Keep or sell....
I have a 3 1/2 year old that I have had since he was about 9 months old. I've had him at two places prior to where I am now. At the other places I had access to a round pen and arena where I did a lot of groundwork with him and even backed him and rode a few times. However since about September I have had no where to work him at all, so he has been out just being a horse. Well, I found an arena to do some light lounging which is just down the road. I've take him there twice and he has been a real jerk to saw the least. Spooking, not listening or respecting my space and even walking home through the trail he was really spooky. I feel I can't even lead him without a stud chain. Anyway, I don't like his attitude at all. I'm taking him to a trainer this weekend for an assessment and was wanting to discuss when I can take him for 30 days training, but I feel so deflated right now. He has gone from easy to handle to difficult. I don't know if I should take him to the trainer and see what happens and how it goes or just sell him. Really not sure what to do. Just feeling crappy.:-(
His 'attitude' is only an attitude because he hasn't been worked with. I'm blessed with a horse that can handle a week or so without work, but any more than that and he turns into an absolute snot. And he's eight! Taking a youngster off of 'being a horse' and expecting them to be the same horse you put to pasture before is really unfair, and you wont be able to get a good assessment until you have him back working consistently. You need to regain his respect and work with him more before giving up.
He's just been out of work. Take him to the trainer, and see how well he does. I doubt he's doing this because he's aggressive or has problems, he's just been untouched for a long time. If he was well behaved when he was worked regularly, then I'm sure he'll be well behaved when he's been put back to work too.
Yeah I know, I've had time to digress it all. I was just feeling really frustrated today and I'm sure he could feel it too. I'm going to get someone local with experience to come and do some work with him and me before he goes to the trainer. I have to get back on track with him and re-establish respect.
In your situation, I think you're doing the right thing. I just got to see my young horse for the first time in two weeks, and it's interesting how differently he behaves, haha- it's only been a few weeks, so fortunately I don't need any kind of boot camp with my trainer, but I can definitely relate. He's not to a point where I have to send him off, but it's kind of discouraging. We just have to work through it, I guess.
I feel your pain. I haven't been able to do much with my 3 yr old since December due to the mud and lack of a place to work him with dry, safe footing.
I worked with him on the ground the other day and ended up in tears. It was like he totally regressed. He even got away from me and ran around the property. :evil: Spooky, disrespectful, not paying attention to ME, you name it! So I will either have to work him myself to try to get him back to where he was or hire someone to get him where he was before winter hit (hiring someone is what I would like to do). Before the bad weather he was at least rideable. Green but rideable. Now I don't know if I have the skills to get him back to where he was.
Selling has also entered my mind, but I love the booger and don't know if I'm to that point yet. I feel I need to exhaust all options before I re-home him. He was born here and I love him and feel responsible for him. Too bad he doesn't feel the same for me. :-(
So yeah, I feel your pain. Glad it's sort of a "normal" problem though. This is my first (likely last) young horse. What a pain-in-the-behind!
Give it some time. Get him back in work and your feelings might change. Young horses need consistency in their training. You just need to work with him and show him you are his leader.
Can you work with him in his paddock/field? I feel so many people get caught up on needing a round pen or an arena to work a horse. While those tools help, they're just tools. There's no reason you can't work on personal space, leading, basic respect work in the field.
Glad to hear you're bringing him to a trainer. This also happens to be the season where geldings fight for dominance, so geldings are especially... bratty? this season. That's no excuse for them to be bad, but it may help you realize this isn't the end all be all of your relationship. :)
Ok thanks for all the replies. I have decided to put on my big girl panties tomorrow and have a come to jesus meeting with him. I have a friend who is going to help with it. I need to re-establish myself with him period. I feel better about it today and need to just get on with it. I have worked him in the field, and I agree with the round pen. I did a lot of work when he was younger in one for groundwork, but when it comes to working out of one, it seems he has a hard time without the structure of it, if that makes sense? Lounging and working in one he is great, out of one not so much. Anyway, need to sort this out with him, and that's all there is to it.
I think 3-4 is a tough stage to go through. They're so sweet and learning so much at 1-2, then at 3-4 they think they know more than you do. (Sort of like a 13 year old boy....) So, you know what you need to do -- firm, fair, consistent handling, insist on respect, be totally predictable in boundaries and discipline, and make sure he gets handled and exercised to work off some of that energy for good instead of evil. Good luck! I went through this with my home-bred & raised gelding and thought I would shoot him at 3-4. He's now 7-8 and a totally delightful character. I'm glad I kept him. :-)
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