suggestions and opinions appreciated
Let me be very clear, I am a beginner. My knowledge of horses consists of the carosale in front of the K-Mart. I have always wanted horses and now that my kids are interested we decided to get one.
I recently bought a 15 y/o mare as a beginners horse for myself and my children, they are 3 and 7. I was very clear with the owner that she would be our first horse. She is a rescue, but they had had her for a while and the ladies 2 young daughters rode her. Now the daughters have more experience in their little toe than I do in my entire body, but she thought that "Molly" would do us well. So we rode her in their little area and she did well. My DH slid off her behind lifted on her hooves and she just stood there. The 2 girls were up, under, over, in between. She just stood there. Rode well with DH and 3 y/o daughter. I thought great this will be a good match. So, we loaded her up and brought her home.
It wasn't til a week later, due to weather that we were able to ride her again. I caught her no problem, tied her to a tree and my DH set my 3 y/o on her bareback while we groomer her. She stood stock still. But then came the saddling. I don't know how yet, so DH has to do it. She started moving around and trying to get out from under it. He finally got her saddled and briddled and I stepped back to let him get on. She started walking off on him and when he finally got on she started jerking her head and then took off. Bucking, rearing, and running. He said he wasn't sure at one point if he would be able to stop her. He finally got her calmed down enough to get off. I was ready to call the lady and ask what she had her lased with. He persuaded me to get on (it took a bit), and she just stood there. She did okay. A little faster paced than what I had hoped for and she kept trying to walk under trees. She doesn't neck rein I believe they call it, but she didn't try to take off on me or anything. My 7 y/o son wanted on her so we let him. He's about the size of a 12-14 y/o so I was a little nervous that she wouldn't like him. She did fine being lead around w/him on her back. We have chaulked it up to her not liking men. I have since noticed she a little spookish at load noises. Vet says she's healthy.
Sorry if this is long winded. I am very torn as to what to do. I hate to just sell her and not give her a chance, but the truth is I don't trust her enough now to put my kids on her or myself. My DH doesn't have the time to work with her and we really don't have facilities either. Yes, I agree we rushed into buying to quickly. But what to do now?? I am thinking of selling her and waiting til spring to take riding lesson with my kids, get a round pin and loafing shed up and then buying. What are your thoughts. Can I even sell a horse with these issues. By the way she's not registered.
I would start from the beginning and figure out where the holes are in the foundation. Personally I love the Parelli 7 Games, so maybe you could look into that. Everything in Level 1, ground work and riding, is all about safety. It's a great way to build trust and respect.
Hi there. I'm not sure how the horse market is in your area, but in mine it is bad. You may be better off having someone who has much more horse experience work with her. You do not want to put yourself or your children in danger if she acts like that. You may work with her with a trainer, but you need someone experieced to be there with you or to be the one working on here back.
I do agree with the above post about doing groundwork. That can really help build up a horse's trust in you. You should work on basic safety before anything else.
If you can sell this mare, that might be a good option. A green rider should not have a green horse. Other than that I would just say have someone more experienced work her until she is at your level, but that could take a good amount of time and money.
You need lessons right now if you're going to keep this horse. Horses don't differentiate between men and women that is a cop out for people to excuse the behavior of horses. The chances are that you and your DH are doing something wrong with her. Get lessons ON HER and the problems will probably go away.
I have talked to a trainer and she felt that at 15 she would be pretty much set in her ways. She did offer to come look at her for free and I think I might take her up on it. I handle her some everyday, but I don't know any experience horsewomen in my area. Like I said my biggest issue is that she doesn't like men and my husband is the one with horse experience. And he doesn't have the time for her. I have been walking her and grooming her, but I just don't have the cofidence to ride her alone the way I think she needs . She's really a has a very good disposition and I can catch her, tie he,r groom her, walk her, lift her feet, her first load is a little troublesome but once she's used to it she loads the second time no problem. She's really not that bad on the ground, but it's one of those things that she did take advantage of me when I was on her back. I am not a knowledged rider or confident either. I hate for her to sit in the pasture and do nothing all winter. I really just want to be fair to her and safe for us. It brakes my heart to think that she was mistreated and I don't just want to shuffle her around like a bad foster kid, that can't be good for her either. Should I just wait and keep her over the winter, handle her on the ground and then try to ride when my hubby has time to supervise? I just think she has way more to offer than I do. She's quick pretty flexible and I think pretty smart too.
I know you bought the horse to ride her, but you need to understand that riding is less than 10% of owning a horse. And I am not talking about the maintenance either (mucking, feeding, vetting, etc.) Just because you couldn't ride doesn't mean you can't go out and work with her. You need to establish a relationship with this girl where you are the boss. Since you are new to horses I know this is probably not clear to you so here are some tips, and searching the forum will give you detailed posts on each of these points.
1.ground work- hand walking, lunging, yielding hind and fore quarters
2.MORE ground work you should not be anywhere near getting on this girl until you really establish yourself with her on the ground
3.get an experienced trainer (not just someone experienced with horses, but experienced with teaching novices about horses) and do not ride without that trainer.
4.bonding time, grooming her will help you get to know each other better. But don't let her get away with anything while she's being groomed like stepping forward or into your space or dancing around. If you don't know how to stop her from doing these things have a trainer there the first few times to show you how
5. lots of time. It is going to take a LOT of patience and time. She already knows you're inexperienced so now you have to work twice as hard to get respect but you CAN do it. You will need a lot of help so make sure you have some
Good for you for seeking help. If you don't get this mare to see that you are a firm fair leader she is going to be too dangerous for you and your girls. But you're a mom so you probably have a lot of the tools you need, you just need someone with experience to show you how to apply them to horsemanship. Good luck with her!
-did I mention LOTS of ground work?? =)
ps I just read your post re: the trainer you talked to... HOOEY! get a new trainer. My boy is 20 and a hot TB. I have come miles with him in 2 months, from pushy insolent *ss to obedient willing boy. Sure he tests me but that is where he is set in his ways. it sounds like she is a good girl, you're not looking to retrain HER you're looking to train yourself!
I agree that I need training, but her issue isn't just with my husband. It's with my FIL, the vet, and the vet assistant. Any man she's been around she hasn't cared for. I have no trouble with her. I am the first to admit I was probably doing something wrong and I am sure she could sense my lack of confidence. But let me ask, in the future if she doesn't get over this male thing would it be a problem on taking her places like trail rides? Should we take her to horse events and tie her just for the exsposure? I am okay with the idea of her being my horse and getting the kids something more suited for them in the spring, but I just want to be able to use her for more than just a pasture oriment. I am very willing to do the leg work I do believe that you have to respect the animal as well as earn thier respect. Which is why I haven't put her back on the market yet. I just don't want to give up on her.
what about the spookish issue? I was with her today and tied her to the gate, groomed her waked her and when we were done I decided I would make some noise and she didn'tseem to mind. This is were this horse has me confused. The other day it was misting when I stopped to feed her and my wipers made a sound across the dry windshield and she jumped, but today a banged the bucket and brush around, jingled the halter and lead rope slammed the car door nothing bothered her. what's up there. should I tie a tarp to something should I have my son ride his go cart around her, or she to old for this stuff to help?
It could have just been that she was feeling a little fresh after not being worked for a long period of time. When my horse hasn't been worked he will act like a total brat, spook at EVERYTHING, and not have any manners- when he's worked daily he will behave himself. He's 11. I'd say you should get lessons and work with a trainer, like others have said.
If you can lunge her, that would help. If I haven't worked with my horse in a while, I take him an put him on a lunge line and make him go around for a while for a warm up... gets his mind more ready for work.
She's not a lost cause, you just sort of rushed into things. Find a trainer who is willing to work with you, anyone who says they can't help you because of her age is wrong!
And I disagree with Kevin, horses can have issues with men vs. women and even specific people... horses DO know the difference.
Don't be so hard on yourself... you'll work it all out. Just find someone who is more knowledgable on the horse business than you are to help! I am helping a family right now that rushed into the horse thing, their horse was NUTS when I first rode him, and it was simply because he wasn't being worked enough or on the right things when they rode him... and I'm just a college kid doing it for free because my horse is back home... so it's not always pricey to find someone to help.
Sounds like your getting some great advice, and I think it's great that your not going to give up on her.
Spending time with her and working with a trainer will give you lots of help. And what your doing - exposing her to new sounds and such is a good idea, and might even help her to trust you. Work within your comfort zone when working with her alone. One thing that is really really really important - don't let her get away with anything, not even the little stuff (little stuff becomes big stuff really fast). You're going to do great - you already have the heart and passion and want all the knowledge.
I also don't believe that a horse is too old (no one is too old for anything) she just may need a little more time and patience.
What kind of area do you have to work with her in? Arena, corrals, round pen?
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