New owners of trail horses - beware - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 04-30-2016, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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New owners of trail horses - beware

So, all I wanted in life was a perfect trail horse. And I found one. Tested her to bits all over, on her own, in a group (In front and last), past farm animals and machinery, dogs, rabid teenagers, hedge trimmers throwing pebbles and grass at her feet - all perfect! Shied at a gaggle of geese - I took her word for it, they are quite nasty.

Weeeeellllll, get her into a school, indoor or outdoor and she melts down. I was utterly speachless, we are all so used to horses behaving much better in a school that I didn't even think this could possibly be an issue.

Anyways, we are now working on getting my horse used to an arena environment.
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post #2 of 24 Old 04-30-2016, 06:12 PM
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A lot of trail horses have never even seen an arena, much less worked in one. Or they only worked for a very brief time in them when they were very young.

For a horse used to wide open spaces, an arena (especially an indoor one) can make them feel like they're trapped with no way to escape, as, in their eyes, all their avenues of "escape" are blocked by rails, fence, or walls.

The same principle you've discovered applies in reverse, as well. Just because a horse is good in an arena does not mean that it's ready for the trail. I think a lot of people forget or don't realize that a lot of trail horses can't or won't make good arena horses.

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post #3 of 24 Old 04-30-2016, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum View Post
A lot of trail horses have never even seen an arena, much less worked in one. Or they only worked for a very brief time in them when they were very young.

For a horse used to wide open spaces, an arena (especially an indoor one) can make them feel like they're trapped with no way to escape, as, in their eyes, all their avenues of "escape" are blocked by rails, fence, or walls.

The same principle you've discovered applies in reverse, as well. Just because a horse is good in an arena does not mean that it's ready for the trail. I think a lot of people forget or don't realize that a lot of trail horses can't or won't make good arena horses.
"Like" button doesn't seem to work for me since the design change so - here, have a "like".

She was dashing for the door any chance she got . Ground poles seem to take her mind of it though.
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post #4 of 24 Old 04-30-2016, 07:06 PM
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Another possibility is that she was sold as a trail horse because she had been blown up in the arena. Since you didn't really specify other than had a melt down its hard to say based on the information given.
Hopefully it's like Drafty said and she just doesn't know.

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post #5 of 24 Old 04-30-2016, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by COWCHICK77 View Post
Another possibility is that she was sold as a trail horse because she had been blown up in the arena. Since you didn't really specify other than had a melt down its hard to say based on the information given.
Hopefully it's like Drafty said and she just doesn't know.
I really doubt it, her looks are just scream "trail horse" :)

Unidentifiable breed, largish well-muscled bum, very long mane... (We only do English around here and she sure doesn't look like a trotter for such a long mane).

Basically, imagine a horse a hobbit would use and that's her
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post #6 of 24 Old 04-30-2016, 07:36 PM
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That is where being a coward like me helps, I would not buy a horse that I had not ridden in an arena. I wanted Gibbs as a trail horse, but started my test ride in an outdoor arena. That told me that he was no arena horse, but that he was level headed and sound, once I was sure of that, then I took him outside and tried him.
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post #7 of 24 Old 04-30-2016, 07:39 PM
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That sure doesn't scream "trail horse" to me . . . No particular type stands out as a trail horse type, actually.

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post #8 of 24 Old 05-01-2016, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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That sure doesn't scream "trail horse" to me . . . No particular type stands out as a trail horse type, actually.
I meant, it screams "not a fancy arena horse" :) - that's the only kind we get around here
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post #9 of 24 Old 05-01-2016, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
That is where being a coward like me helps, I would not buy a horse that I had not ridden in an arena. I wanted Gibbs as a trail horse, but started my test ride in an outdoor arena. That told me that he was no arena horse, but that he was level headed and sound, once I was sure of that, then I took him outside and tried him.
Maybe I should have titled it "Green riders buying trail horses".

If I thought about it, it sure makes sense. But the thought never entered my green head to start off with.

In any case, we litteraly have 4 closed arenas in the entire country (I'm not joking), so I would never have found a horse to try both in the arena and on trail. Never mind, she's making progress
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post #10 of 24 Old 05-01-2016, 02:18 AM
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It's good to note for first time horse buyers that you should try out anything you plan on doing with the horse, with your trainer or a trusted friend trying it out for you if you're not able to ride it yourself (most common when you're buying a horse that has higher level of training than the rider currently does). Also have the seller show you everything they say the horse can do, even if you don't plan on doing that thing in particular; for example, if they say the horse jumps a 3' course, have them show you in person even if you never plan on jumping the horse yourself.

Most sellers would be OK with trailering the horse to an arena or trail to try out there if they believe you're a serious buyer.

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