Switching Horses For Lease? very long - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-07-2015, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Switching Horses For Lease? very long

Hi. I mostly just read around here more than post but I am stuck in a difficult position that is very frustrating. I lease one of my riding school's horses and she is a very sour mare who I don't blame for because of the way she is constantly ridden by beginners. Anyhow I love her even though pretty much everyone else have experienced problems with her like me. However the lease is supposed to be just pleasure riding and I'm having no fun at all with this mare-the reason I lease is to get more of what I love, y'know. I, of course, look to the positive things and am very patient with her, pressure and release, and praise for the slightest try. I always ride her with a loose rein too. Even then she is the same and the problem is that the whole time she just walks. I can squeeze, nudge, use my seat, click, kiss, kick, give her a reminder with a swat on the behind, or even spur her as my instructor suggested and she just walks-poor thing has been desensitized to all the kicking and pulling of beginner riders. She's so smart-while I'm working my butt off to get her to go she's just walking and doing less work. Yes I know I need to make her and show leadership no matter what but she knows that she could be tortured all day and just endure it if she wanted to (not implying I torture her!) plus she's learned to disregard and not pay attention to humans because riders never tried to listen to how she feels about something. Don't mean to complain-I rather like the challenge horses most of the time too. Spurs help but then when she actually gets going with them she'll start prancing everywhere even when you guide her. She's smart and when you try to get her back to the fence or guide her she takes that as an excuse to stop and take all the time in the world to scoot over. Even if you're clucking at her to keep the pace. I make sure she lopes at least once so I win and immediately get off and be done as a reward. However she's been winning recently and the reason is that I can't ride her for too long so she's not tired out. :/ I'm sad and hate the fact that she's getting her way and knowing I'm frusturated-I try hiding it but horses know better. It's not my job to school her (don't even know how really) and anything I did wouldn't make much impact anyways with so many people riding her every day and me twice a week or three! A used to be horsey person relative suggested I just let her walk so I'm in control but for short time so she gets less sour. But for the two days a week I pay to ride her, I'd only get a short walk ride when I come out to enjoy myself and not be frusturated at every turn-is only one weekend a week. I'm thinking about switching horses but the mare's (even though I love her in a way)attitude makes me determined to not anyways because I think it's her long term plan-this girl who is annoying will say I don't want to ride her now because she's so naughty-which means less work. Other than that I'm trying very hard to barely afford the lease myself and mom says I shouldn't be paying if it's no fun and I'm so upset I'm near tears. This mare is not corrected much and therefore gets away with a lot. So should I switch so I can just ride? No not a push button but one that isn't ignorant to the most pressuring of cues. Tried to keep it short though probably left out things.
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-07-2015, 06:01 AM
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Sounds to me like your fighting a losing battle. You do not have the ability to train this horse, and TBH I would think even if you do get somewhere with her, she is going to revert back to her old habits the next day when another kid gets on her.

If the riding school just wants her as a walk around lesson horse, that is what she is there for. I assume the lessor figured you only wanted to walk around when you took the lease on, and I would think by "pleasure riding" they mean a wander around the arena. I also wonder about your ability to do what you want - are you the one giving her mixed signals? One of the "laziest" horses I ever rode was the most clever, he did exactly what I told him to do - the problem was a lot of the time what I was telling him and what I meant were different things. He was frustrating but he taught me a huge amount in a short space of time when I figured out that I was the one making the mistakes.

Ignore other people's comments about her and you. You do what is right for you - if you are not having fun what is the point? You should be enjoying your time on the horse. I suggest telling the BO that you want to switch to a horse that will help you progress further.
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Stop for a minute, open your mind, learn. You may not agree with what I say, I may not agree with what you say but we will both learn something new.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-07-2015, 08:22 AM
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This poor horse is not being given a chance to recover from the beginner riders she tolerates all week so your very limited opportunities to bring her back to her former non-sour, good behavior/training are not really going to change anything. Most lesson horses get sour and learn all kinds of obnoxious behaviors simply because of the constant stream of jerking, bouncing, kicking and struggles of the beginner. Many of them however, will straighten up once a strong, competent rider gets on. This isn't going to happen for you when she's being used constantly for lessons all week especially for beginners.

Look for a different lease horse and if it has to be a lesson horse, try to find one that is at least ridden mostly by intermediate students. You are never going to be able to school this mare enough for riding to be pleasant with the limited time you are allowed.

I know from what you have posted that you are feeling an emotional connection with this mare. Yes, it happens and is sometimes hard to prevent but I would strongly advise that you guard your heart against falling in love with a horse you don't own and whose destiny you can't control. It only leads to heartbreak in the end. It's ok to feel affection but in the back of your mind you must keep reminding yourself that you really don't have any control over the life of this mare.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-07-2015, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, you're really helpful. I appreciate you taking time to reply! I'll probably just switch.
Maple-she is always given mixed signals. I've watched other riders ride her and my instructor is always correcting them saying you're pulling on the reins whilst you kick her! Many first timers on her do this because she's less much less sluggish than the other mare that you first ride if you actually get going so, surprised, they jerk back accidentally leaving her to just resort to walking. She'll get going if she's following another horse which leads me to think that's the only reason she'll actually ever move in lessons-she's learned to tune out the rider because they aren't giving proper cues and just do it herself. Plus her "leader", my instructor is there when she misbehaves and will discipline and what not because the mare has learned that she has to at least obey her. With me knowing this (mixed signals)I ride her with my hand forward do that it's quite clear to go. And always try to maintain that. I don't know-she just acts like she can't hear or feel the signals. Her ears don't even turn back to listen like most others. No she's not supposed to just be a walking trail horse, but she sure acts like one. Thank you for your advice! :)
Chasin Ponies-yeah you're right. I think I'll switch to this pleasant paint gelding who's very friendly, likes to be ridden most of the time, and sweet as he's somewhat newish and not ruined yet, but an intermidiate horse. I've ridden him before and he's a cool guy. Any horse I did lease would be beginner or intermediate because even advanced riders can't lease advanced horse until they're 15.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-07-2015, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for all the spelling mistakes-I'm on my phone.
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-07-2015, 04:05 PM
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I think you should switch, because it's your hard earned money. however, if you can't get her going (something I bet the trainer can do) then you must consider your own skill level in choosing your next horse. meaning, your description of struggling with her prancing around once she does go, and not being able to keep her straight speaks to your own riding skill level, too, and something to keep in mind when you pick an alternative lease horse.

you should find one that is more fun, but then work , in time, to learn how to deal with such problems .
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-07-2015, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
I think you should switch, because it's your hard earned money. however, if you can't get her going (something I bet the trainer can do) then you must consider your own skill level in choosing your next horse. meaning, your description of struggling with her prancing around once she does go, and not being able to keep her straight speaks to your own riding skill level, too, and something to keep in mind when you pick an alternative lease horse.

you should find one that is more fun, but then work , in time, to learn how to deal with such problems .
Thank you so much-I'll keep this in mind!
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-10-2015, 12:36 PM
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If you have a good prospect (like this paint gelding) then it certainly can't hurt to move to him. If nothing else, it will give this mare a bit of a break from what sounds like too much work.

However, if you are really interested in sticking with her, I might give two suggestions: 1) Do you ever take lessons on her? If you don't, I'd strongly recommend it as hopefully your trainer could help you work through these issues. If you already do take lessons then talk to your trainer about the troubles you are having and that you are considering a new horse and get her/ his perspective. Perhaps they will agree that you need a new horse or perhaps they can offer some tips since it sounds like she is a different horse when the trainer isn't around. 2) Have you ever considered "spicing things up" with this mare? If she's ring sour, perhaps she needs a change of scenery (a trail ride, stroll in the pasture, or a different arena if you have multiple arenas). Or what if you ask a friend to ride together and you guys play mounted games or try to make up a quadrille routine? If your mare is sour then more of the same riding in that arena is not what she needs---she needs something new and interesting and that could be fun for both you and her. These are two things to try but at the end of the day they still may not work and if that's the case then I'd say it is time to move on. At the end of the day, you work hard to afford your lease and it should be fun!
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