Dealing with boyfriends/significant others/and other non-horsey partners - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-26-2013, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Dealing with boyfriends/significant others/and other non-horsey partners

So just looking for advice on a situation I'm in with my boyfriend that has me rather hurt.

The back story is earlier this year I went through the motions of respibsubly buying my first horse after 2 years of lessons and helping very closely with my trainer, being at the point in my life knowing exactly what I wanted, which I found. Of course he's far from perfect, but he's at the perfect level of training that I was at for me to progress him. Vet exams, farrier exams, and trial periods followed by 30 days training for a refresher.

Few months later my BF decides to get a horse, having never taken a lesson, and only ridden at a walk a handful of times. He finds a good deal on a small horse he considers perfect for him, first one he looks at, no vet checks, rode him once couldn't get him to listen but buys him on the spot.

Now this horse has obviously been roughly handled and ridden heavy handed all its life. It flinches at any movement by its head, it avoids any form of human contact, and when being ridden it refuses to work and has its ears pinned for most of the time when I'm on him making him listen. My BF sees him as lazy, when he really is quite defiant, disrespectful, and defiant. Its obvious to me that this pony needs someone almost daily to work with him, that he probably hasn't had any sort of bond or trust with a person, I feel so bad for him but I just don't have a time for him right now, not when my horse needs my time. He has only ridden him a handful of times, a couple of those times he had to make me get on him to correct him when misbehaving, yet he gets mad at me for trying to help him with riding tips, saying he wants to learn it on his own.

Apparently he feels that I just automatically dislike this horse since I don't praise him like I do all of my and my boy's accomplishments, yet all I've been saying is that he just needs to be worked with. He feels that I have no experience and no grounds to say what his horse needs even though I've ridden this horse more then he has, I've forced him to get farrier work and general care done when he didn't want to. He thinks my horse whom I ride at least several times weekly and have turned into an animal who people were afraid to go fast on due to loosing control to getting closer each day of having full control at his fastest gaits, is so much worse behaved then his this pony. He claims now he doesn't ride him because I said once I don't fully trust him yet, which I don't since he has bucked a bit with me asking him to lope.

I've simply laid it out in front of him, he either needs to spend the time to work with this poor horse, or find someone who will and spend a little more for a horse that's much better suited for him. So far he's refusing both and pinning it on me. So I'm stuck ignoring it all and taking back this lifelong dream of mine and stop trying to share it, or going out of my way to help this horse who really deserves someone to spend as much time with as possible, I just don't know if I have that sort of time to give him.
TwistedSerpent is offline  
post #2 of 8 Old 10-26-2013, 01:59 AM
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Honestly, I think it was a baaad idea for him to buy a horse with almost no experience, especially one so hard to handle. What I would do is just straight tell my bf, that I will not take care of that pony for him. He bought it and it is his responsibility. If he won't take care of it himself, he should sell it. This would seriously p*ss me off. Just tell him straight, it isn't your horse and he can't push all the work onto you.
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Heaven is the wind between a horse's ears...
BuildDaBunny is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 10-26-2013, 04:32 AM
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Yikes, this sounds like a BAD situation.

Originally Posted by BuildDaBunny View Post
What I would do is just straight tell my bf, that I will not take care of that pony for him. He bought it and it is his responsibility. If he won't take care of it himself, he should sell it. ... Just tell him straight, it isn't your horse and he can't push all the work onto you.
^ This. It's his horse, and the horse should be his responsibility. If he can't handle the horse and give it the training and care that it needs, he needs to sell it.

If this situation is keeping you from enjoying your own horse and horses in general, I think a change needs to be made. It's a shame your boyfriend is being so difficult, because this could be a wonderful opportunity for him to learn about horses and for you two to enjoy horses together. However, if he has a bad attitude and isn't willing to work with you or take advice from you, it sounds like you need to separate yourself from the situation.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-26-2013, 06:44 AM
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This thread sure brings back some bad memories.

Years ago, my then boyfriend turned up at my door with an unbroken TBx mare that he'd just picked up cheap from the local livestock market. He had no equine experience whatsoever, but decided on a whim that he wanted a horse of his own. So he went out and got one! As he had nowhere to put it, I sectioned off some of my field for her as a temporary measure until I could persuade him to rethink his plans and find her a more suitable home. He said he would never under any circumstances sell her because he "loved" her too much.

Well, after 3 weeks of showing her off to friends and family, he got bored. Daily visits turned into weekly visits and then a slow cruise by in the car once a month. It was this behaviour (and a few other "niggles") that helped me realise what an irresponsible jerk he truly was. Needless to say, I kicked him to the kerb.

Then he moved away without notice, leaving me with his horse to feed and kit out with rugs through the winter. I eventually tracked him down and got him to sign over ownership of the mare to me so that I could do what was best for her.

I didn't have the time to take care of another horse, but I just couldn't sell her on and wonder for ever more what became of her. I also recognised that, in the right hands, this mare could be something special. Finally, as her new owner, I was able to send this mare off to be professionally trained at the grand old age of 7. The lady who broke her took such a shine to her that I agreed she could stay there on long term lease. My mare is now in her early twenties and still with this lady. When it's time for her to retire, she will come home to me.

OP, your BF's behaviour in this situation is highlighting some character flaws. I shall say no more on that point, that's for you to weigh up.

The most important relationship to cultivate in this scenario is between you and your horse. If you are able to spend regular time on BF's horse and you have sufficient experience to fix the issues, great. If not, don't go there. It's not your responsibility and will only lead to more frustration and guilt, should things go from bad to worse.

Perhaps an opportunity to do the right thing by this horse will come about in time. Either BF will buck up his ideas, or he'll get bored and be more receptive to allowing you to find a more appropriate home for him (the horse, not the BF, although .....).
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-26-2013, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Michigan
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this is very simple. You focus on YOUR horse, and you let him fail miserably with his own.

he brought this problem along himself, and he needs to fix it. the horse will suffer due to his inexperience, but oh well.

Its NOT your issue to try to fix.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-26-2013, 07:13 PM
Green Broke
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There has to be a bit of consideration to both sides. I imagine that your boyfriend bought this horse is in a misguided attempt to please you. I know that in my relationships some guys have had difficulty understanding the amount of time and money I spend on horse. Sometimes they get angry or bitter, or sometimes they try to understand. Some of them when they've come to horse things or gone for a ride feel that they have gone "above and beyond" in the relationship.

He probably hears you gush about your horse (we all do don't we?) and thought that he could be a part of that. So he went and bought this horse - knowing nothing about it. Now he still hears you going on about your horse and things haven't changed, who knows how he thought things would be but I imagine that he thought things would be different. He's obviously not that into horses so there has to be other reasons why he's doing the horse things.

This would be my thought - although I could be way off here. He's getting bitter because of the time and praise you heap onto your horse (and not him/his horse), and is responding by becoming defensive about his own horse (and by extension himself).

My advice would be to sit down and talk (without demanding things from him) and work out what's going on. Find out why he bought the horse and what he hopes to get out of it and how it's affecting your relationship. Instead of focusing on the horse focus on you guys and how this whole horse thing is impacting you both. If you're not happy he's not going to be either.

If you can't work anything out I'd probably say that between you two the horse thing isn't working out and maybe you can distance yourself in that manner for a while. You can do your horse stuff - and leave it at the stables (don't come home praising your horse) and he can do his horse stuff separately. In a couple of months you can review the situation.

I know everyone on here is saying it's his responsibility etc and it is because it's his horse, but you're in a relationship and that means working out things together. From everything he's said it sounds like he's in over his head, and that he probably did this to try and understand or bond with you. If you address the reason why he bought the horse, then you probably resolve this, possibly sell the horse.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Last edited by Saskia; 10-26-2013 at 07:16 PM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-27-2013, 12:04 AM
Green Broke
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If you do expect him to take care of it, make sure you check up on him. Make sure he doesn't forget to fill water buckets or something like that!

One of my ex- bf's bought a degu (South american large rodent) on a whim. He never played with it and one day I came back from class and it was dead. He had forgotten to water it. I felt horrible and beat myself up for not "checking on it"... I think he did it to impress me, and once he had it he was no longer interested. The same with the cat he rescued. Last I heard he had dumped it on one of his friends. Did I mention I ended up with his dog?

I wouldn't be too concerned if he doesn't want to ride. But he should be out there helping with the chores! His horse can be a pasture pet if that is what he wants, and as long as it doesn't throw him off or hurt him, I would leave it be.

If this horse is a danger to him, you need to discuss the risks with him. Does he ride with a helmet? If you feel this horse is too much you need to tell him you care about him and are concerned that this horse is too dangerous for him. Maybe take him for a lesson on a safe lesson horse (so he can see how nice it is to have a well behaved horse).

Part of this is an attitude issue on your bf's part. "learning on your own" = broken bones when it comes to horses. If you can encourage him to get lessons from someone other than yourself. Or buy him lessons for a Christmas/birthday present.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-27-2013, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Minnesota, currently in Montana
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Thanks everyone for the advice!

I'm not sure where his decision to buy one came from, I really didn't push him to purchase one, but I did encourage him to take lessons and learn on good horses before he did, but he refused saying he knows exactly what he wants and doesn't need to learn more then the basics which I am here for, which I don't mind at all. His biggest interest and reason would be for hunting purposes, he has told me he finds riding just to ride boring, and has no desire to go faster then a walk.

The couple times I have gotten him to come ride with me he ended up frustrated with me trying to help him correct and control his horse, which makes it unfun for everyone so he's begun to expect it always to be like that. I really wish we could start over and actually take the time to find him something that isn't going to take this much work with experience in mountains and hunting already as this little horse has none, making it an actual positive experience for him. He hasn't outright said he expects me to work with him, but I don't know how he expects the problem to be fixed if he never wants to work with him.

I'm really not sure if he really got him to please me, if he is he's hiding it pretty well. He's the very logical/reasoning type and he does have a big ego. Thinking about everything now though in that way it feels more like he's upset and frustrated that I know more about it then him. Whenever I stop to explain why or what I'm doing, a few sentences in he gets upset saying I'm not making any sense, then stops listening, he gets upset when I offer any little bit of advice to help them two communicate together, and has implied several times that he doesn't think I have enough knowledge to be training or helping him.

That I think stems from his wanting of me to be more dependent on him so he can care for me, when I first moved out here I knew no one but him so was pretty dependent on him for a year or so until I got my debts taken care of and a solid financial footing to go foreword with my own hobbies and not the ones he got me into that I still rely on him to help with.

I've got to find a way and a time to bring it up to him without him feeling attacked, since he gets so defensive and puts walls up in situations like these. I think he really liked me following him around helping and enjoying his hobbies, but is having a hard time reversing the role. We've been together for 5 years, known each other for longer, and really this is the worse issue between us that's come up, and has slowly been building up since he came back from being deployed this spring, which again goes back to me being dependent before he left to me being more independent when he got back which happened right at the same time I got my horse. So perhaps it was his way to try to get me back again, so I've got to see what I've been doing to make him feel like that.

Care wise he's been helping with, he's purchased his part of the hay, he leps with feedings and such, he put up the fencing for them and has been helping with logistical things and winterizing, I just had to force him to get his hooves trimmed when we had the farrier out, don't think he realized how long they've gotten. Care-wise he hasn't had any issues and I have no problems with, he almost seems to enjoy having them on our land, but he's just been a cute pasture pony who really needs consistency and a soft but firm leader to become a willing partner. He's a very smart but very unwilling horse, combined with a very green unwilling to listen BF.
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