To project or not to project
Okay... I will try and make this as simple / short as possible. I go to a school (actual school, not riding school) who has this horse. (Out of 5.) He is the best thing to me. Thing is, he's abused there. He will get cut or injured and it'll be neglected for a week before I get to see him and notice. He's over weight as well, and isn't fed balanced at all. He's fat, but his coat is dull and his mane / tale has a hay texture. 2 months ago I told the school he needed his teeth floated, no one said anything. Finally today I got the vet out there (my other, nice, respectable teacher) and made him check his teeth. Yep! He has tons of sharp points and while he was rejecting the bit the past few weeks the other teacher would smack him and yank the reins HARD. Has foundered but still ridden excessively even when it flares up, has back problems that haven't been addressed, needs a good chiropractor get him adjusted, etc. But every medical issue he has is ignored and blamed on his 'attitude'.
I love this horse. He's the sweetest thing. He can read emotions like crazy, is a all around pleasure horse, and has SO much potential. He's over worked and has straight beginners on him flopping around, jabbing him, hurting his mouth and back, and have ruined the training I have put into him..
Here's the big kicker. I have been looking into purchasing for awhile now. I want to do Hunter Pleasure (flat), trails, and some Dressage. I don't want to do high levels, just small shows or schooling shows and for fun. I wanted to purchase a horse 100% trained in this, but haven't had the money up front yet. The school has no intention selling this horse, but I am confident with the relationship they see between us and a reasonable offer they will be ecstatic to have him go and replace him with another horse.
So, do I take him in, basically save him and give him the good (actually cared for) life and either retrain him (I put 6 months training him to be a show horse but now he's used for straight beginners who have ruined him) then sell him to a 100% approved home by me or keep him permanently? He's half-Arabian, and I do Arabian shows, so that's perfect, we click, know each other well, and I know he can do Sport horse or HP easily and would respond well to Dressage training. If I don't want him, I wouldn't mind rehoming him to a loving, understanding home and FULLY understand I won't make profit and may not break even.
Should I stick to a well-trained horse that I can immediately compete with and remember horses are working animals and they all cannot be 'saved', or should I take the plunge with him who has incredible potential and 'save' him?
Opinions, thoughts, stories, anything to help with the decision would be excellent! Thank you all!
While getting him would save him from a sad situation, know what you're taking on. The founder especially is not something to mess with lightly.
Make sure you know what you're taking on.
Iin saying that there is a real benefit to knowing a horse prior to purchasing both behaviorally and physical.
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I'm just looking to brain storm and get some opinions.. the final decision will be by me on what I feel is best, I just need to see what other's thoughts are to see if I am missing something or if it is all just a bad idea. I hope that makes sense?
Funny thing is, they 'think' he foundered... uh, what?? He needs to have a full vet check, be adjusted, and have a more balanced diet to see how he does. This is a main reason I am wondering if he will be my 'forever' horse or re-train and sell to a good home horse... or if it is worth taking him on at all.
I agree. That you being willing to take him out of the bad situation he is in is excellent and I commend you for that.
If you do decide to take him - I'd get him vet checked, fully as soon as possible. If he's being 'neglected' than there could be many underlying issues which haven't been picked up, as yet. I think it is up to you, if your willing to take on a project which gives you a large sense of achievement in the end, I'd say go for it. However - if you feel you don't have the time, money or experience to work with a horse like him than I'd consider alternative options. (Re-homing to a more suitable home straight away).
We can all offer stories, advice and opinions although you need to think about what is best for you and the horse.
I think I have made my decision! Today at our first show together and he worked harder, did better, and achieved more than he has with anyone else. I really believe us as a team we can get to the top.
The only 3 mistakes he made was in one canter he had the wrong lead (has barely cantered before and has never been taught leads until today!), he didn't keep himself 100% collected the whole time (he hasn't had enough flexion training to have), and he slowed from a trot to a walk at the gait. He responded EXTREMELY well to all my cues.
The judge came up to us after and said in our w/t/c class he would've placed 2nd (out of 3) if he hadn't have blown that lead. She said he was cute, she loved him, and once he was finished she can't wait to see him in the ring! That says a LOT.
I don't think he's that much of a project anymore after today. The only thing I think is a 'project' would be his lameness issues. He kicked butt today and so many people commented on him. I'm proud! :-)
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