Is it worth it?
Okay so right now I'm free leasing a 6 year old TB gelding. He's cute as a button but needs plenty of work. They're willing to sell him to me for $1000 because we've known each other since I was 8 or 9 and they know how well taken care of my animals are. He was purchased to be an eventing prospect but the daughter kept with dressage and so the TB has been a field ornament with minimal training.
I've had my trainer out to give me lessons on him. He does leg yield a bit (needs work), can w/t. We've cantered a couple times but just a few strides. He's still very green. When the trainer put up a dinky baby jump (to see how he would react) he didn't even glance at it and jumped over it nicely. He's fairly smooth but paddles. Personally, I think his paddling can be fixed with corrective trimming because what he has now is uneven and the angles are wrong. My trainer likes him under saddle though (people have commented, as has the trainer, that he's a pretty mover).
When I go into the little "sacrifice area" to get him, he doesn't necessarily want to be caught. He will start walking away. Last time I decided to scratch him so he can associate me with something pleasant. I scratched and rubbed his neck and withers. Almost immediately his ears went back, his tail swished, and he walked off. Less than a minute later I caught him and he was chipper. Ears forward, relaxed, etc. In the stall he is sweet.
When I brush a certain spot on both sides of his stomach, he pins his ears. He doesn't like it.
When I ride him he is good for a while; however, after trotting for 5-10 minutes straight he has mini fits. His ears will go back and his head lifts a bit. Sometimes he will either swish his tail or grind his teeth. When I jiggle the reins in response he stops and goes on for a bit longer then has another mini fit. Not sure if this is because he's uncomfortable, green, or what. Not really used to this.
He's mediocre at being bridled and unbridled. He lets you massage his lips and gums with your thumb but jerks away when the bit is near his mouth. When I try to unbridle him he jerks away so the bit hits his teeth. I try everything in my power to make both processes as gentle as possible but sometimes he makes it difficult. I know the last time he was floated was 2011 so maybe his teeth are bugging him.
So I keep jumping back and forth about getting him. I want a horse for jumping and he needs to have some work ethic to do it. Sometimes I feel like the horse hates me and other times not. I second guess a lot of things haha. Feel free to ask questions about him or whatever and ill answer to the best of my ability :)
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I guess it all depends if you want to deal with all the little problems or not.
Want my best guess? Apart from being due for a float? Ulcers.
Have him checked, ask for his current diet, get his feet done.
My experience with TB's, some of them don't show affection unless they feel bad, they have a great work ethic when nothing physical bugs them, minor issues like hard to catch, can be fixed easily.
If the seller insists on that price, you should insist on a PPE, and pay only if he's sound. If you discuss his current issues, make clear that you're not willing to spend that much on such a problem child. All friendly, of course;-)
miover was the exact way, with the sides he'd pin ears and turn to nip,
bridle was the same asoon as bit touched mouth he raised head and pulled back,
i worked out what worked for him with bridle was to hold the top of bridle on his forhead, have bit in spread out in ur palm and hold it directly on his mouth and let him take the bit instead of trying to open his mouth, i also found he didnt like being restricted by holding head down when bridling
What are you looking for in a horse?
He sounds like a promising little prospect with relatively minor issues that would be easy for an experienced rider/handler to fix. If you're not an experienced rider/handler, the issues and the generally being green and untrained are still something that you might very well be able to work on and make progress with help and guidance from a good trainer/instructor if you wanted to. What he is not right now is a horse you're going to be hopping on and competing well on in the near future.
So, if you want a project, and have the time, patience and inclination for one he might be it. It sounds like you like his personality/temperament if you're even considering buying him, and that match is critical too. If you're not looking for a project, you should pass on him. You can get projects for cheaper in many places, so make sure the price is actually fair before you agree to anything.
No advice but about the work ethic needed for jumping... that's not entirely necessary.
I ride a horse who is incredibly laid back and constantly needs to be pushed forward. He's basically a western pleasure rider's dream if he was to get his way. He spent last summer needing tonnes of leg over little jumps. We set up a course for the first time this year on Tuesday and he absolutely loved it which was a big, but pleasant, surprise for my coach and I. He did a few celebratory pops after the first few jumps and made it pretty clear that he loved it... ears forward, no need for a lot of leg, and nice big jumps.
So my little tidbit of advice is to give him a chance or two with the jumping... even if he doesn't seem like he'd be too into it, he might end up loving it.
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Its not a decision anyone can make for you. Probably a little over priced but I think its worth paying extra if you know the horse, and its what you want.
I think most of those things sound fixable, if you're willing to put the time in. If you're not a fan of his personality (he's not an in your pocket horse) that probably won't change.
Check the market to see what else you can get for your money, and then think about if its him that you want.
Well, unless you have been really mean to him, I doubt he hates you! :-P He sounds like a typical young TB, full of fire and quirks. All he needs is a confident, patient rider and I think he could be a great eventer. You would need to dedicate a lot of time to finishing him, though, so be sure that is something you are willing to do. Horses aren't always fun and games, sometimes they make you mad, they make you doubt yourself, they may even scare you. But that is your chance to better yourself and your horse. You face the issue, you work it out, and you move on as a stronger, smarter team.
Also, I wouldn't dwell on the negative too much. Of course, work on correcting those things, but allow yourself to really get to know his personality and why he does the things he does. Correct him when he is naughty, but keep opening doors for him. Allow him to express himself, but learn how to harness his energy and keep him focused. He will feel much more confident and more willing to work with you if you set reasonable goals with him.
First and foremost, I would have a PPE done, make sure he doesn't have any underlying issues that could be causing the grouchiness (Ulcers, etc). I'd also have his teeth floated. They should be floated once or twice a year. If his teeth have sharp points, or if he still has his wolf teeth, or his canines are too long, that could explain A LOT! Horses are fussier and toss their heads a lot when their teeth need floated. The points cause pain in their mouth, imagine what it's like to have a bit in there, too!
I wish you the best of luck! Hope to see pictures of him soon! :wink:
TBForever, I'll definitely try that with him and hope for the best. Thanks!
I don't mind dealing with some problems. I trained my draft cross from when she was 8 months old up until she was almost 4. She was incredibly easy though. It's just that the things she was good at he isn't and vice versa so I have to learn new/more stuff to teach him. I have two trainers that can also help out; one is for my english riding and the other is the barn owner but she can help with non-riding related problems.
DesertHorseWoman, I looked up information about gastric ulcers and that might actually be a possibility. Some of the symptoms relate to him. Additionally, he is made to go long periods without eating. They're put into the "sacrifice area" all day which doesn't have any grass and it's a tiny space, too small for 6 horses. They eat their own poop :? It's disgusting. So ulcers could be a possibility. I'll definitely bring it up to my vet when she comes to do the PPE exam.
I like having a little bit of a project. I learn more. I've been riding since I was in 2nd grade (I'm now 23) but I've learned more in the last 3-4 years when I was training my draft cross filly (whom I've since given to my uncle). So training horses isn't out of my league but it's still somewhat new to me. I have plenty of guidance though when I need it.
I'll definitely be getting a PPE and it looks like I'll be paying for his teeth to be floated :-| She's had the vet out twice to float all of her other horses' teeth but left out Casino's and told me they need to be done. Hopefully that will help. When I first started riding him he was okay at being bridled but it's gotten worse. I'm gentle when I bridle horses so I'm not sure what could be the main issue except his teeth. I do honestly think that his personality will perk up and change for the better if I do get him and bring him to my barn. He would be in much better circumstances and get the proper nutrition that he needs.
Right now where he is: he's bottom of the totem pole and gets beaten on by the other 5 horses. He's in a sacrifice area all day with no grazing. He gets fed 1 scoop of Triple Crown Low Starch Feed (I heard that isn't the greatest). The sacrifice area that all 6 horses are in is approximately 15-20 feet wide and 80-100 long (no room to run at all).
I uploaded 2 pictures of him. The 2nd one isn't very flattering haha. I tried uploading a video but it didn't work. Not sure how to get a video on here :-(
Well, you stated yourself what the problems are.
Get him out of there, feed him right, cure his ulcers, do his teeth and you will have a WONDERFUL horse.
He's got the sweetest face, but he is not a happy camper right now.
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