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  • Ruined!?!?!?!?!

    Just how quickly can a horse be ruined to the point that a GP rider can't get them back going correctly?...And just what would/could the student have to do to RUIN a horse to that degree?? Lets say we are talking about an older horse..semi retired that had shown and competed 2nd level back in his day. I am sure to much would depend on the horse itself but in general...???
    "Success comes in cans, not in cannots!"

  • #2
    Assuming you don't mean any kind of physical issue, which is an entirely different matter, it's pretty hard to "ruin" a horse in any manner other than blowing its mind, so it's untrusting and afraid of people.

    Pulling too hard, deadening to the leg aids, getting the horse on the forehand - all things that, even if the rider gets the horse doing them regularly, a GP rider should be able to get the horse over pretty quickly. Again - barring any kind of physical issue. With an older horse, if it's any of those things and a GP rider can't get the horse over it, I'd be guessing it's due to an ailment creating the tendency that a less experienced rider simply encouraged.
    If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


    • #3
      I don't believe in a "ruined horse". I believe in

      A) A horse that has a lameness/physical/hormonal issue that is creating the problems.
      B) A horse that has a temporary but serious mental/emotional issue with work that may or may not have been caused by a rider.

      Since you say this horse is older I would tend to lean toward choice A. You say he used to compete at second level, but what has he been doing recently? I would not immediately blame the rider unless there were abuse issues going on.


      • Original Poster

        The horse in ? was been ridden by his owner prior to june and competed in a beginner novice event...prior to that I believe he was in semi retirement...a hack once in a while. His owner got a new horse and he was out of work so she offered him to me to ride. I was riding other horses for a friend of heres that gave me a good recomendation I rode him a few times in Oct then went out of town..came back in December and becauce of holidays/sickness(mine)/and bad weather I have only rode him 6 times...3 of which were just hacking around the farm...loose rein...and the othere 3 times were just walk trot in the arena. Out of the 6 times I rode..only 1 day was he even damp under the saddle and girth. His owners horse became lame so she had to use the guy I was riding for her lesson with her trainer. The trainer had ridden this horse before but I do not know how long ago. Anyway the owner told me that the trainer said that I had ruined this horse. The owned told me that the trainer could not straighten him or get him off the forehand. I admit that I am new to dressage and that I have difficuly riding a horse through...but RUIN??? Could that happen in that short of a time??? Or could it be that the owner just needed here horse back and instead of just saying.."Sorry, things have changed..I need my horse back at least till my other one is sound." I would have respected and understood that!!
        "Success comes in cans, not in cannots!"


        • #5
          With that history, it sounds more like it was a lack of riding that "ruined" the horse rather than anything actually done while riding. If the horse isn't any sort of fit and has just been hacking on a loose rein, of course he will be hard to keep straight and off the forehand! Sounds like the horse just needs to be brought back to work and conditioned, and unless you were supposed to be doing that, I think "ruin" is a pretty harsh word to use. If you really want to know, you could ask if you could take a lesson on him with the trainer and see what she says about the way you ride and what you are doing with the horse.
          Gallant Gesture "Liam" 1995 chestnut ottb gelding
          Mr. Painter "Remy" 2006 chestnut ottb gelding
          My Training Blog: www.dressagefundamentals.com


          • #6
            That's one of those stories trainers tell you for their own job security ! She will probably HAVE to take him in for extensive training now, at great expense to the owner. He would improve with fitness anyway!
            ... _. ._ .._. .._


            • #7
              Sounds like an Unfit horse rather than a ruined one. Trust me, My retired one was solid 2nd level, but has been out of regular work for more than a year. I got on him a few weeks ago and he was stiff, on the forehand, drifting in on the circles, going BTV, getting quick at the trot... but trust me, all the knowledge and training is still in there, he just can't make his body carry itself correctly. A few weeks of correct work and he is almost back to being himself.

              Sounds to me like Trainer may think a bit too highly of him[her]self. They probably felt the need to find a "good excuse" for the owner as to why an essentially semi-retired horse isn't in the same phase as when it was in training all the time. Which brings to mind the question of WHY exactly did GP dressage trainer seem to think that bringing a horse from semi-retirement back into a random training session (only because the "real" dressage horse was lame) would be a seamless effort?


              • #8
                how dare they say that to you. you can't pull an unfit horse that's been ridden 6 times out from pasture and expect it to carry itself for a lesson?!?!?! It is very hard to screw a horse up hacking walk trot on a loose rein anyhow. Don't take what they said personally, but be very mindful of this trainer's ego
                chaque pas est fait ensemble


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                  That's one of those stories trainers tell you for their own job security ! She will probably HAVE to take him in for extensive training now, at great expense to the owner. He would improve with fitness anyway!
                  Nail hit directly on head!
                  Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                  Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                  • Original Poster

                    BTW...This horse is 20+ years old!
                    "Success comes in cans, not in cannots!"


                    • #11
                      that is rediculous and rude of the trainer to say that.
                      ruined??? i think it would take alot to ruin a horse.
                      something like abusing it so bad, that the horse didnt trust anymore.
                      repeatedly letting it buck spook or rear and get away with it. so the horse tries with everyone. but a few rides, any good pro should be able to fix.
                      and yes an unfit horse cannot carry properly. it take muscles and you cannot build those i a day!
                      i think if you overworked the horse over a period of time, you could cripple it. or if it had an accident and was crippled. yes it would be ruined.
                      but not from a inexperienced rider riding it a few times!


                      • #12
                        I feel sorry for both Op and this old horse...I'm sure he'll get 'ruin' more by going back to an intensive training with a trainer that cannot realised they are riding an unfit horse and complain about it...I'm sure he'd be more happy being ridden on loose reins...
                        ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                        Originally posted by LauraKY
                        I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                        HORSING mobile training app


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
                          I feel sorry for both Op and this old horse...I'm sure he'll get 'ruin' more by going back to an intensive training with a trainer that cannot realised they are riding an unfit horse and complain about it...I'm sure he'd be more happy being ridden on loose reins...
                          What a true shame.


                          • #14
                            Wow, trainer does not think that all the time off may have made the horse unfit? This horse surely has no muscles and is most likely very stiff, and they blame you for the horse being on the forehand and unbalanced? I think I would say no the next time you are offered a ride on a horse belonging to this person in the future!!! (I probably would not be too interested in riding with the trainer either.)


                            • #15
                              I regularly ride a 24 year old horse that when younger made it to Prix St. Georges. Believe me I am no great shakes at dressage and I have yet to ruin him. His owner can hop on him and he's still got the chops - in large part due to being regularly exercised and well cared for.

                              I had a trainer hand me the "ruined" line one time when I wanted to have another trainer ride my horse in order to evaluate him as a jumper - oh no, impossible, just ONE RIDE with someone else could ruin him. How the hell she thought I was ever going to ride him without ruining him was a mystery, but there you go. Bullshit abounds.


                              • #16
                                I agree that this horse is unfit, not ruined. Unless you beat the living sh*t out of him and he is terrified under saddle, you didnt ruin him. You cant expect a horse that has been ridden 8 times or so in the past 8 months to be able to sit on his hind end and do a lesson in a nice frame. He doesnt have the muscle to do that. He is unfit.

                                Sounds to be like she needs him back and is kicking you off. Been there a million times and Ive heard all the excuses. Or maybe the owner doesnt know better and believes whatever the trainer says. Does she know you didnt ride him over Christmas break? Maybe she thinks you've been giving him a constant workout?


                                • #17
                                  A trainer I ride with in Florida has no problems allowing sale horses to be tried or going in lessons even if it is a day or two before she is supposed to step in the ring at I1.

                                  Up in the saddle goes the potential buyer and then trainer asks if they want her to stick around and watch or she can just as well go back in the barn and give them some privacy.

                                  When (invariably) the potential buyer mentions they are worried they are going to mess up the horse two days before a big show, trainer says, "But I'm a trainer. There is nothing you can break I can't fix. See you in 45 minutes."
                                  The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                  Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                  The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                                  • #18
                                    The Owner told you that the trainer said you ruined her horse...how do you know the trainer actually said that? What if the trainer made general comments about the horse's condition riding wise and the owner put her own spin on it? Why the pile up on the trainer?

                                    My old trainer would get crotchety when I would ride her upper level horse. Because I couldn't ride exactly the way she did. She was pretty great about it though and would only correct me every other time.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Thank you all for your input and for confirming what I had felt in my heart to be true! I did want to ask because IF I did indeed do something detrimental to this sweet old guy or any other horse for that matter! I have decided to just back away from the whole situation as I am highly allergic to DRAMA! Thanks again!
                                      "Success comes in cans, not in cannots!"


                                      • Original Poster

                                        @ Chicken Britches..You are exactly right and that is why I said in my post that the owner."said" that the trainer "said!...." I wasn't there! And I do suspect that my thought that the OWNER needed her old boy back becuse her other horse in training was temporairly off due to lameness...and for some reason thought it better to "put the blame" on the trainer. Either way...too much drama for me!! I just truly wanted to know if it IS possible to ruin a horse the way I was riding him. You do bring up a valid point...and not one that I had not already concidered!
                                        "Success comes in cans, not in cannots!"