I don't love my horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 06-22-2019, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Post I don't love my horse

Full Disclaimer here, my horse is lovely.

She is a lovely match for me under saddle and has yet to do anything more than a minor tantrum (I can't say I'm shocked and it is nothing dangerous, just a mare moment) when the work gets hard.

That being said, I just don't feel like she is the right horse for me. I absolutely hate the word "bond" but, for lack of a better word, I guess it will have to do.

I'm used to more personable and outgoing horses. Even the horses I bought for resale were much easier to spend time with. I feel like I'm not enjoying my time with her that isn't in the saddle.

I feel like I'm being completely selfish, but I feel little emotional attachment to the horse. I bought her because she felt right in the saddle, but I must confess that I don't look forward to having to prep her for a show.
I work in the barn, so I do spend a good amount of time with the horse. She isn't actively for sale, but I don't think I'd turn down a good home for her.

I am frustrated because she is such a good match under saddle, but she feels more like a resale horse than a personal horse.

I've had many a personal horse before her, and this one just isn't sticking like the others did. Just looking for any insight or opinion.
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post #2 of 34 Old 06-22-2019, 06:37 PM
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Not sure what sort of comments you're after here, as it doesn't seem a question.

A 'bond'/relationship can take a while to build. How long have you had the horse?

Perhaps she is not 'personable' or 'outgoing' because of previous experiences with humans. I've met many who were rather 'shut down' & cynical about all things human, and that can take a while to change their minds about, prove to them you're a Good Thing & not like other people they've come across. Our last horse was quite shut down - he was very quiet & 'obedient' but... robotically. Couldn't get him to play or enjoy a scratch - he'd tolerate grooming because he felt he must, get frightened at us playing with other horses. It took about 6mo for him to 'come out' and the first time he actually showed some 'spirit', it was like an accident that he immediately expected to get in trouble for. When he didn't, he got gamer, and now he's a 'normal', fun loving horse with us, actively enjoys our company... on the ground. He is still quite... robotic when you ride him though.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #3 of 34 Old 06-22-2019, 08:10 PM
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How long have you had her?

Whats her age history?

What's your goal - assuming here you compete?

Will help with answers. I gotta say I find this strange but I'm someone that can fall in love with any animal. Some horses I've ridden it's taken a few sessions before they are like "oh, oh the human is talking to me? Like really, trying to communicate.. with me?!" Then the personality comes out and it makes me go all soppy inside. Good "boring" horses like @loosie mentioned are maybe emotionally shut down. I will say that I've noticed that some people are attracted to troublesome pets, as if the goal of overcoming their issues is hugely important to their self worth. When things come too easy they can feel off - like they were just given an easy ride compared to EARNING it. Not sure if that's your situation but just something I thought about.
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post #4 of 34 Old 06-22-2019, 08:19 PM
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The horse I ride in my lessons right now is by far the best trained and most rewarding horse I've ever ridden. But for the longest time I didn't think she would be the sort of horse I would choose to own, if I were to buy again. However, now I've been riding her for nearly four years and I've put more rides on her than any other horse I've ever ridden. Including the ones I owned. Over time I got to love her, and I know I'll be absolutely gutted when her time comes. Hopefully that won't be for a very long time.

The second horse I owned -- going back over twenty years ago now -- was wonderful. Bombproof but willing. Safe safe safe. Easy, fun ride. And for some reason, even though I enjoyed her, I found myself spending my whole first season with her feeling like it wasn't right and that maybe I should sell her. I had no idea why I was feeling that way. Well, I grew to love the hell out of that horse and I still have dreams about riding her. I'd give almost anything to head out on a solo trail ride with her again.

If this horse is a capable and safe horse that you can do everything you need to do on... then why rush? There's no harm in giving the relationship time.
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post #5 of 34 Old 06-22-2019, 08:41 PM
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The only time in my life that I voluntarily sold my horse was one that didn't love me. Before I bought that horse, my forever horse, whom I trained from a baby, had blossomed into an amazing show horse, winning everything in sight. At the peak of his career, he was hit by a car and killed. I was devastated. I couldn't get over it.

I bought a bunch of project horses and trained them, but that wasn't helping me. I was fighting a severe depression. Every day after work, when there was no special horse to head home to, I would put my head on my desk and sob.

So I decided to buy another forever horse. I found one that was everything I could ask for . . . so I bought him. But he walked away when I went out to the pasture to get him. He didn't like being touched or groomed or handled. Like your horse, OP, he was lovely to ride, but he could care less about me. At that time in my life, I needed a horse that would adore me, heal my broken heart, be my forever love . . . and he wasn't fulfilling that role.

So I sold him. I bought a yearling filly that I couldn't ride and named her Magic, hoping that she would work some magic in my life. She did. She adored me. If people were trying to hold her while I took care of something, she would jerk away from them, run to me and put her head on my shoulder. I kept her all her life.

If I had been in a different place in my life journey, that horse I sold would have worked out perfectly . . . but I wasn't. I needed an extra special horse, not an aloof one. I had all the hurt I could tolerate at that time. I see no harm in selling your horse and getting one who is right for you right now.
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post #6 of 34 Old 06-22-2019, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't expect so much feedback so quickly!

The horse is a 9 year old OTTB. To my knowledge, she had been sitting for about 5 five months before I bought her (owner health problems). I was unable to speak to the owner, only the seller, so I do not know a whole lot of her history. I've had her coming up three months now, so I know that she most likely needs more time.

I guess I've never had a horse that was this shutdown. Like Kalraii said, I feel like I didn't earn the ride. She just sort of did it, as opposed to it being more of a give and take situation.

The plan is to show in three months. I have had some people interested in the horse, so I'm at a crossroads as to what to do with her. Due to the nature of my work, I do have to rush through the grooming sessions to keep on schedule.

I guess my starter wasn't truly a question, so I appreciate all of the feedback and your own experiences. I'm willing to give it time, but I must admit that she much prefers the BO even though I'm the one that caters to her every will.

Any tips on how to help her open up? Most of the barn likens her to a goldfish personality.
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post #7 of 34 Old 06-22-2019, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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I have a feeling this hits pretty close to home. I adored my last horse, but she was too much for me undersaddle and I had to sell her.

I fear that she did more damage than a few broken bones.
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post #8 of 34 Old 06-22-2019, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knightrider View Post
The only time in my life that I voluntarily sold my horse was one that didn't love me. Before I bought that horse, my forever horse, whom I trained from a baby, had blossomed into an amazing show horse, winning everything in sight. At the peak of his career, he was hit by a car and killed. I was devastated. I couldn't get over it.

I bought a bunch of project horses and trained them, but that wasn't helping me. I was fighting a severe depression. Every day after work, when there was no special horse to head home to, I would put my head on my desk and sob.

So I decided to buy another forever horse. I found one that was everything I could ask for . . . so I bought him. But he walked away when I went out to the pasture to get him. He didn't like being touched or groomed or handled. Like your horse, OP, he was lovely to ride, but he could care less about me. At that time in my life, I needed a horse that would adore me, heal my broken heart, be my forever love . . . and he wasn't fulfilling that role.

So I sold him. I bought a yearling filly that I couldn't ride and named her Magic, hoping that she would work some magic in my life. She did. She adored me. If people were trying to hold her while I took care of something, she would jerk away from them, run to me and put her head on my shoulder. I kept her all her life.

If I had been in a different place in my life journey, that horse I sold would have worked out perfectly . . . but I wasn't. I needed an extra special horse, not an aloof one. I had all the hurt I could tolerate at that time. I see no harm in selling your horse and getting one who is right for you right now.
I have a feeling this hits pretty close to home. I adored my last horse, but she was too much for me undersaddle and I had to sell her.

I fear she did more damage than a few broken bones
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post #9 of 34 Old 06-22-2019, 09:01 PM
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Sometimes we don't know we have a good thing that's right in front of us. Case in point: I have seen horses trying to get to each other's grass while standing on opposite sides of the same fence.

Is there any way you can arrange for a trial separation, say a lease to someone you trust? You'll either miss her and wish she were back, or you don't. If you don't I'm sure it'll be easy to find a home for her that loves her. If you do, take her back and thank me. :)
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post #10 of 34 Old 06-22-2019, 09:07 PM
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I totally understand where you're coming from. My very first horse that I actually owned, I wasn't truly emotionally attached to. She had plenty of personality and quirks, but I found myself dragging myself out to see her, rather than actually looking forward to spending with her. And I rarely rode her because her and I never really clicked so it always felt more like a chore than something for fun. Our partnershp honestly nearly ruined riding for me as in there was no more pleasure in it and I almost came to hate it. I had her for a full year before I decided to sell since it was just obvious her and I were not a good match.

Then, I got my second horse, and I had him for 4 months (had to sell for financial and other reasons). And despite him needing work and only having him that short amount of time, I was literally crying as I loaded him up on the trailer for the people who bought him. I'd honestly buy him back at the drop of a hat.

So really, while it's good to give a relationship with horses some time, other times you just have to listen to your gut. There are some horses that we're just not meant to be with, while others you can't imagine living without. I'd suggest give it till at least 6 months. If nothing has grown between you two by then, then I'd really consider other options of potentially selling or trading her for a horse that you know you'll actually enjoy being around. Because when you don't truly enjoy it, then they pick up on it too and they won't truly enjoy the work either.

Either way, I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide.
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