Just got a question for you.
After all the trouble that happened with the brumby and explaining what happened to a friend of mine, she has asked if I would like to work her old appaloosa.
Joseph is a 16.2HH leopard spot gelding with a sweet but wary disposition. I've ridden him a couple of times and found him to be highly trained in western events. Cutting, reining etc. he's now about 20 years old and has had an injury to one back leg, but is happy to walk, trot or canter around. Last time I rode him he was quite unhappy that I asked him to stop because he wanted to keep going. (he gave a little crow-hop to let me know).
What I was wondering was, is he too old to do western pleasure events? I don't want to do any fast work at all. He's got a very very long stride and because of his injury to his hind leg, he is short in his canter stride, which can make him quite rough (almost like short coupled).
Do you think he could do it?
I'd love to show you photo's of him, so i'll see if she'll let me take them.
She's too scared to ride him because he is so big, so quick on his feet and she has balance and mobility issues.
Anyway, hope to hear soon
I went and visited him this evening and he seems so depressed, the poor bugger.
My mum keeps taking his mate out on rides (her appy mare) and he chases the float along the fence line.
The problem I have is that his owner is a HUGE softie and doesn't like her horses to sweat, or even get a little tacky. Last time I rode joseph and he was cantering, he came back wet under the girth and I got the grilling of a lifetime. Joseph is a little unfit, but he wasn't blowing and was actually quite cranky that i'd stopped him. I found out afterwards that he hadn't been cantered under saddle for nearly 3 years because they were too scared. He'd only trotted twice under saddle with her and she got frightened, so he was reduced to walking everywhere.
Also, because she was always so nervous, he appears to be quite wary of a lot of things.
For example: you all know about the goblin that lives behind the rock, right? Or the leaf that if it turns the other way is a dangerous object? How about the carnivorous kangaroos? Not to mention those scary alpaca's that are just waiting for an unsuspecting horse to walk past so they can terrorise it? Lol
He's a beautiful boy, just not very brave and I was wondering if it had to do with her lack of confidence? To me this seems right but i'd like your views.
Also, he's very very rough on the canter to the left. His injury is to his near hind leg. Could this be part of the problem or do you think it could be a balance thing?
Next week, when we start working again, im going to be doing a lot of circles with him and stretching exercises to see if this helps, but any other advice would be greatly appreciated.
Ps. I thought about lunging him as well but apparently this has been used as a form of punishment for him and he gets really worked up so would like to avoid it until we have a little more confidence in each other lol
****, im rambling again, aren't I? Ahh well, it is 4 in the morning at the moment!
You could have a farrier come look at his feet, the roughness in the canter could be a trimming issue. Or it could just be him. You might try doing some stretches with the leg that has the old injury....do you know what it was?
If he's had a nervous rider, then yes, that could be a factor in his spookiness. If you're confident with him, show him there's nothing to be afraid of when you're there, he should improve. Or, he could just be a nervous boy. If that's the case, it's the same solution. Be confident with him, let him know there's nothing there, have him stop and look, etc. He should become more confident as long as you're there.
Thanks for the tips.
I don't know what happened to his back leg. I do know that there is permanent damage to the hoof wall of that foot (the farrier is working on getting it to grow out and is trimming accordingly, and then will shoe him for me) and by the look of the scars on the inside of the leg, whatever happened was pretty serious. I don't know how old the injury is, all I know is that this year he is 20 years old and the lady who owns him has had him for about 3 years, the injury happened before she got him.
I got the opportunity to see him cantering (free lunging) and my partner took some video of it. He is definitely not happy stretching that leg and is really quite short on the stride with it. If the injured leg is on the inside, he is okay, but if its on the outside on his canter he is incredibly rough.
I've got a massage therapist coming out to see him as well.
Also, I found out that he panics when in the float (if you can get him in there) so i'm wondering if that was the cause of the injury, something happened to him whilst travelling, loading or unloading. Unfortunately I can't find anything on him past 4 years ago where the lady who my friend bought him off got him out of the sales, so the trail stops.
I spent some time with him this morning and he was really spooky. Apparently the bucket was going to eat him, until he realised that the bucket was in fact incredibly yummy (i dribbled molasses over it). He also seems to look to me for security, so im trying to be as confident as I can with him.
Will let you know how we go with the massage therapy, and hopefully will be able to get some piccies of the gorgeous boy.
Thanks again guys
Well, I just got off the phone to his owner, and she's invited me to go riding with her next week, which I am looking forward to. I'm planning on doing some work in the arena with him and get him bending and flexing. The funny thing is, he has these quirks.
Do you believe that a horse can get grumpy because i've asked it to stop cantering?
He doesn't crack it, he just gives a little pigroot and then slows down.
Any thoughts would be appreciated
Ps. The vet is coming out to him next week also to check his eyesight. I'm wondering if he is having trouble seeing and that's part of the reason for his spookiness. Will let you know!
I have a 23 year old quarter horse he does the same...he has artritis. I give him glucosimine and he now is moving quick and he is not stiff anymore 20 years old is ok. But I am 13 years old....lol....my mom put him on senior grain and he is great!!! I have had him since he was 14 and he is my first horse. =) So please let me know if that helped =) bye
I agree- as long as he's sound, he should be fine to ride!! Pleasure riding is not as rough as other disciplines either, so it shouldn't be too hard on him. :)
Also, I have to say that 20yrs is not that old! :P