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Cringe/bite my lip...

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  • Cringe/bite my lip...

    Have to vent. An advanced BEGINNER at my barn bought a 16yr old PSG schoolmaster from a friend of mine(Coincidence).
    Any way, very nice person, but really very novice. The daughter rides huntseat on another horse, so Mom wanted a dressage horse of her own, which I think is super neat.

    The thing that makes me cringe, and bite my lip is that "Mom" has accidentally started finding "buttons" on this wonderful horse, but hasn't a clue as to how or what she's doing. Consequently the horse isn't on the bit, over his back, straight- yada, yada, yada, but she thinks when he very incorrectly starts attempting things like piaffe, or Flying changes that what they are doing is wonderful.
    I know I can't say anything about it, but I can't help but feel sorry for this horse. I also know that if his old owner were to see this she would be regretting selling to this beginner. I know at the time, she thought the horse and rider would be in regular training, and that her rides would be supervised by a trainer. This has not been the case, and the new owner rides on her own.
    I guess I worry that with this poor and crooked riding, that this horse will eventually become rein lame, and develop bad habits.
    I don't know how I could possibly explain this to the new owner, as she honestly believes after 2 months, she can ride PSG movements. I think trying to talk to her about it would be A) none of my business, B) pointless waste of breath, C) taken the wrong way, and hurt her feelings.

    I just wish this horse and rider were in a real training barn where they were both under the supervision of a full time trainer, so this wouldn't be happening, but it's a free country I suppose

    Any of you ever experienced this situation, and what did you do ??

  • #2
    Learn a lot, THEN realize how much I did not know, and start realizing how much I have yet to learn.

    Yes, the horse will learn bad habits. Whether he breaks down sooner mentally/physically due to incorrect riding is a toss up. He will find way to "get out of work" ie do "tricks" in a less correct but easier way for him.

    Unfortunately, one messes up many horses on the path to greatness, and some do not have it as a goal, nor have ability to reach it under the best guidance/schoolmaster opportunities.

    If the horse is not terribly resentful of his current "life", then come on here and vent when you need to.

    There are many incongruities in dressage "philosophy" and "real world". Just recently I saw a well known clinician, working with a rider/horse combo. Double bridle, horse listed as 20yr+ 1st level horse. Horse was well behaved, rider was capable, and I really could not understand WHY the double was in there at 1st level?! Oh well, no one seemed worse for the wear.
    Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


    • #3
      Is there a trainer at the barn that could help? Or does the BO train? Maybe one of those two could help. Or nicely offer to help her one day-just explaining things to her-again, in a nice way. If she's as nice as you say she is-then she'll listen..hopefully.
      If the horse is loosing topline/muscle tone-point it out to her-or just suggest someone for lessons.
      Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses


      • #4
        Originally posted by MassageLady View Post
        . Or nicely offer to help her one day-just explaining things to her-again, in a nice way. If she's as nice as you say she is-then she'll listen..hopefully.
        THIS, I know that if I was on a horse and was learning if someone who was more knowlegable then me wanted to help I would gladely listen if they came arcoss as nice and actually wanted to help me and not be mean. When she feels it done correctly hopefully she will realize she has been doing it wrong.


        • Original Poster

          This is a very bad situation for this horse because there are trainers that come to the farm regularly, but they teach and leave. So unless the rider is interested in getting help, the trainers stay out of they way.

          In the beginning I think the new owner did plan on lessons, but somehow this is not happening, and it would appear that when her legs and or seat are moving all about accidentally hitting buttons and the horse reacts, she now some how believes the horse is intentionally doing these movements out of her abilities.

          I'm not sure if I'm being clear, but I can assure you this is purely accidental, and the horse is trying to understand and deliver what is being asked of him, BUT it's horribly incorrect !!

          For instance, when cantering, she loses her balance,pulls on the reins, or her leg slips back, and he gives a very incorrect "swap" in front, then cross canters until he breaks...she then praises him as to how wonderful that she's getting flying changes. Another example, again related to loss of balance, pulling of reins, and legs and heels banging into his sides he begins to half step, and again she praises him, and says what a good boy. I honestly believe that the more times she gets these incorrect movements, the more it reinforces her belief that she doesn't need lessons.
          Please bear in mind, she has only been riding a couple of months(took lessons many years ago), and can barely post the trot, or "sit" the canter, the horse goes completely hollow, crooked,horrifying to watch...
          I can tell by the conversations we've had that she really does not understand anything about the training scale, putting a horse on the bit, use of the aids, etc... so trying to have a conversation with such a green rider, who now has some delusions about her ability seems futile, and possibly lead to hostility...
          I think if I pointed out the loss of topline, or suggested that anything she is doing is detrimental to the horse it would either shatter her, or make her hate me, neither of which I'm interested in doing.

          perhaps there will come a time in which he becomes less "compliant" to her pulling and banging, and will just shut down, or possibly become irritated by this level of riding and she will have no choice but to seek help.
          I thought about saying something to my trainer, and perhaps she could gently offer her services, but this could be frowned upon, as trainers are not supposed to solicit business. The idea being students will choose the trainer they want to work with with out pressure or competition.

          Again, hopefully Mr. Saint(that's what I call him), will tire of this soon, and hopefully I won't have to endure watching the train wreck much longer (LOL)


          • #6
            Sometimes, for the sake of the horse-you have to intervene. You can say something like...I know you believe that you are riding this horse correctly, because it SEEMS like he is doing what you are asking-but that's not the case. I can see, from my years of lessons, that the horse is going hollow and will eventually refuse to do some things for you...and I know that YOU, being such a WONDERFUL PERSON AND ONLY WANTS WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR HORSE would never want that to happen. Why don't you take a lesson with my trainer and see how that goes??
            Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses


            • #7
              I am sorry, maybe my caffiene hasn't kicked in yet this morning.....but there are far more cruel things happening to horses than being ridden "incorrectly"......

              Unless she is outright hurting this horse or creating a dangerous situation for herself, the horse or others, let her be.....

              If she is finding joy in her "mistakes" and the horse adapts, what do you care?
              Crayola Posse: Mulberry


              • #8
                I agree with JETA--unless she is abusing the horse, a danger to others, stay out of it. Not your business. If this person thought she needed help she would be taking lessons or asking other riders for advice. The horse will find a way to deal as another poster said. And I would also keep your comments to yourself around the barn--I have found nothing good ever comes out of unsolicited advice or opinions at a barn.

                I have stepped in and given advice only when someone is at risk of hurting themselves, others or the horse--example, owner forgets to undo leg straps on the blanket and is starting to take the blanket off or horse is leaping around while owner is attempting to hand graze (hand grazing is an accident waiting to happen IMHO but to each her/his own).

                Anyway that's my 2.5 cents.


                • #9
                  Offer to videotape her!

                  Try not to say anything negative about her, her horse and what is going on in the video unless she realises that her riding is off or incorrect.

                  It can be hard to watch some people riding soooo badly (and bragging about their false success) but it is not you, not your horse, not your money or your time.

                  If you cannot say anything nice, stay quiet.
                  ~ 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


                  • #10
                    I feel your pain.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MassageLady View Post
                      Is there a trainer at the barn that could help? Or does the BO train? Maybe one of those two could help. Or nicely offer to help her one day-just explaining things to her-again, in a nice way. If she's as nice as you say she is-then she'll listen..hopefully.
                      If the horse is loosing topline/muscle tone-point it out to her-or just suggest someone for lessons.
                      great idea , but novices have no idea how much they dont know, nor do they know how much the offering person does know.


                      • #12
                        okay so she is not riding her horse to the best of his abilities but it doesn't sound like she is really hurting him, she is having fun and taking care of him and it is not your place to make her get a trainer

                        when I was riding a drop out reiner yeah it was fun to ask for some spins and stops and find a button here or there, and it sounds like she is doing the same

                        now you can ask in a nice way if she wants to work with a trainer that comes, not yours but a trainer to work with teaching her how to push the buttons not accidently tap them
                        say they look like they are having fun and that she is enjoying him and that is positive

                        but at the end of the day it is her horse and her business and not yours


                        • #13
                          Leave it alone.

                          You are making the mistake of thinking about the situation from your own perspective, and it sounds like you are really aggravated at the "loss" of the potential this horse has. Just let it be.

                          As others have said, we ALL have so much to learn - when you are a beginner, your learning goes through many different stages. Trust me, there will come a day when she will realize how much she doesn't know and that what she was doing was incorrect. It happens to me ALL THE TIME.

                          She doesn't need someone to point this out to her unless she is absolutely hurting or abusing the horse. And it doesn't sound like that's the case.

                          And, it's only been a couple of months - you don't know whether she will end up in a regular lesson/training program or not at this point. The horse might develop bad habits or evasions, but in the end his training will still be in there to be uncovered should she choose to really do so. Until then it's not really your place to point out everything she's doing wrong - just smile and nod.
                          Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

                          A Voice Halted


                          • #14
                            Unless you're planing on changing barns soon, let this go ... if the woman asks you for assistance, then the door is opened, otherwise consider it tightly closed.

                            If you feel you absolutley must say something to someone, say it your friend who owned the horse & chose to sell to this person - maybe there was something in the contract that will allow her the right to interference


                            • #15
                              1. Is the horse NOT being fed and watered sufficiently?

                              2. Is the horse being beaten?

                              If no to these two things, then leave it alone. Not your problem.

                              Offer suggestions of who to train with IF you are asked. Else, walk away.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by mjhco View Post
                                1. Is the horse NOT being fed and watered sufficiently?

                                2. Is the horse being beaten?

                                If no to these two things, then leave it alone. Not your problem.

                                Offer suggestions of who to train with IF you are asked. Else, walk away.
                                This. Dont bite your lip, bite your tongue.
                                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                                • #17
                                  I have to bite my tongue on a daily basis, get used to it.

                                  Not your horse...let it go. If you say something I can almost guarantee it will fall on deaf ears, make you look like a know it all and potentially start drama.

                                  I had problems when someone ASKED for advice, so I never give "advice" now.


                                  • #18
                                    If you are worried about the horse, talk with your friend who is the prior owner. You cannot dictate that all good horses go to experienced and good riders. Life just doesn't work that way.

                                    Your friend was probably more interested in the money that she got for the horse than she was about how he was going to be ridden. Otherwise she would not have sold him to a newbie. I have refused to sell my horse to 3 people so far, since I have watched them ride and/or researched other videos on the net and saw how they rode. I care about my horse, and I put a lot of my time and heart into him. I need the money, yes, but he will not go unless I find the right owner/rider. Even then, it is a crapshoot, but at least I will have done my best for my horse.
                                    Banter whenever you want to banter....canter whenever you want to canter.


                                    • #19
                                      I can see why you're feeling the need to vent, but really, as long as the horse is being loved, fed, groomed, vet care, etc. then there are far worse things than somebody accidentally cueing a horse wrong.

                                      There are horses out where I live, in the hot desert, without what I consider adequate shade and protection from the elements. There are horses out there who are abused, starved, left to founder untreated, etc. etc. etc. There's a whole bucket-load of worse things than what's going on here.

                                      Granted, I say that while I've cringed at similar things that I've seen over the years, but then I watch the horses get scratched, fed treats, loved on, nickering at their owners when they arrive, and I realize it's just not as big a deal to the horse as it is to me. It's more the loss of so much potential that's a shame, but again, to the horse, it's potential schmotential. All he really cares about is being loved.

                                      In a perfect world, he would have been sold to somebody already training and showing, which would have better secured the quality of his future riding and training, but that didn't happen, and from your description of her lavishing praise on the accidental (not great quality, but whatever) movements, I think he's probably still pretty happy with his situation.


                                      • #20
                                        You know what? Horses don't forget. My horse came trained to about 2nd level with some 3rd level. I am a beginner dressage rider. Rarely got him to move decently until recently. Now, after two years I have a great trainer, and am learning to ask of him correctly for training level, 1st level and some second level work, and finding out when we get to it that he has all the buttons already installed, IF i ask him correctly; IF I ride him correctly. All the incorrect riding I have done on him these past two years doesn't mean anything, except for one thing - he isn't in condition to work at 1st and second level consistently - he's getting there, but when I ask correctlyou, BLAM! Throws it at me as if to say, "Well, why didn't you say so before!"

                                        I don't beleive a horse will be ruined. He might not be ridden to his best ability, but the more the new owner learns about him the more she will want to know about doing it correctly, if she at first bleieved riding under a trainer was a good thing. I have no doubt she will come around to it. She's learning about and loving her new horse. They are working together, I am certain of it. Now if only those who know better will not be so anxious - when asked, be ready with the good information - such as "Why don't you call this person, she can really help you with the basics you need to get your foundation so you can ride that beautiful boy!" She'll ask - or she'll ask about something and you can refer her that way. It will happen. don't be so pessimistic, and really, believe in the horse. I have never met a horse who forgot his earlier training. I doubt she can ruin him - just not ride him to his potential.

                                        But I bet she will!!

                                        Edited to add: Why don't you be ready to invite her to come along with him to a clinic when one comes around, any clinic for anything - she can present her horse, ask questions, if its a clinic at a higher level than she rides, someone else can ride for her, and she can learn about her horse. Clinics are a delightful way for a rider to learn about her advanced horse - all kinds of compliments, all kinds of discoveries. Encourage her to participate in some of the evens and clinics and sypmposiums around. Invite her to audit YOUR lessons. Talking to her about something YOU are working on, such as stepping under, rhythm, collection, impulsion, contact, whatever, will get her thinking about that herself. If its beyond her, you can explain that collection comes after rhythm is innate - say, why don't you watch so and so's lesson tomorrow, they are going to be working on rhythm.

                                        It will encourage her to want to learn more and she'll pick up on lessons soon enough.
                                        My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods