him around and let him get use to riding on the street. Then after that gets boring I'll take him back into the backyard to give him a chance to be good. Updates will come eventually.
Enjoy your day with him :)
So, I didn't ride today- yet. I'll ride in a half hour or so. But just in my backyard.
I got really busy cleaning my tack shed (there's a tack swap meet tomorrow at the ec in town and I have wayyy too many unnessecary things!
I got bored pretty quickly after starting and found a piece of horse eating, shimmering tinsel. So, naturally, I put it on Dozer. He got ovr the fear and then totally forgot it was even there. If the tack shed cleaning hadnt taken so long, I woulda walked him up and down the street with it on. But I guess that will have to wait till tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow, I'm going to try again and go on a ride with the lady. Hopefully this time we can actually go!
All in all, I'm proud of finally cleaning out the tack shed, I'm hoping people buy all of the stuff so I don't have to find a place to put it, and the world now gets to see pictures of Doz with his new 'necklace' :)
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