I purchased a 4 year old Swedish Warmblood to replace an older horse that I sold to a beginner. I tried the horse. He was a wonderful moving horse and quite hansome. I bought him. I got him home and started to ride him regularly. It took a couple of months but I soon discovered that he wasn't that smart and had NO hpersonality. It wasn't that we didn't get along....I just didn't like him. No connection between us, at all.
Fortunately, I found a wonderful home for him rather quickly. I probably had him for a total of 3 months. I found an awesome OTTB that was more my type...and then found another. Got to love the OTTBs! Personality plus!
I've always given any horse I purchased 90 days before I decided whether or not I really liked them. I believe it takes that long for the romance to go out of the honeymoon. I've also sold a couple of horses over the years that I just didn't bond/click with after that time. If this is a mare you might have to give her a little extra time. They choose you, you don't choose them unlike geldings who pretty must like everybody to a degree. Sometimes it takes them a while to decide. But when a mare decides to choose you, its a partnership that will stand the test of time. I've been lucky enough to have three mares choose me, and they were all keepers.
I bought a drop dead gorgeous grulla Paint gelding. I really should have loved him, but we didn't click. I kept him for 18 months, and then sold him to a neighbor who'd coveted him from the start. I had tried to talk myself into liking him for all that time. In retrospect I should have sold him much sooner. I searched for several months and ended up buying a new horse that I absolutely love. That's part of the reason I hate to shop for horses. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, there's that intangible connection that just isn't there.
I bought an Oldenburg gelding for myself, but learned that I am not fond of his relatively laid-back personality and prefer a "spicier" mount. It took several months for me to realize that our relationship wasn't going to work, so I loaned him to a friend who was just becoming interested in Eventing and needed to solidify her Dressage basics. A great match for both. Now she is riding her own young horse, so said Oldenburg is looking for a new home.
My junior jumper and I never really got along. He was a TB, but rode like a WB -- a big push-pull kind of horse. I do better on hot horses that require finesse.
He was incredibly talented, but due to our personality limitations I never really got him going at the level he could have gone -- easily into the grand prix. I couldn't replace him for what he would bring, so I always kept him. And I love the big ol' lummox.
I bought him in '94 as a four-year-old, and he's retired on the family farm today.
She became way more horse with more groceries. She was the soundest thing ever, as I discovered when I rode and rode and rode trying to get her trained.
She was great when her rider concentrated hard. She could (and regularly did) spin me off when I left her alone as I wanted to.
My life at the time didn't make room for her, but I knew that this horse would have taken my riding to the next level. For that reason, I regretted selling her, but there were many reasons not to, including her well-being.
An eventer pro running a sales barn decided she would be even too much work for him. She was sold to a dressage home and was rumored to have made her owner very happy for years and years.
I'm glad I was part of the right long-term answer for this mare.
Yes, my hunter mare. We had a working relationship only. Great horse and super talented but we just didn't really like each other. I am grateful to her for bringing me success and teaching me what she did but didn't miss her when she was sold. I asked the BNR that bought/sold her after me what ever happened to her and he told me she went on to do really well with a girl...made a big deal about how talented that mare was. I had a moment of regret but then realized we both deserved to have partners that we liked and I hope she got that from her new person.
"look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."
Yup, happened with my large pony when I was a kid. Went and tried him and everything was great. He was fancy and going to be my move up show pony. Bring him home and that intangible spark just wasn't there. New pony gets a horrible case of ringworm - loses all the hair on his body except his face - so I go back to riding the bratty ponies in for training and am happy as a clam. Mom and another boy at the barn ride the fancy pony and like him just fine. Fancy pony gets sold to new family with a fancy farm and he lives out his days in luxury. I get a young more difficult pony to bring along and all is right with the world again. Turns out I like the brats. Still do.
Sometimes, despite your best intentions you just don't make a match. No shame in that and just like dating I don't think it is something you can force. I think everybody has their type. That doesn't mean that you can't ride and do well on another type but I think you end up happier if you purchase a horse that is closest to your ideal type, whatever that might be.
Sometimes things get better. I got my horse knowing he was lacking ground manners and knowing that he is a real push ride. I don't like push horses, prefer strongly lots of impulsion BUT I knew deep down that my 10 y/o kiddo is more important than me so push ride we have, because he is good for her as a beginner. I wasn't happy at the barn he was at, either, and I think he picked up on the tension between me and the BO which made his ground manners worse.
Fast forward to today. He is at a different barn, turned out with three other horses, much more relaxed, making at least some progress on manners though still, he needs work and some days are better than others. My kiddo really likes him, and is becoming a decent little rider. I would still rather like to have a zippier ride and more "in your pocket" personality. But I've come to appreciate him more in the last two months. He is a good guy. He isn't perfect, but the horse that is perfect for me is NOT AT ALL perfect for kiddo.
He is never going to be able, I don't think, to fill my first horse's shoes. That is something I have to deal with. But I am coming to appreciate him more for what he has to offer.
So, do at least give your horse a fair shake - don't be expecting him to be a different horse, or be directing anger that you have for someone at him, or anything like that. Sometimes it takes a few months for the personality to come out. In the meantime, go to the barn as much as possible, especially if you are boarding. Sometimes this will help ALOT. Don't only go to make the horse work. Go for some fun things for the horse. Show up, give him a treat in his feed bin, give him a pat. Give him a quick grooming while he eats a bit of a snack you bring him. Sometimes this will tease the personality out of one that is "in hiding". Make sure you are ending rides on a good note - I know this is hard with a new horse sometimes, especially if you aren't "feeling the magic". But do these things with as positive an attitude as you can because of course the horse will notice. See if it helps. It has helped me...
Last edited by Minerva Louise; Apr. 8, 2009 at 11:15 AM.
Reason: grammatical difficulties
Yup...I've got one of those right now in fact. An 8 yr old that I've been 'trying to love' for 3 years. It just isn't going to happen. I swore to myself that I would never wait this long to like a horse again - last time it was 2 years, and it seemed like the longest 2 years of my life! Had to force myself to ride, and toward the end of that relationship, I didn't even enjoy brushing him! He was sold to a younger girl. This 8 yr.old??? I don't have a clue what I'll do with him.... sell him on I suppose. He deserves to be loved in that special way.
I just sold a horse after six months of trying to enjoy him - he had all the right descriptors and was a sweetie, but I just never quite relaxed with him. At the same time, I'd been head-over-heels in love with my neighbor's mule for two years. All of a sudden - and it seemed so easy - I sold the horse to a woman who adores him in absolutely every way, and bought the mule. I'm sooo much happier.
My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan
The first horse I ever bought (and had no business buying) was an appy mare. She was mean and even after to moved her to a training barn I was never comfortable with her. She was not even really nice to look at. My trainer found a man who was in love with her even after she dumped him and made him walk all the way back to the barn on numerous occassions. I sold her to him and never looked back.
I took that check and bought the POA mare I had been training and had wanted to buy all along.... The POA mare, Duchess, was my best friend and I loved her. I had to sell her when I got married and transferred to Germany. In hindsight I should have ditched the guy I married and kept the mare!!!!
Like one you'd bought (seemed ok at the time) but once you got it home, just didn't click with it? How long did you try for, and what did you do with it?
Yep. We had the Honeymoon period. All was well for about 3 months. Then all hell broke loose. Tried to work through it for a few months but then she became dangerous for me (and yes, I ran a sh*t load of tests to see if there was anything wrong... nope, nada). Found her a new home a few months after that. Had her a total of 8 months.
When I tried her out the only thing I didn't like was that she was a mare. I had never really gotten along w/ mare's. And after that? It was confirmed.
I've had many, and they all taught me more than I could ever have dreamed. I was very lucky as a young rider because my grandma was a horse trainer. I got to ride a lot of horses that needed to be sold and would get more money if shown by a junior. I also generally had my own horse that was a fixer upper by necessity (we didn't have a lot of money). So I had to ride a lot of horses that I certainly wouldn't have bought, haha. I also got to ride some that I could never have afforded, so it worked out just fine.
Anyway, one in particular comes to mind. He was an untalented ASB that we bought from an auction as a 4 year old. He was beautiful though, so our customer had to have him. We told her he would top out as a pleasure horse, and would probably never make it big. Well, that horse was untalented and also not very gifted in the brain department. Made for a tough ride. And he would spook at things he'd seen everyday for a year.
Well, I showed him for 4 years and we ended our partnership by getting reserve champion at the ASB world championship show. We beat out some VERY pricey horses.
After that, the owner's granddaughter was old enough to start showing him, and he was old enough too, haha. I had finally developed a beautiful partnership with this horse, and it was time to move on = ) We had the most gorgeous canter departs of any horse I've ever ridden, and we generally won classes because we were so attuned to each other that I could put him anywhere in the ring and get him right in front of the judge. He just immediately understood what I wanted. I was his everyday rider for 4 years.
So I went to school, didn't ride from summer until Christmas. I got home, hopped on him, and I SWEAR after about 10 steps, I could feel him sigh (I know, a people thing, but that's what it felt like) and go, oh, I know this. I know her. And he calmed right down and went to work. It was like he missed me (rather - missed knowing exactly what his rider wanted). It was the neatest thing for me because I'd rarely had long enough with a horse to develop that kind of relationship. And I reeeeally didn't love this horse for the first few years I rode him, haha. He was so darn TOUGH!
Anyway, the ones you don't get along with at first can teach you some very very important lessons if you have the "luxury" of sticking with them (not always a luxury but a chore, haha).
Yes.... 3.5 years ago I boutht a TB/QH gelding because he was sweet and I could do payments on him. I was told by several people that I had "every girl's dream horse" because on the ground he was great and loved the attention he was getting (he would whinney when I called his name, follow me around as I did barn chores, would hang out next to each stall as I cleaned them etc). I never once rode him in the first year that I had him.
When I moved barns, I began working with him- he had sat in a field for 3 years and had a lot of bad retraining and so it was a challenge. Once I started riding him I knew that we didn't click. I had listed him for sale several times but didn't have many takers...
I then started working with my current trainer and took lessons on him. He remained a challenge and I still didn't click with him. My trainer was aware of this and supported me either way (selling him or keeping him). We had many rides where I would end up frustrated, end up in the dirt, end up in tears and end up saying "why did I ever buy him?".... and some days where I was thrilled with how he went. However, even though we didn't click, I couldn't bring myself to sell him because I was his 6th home in 2 years and I didn't want to pass him on to yet another home. So I put a lot of time and hard work into him, continued lessons with my trainer, and now have a horse who tries his heart out for me.
We still don't click like I have with other horses previously, and he is no where near my 'once in a lifetime horse'... but I decided I wasn't going to pass him on to yet another person so I dealt with it. He has taught me the meaning of hard work, as well as how to ride a horse that is not an easy ride. Do I regret buying him? Yes... because there were other horses that I know I would have clicked with (I continued to lease one after I bought him). Do I regret keeping him? For the most part, no. I'm glad that I stuck with him because he has come so far and tries his heart out for me even when I don't give him 100%... but I also know what it's like to have a 'once in a lifetime horse' (I had a mare who I was extremely bonded with, she was amazing and did anything I asked of her. It killed me to lose her. ) and I know he will never be it.
Even though I don't click with him, I still hope to have him through retirement until his time has come to cross the bridge. I want to enjoy him for the horse that he is and be his last home so he isn't passed onto someone else again. And I have learned to stop comparing him to my 'once in a lifetime' mare... I know that he will never be like her.
I bought a gelding that ad done eventing but hadn't really shown that extra push to go through the upper level stuff, so I bought him and turned him into teh hunter ring.
He was a very nice boy, would do his course but we never really "clicked" right (I had my other gelding who was going through a bit of on/off lamness issues and we were beyond clicked).
I kept him for three years (yeah I know I really tried to tough it out) before I had to sell someone after a disasterous year with two foals, so I sold this guy. He was bought for a thirteen year old girl who was a nervous rider (this guy was a beginner's dream) and they lived happily ever after....and me as well knowing he had gone onto a place where he would be worshipped