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  1. #1

    Question Horse Starting/Problem Horse

    Hi Everyone.

    Where would you recommend that a horse be sent for further training. The horse is coming 4 and was started by a VERY reputable individual, however upon being returned after 4 months of work i was not satisfied. Said horse is still having issues cantering around the ring without jamming on the breaks and bucking the rider off. Various professional riders have ridden this horse since arriving back and all are under the same conclusion that this horse just is not as far along as it should be.

    All that said, where would you recommend the horse be sent for further training. If this was your horse, who would your ideal person be? Price and Location are not an issue. I would like the horse to be returned in about 3-6 months politely cantering around the ring, hopefully jumping around small courses and have begun getting lead changes.

    The horse will need to be boarded in a stall and would prefer someone who can take the horse to a few horseshows if needed and ride around there.

    The two people who have been recommended to me so far are Collen Mcquay and Colts Unlimited (Hillary Carel). Anyone have any experiences they would like to share about the two of them?



  2. #2
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    Jan. 2, 2006
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    If I were you, I'd lose my pre-conceptions about where a horse *should* be. Coming 4 is still rather young to have just done 4 months of intensive work with no let down time for his brain. I personally would give the horse a couple of months off and find someone who would install forward and get out of the arena. Then start proper work in september.


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  3. #3
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    Jan. 29, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly Malone View Post
    If I were you, I'd lose my pre-conceptions about where a horse *should* be. Coming 4 is still rather young to have just done 4 months of intensive work with no let down time for his brain. I personally would give the horse a couple of months off and find someone who would install forward and get out of the arena. Then start proper work in september.

    i could not agree more. however you dont' have all the facts to pass such judgement.
    the horse was there for 4 months, lived outside, and was ridden out in the fields, only once or twice in the "arena" and was only ridden 2-3 times MAX per week.

    The horse then came back to my barn and was turned out in a field with youngsters again for 3 months of total vacation. came in 2-3 times a week for some grooming and that is it.

    After 3 months of total vacation the horse came back inside to go to work. is currently being ridden 2-4 times per week and after almost two months of this we are still having issues cantering around the indoor. 3 different professional and highly skilled riders have tried working with her with no luck. So before you start judging where i expect my horse to be you might want some of the facts....

    so the horse has only been ridden in an arena for 2 months max! and of the 2-4 rides she is getting per week currently 2 or 3 of them are OUTSIDE in the derby field.

    so yes, at this point i would expect the horse to be able to walk trot canter around a ring without planting her feet and bucking. like i said, 3 very different and highly skilled riders have been working with her the past 2 months. so i would expect this out of her. she has had a vet look at her, she has had acupuncture and chiropractic work done as well so we know she is not body sore. And yes, forward is the most important thing i agree....Going forwards isnt a problem either for most of the ride, that is until she jams on the breaks....

    Any other suggestions are welcome!



  4. #4
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    Apr. 25, 2006
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    I know that colts unlimited have been said to be fantastic.

    A friend that is very knowledgeable told me they are amazing and do wonders with young horses.

    I have seen them at shows and they are very nice people and have nice horses.

    Because he is so young, it is possible he needs a tad more mental time.

    Some horses just do. What breed is he/she?



  5. #5
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    Someone had to ask it. Have you ruled out pain?


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samotis View Post
    I know that colts unlimited have been said to be fantastic.

    A friend that is very knowledgeable told me they are amazing and do wonders with young horses.

    I have seen them at shows and they are very nice people and have nice horses.

    Because he is so young, it is possible he needs a tad more mental time.

    Some horses just do. What breed is he/she?

    warmblood/tb cross. coming 4 in early february. i thought mental time would be part of the issue but i think its been enough time. she still gets to go out and play in the fields 8-10 hours per day with other horses her age. she truly is easy to work with and tolerates about anything. riding is 90% of the time fine, but without fail during each and every ride the breaks get jammed on and the bucks comes out. it is the buck and twist kind of buck that gets you off so there isnt much hope. had a cowboy come out and work with her but didnt help much. we have done a TON of ground work on her and she does that great.



  7. #7
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    Just saw your explanations.

    I would send her to someone like colts unlimited and have them give you an opinion. It is better if someone who rides only young ones for a living to asses why your horse is reacting.

    Good luck. I have a coming 5 year old I have bred and raised and trained myself and it has been eye opening! Luckily he is starting to really blossom, but I have had some freak out days that made me stop and think why I was doing it all myself!

    Is it a spooking buck or just out of the blue nothing kind of buck?
    Do you have a round pen?

    Round pen helped me when I got a little scared of my horse. I could make Hume go forward and not worry that he was going to get me off!


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  8. #8
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    Well, if after three months your horse can't canter around the ring without stopping and/or bucking the rider off, worrying about coursework might be a little ahead of the game. Some young horses take more time, or after having learned a bad behavior might need some time to learn better habits. Of course, there is always a possibility that there is a physical issue going on. I think that worrying about getting the horse jumping courses is getting ahead of yourself, it might be better to worry about the basics/general rideability first.

    I'd focus on trying to find someone who #1 is experienced with babies (i.e. that is the main type of riding they do) and who #2 rides and works with the youngster themselves (i.e. doesn't have working students or assistants working with the youngsters). I wouldn't necessarily choose someone for this type of training job who was in the discipline the horse was intended for, the main priority is getting the horse safely rideable.

    FWIW, in general I'd be wary of sending a very green baby to any kind of a big name person. BNTs typically do not break babies or ride other people's problem young horses, they have students and assistants doing it. Secondly, BNTs typically are traveling and showing, and even if they aren't their attention is generally occupied by the big name horses in their barn that are already successful. Thirdly, BNTs often have enough horses going through their barn that if a horse is quirky or difficult at first they can afford to pass it over in preference of something easier.


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustThatSimple View Post
    Someone had to ask it. Have you ruled out pain?
    we have ruled that out. had a vet look at her just last week. have treated her with acupuncture and chiropractic work. she gets rolfed ever other week as well hoping this would make some change.

    at one point we though ulcers as she was a little on the thin side as well. gave her 1 tube of gastro guard per day for 60 days; 1/2 tube for 60 days, and 1/4 tube for 60days. so 180 days total of gasto and not much change.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeHoney View Post
    Well, if after three months your horse can't canter around the ring without stopping and/or bucking the rider off, worrying about coursework might be a little ahead of the game. Some young horses take more time, or after having learned a bad behavior might need some time to learn better habits. Of course, there is always a possibility that there is a physical issue going on. I think that worrying about getting the horse jumping courses is getting ahead of yourself, it might be better to worry about the basics/general rideability first.

    I'd focus on trying to find someone who #1 is experienced with babies (i.e. that is the main type of riding they do) and who #2 rides and works with the youngster themselves (i.e. doesn't have working students or assistants working with the youngsters). I wouldn't necessarily choose someone for this type of training job who was in the discipline the horse was intended for, the main priority is getting the horse safely rideable.

    FWIW, in general I'd be wary of sending a very green baby to any kind of a big name person. BNTs typically do not break babies or ride other people's problem young horses, they have students and assistants doing it. Secondly, BNTs typically are traveling and showing, and even if they aren't their attention is generally occupied by the big name horses in their barn that are already successful. Thirdly, BNTs often have enough horses going through their barn that if a horse is quirky or difficult at first they can afford to pass it over in preference of something easier.

    thanks for your input. she was started with one of the top "baby horse breakers" in the country. several BNTs told me where to send her and all agreed that this person was the best. so there she went.

    i agree, and if you read back what i wrote, it said i would expect the horse to be able to do coursework basics already according to the time put on her, not that i expect her to do it now in the state she is in. i get it takes time. and im not trying to push her faster then she can go. i agree rideability is key, but i cant even get that done.

    shes been having a dressage trainer come in 2x/week that does mostly young horses and she agrees, there is something that just isnt clicking with the mare. the mare wants to please and learn most of the time but there is just that one hard piece.

    shes always been a bucker since she was a baby. but lately it has gotten out of hand and is prevent us from moving forward with her.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samotis View Post
    Just saw your explanations.

    I would send her to someone like colts unlimited and have them give you an opinion. It is better if someone who rides only young ones for a living to asses why your horse is reacting.

    Good luck. I have a coming 5 year old I have bred and raised and trained myself and it has been eye opening! Luckily he is starting to really blossom, but I have had some freak out days that made me stop and think why I was doing it all myself!

    Is it a spooking buck or just out of the blue nothing kind of buck?
    Do you have a round pen?

    Round pen helped me when I got a little scared of my horse. I could make Hume go forward and not worry that he was going to get me off!
    Have you heard things (positive or negative) about colts unlimited? ive heard mixed reviews from them being great to them being a little rough with the horses...



  12. #12
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    Can you give us more detail? What kind of horse, what discipline are you hoping to do? Where are you located generally speaking?



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurierace View Post
    Can you give us more detail? What kind of horse, what discipline are you hoping to do? Where are you located generally speaking?
    warmblood/tb cross. hoping to do the hunters. i'm located in the midwest but willing to ship where is best from coast to coast.



  14. #14
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    They break a lot of horses for many disciplines. They pony horses, long line and free jump so it isn't just riding.

    Top hunter and jumper barns use them so I assume that they do a good job. (crooked Willow in Colorado uses them which is where my friend used to work)

    I have heard only good, but haven't asked around too much. Like I said, I have seen them around the shows and they are not snotty like a lot of the bigger trainers and really specialize in young horses, I always see them with young horses at the shows.

    Look on their website, they seem like they probably get sent quite a few "problem" horses as they charge a little extra for that!

    Regardless of what you want to do with her, she needs to be rideable. Nothing is worse then being afraid to get on your own horse!

    Trust me, I know the feeling! They are reasonable price wise and I am assuming there are certain months where they are away from home since they live in Wyoming!

    I would call Charlie and at least talk with him to see what he thinks.


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  15. #15
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    I like the idea of trotting up a hill and letting the horse break into canter. Hills are wonderful, at least going up, in making a horse think forward. Also, having a lead ride in front but almost alongside might help. Just have the rider keep his/her legs forward, ride behind the motion. That MIGHT help!

    Diane Halpin/Laurel Leaf Hanoverians: Facebook


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  16. #16
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    Aug. 18, 2008
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    My favorite baby starter is Jana Wagner



  17. #17
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    i am curious: you have had several top riders/trainers sitting on her - what do they say? why were they not able to make any progress?

    also, there are youngsters who take a long time to mature. i might be tempted to toss her out til the end of summer and see what i had after that.

    what about the saddle?

    and finally, not trying to be a negative nelly - but there really aren't that many really good trainers around.... maybe this is a horse that needs a really good trainer. i know of a couple out here but i am sure you can find a couple more close to you. i would stay away from assembly line trainers and look for someone who takes their time.



  18. #18
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    I don't have any personal experience with the persons or horses mentioned here, but this article always stuck in my head because some horses are quirky, not bad at all and benefit from someone who understands them and can communicate with them. Anyway, I just Googled it and maybe this guy is still around? http://www.dressagedaily.com/article...e-believe-them.



  19. #19
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    I would try to find someone of Buck Brannaman's school of horsemanship. Mindy Bower, or Betty Staley, someone like that.
    We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
    www.dleestudio.com



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indy-lou View Post
    I don't have any personal experience with the persons or horses mentioned here, but this article always stuck in my head because some horses are quirky, not bad at all and benefit from someone who understands them and can communicate with them. Anyway, I just Googled it and maybe this guy is still around? http://www.dressagedaily.com/article...e-believe-them.
    Thanks for this article. I have a bit of a quirky one personality wise at the moment. Horses are such wonderful teachers. She has turned a few of my beliefs and ideas on their head, and forced me to approach and think about some things differently.

    To the OP, it's a really hard line to walk, figuring out what the horse is trying to tell you and what you need to do to move forward. I have had the horse who had problems because of physical issues, as well as the horse that seems to just be quirky. Best of luck finding the right program, and realize some horses might just need a different program and a different schedule.


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