I know he can do it, but no one will give us a chance
So I have a problem (duh).
Just to give some background, I lease a TB gelding named Hooch who we think is about 9 years old (ex-racer, illegible tattoo + no papers) and he is, to be frank, my best friend. He's a total sweetheart with an addiction to peppermints, and he never fails to put a smile on my face. I started leasing him back in the Spring after riding him for over two years now. He has an old stifle injury, so jumping is a no-go, and he has some problems with the left lead. He likes his head down near his feet and I ride him pretty much always on a long rein or else he gets very fussy and upset, but he tries his heart out. He is the smartest horse I have ever met and has a heart of gold. But it feels like I am the only one who can see it.
He's been "the dopey lesson horse" since he stopped jumping (I ride at a hunter barn/eventing barn even though I love dressage, sometimes it isn't great when the only barn around isn't your discipline but I roll with it) and I've never been taken seriously with him. I've seen him do amazing dressage, and so have other riders, but I get eye rolls and snarky laughter whenever I bring him up to my fellow riders my age at the barn.
Now, these girls are also usually snarky and stuck up, but my closest friends also look at my like I'm a joke.
I have been told more times than I care to admit that I should just find another horse to lease because Hooch will never be what I'm looking for.
And I just won't accept that. I know he can do anything with the right training and a little extra help, but I feel like nobody will listen to me.
I have another problem as well, on top of all of this negativity. He's constantly losing shoes in his right back foot (he has odd feet) and going lame, but that's only been occurring this past fall/winter. No one will listen to me when I try to solve the problem by suggesting supplements or different shoes. As stated above, all anyone ever tells me is to get rid of him and find another horse. On the other side, I also get yelled at by other people for even listening to this idea because apparently I'm running away from my problems!
I feel backed into a corner and it's getting to the point where I feel like riding just isn't worth it anymore. I am terrified because this horse is the best thing thats come into my life and I just don't want to lose him.
I feel so trapped and scared and utterly alone.
So THAT was a rant. I am so sorry that was so long, but I just needed to get that out there. He's my best friend, and I don't want to lose him. I made myself promise when my parents first told me I could lease a horse that I would stick to that horse until I physically couldn't.
All opinions welcome! I just don't know what do to...
Do what you think is right.
They don't listen - TALK LOUDER!
If they criticise him tell them it's not their place, if you wanted an opinion you would have asked for one.
Tell them you enjoy a challenge.
Forget the hAters.
Your horse sounds lovely 😄.
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If he was your horse, I would say just move to another barn with nicer people. Since you are leasing and don't have that option, all you can do is tune them out and prove them wrong. Can you get a trainer to work with you who can help you bring out the best of your horse?
iPods and earbuds are a girls best friend!
Seriously, you enjoy your horse just tune them out and enjoy your time. Never let the ugly people of the world ruin what you love.
If you continue with horses throughout your life you will encounter these ugly types. Learn to deal now and you can handle them no matter where you board in the future.
Good luck and keep focused on what you enjoy.
Do what you want to do. If you think he's worth it, then he is. Other people will always have their opinions and it is ok to listen to them, but don't worry if their opinions are different than yours! Ultimately you should do what you feel is right for you!
Stop talking and interacting with negative people- they only drag you down. Headphones, music, or a quick excuse that you have to go do something, but don't give them a chance to start in on it. There's drama and negativity almost everywhere you go, you just have to learn how to keep well out of it and enjoy your time with your horse.
His stifle injury may be what's causing him to not pick up that lead. It sounds like he's favoring it. Many TB's have shelly feet. You could try Farrier's formula but unless you can be there to see that he gets it on a daily basis it won't do him any good. Supplements have a way of going down another horse's throat instead of the one it was intended for. It takes 9 mos to grow a new hoof. Are you happy with the farrier's level of competence?
I was always told that the value of a horse was in the eyes of it's rider. To be frank no one elses' opinion matters because he is your mount, and your favorite. I've had plenty of horses who are golden in my eyes but to others seem like dog food with legs. As for his health issues since he's a lease horse you can only do so much but try suggesting supplements and other such things to the owner and maybe offer to pay for them yourself.
It sounds like your horse is capable of what you want to do with him although it may take the assistance of a trainer to move you both forward. I realize it's an additional expense but can be immensely helpful. As for the negative people, ignore them. Some people seem to think they know everything and that their's is the only correct opinion. They are not worth getting worked up over. I like your optimism and think you should persue you goals. If you achieve them it will be a great feeling and even if he doesn't progress as you had hoped, in the process, you will have improved your horse knowledge and got to spend time with your buddy - not a bad deal:-) I wish you well.
i am sorry that you are going through so much unneeded drama. That is so messed up what those girls and 'friends' are doing to you! Do not listen to them. Don't let them get in the way of your joy and bond with your boy Hooch. Just be with him and ride him and ignore those girls who run their mouths. I bet they wish they could have the connection you have with Hooch with their horses. Sounds like you are really close to him, so just keep on loving and believing in him. Tell them how you feel and that if they continue to behave the way they are that you will no longer associate yourself with them. And who cares that you don't do hunter/jumper? do your own thing! Dressage is amazing, and i wish i could get into it! but unfortunately i was never taught and wouldn't know how to do it! So keep your head up and ride on!
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