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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! Haven't been here in a while. My 34 yr. old Arab died a few months ago, and he was my Rocky's BFF, so he is lonely. So after debating for a long time, I decided to buy another horse for me to ride, and to be his companion.


After much looking, I found this cute Saddlebred/TWH gelding. Millions of texts and questions later, the seller got a video for me. My main desire was to have a horse that is SAFE for me (I'm 64 now and don't bounce like I used to!), is sweet, gaits well, is healthy, and would be my Rocky's new BFF.


This is the video she sent me. I'd like you guys/ opinion. I have already bought him as of last night. Am just waiting for a shipper to get back with me. I'm curious what you think of him. He has all the traits I was looking for. TIA!


 

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I do not know how much our opinions matter considering that you already bought him.

I am not experienced, but since you asked...

He does seem like a nice horse, and he sure is cute, but do keep in mind that this person is a seller, selling a horse - a "product". Sellers show you what they want you to see; and oftentimes, you see what they want you to see. What is really happening behind the scenes?

Could you give us some more information about him, such as his history, age, and level of training?

Approximate timestamps:

0:40 - 1:27, she picks up and pounds his hooves. He is neither offering nor giving his hooves. She is having to pinch and push him to get him to lift his hooves. Is that okay with you? For some people, that is just how they train their horses. Since I pick my horse's hooves every time I visit, I want her to give, or at least offer, her hooves without pinching and pushing. As soon as I run my hand down her cannon, she picks up her hooves. When she does not, it is usually due to some problem, such as a hoof access.
To me, it looks like he is wearing shoes and pads. Why is he wearing shoes and pads? What kind of shoes and pads are they? Is it a breed thing? Is it a conformation thing? Is it an environmental thing? Is it a gaiting thing? I may have just been lucky with my TWH, but she gaits barefoot (naturally) on all surfaces.

3:35, she saddles him. He flinches and moves forward. She was to his left for a while so he knew she was there; and if she tacks him up often, he should know that when the saddle is out, he is saddled. I do not think that he moved due to feeling ambushed. His leg is cocked but not in a relaxed fashion. Why did he move? Is it due to improper saddle fit, improper training, both, or some other cause?

6:10 - 6:29, she bridles him. That took approximately nineteen minutes to bridle him. I like to say that I have patience, but I do not have the patience to take nineteen minutes to bridle every time I want to ride. I would work on that. He is not fighting which is good, but he is resisting. Why is he resisting? Is it due to poor mouth health (such as teeth), a bad bit (such as fit or usage), both, or some other cause?

8:00, she rides him. Here is where I have my biggest issue but not with him.

8:05, she stops him. She pulls the reins to stop him. There is something I do not like about his hind end when he stops. It may be due to the way she stops him, but he bounces, drops his hind, trips, and skips a step (?). That happens multiple times when she stops him.

8:33, she backs him. She pulls on the reins to back him. He is high-headed (or is trying to be but cannot due to the tie-down), hollow, "sticky", and his tail gets really active. That happens multiple times when she backs him.

9:40, she does a gait-to-halt transition; it was not a good one. She pulls up and jerks the reins to a walk then halt.

10:13, she bends and serpentines him. She pulls and sometimes jerks the reins to turn him. He turns with his head and neck, and his shoulders eventually turn because they have to follow.

Why is he wearing a tie-down? In the video, he is not performing at a level where one is needed or recommended.
Multiple times throughout the riding session he gapes his mouth open.
She does not really show what he knows and can do under saddle. She is using the round-pen as a crutch. He is following the fence line most of the time.
He seems like a "traditionally" trained gaited horse. He is stiff and rough. He seems to only know "go" and "halt" with some correct guessing in turning.

13:51, she hoses him down. Similar to when she saddled him, he flinches, moves, and cocks his leg. Why? Is it due to her starting on this chest and body rather than his legs (some horses are like this, and that is okay), a training thing, both, or some other cause?

Again, he seems like a really nice horse. He is trying his best; he wants to please and understand. I am in no way blaming him. Horses are a reflection of how they are treated. I believe that he is the way that he is due to how he is being trained and ridden. He seems like he would not intentionally hurt you, but a lack of training and a lack of safety are closely related. You are going to need to put in time and effort into any new horse, no matter how well trained they are, but he currently seems better suited to be Rocky's (potentially) new BFF rather than your safe, trustworthy mount.
 

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Approximate timestamps:

3:35, she saddles him. He flinches and moves forward. She was to his left for a while so he knew she was there; and if she tacks him up often, he should know that when the saddle is out, he is saddled. I do not think that he moved due to feeling ambushed. His leg is cocked but not in a relaxed fashion. Why did he move? Is it due to improper saddle fit, improper training, both, or some other cause?

10:13, she bends and serpentines him. She pulls and sometimes jerks the reins to turn him. He turns with his head and neck, and his shoulders eventually turn because they have to follow.

Again, he seems like a really nice horse. He is trying his best; he wants to please and understand. I am in no way blaming him. Horses are a reflection of how they are treated. I believe that he is the way that he is due to how he is being trained and ridden. He seems like he would not intentionally hurt you, but a lack of training and a lack of safety are closely related. You are going to need to put in time and effort into any new horse, no matter how well trained they are, but he currently seems better suited to be Rocky's (potentially) new BFF rather than your safe, trustworthy mount.

I too noticed an "on edge" horse throughout this video. During the grooming and tacking up, I watched how often he shifted which hind foot was cocked and watched how he would lean forward. If I were to guess, I would very much agree with "horses are a reflection of how they are treated". He appears to be sensitive, and definitely tries hard, but I would venture to guess that how he may have been treated in this past (not meaning abuse by any means), it may have just been a bit much for him. I would like to see updated video on him once you have him and would ideally want to see him relaxed while being groomed and tacked - lowering his head, being loose throughout his neck, and licking and chewing his lips. I have a very sensitive horse, and it has taken regular, quiet, consistent handling for her to even begin relaxing while grooming, and we are yet to start relaxing during tacking up.

Specifically on the riding portion, when I see a gaited horse advertised, I 100% expect it to be ridden on straight lines or on trails. Gaited horses, especially those like TWH that move more laterally, struggle on tight serpentines as she was doing. He wasn't purposefully having to be pulled to turn, he was struggling. The TWH and Rocky Mountain horses I have ridden are clearly meant to go forward and cover ground with their gaiting, not do tight turns, they aren't built for that. Again, I have a feeling he is a very good boy, because he still tried, despite likely being uncomfortable doing so.

I think he will be a nice horse, but I would be wary purchasing him sight unseen. I would treat him like he needs a solid refresher, and don't just assume you can saddle up and hop on the first few times. He could have been ace'd to have the edge taken off for the video, or he may just be sensitive. Be wary, and be prepared when you begin handling him. You never know.
 
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Specifically on the riding portion, when I see a gaited horse advertised, I 100% expect it to be ridden on straight lines or on trails. Gaited horses, especially those like TWH that move more laterally, struggle on tight serpentines as she was doing. He wasn't purposefully having to be pulled to turn, he was struggling. The TWH and Rocky Mountain horses I have ridden are clearly meant to go forward and cover ground with their gaiting, not do tight turns, they aren't built for that. Again, I have a feeling he is a very good boy, because he still tried, despite likely being uncomfortable doing so.
At the walk, my mare is quite agile and can move like a top dressage horse if she wanted to. Have you seen dressage with gaited horses? At faster gaits, yes, they can get stiff, but they are not always. That was just an example of one of his turns. That point was not all about him. That point was that I feel like most who own a gaited horse should know their horse. He was not ready and did not deserve to be pulled into and though a serpentine. For him, I would have had him walk and then serpentine.

Perhaps we have slightly different expectations in a gaited horse. While I do expect them to go cleanly on a straight line, I also expect them to turn cleanly at a walk, which he did not (which I did not timestamp). I understand with some exceptions and sympathies, but I do not like riding a stiff, wooden board!
 

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6:10 - 6:29, she bridles him. That took approximately nineteen minutes to bridle him. I like to say that I have patience, but I do not have the patience to take nineteen minutes to bridle every time I want to ride. I would work on that. He is not fighting which is good, but he is resisting. Why is he resisting? Is it due to poor mouth health (such as teeth), a bad bit (such as fit or usage), both, or some other cause?
Just curious - where did you get the 19 minutes from? I think you mean 19 seconds.
 

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At the walk, my mare is quite agile and can move like a top dressage horse if she wanted to. Have you seen dressage with gaited horses? At faster gaits, yes, they can get stiff, but they are not always. That was just an example of one of his turns. That point was not all about him. That point was that I feel like most who own a gaited horse should know their horse. He was not ready and did not deserve to be pulled into and though a serpentine. For him, I would have had him walk and then serpentine.

Perhaps we have slightly different expectations in a gaited horse. While I do expect them to go cleanly on a straight line, I also expect them to turn cleanly at a walk, which he did not (which I did not timestamp). I understand with some exceptions and sympathies, but I do not like riding a stiff, wooden board!
I did not see the walk portion - but the walk is a "normal" gait that every horse has. I fully expect any sound horse to be able to turn tightly at a walk. I do not expect this horse to be stuck as a "stiff, wooden board", but I'm sure training and relaxation would benefit. The rider isn't doing the horse any favors, though. I'm sure with a different rider, this horse could be represented way differently.

The horse is bitted in a shanked, highly-ported bit. I'd attribute some of his reactions under-saddle to this set-up, combined with the tie down. I'm not totally sure why he his outfitted the way that he is, and why he is being ridden the way that he is.

I have my own opinions just based on how I would market a horse, and how I would represent a horse in a video. I don't think this video is representing the horse for what he truly is, other than being very understanding, and hopefully isn't representing the rider as she truly is. Based on what this video shows, I would buy this horse, just based on what he is putting up with, but I would prefer to get my hands on him and physically see him and ride him, over buying sight unseen. You never know, he may ride totally differently with another person, and being given some warning before suddenly being ripped into a turn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For some reason, my post has been removed! I have no idea why, and it was a fairly long post. I apologize to all. I did reply to the first one who posted after I did.
 

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I like him a lot. And his sensitivity doesn't bother me, if anything it's a plus. He reminds me a LOT of my MFT mare, nearly identical color/markings! She is sensitive too......and I like it. Horses like that really bond with you once they get to know you. My mare is a little flinchy and won't let just any random stranger pet her without her flinching. But she really loves me, doesn't flinch and even grooms me back. We have a great relationship that just gets better. I've had her about 3 years.

Anyway, what I REALLY wanted to say is the horse is a SAINT because TWH's are supposed to have a nice head nod......it's a desirable characteristic of the way they move and this poor horse has such a tight tie-down that he couldn't nod if he wanted to! That may be a part of his pacey gait under saddle in the round pen. I would have loved to have seen him moving down a trail out in the open, without a tie-down. But I bet if you are sensitive with your hands (I would personally get a shorter shanked curb bit, I have had good luck with something like a Myler HBT33 with 5" shanks.......or even a simple grazing bit) and ditched the tie-down you would have a lovely gaited trail horse.

The horse looks like a saint to put up with that. It's like he's being ridden with the parking brake engaged. :frown_color: I think he will be a good one just due to his tolerant nature alone. :Angel:
 

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...............but he currently seems better suited to be Rocky's (potentially) new BFF rather than your safe, trustworthy mount.
I didn't see anything that made him untrustworthy. As a matter of fact, I give him lots of credit for putting up with a big bit, tight tie-down and insensitive rider. I personally think he is a sensitive horse that is over-bitted.

I don't know if he throws his head because the bit is too much for him and that's why he's wearing a tie-down, or if the old owner is clueless about gaited horses and thinks his natural head nod is need for a tie-down. But either way, I see kind, tolerant horse putting up with some stuff he shouldn't have to.

He will be sensitive until he learns to trust a new rider, sure. But I don't see anything that makes him untrustworthy. I don't see any reason not to ride him right away, and spend some good quality time bonding with him at the same time, such as nice quiet grooming.

Maybe I am reading too much into him because he seems like nearly an exact duplicate of my mare, not just physically but disposition wise. But I didn't see any reason not to trust him. But I definitely would have liked to have seen him ridden outside a tiny round pen and without a tie-down. :shrug:

But you know, I had another horse, a Paint, that came with a tie-down. He was also very sensitive. I never did figure out why he needed one. After a few months I ditched the tie-down and never went back. So I guess I've come to see tie-downs (in trail horses anyway) as a sign the rider has over-powered the horse, either with their hands or the bit. I don't see much use for a tie-down on the trails.
 

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I have not read in detail every post, but I am glad that most of what I saw, and had concerns about, other people saw , too.


He is a lovely fellow, who is NOT feeling ok about that human and his setup with gear. You can just tell that he is holding in a lot of anxiety. when she put him in the round pen, he bumped the gate and he jumped. That kind of tightness in him, where he's stuffing down a lot of ill feelings in order to 'be a good boy', can come out when something happends that's just a centimeter too much for him to tolerate. In this case, he just jumped/flinched. But, my one concern for you is that if he is not worked so that he becomes more relaxed, and more able to tolerate unexpected things, he may react a LOT bigger sometime.


I think he seems like a doll of a guy, with lot of try in him, but, he's very anxious and tight, and if he doesn't relax just be a change in scenery, you may need a trainer to help him get past that.


Sometimes, just removing stressors is not enough. Reason be is that that is only teaching him how to deal with stress by removing it. He needs to learn how to deal with stressor, without shutting down and going inside of himself (which can create a 'bomb' type situation), so you have to be allowing him to come into contact with stressful things, and teaching him that that is ok.


I watched him gaiting to the left and it seemed he might be off on one of the hind legs. BUT, I am not a gaited person, so I cannot always tell the difference between a 'normal' gaited step, and one that is a sign of offness.
 

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I agree with other posters, he is "twitchy" but he seems to be tolerant and tries hard. Could be a nice horse in the right hands. I also agree that sellers only show you want they want you to see. :)

Did you ask why he was being sold? That's always my first question.

I assume you'll have your vet check him out when he arrives. If it were my horse, I would have the vet also check for neurological disorders; to me there's something wrong with his hind-end. It's a non-invasive exam and shouldn't cost any extra. Just make sure they do more than the tail pull, they should also cross the front legs and place the hind legs outside. If there's an issue you'll see horse delay putting the leg back to the proper place. The vet should also turn the horse in a circle, even gaited horses should properly cross the hind end legs.

I hope he works out for you! It's always exciting getting a new horse.
 

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I think he's beautiful! If I had just purchased him, after a good vet check and letting him get acquainted with his new home and buddy, would be to ditch that tie-down and bit and let him learn to relax (which could take some time).
I don't know about the owner's experience but right off the bat I was a bit alarmed when she started tacking up. It seems unwise to attach a breast collar before securing the saddle by at least lightly cinching up. If the horse were to jump back that saddle could be swinging from around his neck. The bridle process seemed a bit overly busy but maybe I'm just picking.
He seems like a patient and forgiving soul. Personally, I'd be thrilled with him. But all I want is a peaceful and relaxing trip down the trail.
Have a wonderful time getting to know each other...and keep us posted.
 
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I think he's beautiful! If I had just purchased him, after a good vet check and letting him get acquainted with his new home and buddy, would be to ditch that tie-down and bit and let him learn to relax (which could take some time).
I don't know about the owner's experience but right off the bat I was a bit alarmed when she started tacking up. It seems unwise to attach a breast collar before securing the saddle by at least lightly cinching up. If the horse were to jump back that saddle could be swinging from around his neck. The bridle process seemed a bit overly busy but maybe I'm just picking.
He seems like a patient and forgiving soul. Personally, I'd be thrilled with him. But all I want is a peaceful and relaxing trip down the trail.
Have a wonderful time getting to know each other...and keep us posted.

The breast collar bit REALLY bothered me!!! that is such a big no-no!! Always do up the cinch first!! I'm glad you pointed it out. I was going to, but it didn't really relate to the post, but stuff like that really bothers me. Seems if she tacks up like that all the time, that is just an accident waiting to happen!

I despise tie downs and don't understand why this guy is wearing one - and it seems really tight too!

I think he is super sweet and excited to hear how he works out for you.
 

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He has a walking horse gait. It is suppose to be a 1-2-3-4 beat. Don't know why this horse has a tie-down. Both breeds hold their heads up much higher than say a Quarter Horse. Look at some of the Youtubes of an American Saddlebred in a western pleasure class and some of the Tennessee Walking Horses in a western pleasure class. Both breeds are more "high headed" than a Quarter Horse. Walkers are headshakers when the gaits are right. If they don't really move their head-- they can make a speedy Racking Horse. This horse shows head nod. That's a good thing. It seems to be willing. What exactly do you want to do with this horse? Trail ride?. It seems to be a pretty nice horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow! It worked! I've tried to post so many times.


When I got the horse, it was apparent that he was GREEN. I was told he'd been a trail horse, and was sent a video of him racking (just FLYING) next to a car when he was three, so I know he had a rough beginning. He just turned six, btw.


So . . . I've had him about a month now. After a few days, I started working with him on the ground. Didn't put a tie down on, and used a Waterford snaffle. Should have realized that was too big of a change all at once. Made sure he would bend, because he was stiff as a board, and I won't ride a horse I don't feel in control of. Got him flexing and bending well, and used to the bit, and had a good whoa. (His whoa wasn't great when I got him). Then I rode him. No problem. As long as we were walking, lol. He seemed to like having no tie down and the snaffle bit. When I asked him to gait, he freaked out. Didn't buck, rear or bolt. Just leaped around. I got him stopped, then asked him again a few minutes later. Same reaction. Then I realized that he didn't know what to do without that tie down! Also, the new bit. It was too much all at once. Let me try this post in two parts to see if it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wow! Cool, it's working at last! On with my story. So I put a tie down on him, but adjusted looser than he'd had it before. The girl who sold him to me said that it was on him because he "gaited better with it adjusted like that." Also, she said she'd tried many bits, and the high port severe one was the one he seemed to like the best. So I got a Myler with a short, 4" shank and a low port. He seems to like it. Not a lot of "whoa," but I'd rather that than have something severe on him. I've ridden him several times now, at a walk only. I'm a little nervous to ask for a gait after what he did before. I'm going to wait until I feel we are both ready.


I long lined him in the arena, all over my property, and down my road. He spooks, but in place, and not a lot. He is a sweetheart! Like you guys said, he wants to please and be a good boy. Not a mean bone in his body. He wouldn't dream of kicking or biting. I did ride him (at a walk) out of the arena and around the property once he was listening well when long-lined. He did fine. My next goal is to ride him up and down my road. But I have to be CERTAIN I have an excellent whoa, and that he will continue giving me his head when asked. And yes, he was sold to me as a racking horse. I did notice he has the head nod when I ride him at the walk. So apparently he can dog walk, running walk, trot, rack and canter. The tie down wasn't because he throws his head, because he doesn't. I'm sure he would if I was heavy-handed, but I'm not, and we're taking it real slow. I want to be sure he trusts me before I ask any more of him. Hope this answers all the questions, and thanks for all the replies and compliments on him! I adore him! He comes up to me when I go to his paddock--very friendly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oh, and yes, I want him as a trail horse. I'd like to encourage him to do the TWH gait as well as a rack. He's a little pacey, but if I do a lot of walking and gradually urge him to go faster, I'm hoping he will rack for me.
 
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