doubts about my horse...help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-11-2015, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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doubts about my horse...help

new to the forum and a new horse owner. I have had my horse for about 5 months and when I bought him I was told "he is the horse anybody can ride". Needless to say he is not. So with this being said, I was nervous after riding him alone and noticed he is not a beginners horse so I hired a trainer. Trainer is awesome, her findings are this: horse is to advanced for a beginner, he is extremely smart and he knows the difference when she is riding as opposed to me riding so he does things like misbehave so I get nervous and give up the riding lesson. I am at a point where I am debating selling him, I might add that I love this horse and we do wonderful ground work together....so not sure if I want to sell and get a horse more beginner friendly or stick with it and become a better rider, I also have my sons horse at the same boarding facility (his horse is beginner friendly) so I can take lessons on his horse and get my skills and confidence up while my trainer rides my horse and continues to work with him...My question is if you were in my shoes which scenario would you do?
thanks in advance for any advice, hope this wasn't to confusing
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-11-2015, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by countrychic1965 View Post
new to the forum and a new horse owner. I have had my horse for about 5 months and when I bought him I was told "he is the horse anybody can ride". Needless to say he is not. So with this being said, I was nervous after riding him alone and noticed he is not a beginners horse so I hired a trainer. Trainer is awesome, her findings are this: horse is to advanced for a beginner, he is extremely smart and he knows the difference when she is riding as opposed to me riding so he does things like misbehave so I get nervous and give up the riding lesson. I am at a point where I am debating selling him, I might add that I love this horse and we do wonderful ground work together....so not sure if I want to sell and get a horse more beginner friendly or stick with it and become a better rider, I also have my sons horse at the same boarding facility (his horse is beginner friendly) so I can take lessons on his horse and get my skills and confidence up while my trainer rides my horse and continues to work with him...My question is if you were in my shoes which scenario would you do?
thanks in advance for any advice, hope this wasn't to confusing
My first horse was as you describe yours to be. I loved her SO much, that I never gave up on her and was determined to learn as much as I could.
I didn't have the benefit of lessons, but since you do, I would recommend that you take lessons on another horse while continuing with groundwork on your horse, and when you feel ready, switch horses and take some more lessons on your horse.

One thing to keep in mind: You have to be MORE stubborn than your horse. You have to KNOW what you want, WHERE you want to go, HOW to ask your horse for the actions, and WHAT plan to have in place when your horse says, "Not today. It's Tuesday, and I don't go away from the barn on Tuesdays." You CAN outlast your horse . . . you must be "strong in your mind," and you will be able to do it.

Balance is key as well as understanding how to ask your horse for what you want. Your lessons on another horse will help you in that area. Then . . . you just need to bring those lessons to your horse and understand that you CAN direct her and have a great time together.

At the heart of it, you have to follow your gut. If you are scared of your own horse and don't have the desire to stick with what you need to overcome the fear, then you should find another home for her. However, if you have seen your instructor get moves from your horse without problems, and if you understand that it's just your inexperience that needs work, and if you really love THAT horse, then do what you need to do to learn, practice, and get more expert at your horsemanship. Be safe and enjoy your journey with horses.

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post #3 of 20 Old 08-11-2015, 05:47 PM
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As long as the horse is sane and offering only little challenges, I would stick it out for a while and rather than only having the trainer ride, split the time.

Watch the trainer and how he/she deals with any challenges that come up. Ask lots of questions. Let the trainer work the warm up kinks out and then you get on and let the trainer guide you through dealing with the issues that come up.

Use your son's horse to practice getting more fluent and confident in your cues.

“You spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.” –quote from my very wizened trainer


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post #4 of 20 Old 08-11-2015, 05:59 PM
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In your situation, I would keep him. You will get better at riding and appreciate him more in no time. It's nice that you have the option to get better at your riding skills on a easier horse.
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post #5 of 20 Old 08-11-2015, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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thank you for your input, I have been really torn the last few days over this situation...I had been doing great with him with my lessons and then had to take a little time off and boy he got lazy and got an attitude, but nothing that could not be adjusted with my trainer, I just hope someday I can get to his level with my riding.....time and being consistent and have goals sounds good
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-11-2015, 06:34 PM
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The next horse will do the same as they can read us like a book and fast. It knows by the way you walk and approach it what it's dealing with. Horses need a leader and if you're not it, then the horse will take over. If you like to do lovies on this horse, stop. Make him respect your space, a circle the length of your arm and never allow him to step into it without consequence. Another horse would kick or bite, you can use the lead to back him up or tap his knee with a riding crop. You can go in to his space for haltering/bridling etc but he's gotta stay out of your's. Stand up straight and be confident, taking deep breaths if necessary.
This is what he needs.



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post #7 of 20 Old 08-11-2015, 08:41 PM
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If it were me, I would keep him and see it as a challenge to improve my riding. You have the advantage of lessons for yourself, a trainer for your horse, plus another horse to ride. I am not sure exactly how your horse is taking advantage of your lack of confidence and skill but I would advise you (when you feel ready) to ride your horse as much as possible. If all you do is get on him and walk and work on patterns, stops, etc, you will be building your confidence and getting the right idea across to him. I don't believe in ever setting up a horse or rider for failure. It is much better to ask for less but demand that it is done correctly. Be patient and keep things simple in the beginning.
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-11-2015, 09:48 PM
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I would sell till you find a perfect fit. Better to outgrow a horse than to be taken advantage by one.
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-12-2015, 09:36 AM
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How much time are you able to spend with your horse?

Hondo came with a lot of baggage. I was told he was not safe to ride over a walk solo without another horse along. He was herd bound and balky.

I did hand walks with him for two months before riding. We spent time together. There was always a dish of pellets along the trail somewhere. I always returned him to the herd. (plus he would always have to leave part of a dish of pellets to return to the herd)

He began to trust me. He was terrible about shying while mounting when I first began riding him. He will now stand anywhere for me to mount.

I had no trainer and no lessons. I tried to among other things use two principles I read somewhere, Set a framework of achieving goals at 1% per day for 100 days. Seems slow, but slow is where it's at. Then you're done. The other was, "The horse doesn't care how much you know until he knows how much you care". They are not a dog but they can tell much if not all of what is going on in your head.

They are deeply sensitive animals, they are just not able to express it with the rigid face. But they sure can have other ways to get things across.

He may be taking advantage of you but to me that's sort of a negative thought directed at the horse, and be certain he can immediately pick up on any negative thought you have directed toward him. And he may not be taking advantage of you. He may be just being a horse testing you. He HAS to test you to find out who you are for his own safety.

And one thing your instructor may have already mentioned. If you abort a lesson, or show signs that you are going to abort a lesson at the time of his testing, you are teaching him something about yourself that you don't want him to think. But if you feel unsafe, safety is first. But if possible, continue past that point to where he's doing ok before aborting.

Good luck with your decision, which is yours to make.

I'll end my early morning ramblings here.
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-12-2015, 09:49 AM
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I did what everybody will tell you NOT to do.

I learned and fast. Started off with donkeys. One of them was always testing me. He might pull one over on me the first time but the second time I was ready.

All 3 of our horses/ponies arent for beginners but we learn and quickly and have come a long ways.

We read all we can and pick knowledgeable friends brains

Main thing is not to show fear and to be confident. Laughter is good, puts everybody at ease.

Edited to add.... I am stubborn so I dont quit nor do I let something get the better of me.
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