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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got home from a frustrating and emotional training session. I think I'm at the point where I'm ready to admit that my horse isn't right for me.

I've owned him a year. He was very green when I got him, and pretty much had only been backed. He has been in training on and off since I got and really is turning into a great horse. He's a beautiful mover and has big, powerful strides.

Almost too powerful, at least for me.

He tends to be tense at the start of the ride and then relaxes. He's also very sensitive to aids.

The thing is, I don't know if I'm ready (or willing) to deal with all that power and sensitivity. More and more, I feel like I need something I can just ride.

I grew up riding more stock type horses. I did own a rather feisty Arab but he was small enough to not be scary.

My current horse is a pinto/paint that is 16 hands. My trainer said if I intend to do dressage he can get me the scores. She also thinks he would do well in jumping and eventing.

She also said it wouldn't be a bad decision to list him for sale and consider getting something a bit less powerful.

I want to be able to show dressage but realistically that might not happen, and even if it does I want to do it for fun rather than to win and be competitive.

More importantly, I want to be able to go out and work my horse in the arena without my trainer needing to get on first. I want to be able to go on trail rides. When my barn has a play date, I want to be able to participate.

But I still want a nice, forward mover. I don't want a western type horse. I want to be able to go into the dressage ring and at least not make a fool out of myself.

Please recommend breeds of horses I should consider. I'm considering another Arab... Maybe Anglo Arab but I worry with the TB I'd end up right where I'm at: with a lovely, sensitive, powerful horse I can't ride.

Help!
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Oh gosh we should swap, haha! I have a beautiful, mellow horsey who is great on trails and is perfect for someone who just wants a buddy to have a good ride with. I love her more than anything but she is just not a challenge for me! I want a challenge that I can train and show. I know I truly wouldnt ever sell her unless absolutely necassary, although I actually have to because I am moving -:( I never knew how much I loved her until I found out I have to let her go... Goodluck with finding your perfect horse!

Please let me know your thoughts on my post: http://www.horseforum.com/horse-talk/i-might-have-leave-my-horse-301937/
 

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Look around, I wouldn't be worried about breed so much as does the horse fit your criteria. If it's mostly fun and lower level events you plan on doing you don't have to be as specific.

What about a quiet TB? Appies are often energetic and athletic without the size factor making them too big to handle. Quarter horses are versatile and varied enough to do just about anything. Or a crossbreed might not be a bad idea.
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I just got home from a frustrating and emotional training session. I think I'm at the point where I'm ready to admit that my horse isn't right for me.

I've owned him a year. He was very green when I got him, and pretty much had only been backed. He has been in training on and off since I got and really is turning into a great horse. He's a beautiful mover and has big, powerful strides.

Almost too powerful, at least for me.

He tends to be tense at the start of the ride and then relaxes. He's also very sensitive to aids.

The thing is, I don't know if I'm ready (or willing) to deal with all that power and sensitivity. More and more, I feel like I need something I can just ride.

I grew up riding more stock type horses. I did own a rather feisty Arab but he was small enough to not be scary.

My current horse is a pinto/paint that is 16 hands. My trainer said if I intend to do dressage he can get me the scores. She also thinks he would do well in jumping and eventing.

She also said it wouldn't be a bad decision to list him for sale and consider getting something a bit less powerful.

I want to be able to show dressage but realistically that might not happen, and even if it does I want to do it for fun rather than to win and be competitive.

More importantly, I want to be able to go out and work my horse in the arena without my trainer needing to get on first. I want to be able to go on trail rides. When my barn has a play date, I want to be able to participate.

But I still want a nice, forward mover. I don't want a western type horse. I want to be able to go into the dressage ring and at least not make a fool out of myself.

Please recommend breeds of horses I should consider. I'm considering another Arab... Maybe Anglo Arab but I worry with the TB I'd end up right where I'm at: with a lovely, sensitive, powerful horse I can't ride.

Help!
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I can sense your frustration in the post. He's such a gorgeous horse, it would be sad to see you guys go your seperate ways. Unfortunately thats part of owning a green broke horse. Its a lot of work before they get enough miles on.
Do you have the funds to look into having get some training with a trainer? how about offering a free lease or partial lease and have someone else with more experience put on miles for you?
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can sense your frustration in the post. He's such a gorgeous horse, it would be sad to see you guys go your seperate ways. Unfortunately thats part of owning a green broke horse. Its a lot of work before they get enough miles on.
Do you have the funds to look into having get some training with a trainer? how about offering a free lease or partial lease and have someone else with more experience put on miles for you?
He's been in professional training for a year. The actual training hours equal about five months, as he was injured twice and ill twice.

He's doing so well except for the initial mounting. He tenses and his back humps up and if you don't do the right thing, he will buck. The right thing is either sitting quietly and waiting for him to relax (if he's simply tense) or bending him and making him work (if he's starting to actually move out and starting to buck).

But then he settles in and really shines. He's a big, beautiful mover. He loves to work. He really looks to his rider for guidance and trusts their direction. He's flashy and showy. All in all, he's a loving, sweet horse.

Deep down I know I can handle that but I have this ridiculous mental block of fear that is almost paralyzing in intensity.

In fact, he did give a small buck while I was mounted and trying to find my stirrup and it was really no big deal. I actually didn't realize he'd given a small buck/hop until my trainer told me. I just sat there and rode it out.

Yesterday he was worse than usual. He usually stands quietly for mounting but this time he started his antics before my trainer even got on. She made him work from the ground until he decided to stand for mounting. He was tense for longer than usual. I had a small mental breakdown and couldn't make myself get on when it was my turn. I feel like such a failure.

My trainer then let me ride one of the school horses I take lessons on and it made me think about just getting something nice and quiet (and smaller!).

It's a stretch to keep him in full time training along with paying board. What the plan is right now is to have an apprentice trainer continue to put miles on him, which will be easier on my budget.

The apprentice trainer rode him for the first time today and did well. Again, he was tense at the start but actually it was less than the past few rides. It was the barn's play date with gymkhana games. The apprentice trainer rode him in a few of the games (walk/trot) and he did well. He spooked a few times but his spooks are no big deal to me. He usually just stops and plants and faces what's scary.

There was a long break between the keyhole race and the bobbing for apples. She had dismounted and when she went to get on, he was prancing and tense and his back got super humpy. My main trainer was there and made him bend and work from the ground. The apprentice trainer then got on and he softened quicker than I've ever seen him. All in all, a great day and it's made me second guess myself yet again.

The plan at the moment is to keep him in training (with the apprentice trainer doing most of the rides), but list him for sale at a higher price. He is certainly worth a lot but it would have to be the perfect buyer because he does have that one issue to work through, and that one issue is a dealbreaker for many. If he doesn't sell his training will continue and we'll see if he eventually gets over the tension upon mounting.
 

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There are plenty of stock horses doing basic dressage both for fun and at lower-level shows. So if you want an easy going horse for trails as well as one you can do dressage with, don't count them out. Of course, it does depend on breeding, etc, but there are plenty of well put together, forward moving QH out there like my guy- you just have to find the right one, like in every horse search. You may not exactly see QH at national dressage competitions, but unless that is where your sights are set, I don't think that it means much.
 

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I think the mistake a lot of people make is that they buy a horse for the future rather than buying a horse for now.

He might be a good dressage horse in the future, after years of training for you and him, possible injuries not to mention everything else that might happen in your life meanwhile. You can't know the future.

I think your plan with the apprentice trainer sounds good.

Buy a horse that you can jump on and ride now, that you can start doing proper training with or competing. Something that you feel happy and confident riding alone or with others and working on stuff yourself. Sure this horse might not get you as far, but you can go as far as you can and then re-evaluate the situation. Competitive horse riders don't just get one horse and compete that forever. Get the best you can for your skills and level now, there are so many great horses out there if you're ready for another young one in a few years you'll certainly find a suitable one.
 

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I'm all for picking the horse based on its temperament rather than its looks. But as we're suggesting breeds I'll go ahead and throw out Morgans. If you get a nice, well mannered morgan they're very loyal, trail trust worthy, and forward moving (and are stepping into the dressage ring popularity).
 

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There are plenty of breeds you could be considering here. Not all thoroughbreds are as hot and powerful as what you describe in your current horse, so even the right thoroughbred or thoroughbred cross might be ideal for you.

You need to make a list of what criteria you're looking for. How tall do you want the horse to be? What age range are you looking for? What kind of experience do you want the horse to have? Where do you really want to end up? etc. Then go from there.

With your current troubles and your want for something that you can just get on and enjoy, I would not recommend a horse that is too green. Look at horses that are older than 5, with some trail miles, some experience showing, and some solid gaits on the flat. The horse doesn't need to be perfect, but should at least be level-headed and rideable. If big is not your cup of tea, then look for horses between 15 and 16 hands. Reject anything with a history of lameness or injury, or anything with major conformational faults. If you stick to this, you should be able to find a horse that is not scary, but also has the potential to be competitive and let you learn and advance. If you want to pursue dressage over any other discipline, then look for a horse with a start in dressage or at least one that shows potential. Your trainer should be able to help you identify a horse with potential.

I went through the same thing you are going through. About 3 years ago, I was living an extremely busy lifestyle. I was about to graduate college, was engaged, applying for jobs, about to move out on my own etc. I had a green appaloosa filly that was my project starting in High School. She was great project for me then, when I had the time to work with her, but as time went on she became progressively more moody and aggressive. She was high energy, and mean. I kept putting her in training, and her behavior was not improving for me, and I knew it wouldn't improve if I didn't get my act together and figure her out myself. I needed to spend more time with her and really work to put her aggressive energy to good use. Sadly, I was just not in the position to do this, and I was getting nowhere. Riding wasn't fun anymore and I was starting to fear her.

I really just wanted a good horse that I could ride without fearing for my life, that I could work with, but at my own pace. I ended up with a Shire/Thoroughbred cross. This horse was much bigger than the horse I had just sold, but her personality is so much sweeter. She's not nearly as high strung. I can take her on trail rides and to shows and she's not a freak about it. I don't have to lunge her to get the edge off before every ride. I don't have to deal with the tense, aggressive, rearing, bucking mess that made riding no fun. And if I don't ride for two weeks, she's the same horse the next time I get back on. I can just relax, and ride, but she's was also somewhat green with lots of potential, so I still have plenty to work towards and lots to learn with her. A draft cross was not in my original plans, but I'm glad I kept an open mind because I am super happy with my choice.

Basically, you need to be looking at each individual horse's personality, more so than breed. Definitely look into Arabs or Anglo-Arabs if that's what you like. Paints and Appaloosas are promising breeds, as well as Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses and Appendix Quarter Horses. And don't underestimate the power of a nice, English-type grade horse.

Good luck in your quest to find a new horse. I hope everything works out for you and the horse you're selling!
 

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I'm sorry this one isn't working out. I understand a person can almost feel guilty about it.

But, bottom line, you are probably wanting to own a horse for fun. Even show a bit, but that really should fall into the category of fun.

I'd list him, too.

I work with horses. Only as a second job now, as my primary is really fun and pays well, but... When I decided to get a horse for myself, I went with a level-headed gelding that I can fine tune for what I want to do.

I'm really glad I did. I still love the horse work I do. It's exciting and challenging, but for me time? I really like having this one that I can easily try different things on with no stress or demands on me.

Whatever route you take, I hope you get back to really enjoying your time with horses.
 

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Wow, you sound just like me! I bought a horse a year ago that I fell in love with. An 8 year old Quarter/cross & when I brought him to the new barn he got to be a handful! Worked with him alot on the ground & he got a little quieter but when I got on him to ride he bolted on me & that really scared me. Well, after 6 months I took him back to the barn I bought him at for some more training. He was just the sweetest horse....always came to me when I went to get him. However, I finally decided that he was just too much for me. He too was very sensitive & very high energy. My trainer said he needed to be ridden more but since I work full time & the barn is 1/2 hour away I couldn't ride as much as he needed. So since the winter is coming up I finally decided to sell him......what a trip that was! One rider came & fell off, the next one said he was too sensitive for her beginner husband, & all these new people riding him surely didn't make him calmer! I also was just too scared to ride him at that point because he became a little spooky. I really didn't want to get hurt. Soooo, finally a 12 year old girl came with her trainer & just fell in love with him. She had to have him.....it was love at first sight. Soooo he fortunatly went to a great home and I am now looking to lease a horse that will be more suitable for me before I buy another one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Someone mentioned kissing spines as a possibility with my current horse so I'm thinking of having him x-rayed....
 
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