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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,026

    Default I'm stuck and frustrated with my riding!

    I am only twenty years old and I have been riding english since I was three. I took some time off as a kid, switching to barrels and poles, and then back to hunters/jumpers. I've always had green/problem horses (except two!). They were all huge learning curves and I always have had so much fun riding. We just couldn't afford very nice while I was growing up! I could never see myself without the boots & breeches until recently..

    I've done medals, equitations, hunters, jumpers, and under saddle. I've done it all just about in English world and a lot in Western world, but English always called me back. I have ridden (and fallen and crashed) a lot of different horses! I even play fox hunters with RRH (well before I moved). I recently sold my first every buy with my own money, train, show, and re-sell horse.. Well I didn't sell him. I gave him back to the woman I bought him from, and I think this is where the discouragement started.

    Monty was badly behaved and my trainers didn't like him as much as I did. They said he taught me what he needed to teach me but now he needs to go down the road. He was very picky about how you rode him, how you held your reins, and would test anyone. We had a VERY special connection though, so I never understood or could explain to anyone else how to ride him. He NEVER refused a jump for me, but he wouldn't jump when someone would come try him. So I was pushed to give him back to the woman that sold him to me from the track, who owns a cattle ranch, and let him live his life being a cow pony... Even though he was so talented!

    I felt so defeated and really heart broken. I cried for days and still get sad when I see pictures of us, even though I know its for the better. I just feel like I didn't do what I was supposed to do and I GAVE UP on him, and the weird part of me wonders if he knows or feels the same? WEIRD I KNOW. I loved that horse so much and his antics, and I didn't care when he would be naughty. I think this is where my problems started with being discouraged lately.

    I have another horse, who I got given to me before I "sold" Monty. CW was a "take him or my husband is going to kill him" horse because he bucks and see's dead people. He has been through job after job and given up time after time, but again I love this horse. It isn't the EXACT same connection that I had with Monty, but I also havn't pored the heart and tears into this horse yet because... I CAN'T KEEP HIM WELL. Everytime I get him sound, he stays sound for a week or two, and then SOMETHING happens and he either winds up LAME again or SICK!!! He has had more vet trips than any of my horses combined and NO ONE can find the problem with lameness. It's even gotten to the point to where I might call the animal communicator... NO JOKE.

    So lately, while he is out of commission I have been taking lessons with a H/J trainer to the area I just moved. I am so discouraged with my riding though. I am so nervous about jumping now ever since I sold Monty, because I always ride green horses and young horses that stop. I get so over reactive riding and we are really working on this, but I can't help but get SO nervous while jumping now. That was NEVER a problem with Monty, becuase I just knew he was going to go. I feel like I have taken SIX steps back since I have sold him. I feel sloppy in my riding, like I don't ride as pretty as I used to.

    I also hurt. I have been in a brace for three days because my ankle went out in my last lesson. This happens as least once a month. Then there are the chronically bad knees, the crooked back, and all the other common horse problems. It makes it really hard to actually go to the barn, pay $$ for the lessons, and coming out feeling sore and defeated. I have always been taught to cowgirl-up, but now I just feel so stuck and in a rut. I love jumping. I love shows. I love going and seeing people, but I don't feel the passion like I used to. I'm to the point where I am even considering a complete discipline change, because maybe I won't hurt as bad or be as nervous and frustrated in the reining or cutting ring.

    I know this is mainly just a rant. I don't expect boo-hoo's. But what would you do? I love my horse, don't get me wrong, and I love riding! I just can't get over the fact of constantly being sore and limping around (AT TWENTY!!!!) and not coming out of a lesosn happy but frustrated. Do I quit the english for a little but while my horse is having time off and go play cowboy? Do I stick it out and just buck up because my feelings are still hurt for giving up Monty? Am I just a dramatic, college student who has too much whine time (probable)?

    Any advice is helpful! I just feel so stuck and I have never felt like this before.

    Sorry for the book!
    The Struggle - - a blog about the equestrian struggle.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,203

    Default

    If you simply gave him back to his original owner, who gave him away in the first place.....why can't you go get him back? This time with a promise to the owner that there will be no more flip-flopping.

    Sometimes the horse that we want isn't the one that the trainers like, or the one that is going to take us all the way in the show world. If he made you feel safe and made you enjoy riding, I say go get him back.


    And just as a side note, one that isn't mentioned here often: It's one thing to enjoy working with "problem" horses, it's another to feel like you're the only one who can save them and to feel so absolutely let down when something doesn't work out. It might not be a bad idea to go talk about those feelings with a professional...you're a little young yet, but I'll bet those "rescuer" tendencies will start rearing their heads when it comes to men, too....and honey, a "problem" man is so much worse than a problem horse!


    4 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2012
    Posts
    171

    Default

    I gotta say this is supposed to be fun! If it isn't change it. I think your trainers are doing you a disservice by not listening when you say you are uncomfortable. Go back, ride a "perfect" horse, a push button one. Get your confidence back. Go on a trail ride, RIDE FOR FUN. That would be my advice.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
    Location
    Triangle Area, NC
    Posts
    6,704

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Belmont View Post
    But what would you do? I love my horse, don't get me wrong, and I love riding!
    I'd go fix my mistake and go get my horse back, and tell the instructor to deal with it. It's only holding you back if you aren't enjoying riding him. We don't all have to have the same goal to rule the equestrian world... we can do it because it's fun ;-)
    Clearly, it isn't for the best that he's gone. You're breaking down in more way than one!
    The lame horse has got to go. You took someone else's problem sadly
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2011
    Location
    Texas
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    1,026

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    If you simply gave him back to his original owner, who gave him away in the first place.....why can't you go get him back? This time with a promise to the owner that there will be no more flip-flopping.

    Sometimes the horse that we want isn't the one that the trainers like, or the one that is going to take us all the way in the show world. If he made you feel safe and made you enjoy riding, I say go get him back.


    And just as a side note, one that isn't mentioned here often: It's one thing to enjoy working with "problem" horses, it's another to feel like you're the only one who can save them and to feel so absolutely let down when something doesn't work out. It might not be a bad idea to go talk about those feelings with a professional...you're a little young yet, but I'll bet those "rescuer" tendencies will start rearing their heads when it comes to men, too....and honey, a "problem" man is so much worse than a problem horse!
    I bought him and then gave him back a year later, with the push of my then trainers.

    I wouldn't say I had rescuer tendencies. This horse I have now was a given to me. The OTTB I bought as a project and then wound up giving back, but I understand what you are saying! I just felt really let down, and the last time I saw the OTTB before I moved he didn't look happy.. He looked "cracked out" even though everyone said he loved being a cow pony. It made me feel worse.

    I have seriously considered asking for him back, but I just relocated to Texas and would have to wait until I saved up some money to have him transported if she agreed. Right now, with college, I don't think that is in the budget unless my new job starts paying way better!

    Thank you though, I do understand what you are saying. Trust me, I have considered going to a "professional"! Hahah.
    The Struggle - - a blog about the equestrian struggle.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2011
    Location
    Texas
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    1,026

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
    The lame horse has got to go. You took someone else's problem sadly
    I agree unfortunatly. When I got him I was sent pictures of him jumping and looking like a rockstar, but then I picked him up and he had a nail in the hoof, couple hundred underweight, and lame on his hind. I thought maybe some time, but it has been a year and we can't get it right yet!
    The Struggle - - a blog about the equestrian struggle.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2003
    Location
    Mississippi, U.S.A.
    Posts
    774

    Default

    You need a break. You've got a lot on you- sadness, physical pain, confusion, possible need to consult a counselor, a job and full time college. Why not make it easy on yourself? If you're sick of riding you are over-doing it. If I were you, I'd put my physical well being first. Go to docs, chiros etc, until you are more comfortable. Make a list of positive things you can do for yourself, including taking a complete break from horses. As you complete these things, check them off. This will help eliminate your confusion and give you forward momentum. Don't even think about looking at horse, much less riding, until you miss it so much you can't stand it. Then get back into horses.

    Just wait and put the rest of your life in order. Your college may offer free counseling.

    I love how you embrace life and are so passionate and caring. Now it's time to take care of yourself and cut your life to the bare bones. Then you'll know what to do. (((HUGS))).


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    6,203

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Belmont View Post
    Thank you though, I do understand what you are saying. Trust me, I have considered going to a "professional"! Hahah.
    I didn't mean it offensively at all, and I'm glad you didn't take it that way! I speak from experience when I say it can be incredibly helpful to just talk our issues with horses through with someone with an outside perspective, and see how certain traits may pop up in the rest of our life. A LOT of the time those traits are good (nothing like getting back up after you fall!) but sometimes they can be negative as well. Colleges have GREAT resources/counselors.

    I ditto what Frosty said too. Horses will always be there. Maybe "clear your plate" of them for a while, pursue some other interests, get your body back in working order, and then pick them up again, in a year or two.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2005
    Location
    Lancaster, PA
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    4,754

    Default

    If I were you, I would rehome the lame horse and go get Monty back.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
    Posts
    7,220

    Default

    Move on the lame horse and get something new.

    If your plan is to train/resell, stop buying difficult horses. Those are so, so hard to sell and they never bring any $$. Not a good plan, even if they are free to start. No such thing as a free horse. Get one that will be marketable when trained.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2012
    Posts
    3,802

    Default

    I would prioritize college now, then beginning a career afterward. In the meantime, you might participate in your school's equestrian program if they have one, or failing that do a little part-time working student deal on weekends and pick up as many catch-rides as you can. It's a great way to get wider experience and broader perspective as to what kind of horse you really "click" best with. It's great to make the best of the situation you have, which it sounds like you did with Monty; but look forward to the day when you can have the situation (and the horse!) you CHOOSE.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    10,201

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Belmont View Post
    I agree unfortunatly. When I got him I was sent pictures of him jumping and looking like a rockstar, but then I picked him up and he had a nail in the hoof, couple hundred underweight, and lame on his hind. I thought maybe some time, but it has been a year and we can't get it right yet!
    Sounds like you bought him from a farm in KY.

    In any case I suspect that it's not you, but him that is creating all these low feelings. While it helps all our careers to work under adverse conditions, I think this is over and above a necessary part of the journey.

    Some how, someway this horse sounds as though he needs to be replaced by something more suitable-as hard-hearted as that sounds.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2012
    Location
    Fern Creek, KY
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    Default

    I don't think that you need to clear your plate of the horses, but I do think that you need to clear your plate of THIS horse. For sure.

    Weather you get Monty back or not is up to you. You need riding to be FUN again, and take the pressure off yourself to be perfect. You don't HAVE to show. You don't HAVE to jump the moon. You don't HAVE to deal with this lame horse. You HAVE to have fun, relax, try something new, and give yourself time to reboot mentally and physically.

    The best thing that I ever did was take a step back, and just enjoy Herself. Our best rides have been bareback, just toolin' around with no agenda. I think that that is what you need.

    And Monty!
    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I prefer them outside playing as opposed to standing in the barn aisle playing "I can crap more than you"
    New Year, New Blog... follow Willow and I here.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2011
    Location
    Coastal Marsh of Texas
    Posts
    1,086

    Default

    Take care of your body and cross-train in another sport till your jumping/rising muscles strengthen & heal. Find a good home for the lame horse that you can't use for jumping AT ALL.

    There is another horse out there for you, but you need a sound mind and body first.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2001
    Location
    Neither here nor there
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    Default

    Going to a good physio will do wonders for you. They will help fix the hurt, strengthen your body and make you an even better rider than you were before.

    I have been where you are with the cheap horse thing. Taking on something with issues and pouring your heart and soul into fixing it and feeling like a failure when it doesn't work.

    After I sold my last one I promised myself that I would not own another horse until it was the right one.

    I had tried too hard to make these horses into something they didn't ever want to be. THAT was my failure, although I didn't recognize it. At the time I thought I was just a bad rider and trainer, or lacked determination or patience.

    They don't have to be expensive but make sure they want to do the job you are buying them for, and make sure they are built to do it. You can find that at any price, even very cheaply. You might not find an olympic horse, but you will find something that will have a job in life and the potential for a good home.

    Best of luck. This too shall pass!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh


    1 members found this post helpful.

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