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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

So last October I began half leasing a 20-year-old OTTB gelding with a rescue background. I was coming back into riding after two years off and I didn't start getting any instruction until the spring. Not a good idea, but I was starstruck with the idea of almost having a horse as *mine* and it was what I could afford at first, being a teenager with a minimum wage job.

I got instruction on him because he was giving me a really rough time at the canter. I mean, zooming, bucking, bolting, maybe TWO steps of actual canter and then pure insanity. To be fair, some of it was me, and we are still tweaking my position, but now nearly a year later he is still having the same problems, and if anything they've gotten worse.

I know that I can canter pretty well on a horse that won't fight me. I really want to progress in my riding but basically all my trainer and I ever work on is how to control my horse and how to not fall off or get crushed when he freaks out. It's really exhausting physically and emotionally, I probably get bucked off at least once a week, and just today I spent about 20 minutes fighting his bucking just trying to get him to canter a single lap around the round pen until he threw me and I landed on my head. This will be the third helmet I'm replacing since having him.

The vet, dentist, saddle fitter and farrier have all been out to see him multiple times so those have been ruled out. Even the owner's daughter has these problems so I know it is not just me. He just has a really bad attitude when it comes to work most of the time. He is not a respectful horse. I do groundwork with him approx. once a week and he is still disrespectful even when standing to be tacked up (ie. invading my space and trying to nip almost the entire time).

I'm just really, really tired of feeling stationary in my riding and I want to be able to work on ME. Please do not accuse me of being selfish or ignorant, I have been battling this horse for over a year and I have tried so hard to work with him.

The thing is though, I still love him despite it all so I don't know that I quite want to quit, plus other options around here are very expensive (because they actually have trained horses... lmao). I was thinking of decreasing my half lease to once a week and then getting a couple of lessons a month at an outside barn with patient, forgiving, well-trained horses.

Is this a good idea? And how would you feel if you were his owner in this situation, about me reducing the lease? Also - if I'm currently paying $175/mo for 3 rides/wk, what should I ask to pay for 1 ride/wk?

Thank you so much in advance. Any advice you can offer would be great.
 

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IMO, I think you should stop wasting your money on leasing this horse and use the money for regular lessons instead. He is dangerous and I'm not sure why you don't see that. Replacing three helmets in a year due to falls is NOT OKAY. Getting bucked off once a week is NOT OKAY. Why are you paying someone money to risk your life and health? Will you still love him and be willing to pay for him after he hurts you enough that you can't ride at all anymore? What about if you land in the hospital for a month? three months? a year? You need to be more responsible with your body.

IOW: End this lease immediately. Use the money to take up more lessons. In time, you will have the funds to lease or buy a better horse that is suited for you.
 

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IMO, the owner should be paying you to deal with that nonsense.

I do not think its unreasonable at all for you to want to be able to focus on yourself during lessons. Honestly, your money may well be better spent not leasing at all and only taking lessons.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi guys,

Thank you so much for your replies! I have unfortunately already paid for January but I think in February I will reduce it to once a week or possibly quit. You have given me the courage I really needed. I think really the only thing that has kept me on with this horse is because he still feels like he's mine in some way, and I guess I've over romanticized the idea of owning a horse, especially with this guy.
 

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I agree with the other posters...end the lease. that horse is in need of serious, no nonsense, training and you are leasing a horse to work on your OWN training.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys!! I don't necessarily think the owners are horrible people, more just me being the stupid gullible dreamer. Their poor daughter is still battling with the horse on a week to week basis but she has the advantage of also riding outside horses. I think it's my time to quit. Thank you guys SO much. I just contacted them. I really needed this. In a way, I think I needed to get bucked off today. If I hadn't fallen I think I would've continued with my illusion of 'someday he'll be good'. Yeah, that 'someday' has kept me waiting for a LONG time.
 

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golly, bucked off weekly? third helmet? sounds like you are treating yourself a bit like a beanbag. I'd end that lease. you would be amazed at how much fun it is to ride a horse that isn't a crank like that. good luck and let us know how it goes.
 

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It sounds like THEY should be paying YOU for trying to train the buck out of their horse. :x

It's a bit different when it's your own horse, because you hate to give up on them and don't want to sell them and not know where they end up. But the horse you are riding now HAS an owner, so get out and save yourself. It's so much more fun when you don't have to worry about getting hurt.

If I went through all the falls you have, I'm sure I would have thrown in the towel already. I just wouldn't be able to take it emotionally or physically.

So don't feel bad about the horse, he has an owner. Get out and find yourself a fun horse to ride, where you can focus on your riding and not trying to train someone else's problem horse.
 

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It is disappointing when something you were excited about turns out to be other than what you expected. I would have an honest conversation with the owner and explain that your lessons are about working with a difficult horse and not about improving your form as you had hoped and it is financially impossible to continue the lease plus take lessons on a more suitable mount. End the lease and pursue something more positive with no regrets.
 
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