Don’t know if my new horse is right for me... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-15-2020, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Don’t know if my new horse is right for me...

I bought my first horse a little over 2 months ago. I just want to ride for fun, trails, whatever, so I wanted a begginner friendly horse that I could just enjoy. I’ve been riding for many years but it was off and on since I moved a lot. Anyway I looked at 5 horses before I found him. He was a lot shorter than I wanted and not exactly the color I was looking for-but he was amazing on the trail and not spooky at all. When I brought him home he started going through the biting faze- and I was always having to smack him just back and forth. Always putting his ears back. I didn’t ride him for 3 weeks because I thought he may have ulcers/pain. However, when the vet came for a check up he was 100% healthy. So he had just been having an attitude problem. I even got him adjusted by a chiro. This horse has never buck/rear/bolt but he throws his head all the time. It makes me nervous. I take him in a circle and then he just keeps doing it. I don’t want to fight back with him too much because I’m scared he’ll start bucking. Today he was refusing to go down the trail and just putting up a big fight. I’m just so tired of fighting with him. I just want to enjoy my horse. I had to hire a trainer to come to me which wasn’t the intention and we’ve done some lunging lessons, but this was never the plan. He’s 16 year old horse whose very well broke so it makes me think I should stick with him. I bought him after my mom died and he’s suppose to be taking away my stress but i just have so much anxiety with him. His ears always pinched at me, head throwing, etc. on other horses I would be cantering away but with him we just aren’t connecting. I feel like I shouldn’t give up but idk what to do
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-16-2020, 01:21 AM
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Your horse probably is a good horse, but he sure has a respect problem.

We have a gelding that tosses his head. He's grade and 15 and the man we bought him from doesn't know his history, but he obviously was trained well and rides nice. We noticed some scarring on his tongue but can only guess how that got there. A hackamore did the trick though, happy horse so he'll just stay in that. Something to consider.

Pick your favorite horse trainer or clinician's way of doing it, but the horse needs to be reminded of his manners. Sweaty horses behave the best. No treats, and no hitting of any kind is my recommendation. Treats make horses pushy and badly behaved, they are such a food driven animal it is basically unfair to expect them to not be distracted by the smell or thought of the treat. The idea of waiting for food as a reward is a human/predator thing I have serious doubts horses understand. Hitting is just bad horsemanship, and worse it does nothing but turn the bad behavior into a little game for many horses. Horses pester each other like that all the time, but they should never get the idea that it is okay to do it to people.
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-16-2020, 02:06 AM
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I agree that this is a respect problem.

It really doesn't take any animal long to assess their handler. Some just go along with it whilst others will take advantage, as yours has done.

This doesn't usually start with riding but with the little things that happen whilst handling. Not correcting the little things leads to them taking more advantage and it transitioning to when you are riding.

I agree with jgnmoose, you need help from an experienced trainer to teach you.
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-16-2020, 06:12 AM
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Welcome to the forum...

With that you won't like my answer nor those of many who will respond...
You already had a few similar and now add mine...
I don't mean to be critical, but that is the way this is going to come across...my apologies early.

Your horse is testing you and you are failing at that test.
He's looking for leadership and you aren't leading.
He's looking for someone to trust to do the bidding of that will keep him safe...and you are not.
It isn't the horse, its you.
You rode the horse to try and he was fine.
He did not meet your wants in most anything by the sound of it but you brought him home anyway.

When you did bring him home you started out by finding a bunch of reasons to not ride, legit or not but you didn't ride him.
Now I hear a lot of excuses...but hear no leadership role portrayed.

If you regret buying the horse...sell him.
Put him up for sale and get a different one who does meet what you think you want/need better in a horse.
Just remember you can purchase the bestest of animal that did meet your needs and if you are not leading, respected and actually out and doing with the animal the animal will doubt all the best capabilities you may have and they are going to test...
You need to either step up or step off the ship and let it sail...
You have a chance yet of turning around this partnership by proving you are leadership quality, you can be trusted, and the horse can do as asked and not get hurt in its eyes...but you need to take a active part in the relationship instead of allowing a animal to rule the roost.
If you don't change your mindset and attitude don't expect the horse to...that begins with this horse meets and met all of your needs and wants and you need to learn each other together...
Till you step up, the horse won't either..
...
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....

Last edited by horselovinguy; 10-16-2020 at 06:26 AM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-16-2020, 07:02 AM
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You really only have 3 choices.

#1 Let things continue as they are and you'll quit riding him and he'll become a Pasture Puff and you'll become the Bill Payor and nothing more.

#2 Get the trainer back out to really work with you both for a few months, until you can handle him properly and he responds to you with respect.

#3 Sell him and buy another horse who, in short order, will have your number and will start acting the same as this one.

By your own admission you've only had on again/off again riding lessons. I suspect you've never been taught how to handle a horse properly on the ground. If you can't handle the horse on the ground, you won't handle him in the saddle either (which you're saying is also a problem). Your horse sounds like he'll take care of you, IF you can get his respect/attention. Right now you don't have it.

It doesn't matter what your initial plans were, you don't have the experience to not have a trainer for you and the horse. In the beginning the trainer can work the horse and fix any problems you cause due to lack of experience. Once you start to get some experience, then you'll find most of the problems go away because you will know what to do when he tests. Right now, you don't know what to do and he's got your number.

Sorry to say, I agree with others, the problem isn't the horse. When horses are pushy, bratty, naughty, 99.8% of the time, it's the human who has caused or allowed the behavior. Unfortunately, trainers are very bad about teaching their students to handle horses from the ground, they just concentrate on teaching to ride. If you liked the trainer who came out and worked with you in the past, then have that trainer come out and really teach you ground handling skills, then work on the riding part. Have that trainer start and keep riding while you're learning. It will make things much easier. Or go with choices #1 or #3 knowing that if you choose #3, you're going to be on a "rinse and repeat" cycle because the next horse will act up soon too. And you still won't know how to react.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-16-2020, 11:16 AM
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There are no perfect horses, you have to become the rider you need to be to make the horse you have, the horse you want it to be.


From the information you provided my vote is to stick with your horse. Two months isn't really that long for a horse to settle into a new place with a new owner, although you've lost a lot of ground with him that you must regain. You looked at 5 horses so you didn't rush into purchasing and you over looked your color and height preferences to buy this horse because there was something about him that you really liked. Horses have short memories so timing is important, corrections must be made within two seconds or the horse has forgotten what he did that you are correcting him for. For biting I'd give one swift hard smack so you get his attention then move on with whatever you were doing. Pining ears, make him work hard, either under saddle or on a lunge line until his attitude improves. Head throwing, are you using the same bit the previous owner used, or it might be just attitude which should improve when you re-establish your position of leadership. You don't mention the horse's living arrangements, is he boarded, is he alone or with other horses? Spend as much time as you can with the horse to bond, feeding, grooming or just hanging out not asking him to do anything.



Our first horse was a stubborn 16 year old Appaloosa mare. Her major problem was loading which we knew from the seller. I tried nice and slow for a while but was not getting anywhere. It finally got to where I had to make it very uncomfortable for her not to load. That one lesson solved the loading problem and some other small issues and we have never had to repeat it. Same mare would flat out refuse to go forward at times but she had a good reverse. We'd turn her around and back her to where we wanted to go. A few years after we got her we took the whole herd on a trail ride with me, my daughter, my daughter's friend and the friend's father. Girls picked their horses and father ended up with the Appaloosa mare. He was very inexperienced and mare knew it an totally abused him. He stuck it out for 20 minutes before we had to play musical horses. My 12 year old daughter ended up with the Appaloosa and she was as good as gold the rest of the day.


My own horse is a gaited gelding who likes to go fast. It took probably two years before I could really control him when he decided he wanted to go. In that time I developed a really good seat. I'd now trust this horse to take me anywhere and he trusts me.



Stick with it but get the help of a good trainer to show you how to handle your horse. It sounds like you have riding experience but not so much with handling on the ground. If you get the ground work under control I think the riding issues will be solved as you said he was well broke. It's not uncommon for people who have riding experience to have very little horse handling experience as the barn staff cares for and tacks up the horses.


Finally, you now have a tough sell as you can't show the horse to his full potential to a prospective buyer.


Once you bring this horse back to where he was you'll have a great accomplishment and a learning experience. Sorry for the loss of your mother. My time spent with my horses, even if I'm not riding, is some of my most relaxing time.
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-16-2020, 11:18 AM
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I would try to find a trainer who’d get him working properly again and then sell him.

There are horses that are well broke and well mannered with an experienced rider/handler but quickly figure out how to challenge and intimidate one that’s less experienced and lacks confidence.
They don’t change and you might never be the owner he needs.

I used to buy and sell horses and ponies and a lot of our clients were nervous novices. We were able to find suitable partners for them, they are out there.
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Just winging it is not a plan
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-16-2020, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
Welcome to the forum...

With that you won't like my answer nor those of many who will respond...
You already had a few similar and now add mine...
I don't mean to be critical, but that is the way this is going to come across...my apologies early.

Your horse is testing you and you are failing at that test.
He's looking for leadership and you aren't leading.
He's looking for someone to trust to do the bidding of that will keep him safe...and you are not.
It isn't the horse, its you.
You rode the horse to try and he was fine.
He did not meet your wants in most anything by the sound of it but you brought him home anyway.

When you did bring him home you started out by finding a bunch of reasons to not ride, legit or not but you didn't ride him.
Now I hear a lot of excuses...but hear no leadership role portrayed.

If you regret buying the horse...sell him.
Put him up for sale and get a different one who does meet what you think you want/need better in a horse.
Just remember you can purchase the bestest of animal that did meet your needs and if you are not leading, respected and actually out and doing with the animal the animal will doubt all the best capabilities you may have and they are going to test...
You need to either step up or step off the ship and let it sail...
You have a chance yet of turning around this partnership by proving you are leadership quality, you can be trusted, and the horse can do as asked and not get hurt in its eyes...but you need to take a active part in the relationship instead of allowing a animal to rule the roost.
If you don't change your mindset and attitude don't expect the horse to...that begins with this horse meets and met all of your needs and wants and you need to learn each other together...
Till you step up, the horse won't either..
...
jmo...
I totally get that he is not respecting me. I spend so much time with him working on that, backing him up, lunging, taking him in circles.. it works for the time being but a few minutes later he starts testing me again. I leased a different horse for about 6 months before buying and I guess I just never ran in to such a big respect issue. I've delt with testy lesson horses but I guess they didn't react in a way that made me nervous, (such as the head throwing, or curling his dead down as if he'll buck me off- its in that moment where I stop correcting him because he gets so irritable but I just try to calm him down so I don't end up on the ground). Of course then he can sense my nervousness when he starts acting like that, which just makes it worse.
I'm continuing to work with a trainer with him but I guess I just am confused about if we are a good match for each other, if this is a horse that can work for me- or just needs someone with a lot more experience. And I need a horse that I can feel safe on. I want it to work but I just don't know if its practical I guess. I literally put all my free time in to working with him on the ground and when not I'm watching videos.
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-16-2020, 07:54 PM
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I'm so sorry you're going through this. It really sucks. You've already been through a lot and hoped this horse would bring happiness into your life, but that's not happening.

Many have told you that you need to earn this horse's respect, and I don't disagree with them. However, I want to add that you're at a crossroads. You can choose to fight this battle, or you can move on. It sounds like you've already taken a number of steps to fix this, including working with a trainer, but are not getting anywhere. Sometimes it takes time. But sometimes, it also just takes a different horse. Maybe this is not the time in your life to be dealing with this particular horse. It's ok to move on. It sounds to me, from your tone, that you have already made that decision.

Here's my experience: I had horses growing up but then didn't for many years. Bought myself a mare who was supposed to be beginner safe. I tried so hard with her, but she was definitely not beginnner safe. She eventually gave me a concussion. I have several posts about her on this forum, and people told me to just sell her, but I couldn't do that. I tried for two years. I followed programs, worked with a coach, but she had my number. Then, a friend of mine offered for me to take on her 6 year old who only had about ten rides on him, but was a quiet, safe horse. I kept him for 6 months before buying him. Best thing I ever did. And last summer, I sold my mare. I won't lie, it was hard. I don't regret all the work I put into her because she taught me so much. But WOW, riding and working with my new guy Rusty is so different, and so much fun! Immediately, and despite the fact that he has no training, I suddenly felt like a kid again on his back. So I just want to say that it's ok to move on. I feel my mare is much better off where she is now, because her rider doesn't feel intimidated by her behavior, and I am enjoying riding again. I hope you will soon too.
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-17-2020, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qhgirl23 View Post
I totally get that he is not respecting me. I spend so much time with him working on that, backing him up, lunging, taking him in circles.. it works for the time being but a few minutes later he starts testing me again. I leased a different horse for about 6 months before buying and I guess I just never ran in to such a big respect issue. I've delt with testy lesson horses but I guess they didn't react in a way that made me nervous, (such as the head throwing, or curling his dead down as if he'll buck me off- its in that moment where I stop correcting him because he gets so irritable but I just try to calm him down so I don't end up on the ground). Of course then he can sense my nervousness when he starts acting like that, which just makes it worse.
I'm continuing to work with a trainer with him but I guess I just am confused about if we are a good match for each other, if this is a horse that can work for me- or just needs someone with a lot more experience. And I need a horse that I can feel safe on. I want it to work but I just don't know if its practical I guess. I literally put all my free time in to working with him on the ground and when not I'm watching videos.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
I'm so sorry you're going through this. It really sucks. You've already been through a lot and hoped this horse would bring happiness into your life, but that's not happening.

Many have told you that you need to earn this horse's respect, and I don't disagree with them. However, I want to add that you're at a crossroads. You can choose to fight this battle, or you can move on. It sounds like you've already taken a number of steps to fix this, including working with a trainer, but are not getting anywhere. Sometimes it takes time. But sometimes, it also just takes a different horse. Maybe this is not the time in your life to be dealing with this particular horse. It's ok to move on. It sounds to me, from your tone, that you have already made that decision.

Here's my experience: I had horses growing up but then didn't for many years. Bought myself a mare who was supposed to be beginner safe. I tried so hard with her, but she was definitely not beginnner safe. She eventually gave me a concussion. I have several posts about her on this forum, and people told me to just sell her, but I couldn't do that. I tried for two years. I followed programs, worked with a coach, but she had my number. Then, a friend of mine offered for me to take on her 6 year old who only had about ten rides on him, but was a quiet, safe horse. I kept him for 6 months before buying him. Best thing I ever did. And last summer, I sold my mare. I won't lie, it was hard. I don't regret all the work I put into her because she taught me so much. But WOW, riding and working with my new guy Rusty is so different, and so much fun! Immediately, and despite the fact that he has no training, I suddenly felt like a kid again on his back. So I just want to say that it's ok to move on. I feel my mare is much better off where she is now, because her rider doesn't feel intimidated by her behavior, and I am enjoying riding again. I hope you will soon too.
I just want to ditto AcadianArtist's comment: There is no shame in deciding to move on. These horse things are supposed to be fun, if they're not, then don't waste anymore time and money on a poor fit. They are here for OUR entertainment and fun, not the other way around. If you 2 don't click, sell him and go find one you do click with. It can be the difference between night and day. The stuff that seems so hard now, the timing you just can't seem to get, it will all just flow with the right horse. So, remember, it's ok to say "this isn't working, he needs a new zip code" and move on.
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