I think I'm in over my head - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 02-10-2015, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy I think I'm in over my head

I've never posted anything before, but as I sit here (crying) I know I need some unbiased, objective help.
At age 55 (mid-life crisis) I started taking riding lessons. One thing led to another and I decided I needed my own horse. I fell in love (bad, I know) with a beautiful paint mare, about 11 years old, named Frosty. One blue eye, personality plus, I was smitten. I've had her for 4 years, have had her with trainers, been taking weekly lessons on her most of that time. She still scares me. She is so opinionated, and she has my number. She will go along with what I ask until she is tired of it, and then let's me know she's done. I am not the boss.

My goal was that by age 60 (10 mo's away) I would be able to load her in a trailer and take her for a traill ride. I now know I will never have the confidence to do that. The last time we tried to load her (there were 3 of us) it took forever. The bottom line is that although I love this horse, I don't think I'll ever feel I can ride her outside of my arena, and even then not without someone there as morale support.

I've always had dogs and cats, and for me, those are pets for life. I feel the same way about Frosty, but I know most horse owners feel differently. It's impractical to have a horse that you don't feel comfortable riding, not to mention expensive, and not the most optimum situation for the horse either.

I guess I'm looking for permission to move her on to a home where she would be loved, but also ridden. I never thought I would consider this, but yesterday, after she raced by me and aimed a kick at my head (she missed) I am re-thinking the situation.

Sorry to be so long winded.....any thoughts out there?
Thanks.
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post #2 of 43 Old 02-10-2015, 05:08 PM
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There is nothing wrong or bad in admitting your fear. Only stupid people cant seem to admit it.

there is nothing wrong with selling a horse that is to much for you at this point in your life. Horses are expensive and should be enjoyed! You should feel relax and happy when dealing with your horse; not frustrated and crying.

What does your trainer say about all this?

Would you get another horse?
sarahfromsc is offline  
post #3 of 43 Old 02-10-2015, 05:09 PM
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Move her on. It's best for you AND her. Make your next one a well trained, well aged gelding. They are usually less opinionated than mares And more accepting.
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post #4 of 43 Old 02-10-2015, 05:25 PM
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I think you know the answer, but need reassurance.

It is absolutely alright to walk away from a horse. At 15 years old now (if I did my math right) she still has plenty of life left in her for someone else to enjoy. It is not like you took in a horse, used all it's good years then sent it along. You need something YOU can enjoy.

If you are a little wary of getting another horse in fear it will turn out the same way, try a lease. Or, if you are really tentative about selling her due to your personal feelings that animals are forever family, find someone to lease her from you.

But no matter what, please don't stay in a situation you feel unsafe in. It'll be better for everyone to get proactive and change that dynamic.

Welcome to the forum, by the way!
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post #5 of 43 Old 02-10-2015, 05:31 PM
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I agree with letting her go... once you find THE horse you will wonder what took you so long to realize!
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post #6 of 43 Old 02-10-2015, 05:42 PM
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Nothing can kill your confidence like too much horse. It's okay to find her a new home. You may even find that if you get another horse that is a better fit, you can learn to become the leader that you can't be right now.

“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 #7 of 43 Old 02-10-2015, 05:45 PM
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Oh please do move her on and find one you can enjoy! If it's not working, it's not working. Ask yourself why you got a horse in the first place. I'm guessing the answer is for the fun and enjoyment you could get out of one. And they can be SO MUCH FUN, but I don't think this is the one you will have fun with. Honestly, there are horses out there that you could bring home today and load up tomorrow for that trail ride you are wanting. Find that horse and begin to be a happy horse owner. I'm so sorry your first horse turned out to be such a disappointment. Good luck and I PROMISE it will be okay if you let her go!
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post #8 of 43 Old 02-10-2015, 05:46 PM
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I agree with finding her a new home. It may not mean selling her though. You can try to find someone to free lease her, or some variation of that. Maybe even free lease with option to buy!

Horseback riding needs to be fun! You should go there an ENJOY being there. You AND her will be much happier!
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post #9 of 43 Old 02-10-2015, 05:54 PM
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I got my first horse at 57 and people are always telling me how much they admire me for jumping into riding and ownership at that age. I'm always like 'huh??? wha???", but just thought I'd pass that along and let you know that *apparently* a lot of folks think that folks like us are special, brave, ??...LOL
Sorry to hear that you're not especially enjoying your journey in horsemanship. I agree with all that's already been said. However, I'm wondering how indepth your weekly lessons have been...as in were they riding only? Have you had any lessons on groundwork and handling ? Still NOT saying you should keep her, it's perfectly fine, imho to let her go and get a more settled , less opinionated horse! Just saying that if you feel she IS your heart horse, there may yet be hope for you/her. You would have to decide if you want to devote the time & $$ to further your experience or start over with a more suited horse. Nothing wrong with either choice !
if, IF you wanted to keep her, and IF you havent already done some studying with Parelli, Anderson, Cox, etc. methods , it might be something to consider. From what you say, I wonder, again, if your trainer only worked on riding and also if he/she had a strong background in natural horsemanship.
How long it would take to develop her into a partner you can feel confident with, is ...well...up to her, so you have to think about how much more time you're willing to invest in her, or not.
BTW, assuming you are in good general health, you /we (I'm 64) have a lot of good riding years left in us!
Also, for what it's worth, I can so relate to your story. My Sonny is an opinonated, strong willed, oppositionally inclined Arab. I've left the barn near tears thinking he was way too much horse for me, many,many times. Sonny is 21 this year, and thru Natural Horsemanship (I'm a Parelli student), we have come s o far. Got a ways to go, but we have come a long way. He was 15 to 16 when I realized how far over my head I was, so thats a significant difference in your situation. I was afraid if I let him go, he'd be passed along and end up with a bad outcome. I would have been more willing to let him go if he were the age of your horse and I'd have more confidence of someone being willing to work him thru the problems. Again, let me stress, nothing AT ALL wrong with you letting her go and finding a calmer horse!!
Anyhow, I admire you for jumping into horsemanship at 55 and for seeking the best answer for you and her at this time.
Keep us posted!

Fay
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Respect......rapport......impulsion......flexion.. .
Be as soft as possible, but as firm as necessary--Pat Parelli
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post #10 of 43 Old 02-10-2015, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you

Thank you so much, everyone. You don't know how much I appreciate the feedback and reassurance. My trainer says she thinks I will someday be confident and strong enough to manage Frosty but I think she just wants to be encouraging. We are going to have a heart to heart talk about it.
THANK YOU!!
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