Feeling like I may have bought the wrong horse - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 11:50 AM
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Maybe try riding her with blinders on the bridle?
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post #22 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 01:49 PM
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I'm new to horses myself. While my daughter has been around them since she was 4 and we got her her own horse when she was 13 -- I didn't get hooked until a little over 6 months ago when my daughter fell while trotting bareback for the first time and broke her arm. She couldn't ride for 8 weeks and I didn't want her horse to go that long without being ridden so I started riding her horse and taking her lessons and that's all it took for me to want to get a horse for myself. My daughters horse is kind and "in your pocket" and will do anything to please his rider. However, even with the help of two friends who are horse trainers, it was VERY hard to find the right horse for me. I can't tell you how many "Dead broke" horses that we looked at that were so hot or jumpy that our trainer said (no way your getting on that horse).

After many weeks we found a good beginner horse that I felt comfortable riding and he did great on a trail ride with me and even went over and through obstacles and I only had a couple months in the saddle. We got him home and while he was great on a trail ride "nose to butt" with another horse in the lead, he was gate and barn sour and it was everything I could do to just get him to walk forward more than a few steps without him stopping out of fear of being the lead horse. He was also very stand-offish and seemed to just not want to have anything to do with me. I got very frustrated and wanted to sell him after a couple weeks but our trainer insisted that I stick with him and to concentrate on ground work and not even worry about riding him for now (especially since I didn't have a saddle yet). She promised me that he will get better and that I will learn so much from him. She also told me to read "Whole Heart Whole Horse" by Mark Rashid which is about building trust with your horse. (His books are awesome).

Anyway, I kept him and worked with him several times a week (we have them on our property). Our trainer said it will take time for him to forget how he had been treated in the past and learn that I'm not like previous owners. Now I'm not saying previous owners miss-treated him at all. We are blessed to be able to keep our horses on a pretty strict schedule with feeding, turnout and bring-in etc and I would just spend time with him with no expectations at all other than he had to be respectful. Over time he knew that I would always be there for him and I think he learned he could count on me. The biggest thing I learned from Marks books was "waiting for the try" and I started to notice him "trying" to do what I asked. Once I saw that he was actually trying to please me, that changed my attitude towards him big time. And as you probably have guessed, the more my attitude changed the more his changed. He is now a VERY affectionate horse and in fact, he is a different horse all together. At first I couldn't even lunge him and now I can free lunge him and he is great with ground work, he now neck reigns and I can walk and trot him and we are starting to work on the canter. He is now comfortable being the lead horse on rides with my daughter and her horse and he and I are very much attached and I can't imagine I ever wanted to sell him. Granted it took about 6 months but its so great to look back at our progress and I'm looking forward to where we will be in another 6 months.
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post #23 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 02:03 PM
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maybe she's just not an in your pocket kind of horse.

I've known and ridden my gelding for 8 years and have owned him for 4 and I still don't feel any type of connection with him.

He's well broke, will do anything I ask of him under saddle, great ground manners etc. But just doesn't care for the company of people. He tolerates it just fine but isn't the type of horse to seek attention in want form.
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post #24 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 02:33 PM
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I wonder if it's possible to attack this as a "mission" or "project." Coming from the Amish, she probably has no idea what love and affection is, or treats, or even being treated with respect. She might also realize that you are not going to be as harsh as her previous owners, and could be testing the waters to see if she can get the upper hand. I might take a whole lot of time and patience, but I would do a little bit every day to help her learn to trust you and look forward to your visits with her. Keep trying different treats, but make her work for them. Use them for neck stretches so that she has to DO something to earn the treat from you. Having a "mom" is a brand new experience for her, and she simply might not know what this relationship is all about. Think of it this way, if you can break through, in 6 or 12 or 18 months, you would likely have the most amazing bond you could ever hope for!
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Kelly
I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.
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post #25 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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I'm gonna check those books out for sure.. I have a feeling she'll never be an in your pocket horse because of her upbringing, and that's okay. But the place I'm boarding is almost hindering my progress. I wish I could show you all the layout. The round pen and arena are both pretty much unusable and the only land I can ride on isn't much. I'm hoping moving to a stable with constant activity will help because I'll have different points of view from people who have been around horses their whole lives.
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post #26 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SerafinaC View Post
I'm gonna check those books out for sure.. I have a feeling she'll never be an in your pocket horse because of her upbringing, and that's okay. But the place I'm boarding is almost hindering my progress. I wish I could show you all the layout. The round pen and arena are both pretty much unusable and the only land I can ride on isn't much. I'm hoping moving to a stable with constant activity will help because I'll have different points of view from people who have been around horses their whole lives.
Is moving an option? I was in a similar situation last year before I got fed up of being unable to work my horse correctly (never any arena time, roundpen being used to quarantine sick horses, not allowed to ride outside when it was muddy). I moved and was way better off for it.

About owning a horse that is not an 'in your pocket' type: it can be really rewarding on its own. You may not develop that "best friends forever" connection but you may end up instead with a horse who is simply happy to be a working horse. These types usually know they have a job to do and don't waste time being pinheads. They are usually quite willing and trainable, which can take you places. You'll have more of a 'business' relationship, but what's wrong with that?
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post #27 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Michigan
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I've been trying to get ahold of a stable near me to talk to them about boarding but received a busy signal all day.. ( someone must have bumped the phone off the hook!) But I would love to point her in the dressage direction. From all the feedback I've received from this forum and another, it seems I was duped into buying a green horse. So now I've got a lump of clay that I can sculpt into anything I want! :)
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post #28 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 06:04 PM
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Creating a connection with a horse

Hi - I can relate- my newest horse was somewhat indifferent to people- not afraid, just acted like we humans were part of the landscape.
Two things I did with the horse really made a dramatic and significant difference- turning her into a horse that wants to be with me, is affectionate while still being respectful, and also she is more outgoing and friendly with other people now, too.
The first big breakthrough came after I read Gary Wilkes and Alexandra Kurland's writings about how to clicker train, and started clicker training her. She LOVED IT! , and seemed to look to me for the possibility of doing some more clicker training every time she saw me. Even without the treats, just getting clicked gets her to be very happy acting.
Next- I started doing stress point therapy body work on her- as in Jack Meagher. It's super easy to learn the basics. The mare LOVES IT! now she acts like I'm her leader and her best friend.
A huge improvement , and a complete 180 from her past indifference.
She is now easy to catch , I even used clicker training to teach her to come when called, I use both voice and hand signal for the recall command. Much more enjoyable to be around the animal now. And the clicker training and the stress point therapy transfer to better ground manners and better rides, too. I reinforce compliance with cues by clicking.
So I recommend you learn how to clicker train, start doing it, and also learn the Jack Meagher stress therapy point body work techniques. It is easy, fun, doesn't take much time, and your horse will LOVE YOU!
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post #29 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 06:35 PM
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Creating a connection with a horse

I can relate- my newest horse was indifferent to humans, not afraid, just seemed to view us humans as an uninteresting part of the landscape.
Two specific modalities made all the difference in the world- a complete 180- she's friendly as a dog now, while remaining respectful.
First, I read Gary Wilkes and Alexandra Kurland on how to clicker train, and I started clicker training her. She took to clicker training like a duck to water, and she LOVES IT! . Even without the treats, being clicked for desired behavior gets her very happy. It transfers to all ground work and to riding, and of course I phase out the clicker into voice, touch, and hand signal commands as soon as appropriate, while still using the clicker to teach new commands, reinforce desired behavior, and to "capture" desired behavior.
Secondly, I got out my Jack Meagher Stress Point therapy book, and started working on her. She is now even more lovey-dovey, while still remaining respectful- I insist on this for safety. She comes up to me now of her own volition, as well as coming when called (thanks to clicker training) from voice and hand signals.
I recommend first the clicker training, then the Jack Meagher body work.
For many years I have used and highly recommend Linda Tellington Jones methods too.
Also I have more many years used aromatherapy and Bach flower remedies.
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post #30 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 06:37 PM
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I posted twice! OOPS !

I posted twice with suggestions about how to create a connection with your horse. I meant well!
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