Probably in way over my head... (Advice/Rant)
Well, I am new to this forum, new to riding, and a new horse owner, quite the trifecta!
I consider myself a highly motivated newbie about everything horse related. I worked at a barn for a short period of time between high school and college for riding lessons. I learned the basics from a wonderful BO. The reason I picked it up so late in life (or what it seems like compared to most horse lovers) Is because I was partially afraid of them just due to size and that they can hurt you (just like anything if your not careful or know what your doing). My time there showed me how much work it is to have a horse, but also eliminated my fear, and sparked a passion for horses.
That short time was a great experience, and I went away to college and got into a career that doesn't allow me to be home all the time so I gradually fell away from furthering my riding.
Well fast forward almost 5 years and my long term boyfriend has always loved horses and wanted one of his own. I always said no when he asked because I (unfortunately) know that he is the kind of person that will have good intentions, but at the end of the day I question whether he would put in the necessary work to own a horse, or if it would just land on me. I knew also that the financial burden of the horse would fall on me, since he makes very little money as an enlisted marine.
Well this last time I was home (I'm home 2 months at a time, gone 2 months) I in some state of insanity let him get his/"our" own horse.
The horse was neglected and mistreated and needed a good home. I am an absolute sucker for anyone or anything in need and my heart ached for this horse. His name is Rowdy and he is a 13 year old gelding throughbred. We took ownership of him from a friend of his who owed my boyfriend a substantial amount of money. He knew we could take much better care of him and give him the love he deserved. The pictures from his coggins were sad, and before I said yes we went out to meet him and I absolutely fell in love. He is the kindest boy, and well mannered (for the most part). You can tell that he was trained well originally, and it was so heartbreaking to know someone treated him so badly.
Anyway we said yes and Rowdy became ours. I knew that I was in wayyyyyy over my head, but my boyfriend was confident in his training ability, riding ability, and knowledge level that it would be fine. (He has been riding for years.) I followed his lead and dived in head first to owning my first horse.
Now, let me tell you, WOW am I a bit overwhelmed at the amount that I don't know (thank god for forums, I have already learned so much here!). I know that I will be able to take more riding lessons and ride him comfortably when I can know the correct cues to give him to not confuse him. But, I know absolutely nothing about training or how to get him to break certain bad habits (pinning his ears when he eats, stealing food from the Filly in his pasture, random nipping for no reason), nor do I know how to "work him out" considering I've never even worked a horse out before. I know the basics of grooming, and with the help of the vet have been able to get him on a good steady diet. I am taking an online class from Dr. Kellon on Equine Nutrition and Deworming so I can learn more about how to keep him healthy. I still have lots to learn about, I know! My boyfriend takes care of Rowdy while I am at work, but for the two months I am home I pretty much spend everyday with him.
I guess and HELPFUL advice would be appreciated. I am in no way interested in being told that I shouldn't have gotten a horse if I wasn't ready. I have already made the commitment, and I am not going to sell him or give him away unless I feel like we are failing him (I will probably die before that happens). My boyfriend feels totally capable of caring for him, I just want to feel that way as well. I know I have a huge heart and I would sleep on the ground if it meant Rowdy had a roof over his head at night.
I attached a few pictures. The first was from his coggins from the previous owner, the others are newer. Sorry for the duplicates, my phone won't let me delete them for some reason.
Thanks in advance to anyone who can shed some positivity and helpful knowledge and experience my way!