We've Tried Everything! What Can We Do?
Hi there, basically I have a 17hh Irish sports horse who is rising 11. He has always been a handful and about a year ago we learnt that he was rearing and throwing us off out of pain due to a knotted muscle. We had a masseuse out and the knotted muscle was sorted. He was then out of work for a year whilst he recovered fully. Unfortunately he is one of those horses who if he isn't ridden everyday or atleast 3 times a week he will go back to his naughty self. We started to back him again and now have him at point where we can take him out without any major problems. However we can't tame him fully, most people say he's crazy and danger to us all, basically he reared with me vertically in the middle of a 60mph road!
No matter how much schooling we do he bucks around, rears and is naughty all the time.
Today he proved how bad he could be when he threw my family member off and snapped his collar bone clean in half!
Basically I need some answers as we cannot carry on like this because one of us will end up seriously injured like my family member today. He's no monster so please do not label him as one! He's one of the kindest most loving horses I've ever met he just has trouble with the riding and training side. I really need some answers now! Please do not tell me to sell him as that is not an option, I love him too pieces and will not sell him even if he is a danger to me which I do not believe he is. I have rode him in many competitions and got many firsts from him, I just need him to be good for me as I can't trust him with anybody but myself it would seem! Does anybody have an answer for me?
Again please do not label him as a ticking time bomb or monster because he is my baby and I will not accept him being spoken of like that, he is also very strong and muscular.
I have heard of horses like this and when they worked them more forward they seemed fine. They liked going and they went.
Regardless of if you don't want to part with this horse, it is clear that you are unable to handle him safely. He has become a danger to people and himself. He is not the one having trouble with the training, it is you. You have failed to properly educate this horse and present yourself as a leader to him. He is taking complete advantage of you by rearing and bucking and misbehaving. You have very few options. Sell him before he severely injures another person, or worse ... or find a more experienced person who is willing to work with the both of you.
On this scant bit of information, I'm offering the following:
1. He's still in pain - it may be residual from the knotted muscle or there was another spot that you missed. This needs more testing.
2. His tack does not fit him properly and is causing pain. You could post photos here if you'd like to get some commentary from our tack specialists on the forum.
3. He is sound and the tack fits him but he has excessively high energy levels. He then needs his diet scaled back - lots of hay but not so much (if any) concentrates; he needs to be turned out in a large field/pasture 24/7 if possible.
4. He is a horse that only does best with the skilled, experienced rider. If he's got multiple people riding him, if he's getting too much ring work, if he's not getting enough riding - these are all factors that can and do affect his response to any given situation and creates bad habits. In this case, you'll need to come up with a rehab/retraining plan to get him back on track. The best and safest way is to hook up with a good trainer. If that's not possible, then you've got to start researching, reading, studying everything you can to help you develop a safe and workable solution for both of you.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Thank you for your reply but I will not sell this horse. Some days he's as absolute star going over the jumps and schooling perfectly, on his off days he can be terrible. He's a lovely horse and has come on leaps and bounds since we got him. I can take him out with only a few spooks sometimes its just schooling he seems to have the trouble with. I am offended at the fact you say I can't handle him as trainers we have had in cannot handle him any better. You don't know me or my horse so please do not tell me to sell him.
Put him back in training if you intend to keep him. If he needs consistent work, then he needs exactly that.
Else if you have no time, then maybe he should just be a pasture puff.
Chevaux thank you for your reply. It is definitely not his muscle knot as we had him checked again for that and it came up clear of anything. We've also had his tack checked and it fits perfectly. Your idea about the high energy levels is good and I will defiantly try what you suggested!
Definitely will start sticking to just me riding him and get in a very good trainer to work with us. I will keep you posted
Thanks again Chevaux x
Thanks guys I will try all these things. To the person who told me to sell him, not a chance! I will not load him off onto somebody else, you don't know me or my horse so if you don't have any constructive advise please don't comment
Is he stalled? If so, change him to 24/7 pasture, it will help burn off excess energy, and frankly some horses just don't do well in a stall. He may be one of them. I've seen horses that could not stand to be in a stall, and they definitely would let you know, but were very good when they were pasture boarded.
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