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EasyStreet
Feb. 2, 2011, 05:45 PM
Just how quickly can a horse be ruined to the point that a GP rider can't get them back going correctly?...And just what would/could the student have to do to RUIN a horse to that degree?? Lets say we are talking about an older horse..semi retired that had shown and competed 2nd level back in his day. I am sure to much would depend on the horse itself but in general...???

netg
Feb. 2, 2011, 05:57 PM
Assuming you don't mean any kind of physical issue, which is an entirely different matter, it's pretty hard to "ruin" a horse in any manner other than blowing its mind, so it's untrusting and afraid of people.

Pulling too hard, deadening to the leg aids, getting the horse on the forehand - all things that, even if the rider gets the horse doing them regularly, a GP rider should be able to get the horse over pretty quickly. Again - barring any kind of physical issue. With an older horse, if it's any of those things and a GP rider can't get the horse over it, I'd be guessing it's due to an ailment creating the tendency that a less experienced rider simply encouraged.

dwblover
Feb. 2, 2011, 06:04 PM
I don't believe in a "ruined horse". I believe in

A) A horse that has a lameness/physical/hormonal issue that is creating the problems.
OR
B) A horse that has a temporary but serious mental/emotional issue with work that may or may not have been caused by a rider.

Since you say this horse is older I would tend to lean toward choice A. You say he used to compete at second level, but what has he been doing recently? I would not immediately blame the rider unless there were abuse issues going on.

EasyStreet
Feb. 2, 2011, 07:46 PM
The horse in ? was been ridden by his owner prior to june and competed in a beginner novice event...prior to that I believe he was in semi retirement...a hack once in a while. His owner got a new horse and he was out of work so she offered him to me to ride. I was riding other horses for a friend of heres that gave me a good recomendation I rode him a few times in Oct then went out of town..came back in December and becauce of holidays/sickness(mine)/and bad weather I have only rode him 6 times...3 of which were just hacking around the farm...loose rein...and the othere 3 times were just walk trot in the arena. Out of the 6 times I rode..only 1 day was he even damp under the saddle and girth. His owners horse became lame so she had to use the guy I was riding for her lesson with her trainer. The trainer had ridden this horse before but I do not know how long ago. Anyway the owner told me that the trainer said that I had ruined this horse. The owned told me that the trainer could not straighten him or get him off the forehand. I admit that I am new to dressage and that I have difficuly riding a horse through...but RUIN??? Could that happen in that short of a time??? Or could it be that the owner just needed here horse back and instead of just saying.."Sorry, things have changed..I need my horse back at least till my other one is sound." I would have respected and understood that!!:confused::(:cry::(

GallantGesture
Feb. 2, 2011, 07:58 PM
With that history, it sounds more like it was a lack of riding that "ruined" the horse rather than anything actually done while riding. If the horse isn't any sort of fit and has just been hacking on a loose rein, of course he will be hard to keep straight and off the forehand! Sounds like the horse just needs to be brought back to work and conditioned, and unless you were supposed to be doing that, I think "ruin" is a pretty harsh word to use. If you really want to know, you could ask if you could take a lesson on him with the trainer and see what she says about the way you ride and what you are doing with the horse.

Equibrit
Feb. 2, 2011, 08:14 PM
That's one of those stories trainers tell you for their own job security ! She will probably HAVE to take him in for extensive training now, at great expense to the owner. He would improve with fitness anyway!

seeuatx
Feb. 2, 2011, 08:17 PM
Sounds like an Unfit horse rather than a ruined one. Trust me, My retired one was solid 2nd level, but has been out of regular work for more than a year. I got on him a few weeks ago and he was stiff, on the forehand, drifting in on the circles, going BTV, getting quick at the trot... but trust me, all the knowledge and training is still in there, he just can't make his body carry itself correctly. A few weeks of correct work and he is almost back to being himself.

Sounds to me like Trainer may think a bit too highly of him[her]self. They probably felt the need to find a "good excuse" for the owner as to why an essentially semi-retired horse isn't in the same phase as when it was in training all the time. Which brings to mind the question of WHY exactly did GP dressage trainer seem to think that bringing a horse from semi-retirement back into a random training session (only because the "real" dressage horse was lame) would be a seamless effort?

Petstorejunkie
Feb. 2, 2011, 08:37 PM
how dare they say that to you. you can't pull an unfit horse that's been ridden 6 times out from pasture and expect it to carry itself for a lesson?!?!?! It is very hard to screw a horse up hacking walk trot on a loose rein anyhow. Don't take what they said personally, but be very mindful of this trainer's ego

retreadeventer
Feb. 2, 2011, 08:45 PM
That's one of those stories trainers tell you for their own job security ! She will probably HAVE to take him in for extensive training now, at great expense to the owner. He would improve with fitness anyway!

Nail hit directly on head!

EasyStreet
Feb. 2, 2011, 08:47 PM
BTW...This horse is 20+ years old!

TSWJB
Feb. 2, 2011, 09:01 PM
that is rediculous and rude of the trainer to say that.
ruined??? i think it would take alot to ruin a horse.
something like abusing it so bad, that the horse didnt trust anymore.
repeatedly letting it buck spook or rear and get away with it. so the horse tries with everyone. but a few rides, any good pro should be able to fix.
and yes an unfit horse cannot carry properly. it take muscles and you cannot build those i a day!
i think if you overworked the horse over a period of time, you could cripple it. or if it had an accident and was crippled. yes it would be ruined.
but not from a inexperienced rider riding it a few times!

alibi_18
Feb. 2, 2011, 09:02 PM
I feel sorry for both Op and this old horse...I'm sure he'll get 'ruin' more by going back to an intensive training with a trainer that cannot realised they are riding an unfit horse and complain about it...I'm sure he'd be more happy being ridden on loose reins...

ToN Farm
Feb. 2, 2011, 09:06 PM
I feel sorry for both Op and this old horse...I'm sure he'll get 'ruin' more by going back to an intensive training with a trainer that cannot realised they are riding an unfit horse and complain about it...I'm sure he'd be more happy being ridden on loose reins...
What a true shame.

dwblover
Feb. 2, 2011, 09:41 PM
Wow, trainer does not think that all the time off may have made the horse unfit? This horse surely has no muscles and is most likely very stiff, and they blame you for the horse being on the forehand and unbalanced? I think I would say no the next time you are offered a ride on a horse belonging to this person in the future!!! (I probably would not be too interested in riding with the trainer either.)

coymackerel
Feb. 2, 2011, 09:52 PM
I regularly ride a 24 year old horse that when younger made it to Prix St. Georges. Believe me I am no great shakes at dressage and I have yet to ruin him. His owner can hop on him and he's still got the chops - in large part due to being regularly exercised and well cared for.

I had a trainer hand me the "ruined" line one time when I wanted to have another trainer ride my horse in order to evaluate him as a jumper - oh no, impossible, just ONE RIDE with someone else could ruin him. How the hell she thought I was ever going to ride him without ruining him was a mystery, but there you go. Bullshit abounds.

PiaffePlease
Feb. 2, 2011, 11:30 PM
I agree that this horse is unfit, not ruined. Unless you beat the living sh*t out of him and he is terrified under saddle, you didnt ruin him. You cant expect a horse that has been ridden 8 times or so in the past 8 months to be able to sit on his hind end and do a lesson in a nice frame. He doesnt have the muscle to do that. He is unfit.

Sounds to be like she needs him back and is kicking you off. Been there a million times and Ive heard all the excuses. Or maybe the owner doesnt know better and believes whatever the trainer says. Does she know you didnt ride him over Christmas break? Maybe she thinks you've been giving him a constant workout?

meupatdoes
Feb. 3, 2011, 09:14 AM
A trainer I ride with in Florida has no problems allowing sale horses to be tried or going in lessons even if it is a day or two before she is supposed to step in the ring at I1.

Up in the saddle goes the potential buyer and then trainer asks if they want her to stick around and watch or she can just as well go back in the barn and give them some privacy.

When (invariably) the potential buyer mentions they are worried they are going to mess up the horse two days before a big show, trainer says, "But I'm a trainer. There is nothing you can break I can't fix. See you in 45 minutes."

Mrs.ChickenBritches
Feb. 3, 2011, 09:34 AM
The Owner told you that the trainer said you ruined her horse...how do you know the trainer actually said that? What if the trainer made general comments about the horse's condition riding wise and the owner put her own spin on it? Why the pile up on the trainer?

My old trainer would get crotchety when I would ride her upper level horse. Because I couldn't ride exactly the way she did. She was pretty great about it though and would only correct me every other time.:lol:

EasyStreet
Feb. 3, 2011, 09:35 AM
Thank you all for your input and for confirming what I had felt in my heart to be true! I did want to ask because IF I did indeed do something detrimental to this sweet old guy or any other horse for that matter! I have decided to just back away from the whole situation as I am highly allergic to DRAMA! ;) Thanks again!

EasyStreet
Feb. 3, 2011, 09:49 AM
@ Chicken Britches..You are exactly right and that is why I said in my post that the owner."said" that the trainer "said!...." I wasn't there! And I do suspect that my thought that the OWNER needed her old boy back becuse her other horse in training was temporairly off due to lameness...and for some reason thought it better to "put the blame" on the trainer. Either way...too much drama for me!! I just truly wanted to know if it IS possible to ruin a horse the way I was riding him. You do bring up a valid point...and not one that I had not already concidered!

Valentina_32926
Feb. 3, 2011, 09:58 AM
The horse in ? was been ridden by his owner prior to june ... The owned told me that the trainer could not straighten him or get him off the forehand. I admit that I am new to dressage ...

Sounds similar to my situation - where I am the owner. When the gal that rides my horse rides, then I ride, I have to
"fine tune" the mare and fix what the gal riding her can not (yet - we're working on that).

That said - prior to this my mare had not been ridden by anyone with any expertise for about 5-8 years and this mare is NOT "RUINED". She no longer has the muscle for self carriage (but at 21 is actually getting it back), she is more on her forehand, she tries to "run" to get out of harder work, etc... but after a couple of months of riding her the mare has improved dramatically - even my farrier noticed it since her back hooves are becoming rounder (less pointed) as she puts more weight on her hind end and carries herself.

So you have NOT ruined the horse. As a beginner rider the "trainer" should not have expected the horse to be at the same level the owner left it, and if said trainer is worth his/her salt they should know that 1 ride on the horse will not resolve the newer/easier "way of going" the horse has adopted since he's being asked to work less. SF/HI/SI can all be used to straighten the horse and "bumps" to help reinforce to the horse that it must come off (and stay off) it's forehand. Especially the issue of being on the forehand requires MONTHS of re-developing topline muscle to be capable of carrying itself for more than a step of two at a time.

Timex
Feb. 3, 2011, 11:31 AM
if that's truly what the trainer said? he/she is full of it. if it was just the owner? she's a weenie for not being able to tell you the truth.

netg
Feb. 3, 2011, 12:25 PM
The horse may tell on you - if you are allowing certain misbehaviors. (I can tell when my mom has been letting her horse choose when to do trot/walk transitions, and give my mom a hard time about it, for example. I can also tell if she's been letting her drop her shoulders around corners. Very fixable, but her horse tells on her!) But 6 rides, mostly on a loose rein definitely would NOT be the cause of this horse's problems. I agree with everyone else - the horse is unfit and hasn't been worked hard. THAT is the cause of the problems, not you.

MelantheLLC
Feb. 3, 2011, 02:32 PM
Man, I'm startin' to worry about some of these trainers.

merrygoround
Feb. 3, 2011, 03:51 PM
That's one of those stories trainers tell you for their own job security ! She will probably HAVE to take him in for extensive training now, at great expense to the owner. He would improve with fitness anyway!

Yes!!!

A twenty year old cannot just jump back to self carriage after all that time off.

I would be very suspicious of that "trainer"'s credentials.

GreyStreet
Feb. 3, 2011, 04:49 PM
I agree with everyone else - the trainer was being rude and that's uncalled for.

Heck, when I got my mare last year, I was so worried I was going to ruin all her training. Took me several months of trying to figure out what the hell I was doing before the lightbulb moments started to come. Mare may have gotten a little confused at times but never did I actually end up ruining her :lol:...Hey, this dressage stuff is hard! That's why it's a journey.

alto
Feb. 3, 2011, 04:53 PM
Poor horse :( he must be feeling so stiff & sore ... you are well out of this situation.
For the horse's sake, you might send the owner a link to this discussion - old horses have a tendency to "break" when brought back suddenly without proper conditioning.

BetterOffRed
Feb. 3, 2011, 06:31 PM
Run! Don't walk away from this rider and her trainer.

I seriously question a trainer that "could not straighten him or get him off the forehand." a horse to some sort of moderate level even if the horse that has been out of training for more than a year.
Secondly, a GP rider who knows what they are doing wouldn't ask very much of a horse in a lesson if they've been out of training and haven't done more than hack them. An experienced rider knows a 'competition' frame out of a horse that is unfit- that is the surest way to break down a horse!

What kind of person would come back and tell you that you've ruined their horse??? Esp. if she hadn't been riding the horse and all you had been doing was hacking out. Maybe allow them their bad habits like rooting or whatever, yeah...but not ruin them!

I agree with everyone on here that says this trainer is trying to protect their income...or doesn't know what they are doing.

mickeydoodle
Feb. 4, 2011, 01:29 PM
nuts, the trainer is nuts

EqTrainer
Feb. 4, 2011, 01:33 PM
A trainer I ride with in Florida has no problems allowing sale horses to be tried or going in lessons even if it is a day or two before she is supposed to step in the ring at I1.

Up in the saddle goes the potential buyer and then trainer asks if they want her to stick around and watch or she can just as well go back in the barn and give them some privacy.

When (invariably) the potential buyer mentions they are worried they are going to mess up the horse two days before a big show, trainer says, "But I'm a trainer. There is nothing you can break I can't fix. See you in 45 minutes."

This. The deal is... You break 'em, we fix 'em!

Seriously... It just sounds nuts. Don't give it a second thought.

Carol O
Feb. 4, 2011, 01:39 PM
That's one of those stories trainers tell you for their own job security ! She will probably HAVE to take him in for extensive training now, at great expense to the owner. He would improve with fitness anyway!

Agree. There might even be a better horse that the trainer has found for the owner to buy...

EasyStreet
Feb. 5, 2011, 01:49 PM
Thanks again to all who have posted and shared. I am relieved that it is highly unlikely that I have "ruined" this lovely old boy whom I adored. I don't know if the trainer has an "agenda" other than making this horse available again for the owner since the students other horse has issues now. Too simply say..."I need my horse back." would have been all that was necessary!! I have moved on!!

alto
Feb. 5, 2011, 02:45 PM
I have moved on!!
Excellent :yes: hope this means you've also found a new ride :)

yankeeclipper
Feb. 5, 2011, 08:12 PM
Good for you for moving on. Sorry it didn't work out.

cedressagehorses
Feb. 9, 2011, 12:30 AM
As a professional tainer, I have sometimes felt that a rider or another trainer has ruined a horse, but what I am really feeling is that the horse no longer answers the aides in the way that I would like or that I feel the horse is capable of. In that sense only is the horse ruined, but it is by no means finite and forever. It just means that the horse and I are not communicating effectively anymore and that I must fix it. Often trainers feel some degree of frustration having to fix horses over and over again for students or after horse shows where the horse has been allowed to perform less adequately than they do at home, and some trainers will proclaim that the horse is ruined when in fact they are just expressing some degree of frustration that their hard work has been compromised or that they feel their student was not thoughtful of the training process. For example: It would be normal for a trainer to express frustration towards a student whose normally well schooled horse came to a lesson and was high as a kite from going on a hunter pace where the student allowed the horse to gallop the entire course and run through the aides. Of course the next lesson or training session probably would not go very well, and the trainer might express that the horse was ruined when in fact its just a matter of redirecting the horses behavior back within the normal limits of what it knows. I truely believe that horses never forget their experiences but with the right rider they are more than happy to accept and adapt to different ways of riding and training so long as they are mentally and physically sound. Aside from mental and physical problems, I feel it is almost impossible to ruin a horse in the purest sense of the word. I don't think this trainer was trying to convey that the horse was ruined forever but maybe just frustrated that he or she had to "yet again fix this horse". You must also not forget that the trainers statement may not have been meant for you. They may have been meant for the owner because they routinely make poor choices for their horse's care or that the owners have unrealistic expectations for what the horse can do. This trainer may not approve of his or her students allowing others to ride their students horses and may have been a little dogmatic in their language to try to drive that point home. I wouldn't take it personal in the least. If you were to have a project for work on your desk that was nearly completed and a coworker spilled coffee on it you would probably in frustration say that it was ruined when in fact it is not......the hard copy documents maybe but the vision and the creative flare would not be gone or lost just the tangible expression of your vision and creativity would have to be reproduced in the same way a trainer has to recreate the horse for this person to ride after so much time off. And at the end of the day if the trainer really feels the horse is ruined then that clearly makes a statement to the effectiveness of this trainer.