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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern KY
    Posts
    4,486

    Default When your horse breaks your heart...

    I have nine years invested in a horse I started as an unbacked 3 year old. Love him to death. He's like the guy in your life that's the best you ever had, but just when you think you can trust him, he steels your last 20 bucks and spends it on some other girl. Good looking, athletic, and as soon as you let your guard down, he lets you down again.

    My husband just bought The Big Horse a brand new 4 star HUGE 2+1 with all the drop down windows and room you can get. He's loaded like a champ on it 10 times with no problem, up to and including last night.

    So after staying up til 11 giving him a bath, and getting up at O'dark-30 this morning, I'm all ready to go hunt with my buddies with my big, gorgeous boy. I know it will be a trail ride, because they went screaming yesterday and it was the Huntsman's 50th birthday. Weather was perfect.

    Do you think he loaded? No sirrreee, he just flipped me the bird, and acted like he'd never seen a trailer or had a leadshank with me on the end of it before. Just stubborn, stupid and strong.

    No excuse. No trigger. Not just the trailer. It could be the third 20 meter circle, the 6th jump, Tuesday. He fears nothing. He lives by the freeway. Powered parasails fly OVER HIS HEAD! He just looks up calmly, as if to say "cool" and goes back to grazing.

    I love him, he replaced a very big hole in my heart left by a horse I simply can't replace. He's had every advantage, he's had tons of training. He just sometimes, for no reason, is a complete jerk.

    I've had enough, because I'm not having any fun, I can't depend on him and I spend way too much time working to have my entire day ruined because "he just didn't feel like it". Again.

    I think I'm sending him to boot camp, though based on every trainer he's worked with, it isn't me.

    I want a partner that might be slow and not flashy, but will be loyal and not break my heart.

    I want the equine version of my husband.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2009
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,982

    Default

    This is SO frustrating.

    (((Hugs)))

    I hope it gets worked out.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Location
    Orlean, Va
    Posts
    2,060

    Default

    {{{{Big Hugs}}}}

    I hope the trainer can do the magic. Your new horse is coming soon? (I thought you got a new one)

    Give us a call and come visit if you want a sympathetic happy outing- We will see if we can help...
    Intermediate Riding Skills



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2009
    Posts
    758

    Default

    I'd look for an opportunity where you BOTH can work with a trainer.

    You need to find the key to train him through these isolated episodes. No shame in that. Don't get frustrated.

    He sounds like a great horse. They all (most) have their moments. Good luck.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,084

    Default

    We've all been there and if you train people or horses you've met them. We have one of these in our barn. He's a rockstar for 90% of the kids and adults. However my DD is NOT his cup of tea. She gets up there and it's like he has forgotten any kind of training he has ever had. He's a technical ride and very unforgiving no matter your age or skill level. DD is a very technical rider, you'd think they were a match made in heaven... not so much. She says turn left he turns right, she asks for a trot and he passages or piaffes or does one of those mouth watering canter departs. He's dropped a shoulder and deposited her into my trainer's arms and then departed tail flagging to the other end of the arena to snort and blow and act like a damn green horse with no sense. Rather than fight him, I thank my lucky stars for two things. 1. I don't own him 2. Trainer has more horses than him and they like DD.
    Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
    Originally Posted by alicen:
    What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern KY
    Posts
    4,486

    Default I sent him to boot camp.

    While I was in Florida, I didn't want to be there in case he was a jerk about loading. Of course, he got right in a step up slant load he'd never seen, with someone he didn't even know on the second try.

    The trainer is top notch and takes no crap from human or equine. He's currently learning about herd dynamics and how to longe (never taught him).

    He is going into full eventer training and after a couple of months when she figures out what he is, he'll be sold.

    For reasons having nothing to do with the "other hunt horse" I took a pass.

    So I'm still looking. When he asked me what type of horse I wanted, I told him I wanted a horse I could ride into a pub, who'd make me leave before I got too drunk to ride home.

    He laughed and said that while he'd never had it put that way, he knew exactly what type of horse I meant.

    We're still trying to find one that's less than 16 hands, or at least less than 17.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    10,755

    Default

    I completely understand and support your decision to let the horse go. Life is too short to keep one that isn't fun for you. As an amatuer owner who works 4 days a week- I have "X" hours I can spend riding and that is suppose to be for fun. I don't feel brighter or more enlightned picking myself up off the ground if the horse keeps dumping me, bolting or being a twit. I'll leave that horse to a Pat Parelli type to figure out.

    In July '10 I bought a quarter horse mare and hunted her all last season. She was decent and honest outside the hunt field but in the hunt field, she had toys in her attic. That was such a shame because she was game and cat like on rough terrian but mentally she was out in orbit. Two times in late winter I found myself making excuses not to go hunting, red flag.

    I found her replacement in late March, a connemara who hasn't done much in her 10 years. She roaded hounds three times and I've had her out cubbing 4 times and by golly she gets it already. I was prepared to hilltop all season but we're already going second flight for part of the hunt. She has no toys in her attic. I'm jumping her at home over 2' fences and I haven't jumped in many years. The quarter horse mare got sold to a rancher so life is good.

    Hope you find a new horse that suits you perfectly! Hunting is much more fun with a horse that fits your personality.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2003
    Location
    Orlean, Virginia
    Posts
    3,000

    Talking Toys!! YES!!

    I loved the "toys in the attic" comment and find it sooooo appealing and right for me!
    I have one with a toy (and another with a whole playground! ) and can't help blaming myself and my lack of effort & training as the cause. It's not her fault she's not a perfect loader...it's mine imho. I made her this way....the incident made her this way....I feel like I can beat this....she's worth it to me...she just needs more practice & experience...she's just green...I think......
    Maybe I'm the one with the toys in the attic!!
    You know the saying" They aren't being bad they are just being a horse"!!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    10,755

    Default

    I don't mind a consistent quirk with a horse. You know they horse- on the third ride out he will do "X" every.single.time. Not a problem. The horse that is always changing up what makes them angst or a challange or unique isn't my kind of horse.

    I get a charge reading the articles in COTH about the big time horses and their quirks and dang, I admire beyond words what those pro's can work through to get results.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2006
    Posts
    7,387

    Default

    You guys are killing me with some of these descriptions.... they are spot on.

    OP, I think you are smart to move on. Horses like that just are not fun. After awhile, they also deplete your trust in equines in general... you start to think every horse is goofy like that.

    Anyway good luck and I hope you find a more deserving partner!
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2007
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    Glad that you're doing the right thing for YOU.

    To me, the loading quirk (be it consistent or every now and again) is the straw that breaks the camel's back. There are other ways to "deal" with other quirks. But there isn't a way to get around a horse that sometimes just. won't. load. It makes everything else you do pointless.

    My old TB is that way. About 10 years ago, I decided I was "done" with him. I plop myself up on him a couple of times a year to walk around, and he gives pony rides. Otherwise, he hangs out. Fortunately, I have the room at home to let him do so. He will never get over his trailer "issues." And I just didn't have it in me anymore to put up with it.

    No particular point to this story except to say that many of us understand. We work too hard and spend too much money on them to not enjoy it.
    "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern KY
    Posts
    4,486

    Default Thanks guys, really.... and keep your fingers crossed

    Because I think I've found The One.

    If the stars align, he'll be here Thursday. I'm trying not to be too excited. His discription is as follows:
    Draft cross gelding, big ol' roman nose. Big feet. Kicking quiet, comes with a reference from the MFH of his hunt, absolutely made. More white than I like, but I can live with that. 16.2. Stout. Honest. Kind eye. Goes in a snaffle with his big old Roman nose pointed out front, on a not quite loopy rein. Great brakes.

    I'm buying a horse suitable for a novice riding rookie, and as painful as that is for me to admit, I'm really looking forward to smiling on my way out to the barn again.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    10,755

    Default

    Big smile for you right here!

    If I ever, ever find a horse with loppy ears that can hunt I am buying it! A big roman nose is right there on my list of "a horse I would like to own." Keep us posted!

    A novice riding rookie? Heck, the joke around here is that some 12 year old girl is having a miserable childhood because I'm riding her horse.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,713

    Default

    Congratulations! There's absolutely nothing wrong with riding a "novice rookie" type horse if that horse allows you to put thejoy back in riding. Life is too short to be miserable at a sport you once loved.

    And when I've seen sale ads that say "ridden by my 12 year old daughter" I usually figure that it will be too much horse for me....as the 12 year olds that I know can ride circles around me, and have no fear



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Location
    Orlean, Va
    Posts
    2,060

    Default I want lop ears, too

    Those lop ears are important to me, too. That's one of my signs of the relaxed, competent, been-there-done-that, can analyze and pick apart the puzzle, mind. The mind that gives you confidence, because the horse will take care of you and him. And enjoy doing it.
    Intermediate Riding Skills



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2010
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    325

    Default

    I wanted to say kudos to you for realizing your current horse is not what you want/need, and I hope this horse you are trying out is exactly want you are looking for. I also want to say that it is great that even though your current horse is a jerk, you have made sure he is trained so that he will find a new owner that will enjoy him. Good job!

    I do know where you are coming from. My current mare has "toys in her attic" (love this!). I often wonder if she had been trained properly from the beginning if she would still have been the way she is or if she would have been a lot more stable. We had a lovely ride on Thursday, she was responsive, paying attention, just lovely! Then Saturday someone down the road had a sign out on the side of the road with two balloons tied to it. Sigh... we had a very long ride on Saturday reminding her that above all else she needed to pay attention to me. I am not to the point where it is not fun anymore, but it does get old. Really old.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2002
    Location
    Northern KY
    Posts
    4,486

    Default And he's had thousands of dollars and hours of training

    By both myself and very respected BNT. I cannot tell you how many times I was advised to sell him and buy something else. I just figured it was about making two sales, and continued on.

    Now, I miss the big jerk, and I have a VERY empty barn, no horse in the field behind my house. No whicker when I go to the barn to feed the cats.

    I don't think I'm going to wait til Thursday when they can bring the new horse, I think I'm going to hook up the trailer and head North tomorrow!

    If someone offers to overnight you a PPE complete with xrays that's only 9 months old to support the horse's value, I think they're legit.

    Keep your fingers crossed, I'll keep you posted.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,568

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SLW View Post
    Heck, the joke around here is that some 12 year old girl is having a miserable childhood because I'm riding her horse.


    Love it!

    So much more fun (IMHO) to hunt where you aren't saying a prayer that you'll stay on.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    10,755

    Default

    Thursday will get here soon enough. Go do something goofy like get a manicure or pedicure to pass the time. Once the new guy is here and your back in the barn you'll remember why you don't bother paying for those sorts of things.

    As for my "Toys in the attic" horse, I can only imagine what she would say about me. The good and the bad works both ways but for sure, hunting jazzed her up beyond a level where I was having fun.

    We were hunting yesterday and had a good laugh. As we waited for the hounds one member's horse was being angst- really up and down angst- because his pasture mate was off doing whipper in duties. The angst horse's rider is fabulous and skilled beyond words- we hate him. Anyway the Field Master commented (in jest) We can have three fields today: The first field, the second field and the Mine field. I love my hunt.
    Last edited by SLW; Oct. 4, 2011 at 09:07 AM.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2000
    Location
    Full time in Delhi, NY!
    Posts
    6,398

    Default

    You know I haven't ridden in close to 14 years, after doing nothing but ride for the 30 years before that. I thought I would never want to ride again, but certain comments have made me look at my situation differently.

    I think I would like to ride again; on a lop earred, big footed, stout draft cross, or Irish Sport Horse. One I wouldn't have to worry about "riding", one I wouldn't have to worry about "training" as we schooled. Just enjoying the scenery as we moved through the woods and over the fields. I don't think I want to see the inside of a ring again except to get my muscle tone back.

    Thanks for the eye opener!
    ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
    Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

    "Life is merrier with a terrier!"



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