What kind of horse is right for me?! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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What kind of horse is right for me?!

I just got home from a frustrating and emotional training session. I think I'm at the point where I'm ready to admit that my horse isn't right for me.

I've owned him a year. He was very green when I got him, and pretty much had only been backed. He has been in training on and off since I got and really is turning into a great horse. He's a beautiful mover and has big, powerful strides.

Almost too powerful, at least for me.

He tends to be tense at the start of the ride and then relaxes. He's also very sensitive to aids.

The thing is, I don't know if I'm ready (or willing) to deal with all that power and sensitivity. More and more, I feel like I need something I can just ride.

I grew up riding more stock type horses. I did own a rather feisty Arab but he was small enough to not be scary.

My current horse is a pinto/paint that is 16 hands. My trainer said if I intend to do dressage he can get me the scores. She also thinks he would do well in jumping and eventing.

She also said it wouldn't be a bad decision to list him for sale and consider getting something a bit less powerful.

I want to be able to show dressage but realistically that might not happen, and even if it does I want to do it for fun rather than to win and be competitive.

More importantly, I want to be able to go out and work my horse in the arena without my trainer needing to get on first. I want to be able to go on trail rides. When my barn has a play date, I want to be able to participate.

But I still want a nice, forward mover. I don't want a western type horse. I want to be able to go into the dressage ring and at least not make a fool out of myself.

Please recommend breeds of horses I should consider. I'm considering another Arab... Maybe Anglo Arab but I worry with the TB I'd end up right where I'm at: with a lovely, sensitive, powerful horse I can't ride.

Help!
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 01:53 AM
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Oh gosh we should swap, haha! I have a beautiful, mellow horsey who is great on trails and is perfect for someone who just wants a buddy to have a good ride with. I love her more than anything but she is just not a challenge for me! I want a challenge that I can train and show. I know I truly wouldnt ever sell her unless absolutely necassary, although I actually have to because I am moving -:( I never knew how much I loved her until I found out I have to let her go... Goodluck with finding your perfect horse!

Please let me know your thoughts on my post: https://www.horseforum.com/horse-talk...-horse-301937/
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 02:04 AM
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Try a Saddlebred!
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 05:27 AM
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Look around, I wouldn't be worried about breed so much as does the horse fit your criteria. If it's mostly fun and lower level events you plan on doing you don't have to be as specific.

What about a quiet TB? Appies are often energetic and athletic without the size factor making them too big to handle. Quarter horses are versatile and varied enough to do just about anything. Or a crossbreed might not be a bad idea.
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 05:32 AM
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I'd try a saddlebred.
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 05:03 PM
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A standardbred might be just what you are looking for.
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikelodeon79 View Post
I just got home from a frustrating and emotional training session. I think I'm at the point where I'm ready to admit that my horse isn't right for me.

I've owned him a year. He was very green when I got him, and pretty much had only been backed. He has been in training on and off since I got and really is turning into a great horse. He's a beautiful mover and has big, powerful strides.

Almost too powerful, at least for me.

He tends to be tense at the start of the ride and then relaxes. He's also very sensitive to aids.

The thing is, I don't know if I'm ready (or willing) to deal with all that power and sensitivity. More and more, I feel like I need something I can just ride.

I grew up riding more stock type horses. I did own a rather feisty Arab but he was small enough to not be scary.

My current horse is a pinto/paint that is 16 hands. My trainer said if I intend to do dressage he can get me the scores. She also thinks he would do well in jumping and eventing.

She also said it wouldn't be a bad decision to list him for sale and consider getting something a bit less powerful.

I want to be able to show dressage but realistically that might not happen, and even if it does I want to do it for fun rather than to win and be competitive.

More importantly, I want to be able to go out and work my horse in the arena without my trainer needing to get on first. I want to be able to go on trail rides. When my barn has a play date, I want to be able to participate.

But I still want a nice, forward mover. I don't want a western type horse. I want to be able to go into the dressage ring and at least not make a fool out of myself.

Please recommend breeds of horses I should consider. I'm considering another Arab... Maybe Anglo Arab but I worry with the TB I'd end up right where I'm at: with a lovely, sensitive, powerful horse I can't ride.

Help!
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I can sense your frustration in the post. He's such a gorgeous horse, it would be sad to see you guys go your seperate ways. Unfortunately thats part of owning a green broke horse. Its a lot of work before they get enough miles on.
Do you have the funds to look into having get some training with a trainer? how about offering a free lease or partial lease and have someone else with more experience put on miles for you?
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by My2Geldings View Post
I can sense your frustration in the post. He's such a gorgeous horse, it would be sad to see you guys go your seperate ways. Unfortunately thats part of owning a green broke horse. Its a lot of work before they get enough miles on.
Do you have the funds to look into having get some training with a trainer? how about offering a free lease or partial lease and have someone else with more experience put on miles for you?
He's been in professional training for a year. The actual training hours equal about five months, as he was injured twice and ill twice.

He's doing so well except for the initial mounting. He tenses and his back humps up and if you don't do the right thing, he will buck. The right thing is either sitting quietly and waiting for him to relax (if he's simply tense) or bending him and making him work (if he's starting to actually move out and starting to buck).

But then he settles in and really shines. He's a big, beautiful mover. He loves to work. He really looks to his rider for guidance and trusts their direction. He's flashy and showy. All in all, he's a loving, sweet horse.

Deep down I know I can handle that but I have this ridiculous mental block of fear that is almost paralyzing in intensity.

In fact, he did give a small buck while I was mounted and trying to find my stirrup and it was really no big deal. I actually didn't realize he'd given a small buck/hop until my trainer told me. I just sat there and rode it out.

Yesterday he was worse than usual. He usually stands quietly for mounting but this time he started his antics before my trainer even got on. She made him work from the ground until he decided to stand for mounting. He was tense for longer than usual. I had a small mental breakdown and couldn't make myself get on when it was my turn. I feel like such a failure.

My trainer then let me ride one of the school horses I take lessons on and it made me think about just getting something nice and quiet (and smaller!).

It's a stretch to keep him in full time training along with paying board. What the plan is right now is to have an apprentice trainer continue to put miles on him, which will be easier on my budget.

The apprentice trainer rode him for the first time today and did well. Again, he was tense at the start but actually it was less than the past few rides. It was the barn's play date with gymkhana games. The apprentice trainer rode him in a few of the games (walk/trot) and he did well. He spooked a few times but his spooks are no big deal to me. He usually just stops and plants and faces what's scary.

There was a long break between the keyhole race and the bobbing for apples. She had dismounted and when she went to get on, he was prancing and tense and his back got super humpy. My main trainer was there and made him bend and work from the ground. The apprentice trainer then got on and he softened quicker than I've ever seen him. All in all, a great day and it's made me second guess myself yet again.

The plan at the moment is to keep him in training (with the apprentice trainer doing most of the rides), but list him for sale at a higher price. He is certainly worth a lot but it would have to be the perfect buyer because he does have that one issue to work through, and that one issue is a dealbreaker for many. If he doesn't sell his training will continue and we'll see if he eventually gets over the tension upon mounting.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 08:57 PM
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There are plenty of stock horses doing basic dressage both for fun and at lower-level shows. So if you want an easy going horse for trails as well as one you can do dressage with, don't count them out. Of course, it does depend on breeding, etc, but there are plenty of well put together, forward moving QH out there like my guy- you just have to find the right one, like in every horse search. You may not exactly see QH at national dressage competitions, but unless that is where your sights are set, I don't think that it means much.
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 09:30 PM
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I think the mistake a lot of people make is that they buy a horse for the future rather than buying a horse for now.

He might be a good dressage horse in the future, after years of training for you and him, possible injuries not to mention everything else that might happen in your life meanwhile. You can't know the future.

I think your plan with the apprentice trainer sounds good.

Buy a horse that you can jump on and ride now, that you can start doing proper training with or competing. Something that you feel happy and confident riding alone or with others and working on stuff yourself. Sure this horse might not get you as far, but you can go as far as you can and then re-evaluate the situation. Competitive horse riders don't just get one horse and compete that forever. Get the best you can for your skills and level now, there are so many great horses out there if you're ready for another young one in a few years you'll certainly find a suitable one.
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