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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
"Playing the Hero" -- when to 'stick with it' & when to realize it's time to move on.

We've all seen it happen, and I'm sure most of us have been there one time or another. Perhaps some of us are there right now: buying the horse that's, well.. too much horse for us. I'm not talking needs a bit of training/settling... I'm talking that horse that makes us look like fools... the horse that has problems, the horse that bucks/bolts/spins/rears/kicks.. you name it... and it's beyond our knowledge level.
It's a frightening spot to be in, and it is one that tests our very mettle.
What it really comes down to are two decisions: do we keep the horse, and work through the problems, or do we sell the horse, and get one that's more level-appropriate?

There are major problems arise with this question:
1) the human ego. We don't like to admit we're wrong, or don't know enough, or aren't strong enough, or ... well, we just don't like to admit that we aren't enough, period.
2) we feel that we've somehow let the horse down. We humans (most of us anyways) get attached to the animals in our lives, however briefly. By the time we realize that the horse is too much, we've already gotten attached. Thus, the thought of selling said horse becomes more difficult.
3) we have been bombarded with so many stories of the underdog (read: inexperienced horseman) taming the wild horse that a lot of people have started to think this is the norm... it is not.
...right along with this point is...
4) the romantic idea of "taming the wild horse" is very, very over-played. Believe me, there is nothing romantic about taking a problem horse and trying to fix it. There is a lot of blood (so to speak), sweat and tears. The end result is worth it... if you know what you're doing. If you don't know what you're doing... well sometimes it doesn't end well at all.

Sticking with it

This is the option that most of us at least flirt with for a while. The biggest problem with this option is that when we buy a horse that's too much of us, obviously we don't have the experience to deal with the problems the horse has, or to bring the horse along correctly. This is a catch-22. We try our darndest, but we cannot see what we're doing wrong, as we just don't have the experience to see what we're doing wrong. So we keep doing things wrong, thinking we're right -- um, the problem with this is apparent.
So how do we deal with this?
The most obvious answer to most of us is get a trainer/instructor. That would be fantastic... if only we could point at any name in the Yellowpages under "Horse Trainer" and get exactly what we need. Oh, and there's also the slight hiccup of money - trainers cost money.
Not all trainers are created equal... in fact, I'd be so bold to say that there are more bad trainers out there than good... so the odds are stacked against you from day 1. Well, that's kind of crummy, to say the least.
Nonetheless, finding a decent trainer will likely take care of our problems. The horse can either get sent away for training (and come back to us with more wet saddle blankets and miles under its girth) or we can opt to take lessons and learn with the horse, and how to handle its problems and quirks.
With a good trainer, either of these options can be very beneficial, and you can end up with the horse of your dreams... or at least one you can ride and handle.
So, how do we go about finding that special trainer? Your best bet is word of mouth. People like to talk. A lot. They especially like to talk when they can complain - so go hang out at your local tack store, go to shows.... and keep your ears open.
Anyways, that isn't really the point of this post, more of a side-tip. The bottom line is that if you are in over your head with your horse, finding someone reputable that can help you is one of the best steps you can take.


Unfortunately, due to many circumstances, a lot or people that are in over their heads to not get help.... or get the wrong kind of help - though I'm not quite sure which is worse. A lot of horse owners keep a horse that is too much for them. They think they can work through it, but either can't or won't spend the money on a decent trainer, or they don't have any decent trainers around them to help.
With that intro, let's move on to the main point of this post: When to quit playing the hero.
Like I said earlier, it's human nature to either not want to admit we have a problem, or not admit we need help when we do realize that we might just have a big problem on our hands. Couple that with our human need to care for living things, and you can see how easily this becomes very dangerous.
We want things to end up like they do in the movies; we want so badly to be that main character that is able to tame the wild horse that we don't really see the big picture, nor the lack of romance that real life really offers us.
Horses are big animals. They can throw their weight around, and they can hurt us. They can kill us. It's not in their nature to do so, no, but if we're in the wrong place at the wrong time, or react wrongly, well.. we can end up dead.
I don't think enough people appreciate this sentiment.. especially not when we're young and invincible.
Training horses takes a lot of instinct, or 'horse sense' as some call it. The nice thing about this instinct and horse sense is that it can be learned. The problem is, it takes a darn long time to learn it... it's not an easy lesson, nor is it readily acquired.

When a horse is untrained beyond our abilities, and we have no trainer or mentor, we are very liable to ruin said horse, at least for a while. A trainer once told me that we ruin the first 10 horses we touch. We don't have the know-how, we don't have the instinct, we don't have the experience to truly to any real favors to the first horses we touch.

How do we acquire such talents? We learn from experience. We learn from talking to people who know more than us. We learn from paying people who know more than us to teach us how to react in various situations. We attend clinics from people who know more than us. We read books written by people who know more than us..... see the pattern?

As a disclaimer of sorts, I must say that there are some very rare people that can learn by trial and error, and fix a problem horse that they originally had no idea how to fix and do it on their own.... but, let me say this very clearly.... this is not the norm, and it is very very rare.

How does it usually end, if you don't seek help?
More often than not, there's an event or two that lead the owner to realize that they cannot do this alone. Usually this realization results from injury, either to the horse or to the owner.
Sometimes it takes a serious, life-threatening injury to make the owner realize that something has to change.


When you realize it's time to move on.

Right off the bat, I want to say that there is nothing wrong with selling a horse that is too much for you, and getting something more your level. Nothing. In fact, I commend people who realize that they are in over their heads, want to find a good home for the horse, and find a horse that is more suited to their abilities.

This usually comes after flirting with the idea of fixing the horse yourself, or even after having someone try to fix the horse for you. Sometimes it happens when the person sustains the injury I mentioned a few paragraphs above.

If you cannot afford to hire someone to teach you how to deal with the problem horse, or send the horse away for training, or there is no decent trainer around you, I usually suggest selling the horse.
Why?
If you try and "play the hero" and fix the horse yourself without any know-how or guidance, it usually doesn't end well. You either don't know how to react in a situation, or react poorly in a situation, and make it worse. For example, I saw one lady that simply jumped off her horse when it started to hunch up or buck; she didn't know how to deal with the bucking horse, so she taught the horse that if it hunched up or bucked, it would be rewarded by being allowed to relax. The owner had no clue what she was doing wrong, and grew more and more terrified of the horse, and kept teaching the horse bad habits.

If you don't know how to fix it, can't send the horse away to get fixed, and can't get the help to learn how to fix it, sell or give it to someone who DOES know.
A horse is not worth your life. If you can't get the help, it is not worth risking your life to fix. It is also not worth ruining the horse more for the sake of your pride.

Sometimes, a horse is just too much for us. There is nothing wrong with admitting this. Even if you've worked with a dozen trainers, and you're still in over your head.... well.... it's time to move on.

It will be best for you and the horse to part ways. You can take necessary precautions to make sure the horse ends up in a good home - usually, a problem horse won't fetch a lot of money, but they also won't take up more of your money in feed and upkeep costs. This way, the horse can be ridden and trained by someone that has the knowledge to work through the problems.
You, in turn, can either spend money on lessons, or buy a horse that's more appropriate for your level of riding, and learn on it.

Of course, another option, if you have the time and money, and if the horse is safe to handle on the ground, is to retire the horse to a pasture ornament. This works for some horses, and not for others... some horses need to work to be happy, and others are perfectly content being a pasture puff, but it is another option to consider.
 

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Amen, sister. Won't write a while lot because I'm on my phone, but I agree wholeheartedly. I hate seeing people overhorsed - we were recently able to convince the parents of a begginer rider at our club that his horse was way too much for him - and thank god because that was a case were he would have definately gotten hurt. I also think the biggest factor is ego, as you mentioned.
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Discussion Starter #3
WS, I was hoping you'd see this thread and reply -- I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say when you're on a real computer :)
 

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I'm afraid we were in a situation like that a few years ago, where I knew deep down the horse was way too much for me, so I slowly started to let go- after the inevitable injury happened. It wasn't big, she bit me -hard-, hard enough to leave a bruise that didn't fade away for over six months, and make it difficult to ride. Not to mention the fact that she nearly (thank god for that NEARLY) kicked me in the head, totally un provoked. It wounded my pride, wounded my confidence, but I'm so glad now that we realised it in time, before she hurt me or anybody else who decided to go near her, it just wasn't worth it.

Turns out, in the end, it was a pain issue (that previous owners didn't tell us about, but that's beside the story) and we gave her away to people who could RECOGNIZE and TREAT the issue. I've yet to meet her again, but I want to, because get this- she's doing beginner trail rides and has gone back to her previous 'bombproof' status, so not only was it safer for us it was so much better for her and now she's living the life she deserves with people who know how to handle her issues.
 

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There is a very old saying: "Pride goes before the fall". Taken literally and in this context, it means get out of that horse before you get hurt.

I've bought and sold many horses in my life and some should have been keepers but I wasn't ready for them at the time. I love horses and I have my entire life but I have no problem admitting that, for whatever reason, I bought the wrong horse. Horses are for my enjoyment and if that particular horse is not giving that to me, then out he goes.

This is really aimed at the younger members but I find it ridiculous that some will whine about owning a horse that is trying to kill them yet can't part with him because he is their life or their best friend or their soulmate. It's horse and if you are over your head with that horse, it is better off (for both you and the horse) to be in the hands of someone who is at the same level with him. You are not going to make it better but only make it worse if you keep a horse that is too far above your expertise.

If you own a horse that is still bolting, rearing, biting, bucking, after a year ... you don't need that horse. I'm also tired of hearing "he's come a long way" but he is still bolting etc. The longer you keep a horse like that the longer it takes to break the habit you fostered. Misguided youthful ego.

OK, rant over .... back to the thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This is really aimed at the younger members but I find it ridiculous that some will whine about owning a horse that is trying to kill them yet can't part with him because he is their life or their best friend or their soulmate. It's horse and if you are over your head with that horse, it is better off (for both you and the horse) to be in the hands of someone who is at the same level with him. You are not going to make it better but only make it worse if you keep a horse that is too far above your expertise.

If you own a horse that is still bolting, rearing, biting, bucking, after a year ... you don't need that horse. I'm also tired of hearing "he's come a long way" but he is still bolting etc. The longer you keep a horse like that the longer it takes to break the habit you fostered. Misguided youthful ego.
I didn't want to make my main post about this, but yes, I had this in mind when writing the piece. Thank you for bringing it up, Iride.

"Playing the hero" and 'sticking with it' longer than one should usually goes hand-in-hand with the invincibility of youth. Even by the time we're in our 20's, our bodies stop bouncing like they should, injuries seem to hurt more, or we've got families, and significant others that make us realize that life is much, much bigger than one horse. Suddenly, dealing with a bronc doesn't seem like such a good time, or worth injury or death.
I'm not saying adults aren't sometimes the ones that hang on longer than they should, I've seen it happen, but it's generally the younger ones that feel that "I can't sell him! S/He's my soulmate! S/He's my everything!"
 

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Discussion Starter #9
One of the best posts I have even seen!

This should be copied and posted to every horse forum on the Internet and be mandatory reading before owning a horse.

VERY good job writing this piece JustDressageIt.
Coming from yourself, Marecare, this is quite the compliment. Thank you. I always enjoy reading your 'articles' (as they're usually much more than simple posts) and actually had you in mind (as far as writing goes, you're definitely not in my target audience!) when I was writing this.
 

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Intersetingly i come from the other perspective i obtained a "problem" horse 3 years ago.A girl in my yard with 3years experience on "bomb-proof" riding school ponies decided between herself and parents she was ready to own a horse. The horse they bought was a beautiful 16.2hh 5year old anglo-arab mare who are difficult to handle at the best of times this mare however was incredibly mareish so come season time she was a handful. They kept the mare for 3 years after this length of time Magi no longer jumped despite clearing 4" courses on arrival due to being held back coming into jumps then getting flung at them and chucked on landing the result was that this mare ran backwards,reared stopped dead and wouldnt move or if forced over the jump she wouldnt lift her legs she ran through it. Through inexperience she destroyrd the horse who no longer did anything she bolted in canter stopped dead in trot couldnt go on the road or fields due to rearing bucking napping you name it she did it. The reason she finally decided to sell her "bestfrien in the world"..... Maggie reared up fell over backwards the girl ended up with a broken pelvis and severe concussion. I had always gotten along with the mare so for a couple of hundred i bought her and my god it was a journey to try go through her problems one by one she was schooled and lunged solidly for a year not a jump or hack in site i took her out of a stable the first year and she lived in a field this burnt off all boredom habits and energy the second sumer i had her i introduced light jumping three years on and my girl is a champion eventer and dressage horse. it just goes to show people who are clinging on to these horses that have the potential to kill you that your not only destroying your own confidence but your horses in the long run its better and safer to even lease the horse out for a year whilst experience is gained. jus thought id share that getting a problem horse is ALOT of work and dedication on the new owner to try and achieve a rideable horse. everyone has been in a situation of being over horsed the safest option is to get out as quickly as possible as once the horse realises he can get one up on you its a very very very slippery slope from then on!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm not talking needs a bit of training/settling... I'm talking that horse that makes us look like fools... the horse that has problems, the horse that bucks/bolts/spins/rears/kicks.. you name it... and it's beyond our knowledge level.
I would just like to re-iterate this piece, if I may: The horse that's over your head doesn't have to do all this stuff.... I simply mean that if the horse does stuff that you're uncomfortable with, whether that's bolting, taking the bit, or rearing or bucking, and you don't know how to deal with it effectively and within a timely manner, realize that you're in over your head.
 

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This post is awesome. I was one of those people who bought two horses that were over my previous level of horsemanship. Once I realized this, I took the actions necessary for me to keep my animals. I hired a trainer who taught me the basics of how to handle a horse on the ground, and from there I worked on it every day to get to where I am now. I used to babysit for my last trainer to get discounted/free lessons whenever possible. I worked at a feed store for 2 years and learned everything about feeding and caring for horses because they are my passion and I wanted to learn as much about them as possible. I went to the trade shows and the horse expos and the clinics with top dressage riders just to watch how people not only handled and rode, but how they connected with and took care of their horses. I'm happy to say I've always had horse sense, and I love deepening and broadening my knowledge. I am still not world's greatest rider because I don't have the money to take lessons. I get most of my experience through working deals. I often take on challenges that are over my head and learn and work to overcome them. But that's the difference! You have to be willing to work hard and learn, not just continue to do nothing and destroy both your and your horses life.

All I can add is that if you really need help, there are ways to find it. Offer up a room in your house in exchange for daily training from a horse savvy college student or trainer. Attend clinics and watch DVDs or watch training sessions other people are giving. Get involved with a local barn and clean stalls in exchange for lessons, and meet people in your area willing to mentor you. There are many opportunities, and if this is something you really WANT you CAN find a solution without paying a lot of money. :)
 

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Thanks for writing this JDI!

Looking back on Lacey and I, when I first got her, I'm still amazed that I'm not dead. Hahaha I guess I got lucky that I joined this forum when I got her and was able to learn by trial and error with her because otherwise...I don't even know.

I also second what iride said. Especially about how if your horse is still having major issues after you've been working with it for a year, you have a problem. I do know, however, that it took Lacey and I about a year to iron all the major kinks out of our relationship that were causing her difficulty, but pretty exactly on the one year mark we had gotten it all figured out. We still had little kinks to work out then but now, about 20 months into our relationship, we're pretty much golden.
I feel like, if you have a "problem" horse and you aren't making huge strides in your understanding of what's going on and then noticeable strides in the direction of fixing it, from about the second month (because I feel like you don't truly see a horses true colors for about a month, also you need to know the horse enough to know what's going on), you need to either sell the horse or get help, real honest to goodness professional help, not your next door neighbor who's trained a horse once or twice.

Really, the only reason I stuck with Lacey was because if I gave up on her, the auction and slaughter were her next stop (according to my BO/trainer who was her real full owner at the time). I just couln't have that on my conscience, so I stuck with Lacey way past anything my trainer/myself felt comfortable with. I mean, Lacey scared me so badly that I did not ride her for 4 stinking months! I mean, I was doing tons of groundwork in that time which I'm sure helped me once I did get back in the saddle, but still. 4 months should have been the giant blinking light that said to me "this is too much for you!!".

But in any case, I feel very fortunate that Lacey is good natured enough to not have killed me and that I was experienced enough as a horseperson to know how to pick and choose my battles. Very fortunate indeed.
And as a plea to anyone who might read this and think "Some girl on the interwebs did it! I can do it too!" Please don't. It was not good for my mental health and I really wish I had just gone with something that was my actual skill level. Also, before I met Lacey, I had/have spent many many hours retraining horses that were problems on a smaller scale than Lacey was. The only reason I didn't die with Lacey was that I had already learned how to sit quietly, how to calm my insides when they are FREAKING OUT, how to feel when a horse is about to o something and how to stop them before they do, I had already learned the lesson of "velcro-butt," and even then, I was on this forum asking for help ALL the time. Otherwise, I probably would have died, just sayin.


Thank you, again, so much for writing this JDI! It's something everyone should read and really consider.
 

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Great read.

I know I've leared so much from the first couple of horses I ever touched, and I nearly did ruin my first horse. Thankfully someone with ALOT more know how took him on and was able to deal with the issues that I had created.

I consider myself an intermediate/experienced horse person but I am still not afraid to ever send my horse to a trainer or work with a coach if I am stuck on something, nor am I afraid to sell that horse if I know it's just not going to work out. But I wasn't always like this. I held onto that first horse that I nearly ruined for a good long time...I wasn't willing to give up (both a good trait and a bad trait)
 

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thanks for the post, it means a lot for me even. it's almost funny, here i am, newlywed and mid 20's, and i'm fussing with an OTTB that very well may be over my head. i'm risking my neck because i'd much rather it be me than my wife as it's her horse.

i didn't do anything with him for over six months because i just plain didn't know WHAT to do with him. i'd spent over a year before that on a learning curve getting education on how to do and work with horses. but he was still just that much over me. i'd gotten on him a few times, but didn't really get anywhere with him. however, my brother did grow up with them and he came out a couple times and worked on him. gave me some ideas and pointers, really boosted my confidence on the whole deal.

so the wife and i had come up with a different plan that if we hadn't gotten him behaved and ridable by the end of summer it was time for him to go. but then another idea was given to me. given 60 days of DAILY riding, we'd have one of two things. either we'd have a usable horse who's half decent, or my wife would say that it's time to get rid of him.

so far, about a week into this thing, i'm not going to throw any suggestions out there as to what's going to happen yet. he's not horrid in terms of behavior. he's well mannered on the ground until i go to get on him, but once on, i have control. he's got some pretty bad manners sometimes, but is making progress well. next weekend it may be time to start incorporating my spouse into his training program. plus she IS involved because she does good ground work, thus is going to be the one to learn him to stand while being mounted.

i just hope and pray that if it does come to that time that she it and won't fight me. i haven't felt in REAL danger yet, however there's been a couple of times that i wondered if he was going to try and rear or buck. however, he still hasn't and it was pointed out that often times the feeling comes from him tripping over himself.

anyhow, thanks again for the post, and i hope that someone out there will take it to heart and save themselves some time, trouble, and possibly pain/injury.
 

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I'm NOT arguing here, but just wondering. If you get say wild horse (btw, I don't see anything romantic about getting wild horse, but only problems unless you have tons of experience to deal with one) or horse with problems (for example, seller lied or you took one out of pity (YES, it's NOT the way to go, but things happen)), and horse is too much for you AND noone is interested even in taking it for free. Now what should you do? Put it down? Sell it to the meat plant?
 

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^

In my opinion, if a horse is SO dangerous that you can't even give it away, you're probably better off loading it on a one-way truck so nobody else gets hurt anyway. I suppose the kind thing to do in some eyes would be to put them down, but if I was somehow tricked into paying money for such an animal (tranq'ed at selling for example), I would ship it and recoup some of my losses. I couldn't personally ship a doting pet, but a rank bronc who had no interest in learning manners doesn't matter which trailer he's in, he's still on the fight, so let him fight it out with the packers.

Excellent post JDI. People seem to really hang on to this old cowboy idea of rough riding a horse into the ground and never giving up. They don't realize that plenty of stock got a bullet to the brain after it had crunched the third or fourth cowboy. These horses were a livelihood back in the day, and having to admit defeat usually meant a wincing hit to the pocketbook, so they were determined to try as hard as they could to make a worker out of a mean range cuss. There is also a HUGE difference between the one in a thousand wild bronc who would fight to the death, and a spoiled miserable rotten domestic horse that someone has ruined.

There was a time when I'd climb on anything. Now, I look long and hard at what someone is asking me to climb onto. There are just certain vices and certain states of mind in horses that nobody should ever have to deal with because the chance of bringing them around is slim to none.

And agreed with whoever mentioned the insanity behind teenage kids professing undying love to a horse that tries to maim them daily. You need to learn **** fast that your horse doesn't know what "love" is and nickering for you at the fence does not mean he's going to think twice about piling you into a wall and going after you with his teeth if he doesn't feel like being ridden. Get rid of him and get something worth your time and effort - quit foolin' yourself into thinking a horse that delibrately tries to hurt humans is worth saving.
 

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EXCELLENT post!
 

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I would like to add a personal story...I appologize for the length but I think it really is an eye opener for some of you.

When I was 11 my trainer rescued an abused, neglected underweight 2 yr old colt. His name was Raymond. I was horseless at that time and spent hours that summer reading in his pasture, feeding him treats and desensitizing him to the "simple things in life" like brushes, carrots, people...etc. I was the first to brush him, the first to halter him, the first to lead him,you get the picture. I was also officially the first person on his back when it came time to back him and he was gelded (i.e pony ride with the trainer at his head). I was light, had a "velcro butt" and I volunteered...haha!

He got 60 or 90 days from my trainer to be a western pleasure/team penner and didn't hack it. He had too much go and not enough jog...plus he ran away from half the cows he met. But for a greenie he was sane, I was riding him in lessons and occasionally on trail rides after she had put the beginning miles on him. Needless to say he wasn't gonna be her next all around versatility ranch horse. So the decision was made to sell him. He was inexperienced but game and I was looking for an english mount.

A brief history of my experience at that point. I got my first pony at 4 and was on the back of a horse at least once a week after that, baring death or weather related setbacks. I was experienced with adversity, I never had a push button horse to learn on. I learned to ride with a stubborn shetland, a kids crop and how to utilize kicking, smacking and hanging onto the horn at the same time and the most we ever achieved was a plodding lope up a small hill for about 3 strides. Steering was always optional in my younger years naturally. Insert local yokel trainer and I learned about figure eights, heels down, head up and direct opening rein. I think I learned to post about this time too...I was 8. After three years with this trainer, insert the story of Raymond from above, naive parents, a grandmother with some extra cash and a trainer that swears we can learn together....(Any red flags going up yet?)

With the help of my esteemed instructor, it took me 2 years to ruin him. He was sour, he was malicious, he had learned how to unstick my velcro. With creative movements that mirrored such exalted moves as the canter pirrouette, the capriole and a few that he made up. Such as the duck and scoot, the drop the shoulder and change leads real quick, the buck coming off a fence trick was always a personal favorite of mine as well and the drop your head to your knees and hop sideways maneuver was a personal favorite of his.

I loved this horse, he was my baby...(insert 13 yr old girl whining here). The parents finally caught onto the fact that the 13 yr old telling her parents that her trainer sucks might be a valid argument and we leave. Enter...non-show barn with trails and a crappy ring. I hauled out for hunter/jumper lessons to a local stable and spent a lot of time lunging, trail riding and hanging out with him. I also started riding with an older friend and she started helping me to undo the problems my inexperience and bad instruction had created.

Fast forward through lots of money, tons of clinic and lesson hours, numerous instructors and knowledgeable friends and you're where I am today. I have a wonderful gelding, who is highly trained and a total in your pocket personality. He still tests every single person that gets on him, he is still a bit stiff and heavy in his laterals and on his forehand. He still throws tantrums when he's asked to work and do higher level movements. These days his tantrums are over whether he really wants to school 2nd and 3rd level dressage movements, or behave on a trail ride by himself or calmly accept the ground hogs, tarps, mini donkey and deer that frequently careen past our ring instead of ducking and scooting or crow hopping away.

For 5 years I said almost every week that I came home from the barn in tears that I was going to sell him. The ONLY thing that stopped me was my parents saying, if you sell him you won't be getting another horse from us. In a lot of ways they did me a favor, it made me the trainer I am now, the rider I am now and it made me appreciate how easy it is to ruin a horse and how hard to fix.

But my childhood and my teenage years could have been full of winning championships for my skills, or going on relaxing rides through the woods instead of the blood, sweat and tears I put into this gelding just to be able to go to a show for the day and not fall off. To not be disqualified for blowing simple leads or having him try to run over the judge or away with me. To be able to hack out alone without an hour long battle and impressive airs above ground.

And no matter what training I have put on him since, he still has mental scars from my misuse as a child. He still reverts back to his 4 year old self. He still does the same maneuvers, the same tricks and throws the same tantrums when he is having a bad day. That is part of his training too and it will never go away. I used to joke that I have to keep him because nobody else will put up with his crap, which isn't quite true anymore. I have finally re-taught him to be a productive member of equine society. It just took us 10 years to get there. He was born in 1996 and I bought him in 1998. I was 11, I'm now 23.

P.S-Feel free to cross post this or use it if you would like.
 
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