It sounds like you find him boring and want to ride something flashier / more challenging. He sounds like a nice horse tho, and every ride (even on a boring horse) is a learning experience for both horse and rider, so....make the most of it, I'd say?
As a riding student way back when - I would not have dreamed telling my instructor that I didn't like a particular horse, because that was a sure way of ALWAYS being assigned that horse to ride. Back then, you just shut up and tried your best, or else...lol
Well I am a cow hick these days and TOTALLY out of any world like this and I am NOT a trainer, in any way! Just sayin'.
Ican't think of a horse I hated, but I can think of plenty I'd rather not ride! However, with my own horses, I have found that some of what it sounds like you are describing (being pushy on the ground, not responding to your cues) are, IMO, responsive to ground work, and you may see an improvement under saddle as well. It might be an interesting challenge to figure out how to remind him to give to pressure (both physical and space wise) so he is dialed into you.Again, NOT a trainer at all but as a happy trail rider these days I have seen 1000% improvement in my horses (well, how we go together) when I have taken the time to really work with them, on the ground, then reinforce the lesson when i'm up). I agree that if I was paying, i would want to know exactly what I was paying for, ie,what the lesson was. I would hope the instructor/trainer, whoever would tell me "I want you to learn X and that is why I have you riding this horse". If you don't want to learn X then I guess I'd find another trainer.
This is assuming you find the horse safe, enjoy riding in general and are interested in seriously improving your riding. If your goals is to be a happy trail rider, just have fun on your own horse, I'm not sure I would pay to ride I horse I didn't like unless I understood WHY.
I do hope you find a solution that works for you though!
I do agree with everyone that this horse sounds like he needs a refresher on respecting you from the ground. It's helped me working with a horse on the line (not to exhaust them, but to dial them in to paying attention to me), yielding hindquarters etc. They are much more responsive/respecting in the saddle afterwards.
It also does sound a bit like you are bored with the horse you are on. Maybe you need something new to freshen up riding, things that could help with his awkward jumping. Gymnastics, dressage moves, even cavaletti work can make things more interesting and give you a challenge. Especially if you are paying for it.
Maybe that's what you need with this horse. Talk to his owner about changing things up a bit. Try something new. Maybe you'll find that spark you are looking for.
That being said I have been on horses that I don't click with necessarily, and my trainers have made an effort to put me on them to learn to work through our differences.
Last edited by sam.j4; May. 7, 2013 at 03:18 PM.
Telling a worrier to relax is counterproductive. Then we worry about relaxing.
Everything's an opportunity! I understand there are times when it isn't fun to ride or handle a specific horse, but these times can be a great opportunity for growth - in horse skills, and in your own mental attitude.
If you are serious about horsemanship, you won't get far if you close yourself off from situations where you can learn.
This horse is going to teach you something - be grateful for that! You may learn something from him that you can use in the future.