New Owner/Rider and a green horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 11-18-2015, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
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New Owner/Rider and a green horse

So, I have gone a bought a horse. I have wanted one since I was little. I have no experience, but I have friends with horses that are helping me with her. Now I know everyone is going to say I am nuts for jumping in with both feet, but I am 50, I have the money and I figure it's now or never.

About my girl Savita: She's a four year old paint mare. She's very smart and she's not scared of anything. When she does spook, its just a little hop and then she's good once she realizes it was just a bird. She's also very flexible. She can turn her head and kiss her own butt!

When I first got her at the end of August, she was very calm, I could groom her, touch her all over. My friend, an experienced rider, rode her. Savi knows all the basics and has no dirt in her. I have ridden her in the riding ring and on trail rides several times, but now, she doesn't want to let me or any one get on her. She's coming up with new ways to avoid it. Evey thing we do, she comes up woth counter measures. She started acting girthy when saddling and now when I groom her body, she just paces back and forth. She does settel down for my friend when she grooms her, but it's quite a tap dance whn I try to work with her. She will let me brush her legs and feet to my hearts content, clean her hoofs with only a little disagreements from her, and comb out her mane and tail. I can even groom her butt, but any where she associates with the saddle, she gets fidgety. This is after probably about half a dozen rides. The saddle does fit her and she doesn't act up once someone is in the saddle.

One thing I do know is she is acting like she has separation anxiety from her pasture mates. The riding ring borders olong her paddock and she walks faster along the bottom of the ring to get to them. She does this when doing ground work as well.

Does anybody have any suggestions on what to do with her? I won't say that she's bad, just young, impatient and head strong.
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post #2 of 41 Old 11-18-2015, 11:56 AM
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I would imagine most people will probably say you need a trainer, for yourself and the horse. There's a reason that an inexperienced owner should not get a young horse that doesn't know much.

See the thread "A couple questions" for a very long illustration of this same problem.

It's not that you can't make this work- but without consistent, hands-on help, it's not likely that you will. It sounds like your mare is already losing the basic good manners she came to you with- you need to get ahead of that now before things go south more seriously.
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post #3 of 41 Old 11-18-2015, 12:15 PM
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You'll need someone with eyes on to look at the problem. It may be your saddle fit, or how you ride, or how you use the reins. My guess is the horse is figuring out how to handle you.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #4 of 41 Old 11-18-2015, 12:28 PM
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Green + Green = Black and Blue
WhatEVER possessed you to buy a green horse, shake it off.
It's no fun to get hurt and she WILL hurt you.
It's expensive to keep paying a trainer, and since you don't know what to expect in a good horse, you'll be paying that trainer over and over again to retrain this horse. Plus, your horse will soon realize that you aren't the boss and start tuning you out.
I recommend several YEARS of lessons so that the lesson horses show you how a good horse should behave.
Honey, your horse is afraid of a LOT of things if a bird will spook her.
The seller saw YOU coming.
Please consider selling this horse and buying one with a LOT of experience so that you can enjoy her.
The "fun" with a horse like this gets old very fast.
I have owned/trained horses for 30 years. The first horses that I bought were fully broken in. My first green horse was "Corporal", (Arabian, 1982-2009, RIP), and he was a green 4yo. My other horses helped to train him. I would, at first, lead him around in the middle of the arena during my lessons, and then I rode him while teaching. Horses are like monkeys and they mimic.
I had a problem with my KMH gelding not standing by the mounting block, and then my QH, who was very good at it, got very bad at it, because he was watching and mimicing. FOR ME, this is no big deal.
I don't imagine that you KNOW what to do to fix this small problem, therefore, you don't know how to fix the BIG problems with your mare.
I am being kind.
If you disagree, I'll understand when you don't want to post your ride to the ER.

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman, Amazon.com
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did! https://www.horseforum.com/general-of...queens-617793/
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post #5 of 41 Old 11-18-2015, 12:40 PM
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What have you done to ensure the saddle fits?
Have you had your horse checked by a chiropractor?
Have you checked or treated for ulcers?
Many times when a horse suddenly exhibits a new bad behavior, it is usually a response to pain.

I do agree that you should seek the help of a trainer and not just your friends. Honestly, I find it strange that your friends allowed you to buy a 4 year old horse in the first place. That is much too young for someone's first horse, and even you admit you are inexperienced.

Nip things in the bud now before they get worse. Take the steps to consistently work with a trainer. Chances are, your young horse is frustrated with you because you are green.
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post #6 of 41 Old 11-18-2015, 01:03 PM
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Welcome to the forum and yes you should have a first horse at age 50 but not this horse.

Please read and re-read what the other posters have suggested.

Your dilemma has been posted so many times by new owners on this forum, that I stopped commenting, long ago.

I am only giving some input now because you are fifty and will listen to others.

I will bet this horse is drop dead gorgeous and you bought her first on her looks.

A person can't ride a pretty head nor can they ride color. Your horse friends should have been steering you toward an older horse that possibly wasn't near as pretty as this one but would have been loyal to the death to you.

They are out there, I just laid one to rest who was 29 and had been with me 22 of those years.

Get a trainer for both of you and best of luck.
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I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #7 of 41 Old 11-18-2015, 01:34 PM
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Welcome to the forum and I totally understand the "now or never" feeling to horse ownership.

I agree with everything that has been said before, so won't repeat it. It might sound blunt, but it's all good and well meant advices.

I will add: although you "could" make it work with Savita, I think it would come with a high price of sweat, fear, frustration, mistakes, tack shopping, training for you and for the horse, and a LOT of time. I mean: YEARS. Everything can be learned, but it takes time and the horse pays for our mistakes.

I know because I've been there. I took the plunge in 2001 with an arabian filly. I don't regret a thing and I have an amazing mare, but it took me YEARS to get to this point. Like, many, many years.

If you want to enjoy horse ownership, I believe you have the wrong horse. I think you should have fun now, not in years. We don't bounce as well at 50, so an experienced, well trained, calm "seen-it-all" horse would be a safer choice. Even this perfect horse would give you plenty of opportunities to learn, as training issues will pop in any horse.

Good luck and let us know what you think of all this.
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post #8 of 41 Old 11-18-2015, 02:02 PM
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Did your friend say that the saddle fits your horse or did you get a specialist to check it? Because from what I read, this behaviour seems to be more of a response to pain than just „acting up”.


It's hard to tell when I haven't seen the horse and don't know much about your friend and her/his riding skills and experiences. Because there are riders out there who might seem experienced to a novice rider but are actually not.


I got to ride a young horse in a private stable a few times a week for about 5 years ago. I wasn't the only one riding her, there were two other girls as well. At first she was really good, didn't walk away from me when I went to catch her on the pasture, let me groom her etc. But after some time of riding she started bucking in the saddle and overall just avoiding contact with people. Then we got a specialist to check her and it turned out the horse had sore back, not from poor saddle fit but from poor and not really organized training. I was quite a novice rider back then and the other girls weren't really experienced either. So the horse had to rest for about one month – no riding at all. And then we started bringing her back to work slowly with a help from a trainer, starting from the beginning. I learned my lesson there.


So it's not always a good idea to have a green horse when you're not really experienced and don't know exactly what you're doing and how it can affect the horse. Of course if you have experienced people around you who help and support you and really know what they are doing, you should be fine. Althought I personally think it would have been a better idea to get a older horse.. but what's done is done.


Just to be safe I would call a specialist to check the saddle fit and maybe a chiropractor as well. And if they say your horse is perfectly fine and is not in any pain, then you can be sure that she's probably just acting up and can start dealing with this problem. Best of luck to you!
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post #9 of 41 Old 11-18-2015, 02:25 PM
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Well welcome to horse ownership, better late than never eh?

OK, same story from me as from most others, this is not the horse for you, and I would strongly advise, how ever much you like her, that you consider selling her and getting something more suitable. I agree with your assessment about her not being bad, just young impatient and headstrong, and to deal with that you have to have a whole lot of experience and different strategies available to you, and because you are a novice, you simply do not have that available to you. It doesn't make you a bad person, it doesn't make her a bad horse, but it does make you a bad match..

It is so easy to reinforce bad behaviour with out even realizing what it was you did. Give you a simple one, I have a new horse, not a beginner horse, she has more spirit than I am used to. I was grooming her in the barn the other day when a door slammed and she spooked, and my very first thought was to pat her and reassure her go to a soothing "there there sweetie, nothing going to hurt you" What I actually did was slap her on the shoulder and tell her to quit. The first response just confirms that it was OK to be a scardy cat, the second says it isn't.

When you are grooming your girl and she looked nasty, put her ears back, did you back off? Did she teach you that this is not comfortable and I can make you quit, or did you carry on, and inspect the area, teaching her that there are no 'out of bounds area'

Your horse sounds smart, and she is probably teaching you all sorts of things about what she wont do..

A total novice needs a forgiving horse, not a smart one, usually an older horse, not a young one, a fully trained horse rather than a baby.

OH, and I don't say any of this lightly as many people here know as an older fairly experienced rider, I bought something way above my competence level, although I could ride I am no trainer, the horse I chose eventually put me in hospital for a month...wrong choices at our age can HURT, a lot.
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post #10 of 41 Old 11-18-2015, 02:31 PM
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When problems arise they need fixed quickly before they get worse. As far as girths you may be cinching up too quickly or she could have ulcers. Sounds like she isn't confident in you. Although I think you should have gotten a well trained horse they will also learn to take advantage of a inexperienced person quickly and develope undesirable habits
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