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  1. #41
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    I agree with a lot of the other posters if the horse isn't happy doing the job you want him to do it's time to move him on to someone who will give him a happy job. There are those few horses who just don't like jumping. Find one who does and you and the current horse will be alot happier.
    "But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost

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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatDinah View Post
    You said, "I've had him for a while, but started riding consistently after a while off (all we'd done prior was dabbling at local shows) last year. I took a few jumping lessons last fall, which all went really well and I felt confident starting out at BN/N this year. That was a pretty misleading instinct apparently, as the catastrophe began right away."

    I do not wish to seem harsh but I think you need to re-examine your preparation with this horse. An older horse not ridden for awhile and a few jumping lessons months ago are not sufficient to go to any competition, even a schooling show.
    By all means if you want to stop riding him, then place him somewhere else. But to be fair to the horse, I think you ought to 1) place him with a good trainer for 3 months who can ride him 5-6 times a week to see what he can do in order to sell him to a responsible home or 2) give him away to someone who can provide that.
    Then you should invest your time and money in a solid lesson program for yourself.
    While I do agree to a big extent with this, there are also PLENTY of horses who will merrily bop around a BN with little prep with their ammie owners. Maybe too many people invest too much time and money in horses that just aren't cut out to do the job intended for them, but, really, the OP does not have to put more time and money into this horse trying to figure out "is it me or him" if she doesn't want to. They now have baggage, and even if she sorts him out with time with a trainer, there's a good chance they will never REALLY trust each other and get along. She owes nothing more to this horse than to ensure he finds a good home doing something he can happily do, be it dressage, trail horse, or eventing with someone else.

    As for quirky horse teaching people to be riders....well, I do agree with that, too, to some extent, but quirky horses also teach people to be defensive, nervous, or scared. I consider myself a pretty decent rider, and I've ridden a lot of quirky horses over the years...and now I'm struggling to break a lot of defensive and nervous habits because I am now sitting on a truly GOOD horse. I have mixed feelings about dealing with quirky to "teach".

    I don't quite understand the mentality of "you owe this horse the chance to figure it all out." WHY does she owe this horse that? If they don't get along, don't click, don't want to do the same thing, don't trust each other, WHATEVER, all she owes him is the chance to find someone who will appreciate him and give him a job he can and wants to do.

    I was blunt in my initial post for a reason...WHY go through the heartache, stress, and gobs of money in sorting out a horse that, for whatever reason, just doesn't want to play the game the way you want to? I've BEEN THERE. With a horse I absolutely adored. A horse I spent a small fortune on, cried over, tore my hair out over. I could have kept plucking away, making us more miserable trying to get to the root of our problems. But why? It was no longer fun for either of us. I found him a home doing something he enjoyed (packing someone around), and got myself a horse that LOVES to do what I want to do. Life is too short to ride horses that make you miserable, especially when you're doing it for fun. IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE FUN.


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  3. #43
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    Jul. 25, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    While I do agree to a big extent with this, there are also PLENTY of horses who will merrily bop around a BN with little prep with their ammie owners. Maybe too many people invest too much time and money in horses that just aren't cut out to do the job intended for them, but, really, the OP does not have to put more time and money into this horse trying to figure out "is it me or him" if she doesn't want to.
    Exactly!

    As for quirky horse teaching people to be riders....well, I do agree with that, too, to some extent, but quirky horses also teach people to be defensive, nervous, or scared. I consider myself a pretty decent rider, and I've ridden a lot of quirky horses over the years...and now I'm struggling to break a lot of defensive and nervous habits because I am now sitting on a truly GOOD horse. I have mixed feelings about dealing with quirky to "teach".
    Completely agree. I think riding horses with issues can cause more problems than it teaches skills. There's a difference between learning how to ride a sensitive horse and learning to ride a horse with a dirty stop.

    I don't quite understand the mentality of "you owe this horse the chance to figure it all out." WHY does she owe this horse that? If they don't get along, don't click, don't want to do the same thing, don't trust each other, WHATEVER, all she owes him is the chance to find someone who will appreciate him and give him a job he can and wants to do.
    To me this often happens when there's ego involved (not directing this at the OP). Rider feels she/he "should" be able to make the horse work and that it reflects badly on her/him if they get a different horse.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
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  4. #44
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    At a low level hoses should pretty much be able to do any job (given that they are sound). If they cannot, then the question is what is the origin of the lack of ability to say 'yes'. I guess it depends upon the thirst for knowledge, problem solving skills, conversational abilitys vs walking away when things dont go as presumed. For me the 'fun' is solving the puzzles, because all horses are puzzles. But then the idea of crest release, ldr, etc all came into being to shortcut the system.
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    While I do agree to a big extent with this, there are also PLENTY of horses who will merrily bop around a BN with little prep with their ammie owners. Maybe too many people invest too much time and money in horses that just aren't cut out to do the job intended for them, but, really, the OP does not have to put more time and money into this horse trying to figure out "is it me or him" if she doesn't want to. They now have baggage, and even if she sorts him out with time with a trainer, there's a good chance they will never REALLY trust each other and get along. She owes nothing more to this horse than to ensure he finds a good home doing something he can happily do, be it dressage, trail horse, or eventing with someone else.

    As for quirky horse teaching people to be riders....well, I do agree with that, too, to some extent, but quirky horses also teach people to be defensive, nervous, or scared. I consider myself a pretty decent rider, and I've ridden a lot of quirky horses over the years...and now I'm struggling to break a lot of defensive and nervous habits because I am now sitting on a truly GOOD horse. I have mixed feelings about dealing with quirky to "teach".

    I don't quite understand the mentality of "you owe this horse the chance to figure it all out." WHY does she owe this horse that? If they don't get along, don't click, don't want to do the same thing, don't trust each other, WHATEVER, all she owes him is the chance to find someone who will appreciate him and give him a job he can and wants to do.

    I was blunt in my initial post for a reason...WHY go through the heartache, stress, and gobs of money in sorting out a horse that, for whatever reason, just doesn't want to play the game the way you want to? I've BEEN THERE. With a horse I absolutely adored. A horse I spent a small fortune on, cried over, tore my hair out over. I could have kept plucking away, making us more miserable trying to get to the root of our problems. But why? It was no longer fun for either of us. I found him a home doing something he enjoyed (packing someone around), and got myself a horse that LOVES to do what I want to do. Life is too short to ride horses that make you miserable, especially when you're doing it for fun. IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE FUN.
    Boy, do I totally agree with this.

    I have never understood the position that somehow the rider - particularly an amateur adult rider - is obligated to figure out any horse, regardless of quirks, or be judged as "unwilling to learn or improve."

    What a total crock that is.

    You can learn quite a lot from a really good horse, too - and that tends also to be a lot of fun. Last time I checked, that was generally the point of having a horse - the fun part is important.

    Continuing to ride a horse that you don't click with, especially if said horse has adopted the practice of regularly putting you on the ground, and especially when the rider doesn't have easy access to lots of professional assistance, is generally just a recipe for disaster. It's also a complete waste of time, energy and money, in my opinion, and the likely outcome is that the rider either gets hurt, gets so discouraged that they quit, or gets to the point that their frustration ends up causing the horse to wind up in a sub optimal situation.

    There is NOTHING wrong with finding a horse a different situation where they may be quite a bit happier and more successful, and replacing said horse with an animal that will be quite happily doing the job you have to offer. There are tons and tons and tons of horses that will tote an amateur rider around with limited prep and a good sense of humor - and enjoy the job immensely.

    Life is short. My suggestion is to find one of those, and put this horse in a situation that he finds more appealing.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


    3 members found this post helpful.

  6. #46
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    well sure we can sell on any horse that doesn't work as we wish - but exactly *when* does the rider take responsibility and work on their own issues instead of blaming the horse?

    seems like a never ending cycle until this happens.....


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  7. #47
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    Agreed. At what point is the rider (ammi or not) obligated to the horse? Who is supposed to be the intellligent being? At what point are we merely take advantage of the horse's good nature? Toss away the rest? Horses seem 'happy' when there is a conversation to which they can answer yes.

    For me, it is about education (of the rider). For instance, a clinic student whose horse was supposedly running out right. When she quit having leg yielding aids to the right, and 'formed the horse' with the opposite aids, he stayed 'down the middle'.

    And interesting when questions are asked about the schooling for the horse, they are ignored/not answered. Easier to get everyone to say 'pass the horse on'.
    I.D.E.A. yoda


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  8. #48
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    Feb. 4, 2004
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    Very wise words YB! The longer I do this, the less time I choose to spend trying to put the square pegs into the round holes. Been there, done that, quite a few times . . .

    Taking on a challenge and succeeding in improving your riding and the horse is great, but suffering with an unsuitable horse benefits neither horse nor rider.

    I am an ammy, have bought a lot of green horses, some have been easy for me to train as eventers, others were less enthusiastic. When I was younger I suffered through several dangerous, frustrating situations, because of pride (I wanted to succeed on the horse others failed with), or attachment. Now, when I think about all the time/money spent on those situations, it doesn't seem worth it.

    To go a step further, even if the rider is completely responsible for the horse going badly, I'm not sure that persevering is always the virtuous approach. If both horse and rider could be progressing and enjoying themselves with other partners, why insist on being overmounted?

    If the OP were excited to keep working with this horse, that would be one thing, but I don't think there is anything wrong with not being a match with each other, for eventing, and moving on.


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  9. #49
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    Sep. 23, 2003
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    I said in the original post that I'm somewhat limited in what I can do at home. I've also conceded that that's likely a significant contributor to the problem. As it's not something I can readily change, logically it follows that he may be better placed with someone who has more resources available.

    To specifically answer your questions - no, every jump I point him at does not have wings. Some do, to absolutely no avail. This is a horse who has lodged me against a tree and refused to move to avoid walking through a mud puddle (that was ages ago though) - poles on the ground don't deter him.

    He tends to go right when he's being seriously naughty, and yes he's "right handed" on the flat, but he'll go left if it's more expedient.

    We've done cavaletti, lines, grids, you name it, without a hint of an issue.
    "Why would anybody come here if they had a pony? Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? It doesn't make sense!"



  10. #50
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    Dec. 31, 2010
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    How is this horse shod? My horse was exactly as you describe yours, running out and stopping. She dumped me at every show we went to and during most lessons. She had contracted heels but was sound to the eye and on vet evaluations for a long time. You could pull the shoes and see if it changes anything? Worst case you can have them put back on and sell, best case the horse improves...



  11. #51
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    I think it's a fine line between a horse who is a challenge and makes you better vs. a horse who is too much for you. My first horse was WAY too much for me, as we learned after she took off bucking with me a few rides in a row, dumping me the final time. I was 8 at the time, but it was about riding ability/experience. We ended up getting training rides on her and I rode her in a very small area where she couldn't get up speed to buck or dump me (she was unathletic... this wouldn't work with other horses I have known.) It wouldn't have made me a better rider to be the one to work her through it, it would have just caused me more and more problems.

    My current horse gets spectacularly aerial when tense. Now I'm at a point to work through that and learn to handle it. (Amusingly, my bad injury was from coming off during a half pass... oops.) Anyway, because his misbehavior is at a level appropriate for my riding experience to handle, I have not fallen into the defensive issues, but instead have learned to sit up straighter, keep my hands more still, sit deeper and have better balance. I'm calmer in a spook, and just overall improved.

    In this case I don't know that the OP has done what she should to work with this horse - nothing in the posts makes it sound that way. If she's not willing to figure out a way to work it out and work with a trainer to improve riding, selling on is the best choice - but I think it's not clear that this is a rider who would be overfaced if she did the necessary prep work to get where she needs to be. It's a personal choice, though, and clearly at this point neither half of the partnership is enjoying themselves, so moving on makes sense.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    well sure we can sell on any horse that doesn't work as we wish - but exactly *when* does the rider take responsibility and work on their own issues instead of blaming the horse?

    seems like a never ending cycle until this happens.....

    It does end. If every horse you ride has a (insert, rearing, bucking, stoping, running) problem....chances are the rider is the source of the problem.


    But if a rider only has so much time in a day, wants to have fun and do lower level stuff....they have a right to find a horse that is the right match for them.

    Not all horses do well with an inconsistent program...or a 3 times a week schedule...or limited resources (no ring, jumping less often etc). But you know....some do...even some green horses. Some horses are a kick along quiet...some are a finesse ride...some have a lot of go. Some are forward and brave jumping, others are not.

    And some like to event...and others do not. Some doen't really care and if brought along right, will do the job. Others do the job easily with a monkey on their back...and others will not do the job with a perfect rider.


    Riding is about partnerships. YOU DO NOT HAVE to have the perfect partnership with every horse. Some riders want this...others just want to find a horse that is the right fit for them.


    It sounds like this horse is not the right fit for this particular rider. It doesn't mean he is a BAD horse at all. It sounds like he hasn't had the best prep/training for this horse...but this same training/prep may be just fine for a different horse.

    I do think to many people try to make a "partnership" work when it would be better for all involved to move on.

    OP...if you are not having fun, you have to change something. Either how you approach this horse (giving him a different job, or perhaps just different more consistent training or whatever) or do what you need to do to find him a situation that works better for him, and work to find your self a partner that works for you. In order to do that, you need to be very VERY honest with yourself as to your skills and goals. What can you do, what type of horse to you mesh with well....and be realistic with your goals.

    For example, if *I* want to ride at Prelim, I have to ride 5+ times a week regardless of the horse. I know this about myself. So if I can not make that commitment....then I need to change that goal.

    Good luck.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **


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  13. #53
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    Scaramouch- I applaud you for taking personal responsibility. That is a very hard thing to do. Some people never learn that concept.

    I also beat myself up when things don't work out correctly. I've held onto horses too long, thinking that if I were a better rider I could correct the issue.

    Sometimes, they just don't want to play the game. It sounds like you no longer want to play the game with him either. I think that is a very sound decision. Why force something when there is no joy?

    As humans, we may stay in jobs/careers that we don't particularly love because we can rationalize it-it pays well, the benefits are great, it's only for a few years, etc. A horse doesn't do that.

    I have a homebred that this has happened with. His story is a tiny bit different because his conformation makes dressage difficult for him. But he tried hard and we actually could do fairly well considering.

    He loves to jump and was very honest at everything I pointed him towards. But he was spooky. We could go clear XC if he wasn't spooking at the fence judges, the tractor two fields over, someone riding a bicycle down the road. It just was not fun to ride him. We even won our last event at T/P. He did it because I asked him to, but at what expense? I could tell myself that we were "successful" because we usually finished in the ribbons, but his heart just wasn't in the game.

    I now have him leased out to a teenager who rides him in eq and hunter prix. He goes better for her than he did for me. And he is happy. He is great at his job and he knows it. The rider and everyone at the barn think he's fantastic. He found his niche. He actually placed in the finals in the HITS 3' hunter prix this past fall.

    I could choose to blame myself that someone 1/4 my age rides the horse I bred, raised and trained better than I did and feel like a failure or I could look at it that he found a life much better suited for him. I gave him some a good start and some skills transferrable to the job he does now. A job that suits him so much better than the career I had chosen for him.

    Part of being a good horseperson is the ability to reconsider what we are doing when something is not working out. It is learning from our experiences, both good and bad.

    The hardest thing is to watch someone ride your horse a little better than you can. It is also the best way to learn. My instructor can tell me a thousand times to give with my elbows, but when I see how well my horse goes with someone with a softer hand, it really gets the point across. It doesn't take away from the things I do well, it just emphasizes what I need to work on and why.

    My advice would be to find an equine partner for the discipline you both enjoy. Maybe your horse would be happier jumping with someone else or maybe he just doesn't want to jump. At this point you both are carrying "baggage" from the past experiences. There is no crime in moving on.



  14. #54
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    I guess I have never had the luxury of giving up on a horse, and all sales were after the horses were schooled.

    But what are the solutions to the problems? A horse which does not 'do water' has to be ridden/backed/led/etc through water for as long as it takes to solve that (5 minutes...5 hours of walking/being led through it)...all horses WILL replace their behaviors. But in the end a horse MUST understand to go forward from the leg, and to 'choose the middle'/stay connected to the hands/accept leadership from the rider/etc. Widening the hands help/never dropping the horse helps/etc.

    Horses imho are never intentionally 'naughty'. The lack of a particular behavior has a basis and a solution. Horses will always find the 'error in the program'/weaknesses in the rider, so we have to find the solutions. Particular solutions.

    The question is why is the solution limited? Are you talking strictly of country? Spend a week(end) at a farm that offers little obstacles....just poles on the ground in the middle of ditches/on unlevel ground/etc. In the 'old days' when there were two week long combined training clinics (with Ljungquist/Treveranis/etc) that is how ALL the horses were exposed. Slowly/methodically.
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  15. #55
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    Ideayoda

    By the description... this particular rider is having a hard time just jumping...at all. Perhaps it is their training....perhaps the horse has a physical issue. We can not tell on this BB.

    But what we do know is that the rider is being dumped on a regular basis. Hores are expensive...and being dumped is not fun. If you do not ride horses for your living.....a rider is under no obligation to keep getting dumped.

    Sure...perhaps it because of the rider...or situation. But in the end, the OP has said their situation just can't change right now. What that tells me is they should move this horse along to someone in a different situation. Possibley even giving him away for free...to someone who get's along better with him--and it just may be by having him in a different situation.

    Jumping 2'3-2'6 is NOT hard. For some horse and rider combinations though...it becomes hard and unpleasant. They are the wrong combination. Forget eventing....just basic jumping. The OP here seems to know their limitations...and knows that this partnership is not working out for either of them. If you know you limitations....then rather then making things unpleasent for all involved....things have to be changed.

    And there are many valid ways to change things including letting someone else take the horse.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **


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  16. #56
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    That's the difference between pros and ammies. If you're a pro, you ride what's given to you unless you have the luxury of a full barn or if you're completely uncomfortable with the situation. Ammies... we've got 1 horse, maybe 2. We've got a different full-time occupation, and most have families with other interests and reliance on you keeping your health. I.e. not getting thrown into jumps.

    Nothing wrong with finding a different horse for you as long as you do your best to find your current guy a better fit.


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  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnm161 View Post
    That's the difference between pros and ammies. If you're a pro, you ride what's given to you unless you have the luxury of a full barn or if you're completely uncomfortable with the situation. Ammies... we've got 1 horse, maybe 2. We've got a different full-time occupation, and most have families with other interests and reliance on you keeping your health. I.e. not getting thrown into jumps.

    Nothing wrong with finding a different horse for you as long as you do your best to find your current guy a better fit.
    Exactly. I would have quit on this horse once he started throwing me into jumps, whether it was my fault or not that he was doing so. And then the obligation to find another, hopefully good home would begin.

    My mare was, um, too much for me as an eventer. She got very, very hot over fences -- not good for a timid ammy re-rider! I loaned her to HawksNest, who was 13 (Fearless Teen!) at the time while I figured out what to do, and took on HN's mother's lovely old eventer Trump. HN and Feronia had a blast doing eventing camp -- until I developed a plan and took Feronia back. My circumstances changed, as did the mare's (eventually), so neither of us *can* event anymore. Happy ending is that as long as I'm not trying to do something we aren't supposed to do anyway, the mare is a great horse for me. She's *fun*, she's *safe*, she's *well-behaved* (but just challenging enough to keep things interesting for me.)

    However, if I'd been able to/wanted to keep eventing, I would have sold her, or continued the "trade horses" arrangement I had with HN and her mom, or something.
    Last edited by quietann; Dec. 11, 2012 at 05:36 PM.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine



  18. #58
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    Well, plus if you are getting paid to ride a horse, it changes your whole equation. Even if you hate the horse and are having zero fun, you're getting paid, retaining a client, possibly building new business etc.

    If you aren't, and can only support a finite number of horses you pay for yourself, then you have to ask if this is the horse you want to invest your time/$ into, or if you'd be happier investing it in a different horse.


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  19. #59
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    I have not read through all the advice folks have written up here but one feeling I got is maybe you need to at least try another trainer. If your current trainer isn't one who is doing this herself, she may not have exactly what it takes to get this horse some courage, and you two some more knowledge. Now, if you feel confident that is not going to help at all, then maybe you should retire him.
    "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"



  20. #60
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    1. Rule out pain -- such as kissing spine. This costs money but it is the ONLY fair thing to do before you move on to anything else.

    2. Have someone else work with the horse for a month or two. If you have the money, a professional. If not, find someone more experienced currently horseless. Be creative.

    3. Find horse a new job/home, based on the outcomes of #1 and #2. Maybe he is "fixable." Maybe he just doesn't like to jump. You don't know the answers to these questions right now so figuring out his next step is premature.

    4. Do not second guess finding him a better situation for his needs. You are obligated, in my opinion, to be kind and to take care to make sure he goes somewhere suited and kind. You are NOT obligated to keep banging away at something that is dangerous and unpleasant instead of fun and rewarding.

    Lots and lots of horses out there, all shapes, sizes, and prices. Figure out how to do right by this guy, send him on with a kiss and a carrot, and then worry about what comes next for you.
    The big man -- no longer an only child

    His new little brother



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