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3horsemom
Oct. 9, 2009, 12:43 PM
i am thinking about leasing a horse from an acquaintance who is going thru some difficult times. the horse is a great guy. he is now 19 and has had a very successful eventing career. i am a middle-aged re-rider who is competent but still has a whole lot to learn. the plan is to take 1 or 2 dressage lessons a week depending on the terms of the lease.
i saw him the other day for the first time in quite awhile and he is very out of shape. at his age, what do you think is the best way to leg him up for regular riding?
also, i do not remember him being quite so swaybacked. can someone tell me about dressage and the swaybacked horse?
lastly, he is a wide-bodied boy. my saddle is a medium tree. is there anything that i can do to keep him comfortable but still use my saddle?
thanks in advance for any wisdom shared.

joiedevie99
Oct. 9, 2009, 12:59 PM
Build up your conditioning slowly over a few months and be sure your program is well rounded. Pay attention to him and back off if something seems to cause him discomfort or make him unusually tired. Also be sure to give him 1-2 days off per week so his muscles can rest up.

If the saddle tree is actually too narrow for him, there is nothing you can do and you should not use it. Saddles that are too wide can be padded, and saddles that don't sit level can be temporarily shimmed or restuffed- but a tree that is too wide is not useable. Depending on the brand, the tree may be adjustable by the manufacturer, so be sure to check.

slc2
Oct. 10, 2009, 06:01 AM
i am thinking about leasing a horse from an acquaintance who is going thru some difficult times.

--A lot of people are going thru difficult times, and I think it's great to help anyone you can.

the horse is a great guy. he is now 19 and has had a very successful eventing career.

--Depending on what he did as an eventer he could have training level thru second or even third level dressage, and some eventers train even more dressage.

i am a middle-aged re-rider who is competent but still has a whole lot to learn. the plan is to take 1 or 2 dressage lessons a week depending on the terms of the lease.

--Lessons from the owner? Her trainer? Lessons from the owner can be very fun and move along well because of the long familiarity with the horse.

i saw him the other day for the first time in quite awhile and he is very out of shape. at his age, what do you think is the best way to leg him up for regular riding?

--Depends on how long it's been, and other things. The longer they're out of work, the less they are moving around while out of work, the longer it takes to get them back into condition.

--But older horses are funny that way. If they were kept up with for many years, and have no health issues, they tend to be rather easy to get back into condition.

--Depending on the horse, in two months of simply just gradually putting him back to work, he should be walk, trot, canter and lesson ready...depending of course on how vigorously you ride and what your expectations are. A week of longeing, a week of mostly walking and a little trotting, a week of walk and trot with a lap or two of canter, and then another four weeks just building up from there...again, depends on how out of shape.

also, i do not remember him being quite so swaybacked. can someone tell me about dressage and the swaybacked horse?

--For a horse you intend to lease, get lessons on and build up your riding skills, I think it's really a non issue. The horse is there for you to learn on.

lastly, he is a wide-bodied boy. my saddle is a medium tree. is there anything that i can do to keep him comfortable but still use my saddle?

--Depends. Some manufacturer's mediums are rather wide and might work out. Is there anything wrong with using the owner's saddle?

--Too, he may just give the impression of being wide because he's out of condition and a little soft in the back (what you call sway backed). I'd suggest trying the saddle on him. If the front of the saddle sits up too high (more than 3 fingers or so between the pommel and the horse when weight is on the saddle), the tree width does not fit him and is too narrow.

--That is possible, but it's also quite possible to borrow or trade saddles.

thanks in advance for any wisdom shared.

3horsemom
Oct. 10, 2009, 07:51 PM
the horse evented thru prelim quite successfully. altho, i think prelim was the top of his game and his owner at the time never pushed him for more.
i will take lessons from a professional with whom i have had the great fortune to have lessoned with in the past.
the saddle issue is a sticking point. i am alot taller than his owner so her saddle will be too small.

slc2
Oct. 10, 2009, 08:28 PM
Not necessarily.

slight
Oct. 10, 2009, 08:36 PM
I took on a 19 year old for someone too...he is fabulous! He needed reconditioning, and we just took our time (still are working on it). His owner came by to visit and was so excited to see muscle on him :lol:

Enjoy a well trained horse who has been around the bend enough to be a very pleasant ride!


The sway back will be very tricky to fit - lots of padding! Your medium saddle doesn't sound like a good fit...(as you already knew and said, sorry)

jcotton
Oct. 10, 2009, 09:33 PM
Depending on how long he has been out of work, push him but take it slowly

--confusing--yes --no different than a personal trainer at a gym.

I have a twelve yr old mare that I acquired this spring...since I don't know all her history...she is in remedial lunging for conditioning since she has been not in work for at least two years. On the lunge, she must do transitions --a lot of trot-walk-trot, and some canter-trot-canter....to redevelop the hind end pushing. She doesn't like it --TOO BAD.

I just started lunging for connection(to me) as well as fitness, been at it for two weeks, I suspect I might be riding her in late November. This mare has not enough topline and the lunging will help her immensly. When I do start riding her it will be lots of transitions and long & low.

Hopefully in the spring, I can get her bred and then ride as long I can before she doesn't tolerate it. The physical conditioning will be better for her than the obesity that she came with when I got her with last spring.