Please help, I am at loss. What to do?
Ok here's my situation. I bought a qh/kentucky mountain gelding about 6 weeks ago. He is 9 yrs old 14'3. I trail rode him alittle with the lady I bought him from. he has great ground manners and loves people. He is like a big dog. She had not rode him much for the last 2 years. I took him on a group trail ride and he reared, bucked and wasn't a good boy. He calmed down and then towards the end acted up again. He is very rough in his trot and not alot of fun to ride at this point. I am not a trainer. I would not think twice about selling him to someone with more experience but he has a personality to die for. You can't help but fall in love with him. I only paid $650 for him so I do not have much in him but I am debating on do I sell him or would it be worth it to put training on him that will cost me about $600? He will still be rough in the end. I don't know what to do? I really do not want to ride him since it's not much fun but we have fallin in love with him? Help any opinions?
No one can tell you what you should do - that has to be your decision, but here are a few things to keep in mind.
First - you have only had him 6 weeks. It can take a horse almost that many months to fully settle into their new home and show what they really can give. He is most likely in the testing phase right now.
How is he when you guys go riding out alone or with just one or two other horses? If he is not used to riding in a group, then that is something you need to build up to. You don't necessarily need a trainer for that if he does well with just a couple horses. Start with a small group and then slowly increase the size of your group over several rides. Now this may also be determined by your riding experience. Are you a complete beginner? Then maybe you will want to sell him for something that is ready to go now. Or are you a decent rider who can ride out some little silliness and testing? If so, then you may want to stick it out yourself.
In addition - his rough trot may or may not smooth out. It may be just a matter of getting him conditioned so he can collect himself. However, he may never smooth out. Can you handle a rough trot? My husband's horse is very rough, but he doesn't seem to care since he doesn't trot much anyways. I, on the other hand, do a lot of trot work and prefer a smooth trot.
Also with his bucking - double check your tack and make sure it is fitting properly. If its not, it may not be a case of the horse acting out, but the horse in pain.
Finally, we are entering fall and winter months. These months can be some of the hardest to sell a horse in. However, it is also sometimes when you can find the best deals on horses as well. So that could be a toss-up. Heck, you may even want to do the put him up for sale and if he sells, then he sells, if he doesn't, then he doesn't.
I'll tell a bit of our story and hope it helps you decide. I bought a horse (2 yo QH) who was just green broke. I let her sit in the pasture for a winter till she was 3 and I felt more able to handle a rider. My husband wanted to learn how to ride. We ended up sending this horse off to be finished and my husband went along to be trained as well. It was the best money we ever spent. If you really have a feel/bond with this horse, I would keep him. You got a good deal on him price wise so spending another $600 is money well spent I would say. You may end up with your dream horse in the end, and you have only spent $1250...Thats a bargain.
It sounds like the only thing he really needs is saddle time anyway.
I wouldn't give up on him. A lot of things could be causing his behavior. Have you ruled out any physical issues? Saddle fit, chiro work/massage work, teeth, feet, etc?
If you can rule out all physical issues, you might consider doing the Parelli 7 Games and also going through the Level 1 riding tasks. That would be a good start for you guys :)
Aren't Kentucky mountain horse's gaited? Is he gaited even though he's crossed with a QH?
It took almost a year for my very dominate QH to adjust to his new life with me. There were many times I was ready to call the previous owners and tell them to come and get him. He's the love of my life and 11 years later I wouldn't trade a minute.
As mentioned above, 6 weeks is a very short amount of time. You didn't say how long he had been with the previous owner. Also, if he had been a pasture pet for two years he may just be sore. You didn't say how long your trail ride was or what pace it was done at.
Things I would do, some already mentioned:
Have someone experienced make sure of the saddle and tack fit
If it's not a gait issue being a KMH, then have a vet or at the very least a chiro out to look at him. He could very well be out of align somewhere in his body or even have hock issues that is making his trot rough. If you had someone to help you that knows what they're doing try doing a flexion test on the hind legs and see what happens. If he comes up lame get the vet out for further investigation.
Invest some more time with him. If you don't have a ring to ride in take him for hand walks. Get to know him and more importantly give him some time to come to see you as his new person. They are sentient beings with feelings, routine is everything for them and it's been changed!
Invest a bit of money over the winter maybe doing a clinic or two.
Next trail ride go with just one other horse and see how he does. Group situations will make even the most steady Eddie jumpy. Some can be very competitive and when one takes off they all what to go hell bent for leather. I'm sure you also became nervous which he will sense.
He and you BOTH need time to become a "couple".
There are allot of really nice broke horses for the price you paid for him. Putting even more into a horse right now in this market... If you don't feel comfortable with him, maybe you should look for a different horse.
First look at what kind of bit you have in his mouth. What kind of bit did you ride him in at the sellers place? If you're not certain try a D ring snaffle that is "long" enough to fit inside his mouth without "pinching" the corners and without sticking outside of his lips more than 1/2 inch. If he gets excited and gets "strong" then when you pull back on the reins (when he has teeth problems) that will cause pain and you'll get rearing and bucking.
Then make certain the bit is not too high or too low in his mouth (2 wrinkles in corner of the mouth on each side is correct placement for the bit).
Next a good horse dentist (or a decent vet) is money well spent. Chances are VERY high that he hasn't had his mouth looked at in years and that will cause the symptoms (rearing and bucking) you mentioned. Buying another inexpensive horse will probably still have the same sort of problems - so getting the teeth fixed first is a relatively inexpensive "fix" to his problems.
Next make sure the saddle fits. If you're not sure ask someone who rides a lot (a local dressage rider might be able to help you). Are the swaet marks under the saddle the same on both sides? Is he completely wet underneath the saddle - or are there dry spots? Dry spots mean the saddle is pinching in those areas so you'll need to get that fixed. Buy a saddle that fits the horse (and you) or get a saddle fitter to modify the saddle (if possible - some saddles can't be modified) to fit the horse.
Fixing those 2 items is probably a 90% chance of fixing the attitude problems of the horse since he sounds sweet.
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