DONE with horses....FOREVER!! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 33 Old 01-28-2017, 12:42 AM
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Bonners Ferry Id.
Posts: 352
• Horses: 5
If the horse was any good at packing he'd probably still be doing it. A good pack horse is more valuable to me than a saddle horse.( Mine do double duty). And a bad one ??? I know why the Indians ate them.
The only advice I have is: Suck it up princess! If you ride a horse some day you'll ride the ground.
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post #12 of 33 Old 01-28-2017, 01:14 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Olds Alberta Canada
Posts: 12,041
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First, your decision, far as being done with hroses, and glad you were not seriously hurt
However, not too surprised as to what happened, after reading your post.
You got bad advise from that person, and the horse was telling you that just getting on him, was not the right thing to do at that time
Perhaps you bought ahorse not suitable to where you are at, far as horsemanship knowledge and skill,as you neither just park a horse and then get on,hoping the snow and not his mind will keep him from bucking, nor do you ignor body language that tells you there is either a pain issue, or the horse is not in a working frame of mind , and should have done some 'pre ride' checks , like lunging, or simple yielding exercises on the ground. If a horse needs to be held for you to mount, blows being saddled, there is a wreak waiting to happen, by then just climbing on.
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post #13 of 33 Old 01-28-2017, 01:41 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
Posts: 13,917
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I hope you are not done with horses, if you are, you are missing out lots of good stuff. Your friend is right, working in deep snow does tucker a horse out, but you should have lunged him first in the deep snow. Sounds like you need some hands on help, once you can read a horse and figure out how to do things relatively safely, the fun times will start.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
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post #14 of 33 Old 01-28-2017, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: London, UK
Posts: 1,356
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Sorry to hear about your experience but as an animal trainer I want to point out a few harsh truths:

1. An animal is not a car. They can't get "fixed" or have an MOT and work perfectly when you get on. They are smart creatures and almost animal I have worked with changes their behaviour around certain people. You've seen it with kids with pushover parents that lack effective communication skills & behaviour techniques.

2. As a trainer I can train some animals to do certain things and behave a certain way (in my case exotics, domestic dogs/cats and birds of prey). But more importantly, I need to train the OWNER if they want to keep up the standards at home. I am not that experienced with horses (just read my history) but know enough that I need to be trained as an owner to ensure my future horse and I can communicate effectively.

3. You don't understand your horse's language. He probably told you with his body language several times, repeatedly that he was not ready to be mounted and you either chose not to listen or, probably, lack the level of training necessary.

4. This is not an attack - I have learned the harsh truth SEVERAL times in my life. I have been bitten, mauled and nearly lost an eye all because I failed somewhere down the line in communicating and understanding said animal. I have also put others at risk and injury due to my overconfidence in an animal's training - ignoring the warning signs. A horse is several times more dangerous than most things I have worked with bar primates.

5. So knowing all the above... you know that sending him off to be corrected wont work. The issue lies with YOU. Why don't you and your husband take the time out to get trained properly, much like I'm planning? However, if you just don't have the patience or time to commit maybe start finding him a new home and yourselves a more forgiving horse?

Apologies if this seems patronising. I have been in your shoes and frustration before. I don't want you to give up, but if you don't have it in you maybe you should look for another. Fortunately, we have the luxury to. I wish you the best x
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post #15 of 33 Old 01-28-2017, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Utah
Posts: 58
• Horses: 2
I appreciate all the input. Yesterday I was extremely broken hearted and quite upset. If I hadn't paraphrased, my post would have been 4 pages long. Its hard when explaining a sequence of events in writing to have the reader read your words with the same tone that they were written in.
When I decided I wanted a horse again, it had been 17 years since I owned one. Before that, I was riding since I was about 10, and owning my own until my family moved from Montana when I was 18. We moved to Utah and our neighbors let me ride and care for his two horses for about 3 years until I got married. There was about a three year break where I wasn't around horses, or horse people. I wanted to get back into it again, so we bought an OTT thoroughbred gelding. The man we bought him from knew we were suckers that he could unload his unsound horse onto. That horse nearly killed my daughter and husband. We were very stupid with that horse and made tons of mistakes which has caused my husband to be extremely unforgiving and bitter about horses for a long time.
Now, Im a vet tech and have a lot of medical experience with horses and have been thinking about getting a horse again for quite a while. I had been coming to this forum and reading a lot about others experiences, trials and tribulations. I started really shopping for a horse last winter. I looked at and rode quite a few horses. So I didn't just get up one day and decide I was going to go buy a horse. I didn't make the decision half-assed without putting a lot of thought in to it. The gals I work with have years and years of experience and different styles of riding. We've had dozens of conversations about horses; riding, owning, etc. I know what it costs to keep a horse healthy. I know that horses 'decide' to run through fences, cutting themselves up. I know they do crazy things for seemingly no reason at all. I know they colic at the most inconvenient times. I also know that you shouldn't go get on a horse that you just met 3 months ago without a little preparation. I didn't mention in my initial post that we did about 15 min of groundwork. I don't have a place to lunge right now with the snow, so we did a few other things. ALSO, since being thrown off back in November, I haven't been physically able to get on him. That doesn't mean hes been a pasture ornament either. Ive only missed a handful of days where I couldn't get out there and work with him. Some days its been too late to take him out, so I would go hang out and chat with him. Other days I get him out and do a few exercises Ive learned from watching training videos. One interesting fact is that my grumpy, bitter husband has grown to like my horse. He will go hang out with him, scratch his ears, etc. Just like with the cat, hes grown fond and changed his attitude. As a matter of fact, hes told me not to wash my hands of the horse. He wants me to keep trying, or find a horse more suited to my skill level. And I do agree.
When we went out yesterday, we both had positive attitudes. Ive had quite a few days where my horse wasn't in the frame of mind for work and we would both be frustrated. I learned from the members here to try to end training sessions on a positive note. So that's what I would do. On our good days, I was proud of the work we did and looked forward to getting back on him. That's why I was so heartbroken and ready to call it quits. Im still not sure what I will do. The guy I bought him from will buy him back, or trade me for another horse. There aren't too many people out there who would do that. A lot of people in this valley know him and know his reputation. He would lose a lot of credibility if he acted like a snake oil salesman.
So Im at a crossroads; sell the horse and return the tack I borrowed, or find the right horse for my skill level.
Also, I need to mention that I had my vet do a thorough pre-purchase exam. We did radiographs of feet/legs, checked teeth, conformation. He checked out to be healthy, except needed a teeth float and vaccinated. After about a 3 hour exam and dental work, I was the proud new owner...
waresbear, boots, JCnGrace and 4 others like this.
lynabago is offline  
post #16 of 33 Old 01-28-2017, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: CT
Posts: 1,772
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Poorly fitting tack can make a horse unhappy about being tacked. Would the seller come over and work with you to check your tack or bring over the tack that worked on him before and see how he goes with the previous owner and then have you get on? Maybe he needs a bit of an attitude adjustment. Some horses are not good for beginner owners and will take advantage if an owner misses subtle body language cues. Other horses are more forgiving.

If the old owner is willing to work with you (and I would recommend you offer to PAY HIM FOR HIS TIME) have him come out and do some trouble shooting with you to see if he can see why the horse is giving you a hard time.
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post #17 of 33 Old 01-28-2017, 05:01 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Kansas, USA
Posts: 2,984
• Horses: 4
Your neighbor gave you bad advice and you took it. But you didn't set him up correctly. I wouldn't have sat on him until he was comfortable being saddled and not moving around and flinching. I would suggest finding a highly reputable trainer to help you out. Do plenty of groundwork, put the pad on and off, on and off, on and off him. When he acts like it's something to fall asleep over, throw the saddle on. Same thing. Lunge him in the tack until he's comfortable. When it's time to get on, only put one foot in the stirrup and stand on his side. Pet him, lean over, add a little weight, and get off. Repeat until he's comfortable and quiet enough to fully sit on him.

Keep going, keep moving forward. You'll get it together someday.
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post #18 of 33 Old 01-28-2017, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,224
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I can understand your dilemma OP. I faced the same one when I realized the horse I bought was not as bombproof as the seller told me she was. However, in my case, there was no returning the horse - the seller washed her hands of my issues even though I tried to discuss it with her to figure out what was going on. And my 11 year old daughter would burst into tears anytime I talked about selling the horse... which led to me thinking about what kind of example I was setting if I just gave up. So I took a deep breath, found a good trainer who specialized in working with anxious horses, and we improved together.

I think the question you need to ask yourself is what do you want to do with this horse, and does the horse have the necessary qualities to achieve that? In my case, I just wanted a nice, quiet trail horse. And I could see that if we could get beyond my mare's anxiety, she could become that horse (and she has). From the beginning, I could see she had qualities I liked. She was extremely respectful on the ground, never showed any aggression at all. She was also quite willing on the trail - she would go through anything, unlike our other horse who does better in an arena. So the additional time and money I was investing in her were not going to be wasted. Had she not had those qualities that were really important to me, I would not have bothered trying to desensitize her and control her spooking.

So like many others here, I encourage you to find a good trainer. Don't send the horse away, do the training WITH the horse. I also went 20+ years without horses and I can tell you, a LOT has changed in 20 years! Having conversations with co-workers who have horses is really not a substitute for having someone knowledgeable work directly with you. Don't believe everything horse people tell you either - there's a lot of bad advice out there! Find someone who actually has solid training and work with them.

But if this horse really doesn't have the qualities you're looking for, despite the fact that your husband enjoys scratching his ears, there's nothing wrong with finding one that better suits your goals. I'm glad we kept my mare. We came a long way together in just a few months, and I feel we will enjoy many years of riding together. But she had a good heart and we worked with a good trainer. In the wrong hands, she was a disaster waiting to happen. This horse, however, may not be the right one for you.
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post #19 of 33 Old 01-30-2017, 12:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Olds Alberta Canada
Posts: 12,041
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Is the old owner a horse dealer? Just curious. You stated the hrose packed elk, and having done so, I know how tight both the front cinch and back cinch have to be for that, so the horse should be used to a cinch.
Did you ride him before buying him? You had him vet checked, but did you take anyone with you, to evaluate him under saddle?
I do think you should either work with a trainer, or sell this hrose and buy one more suitable.
Smilie is offline  
post #20 of 33 Old 01-30-2017, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1,287
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You know, I have some pretty well trained, normally calm horses but it's darn cold out there. And when it gets darn cold, they need lunging to get all that excess energy out. They can be slow slugs all summer but let the temperature drop and you've got a different horse! My horses can come in from all day in the pasture and still need worked down now that winter is here! Even as an experienced rider, I wouldn't consider even trying to even saddle them until I've worked down that burst of cold weather enthusiasm.

Give it some time and let your wounds heal. With time you'll have a better idea as to whether or not you really, truly want a horse. It's not something I recommend to anyone who doesn't have the passion for it. Too much time, money and potential heartbreak.

If you decide to keep him start working him in a contained area and learn to read him by always paying attention to his mood and how he's acting. It won't come all at once but you will learn to recognize how he's feeling and act accordingly. Stop listening to the next door neighbor and see if you can get a trainer to come to your place and work with you at least a couple of times. The tendency is to blame the horse but that's usually not the case.

Believe me, most of us here have had pretty bad falls (and other types of horse accidents) that made us question (at least for a second), the sanity of what we are doing! But to us, the risk, time, money is all more than worth it. Don't make any hasty decisions until you are feeling better.
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