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I had to check in and enjoy your Isabel posts and your trail riding adventures. Your Isabel is gorgeous! It was fun to see how you have progressed in your confidence and experience. Did you already say and I missed it? How long have you had Isabel? How long have you been riding?

Thank you for sharing your adventures. Now I have caught up with the other Isabels on the Forum, I feel like some exclusive club. But isn't it funny how all 3 of them are so completely different? But all 3 very much loved and valued.
 

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@egrogan, what you described is exactly what I experienced on my first (and only so far) endurance ride. Everything you said. Everyone was so helpful and friendly. At McCulley Farm, where I did my ride, they have 10 and 15 miles ones which are just my speed. I really look forward to doing another 10 or 15 mile one. I hope you get to also. I am so pleased it was so fun for you!
 

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My preferences are pretty much useless because I always buy a horse from my instinct. I've never gotten a vet check, but so far, I've never gotten it wrong. On the other hand, I've never used my instinct for someone else, so pay no attention to what I am saying. Why am I posting? I don't know, I just wanted to say I liked the second horse, the bay. Her head tossing can be fixed, I think. I liked the way I felt when I watched you riding her. You seemed right on her. Stupid reasons, right? I didn't like the stiff looking neck on the first one and the others . . . I don't know, I just liked the second one.

When I bought horses as a kid, sometimes I looked a long long time before the horse came along that screamed at me, "You MUST buy this one." There was no internet in those days--we looked at classified ads and went out and tried the horses. The first time I bought a horse from the internet was 2005 and all I had to go on was a photo. He was a yearling colt (as an adult, I usually bought a yearling colt and kept them until they died--which means I haven't bought a lot of horses), and as soon as I saw the picture, I knew he was THE ONE. (He was!) In February, my next door neighbor got a young colt, and as soon as he came off the trailer, my heart just sank because I felt he was meant to be mine. I'd never even ridden him, but I moved heaven and earth to get him. He started bucking and rearing for my neighbor, and he gladly sold him to me (last thing I needed was another horse). We went through a terrible time of his bucking and rearing with me and I wondered if this time, I was really and truly wrong. But I wasn't. He's probably the best horse I've ever owned. He's just amazing.
As I said, I haven't been wrong yet, but I've never tried to have an instinct for anyone else, so just chiming in to say I am thrilled with your search, and I hope with all my heart that whichever one you choose, it will be perfect for you!
 

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Just a few weeks ago, @gottatrot said, "There is no shame in getting off when you are in danger." I have a very difficult horse who used to rear and come over on me if I insisted on urging her forward. I found if when she started to get light in the front, if I got off and led her for a distance, when I climbed back on, she was fine. I do not think I was "teaching" her to act up because she just got better and better about going ahead. Nowdays I can whack her with a popper, and she will not rear or fight me. (Sometimes she still doesn't go forward). She hates standing still, so if the whack doesn't get her moving, I can make her stand there (or spin if she is too anxious to stand) but not let her go anywhere. Usually, after a bit of waiting, she decides she'd rather go the way I want than not go at all, and we ride on. In a really REALLY tough situation, which is rare, I might still dismount and lead her for a while. I have never found that dismounting and leading teaches the horse that he "won." And, in any case, it is more important to be out of danger.

I agree with the other posters that this is just a little bump in the road. You will look back and say, "Remember when . . . " as you confidently ride off on your Fizzy.
 

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"don't answer her by riding the tension she's offering- ask her to answer you by riding the horse you want to be riding."

This is such a great quote that I copied it down on a piece of paper to discuss with my daughter's friend, who rides Chorro on trail rides. We have to ride on a road that is not very busy, but the vehicles go 60 mph. Chorro is super traffic wise, but the teenager gets nervous when big rigs, logging trucks, and noisy trailers come at us. This, possibly, has made Chorro nervous. (He could just be acting out because horses are horses and just suddenly start doing something . . . or stop doing something). She stops Chorro, makes him face the vehicle, nervously pats him, and says soothing things to him. I have told her repeatedly that it would be better if she ignored the scary vehicle and continued riding on calmly. But she just can't seem to do that. Now Chorro is starting to act nervous around big rigs when I'm on him as well. He never used to. Even though I'm very calm and very certain he will not act up, he still does. I think he might have learned it from her reactions. She rides him 2 to 3 times a week.

I am going to show her this quote and try very hard to get her to take it to heart. She's a very conscientious rider and wants very much to improve. Hopefully it will help. (Or Chorro may just "get over it" in time and everything be OK again).

Thanks for sharing that great idea.
 

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When I took over my dad and mom's farm, I found my grandmother's original journal that she wrote when she was married in 1912. It was my grandparent's farm before my parents moved there. My mom didn't even know that journal existed. I found it in the back of an old dresser. My granddaddy was one of the first four forest service rangers hired when the forest service was started. They went by stagecoach to Idaho and they lived in a tent. My grandma was a city girl who had never even ridden a horse, so everything about living in raw open country was new to her . . . plus she was madly in love with her new husband. She didn't know how to cook outdoors. She tried to lead Granddaddy's horse (being afraid of horses) out to pasture one day, and it spooked and took off. Granddaddy spent 3 days looking for it and never found it. She was filled with remorse. It is the cutest, most delightful journal.
 

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The first thing my neighbor does when he gets a bridle is take off the browband. He doesn't use a throatlatch either--just that one single strap going around the head. As some of you know, he trades and swaps horses constantly, so he's probably ridden about 40 horses like that in the eleven years I've known him. Never has a problem.

My Isabeau has a problem with her sensitive ears. She doesn't like when I gently put her ears forward into the headstall. For a while, a one ear bridle suited her, then it began to bother her, so I slipped off the one ear piece and rode her with just that strap like my neighbor does. That way, when she is going through an ear-shy phase, which she does about twice a year, I just unbuckle the bridle and put the strap over her head. She also hates halters that require putting ears through straps, so I have two halters that simply go over her head for her. Isabeau is VERY particular about what is going on her body and she doesn't hesitate to let me know that THAT WON'T DO! One reason why I turned down the opportunity to free-lease her.
 

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I encourage you to go! A vet at a competitive trail ride told me that just about any horse that is ridden some can complete a 25 mile ride without hurting them. According to that vet, you don't have to condition your horse to complete, just ride some. . . and you certainly do! Complete is not a typo . . . not win, just complete without harming your horse.
 

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I feel like crying with you. You had every reason to be disappointed, discouraged, and upset. Like the others said, we have all been there. I also, have had to call experts to come and help me load. And also have had horses that loaded just fine for years, suddenly NOT. I agree with everything other people have written. Horses are so unpredictable. Maybe that's one thing that makes all this horsey experience so interesting. One thing I noticed and learned over the years. Often when a horse that is fairly inexperienced with trailering is tired, they won't load to go home. I've had it happen to me a bunch of times.

I love reading the journal section. So many folks enduring heartaches, sometimes overcoming, sometimes it just doesn't work out. I hope for the best for you.
 

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Recently, I started putting a book I wrote on the Horse Forum in "Horse Stories and Poems" which brought back a lot of memories about Morgans.

I just adore Morgans, and get such a kick out of your journal and @frlsgirl journal (so glad she's back!!!!). I haven't thought about Morgans and my experiences with Morgans for many years. I got this little unbroken 4 year old appaloosa many years ago, and was always certain she was a Morgan with some appie in her for the color.

I was in a circumstance where I had to break and train her way too fast, and now that I have been reading on the Horse Forum, I am guessing that I probably "shut her down" and messed her up by pushing her training so fast. You live and learn. I've never had to rush a horse's training before or since, and wouldn't have then, but I had no choice. That "overfacing" a horse and "shutting them down" is a really interesting concept to me. It suddenly explains a lot of her weird behaviors while we were starting her.

I had 3 Morgan studs all picked out to narrow down one to breed my appie to, when we got the call to adopt a newborn baby . . . and then along came his sister . . . so my pretty appie/Morgan(?) died a maiden mare.

My jousting partner had a half Morgan, half quarter horse, but his personality was ALL Morgan. That horse was full of himself, full of fire and zest and zip and never a mean bone in his body. My friend called him "The Pegasus in the Plain Brown Wrapper."

Here are some pictures of our "Morgans." Do you think they look like Morgans, or is it just my wishful thinking?
 

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I believe you are thinking of getting a third horse to keep company for the one not going out? I should warn you that is a slippery slope. You may meet a new friend who is a good rider but has no horse, so the two of you start to have a lot of fun riding out together . . . and the third horse left back is not happy . . . so you get a 4th horse . . . but the friend knows another friend who loves to ride . . . and so . . .

Also, although I have 4 horses, when leaving Chorro back, he still screams and paces even if he has two horses to keep him company. He's herd boss and he knows one of his herd is gone . . . even if it is one he hates . . . he knows its gone and he wants it back where it belongs.
 
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