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Too much horse?

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  • Too much horse?

    What do you do when you feel like you have too much horse? Not necessarily too much in the size department but just...too much.
    If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
    If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
    If I smell like manure, I tripped.

  • #2
    No FUN!!! Just anxiety, stressed out.


    • #3
      You can find that horse a different situation (sell, give away, retire to pasture) and get one you can ride, or you can put the horse in training until someone makes it rideable for you.

      ets: and teaches you how to ride and enjoy it.
      Last edited by SillyHorse; May. 9, 2012, 10:09 AM.
      Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.


      • #4
        Work them more effectively, and learn how to handle what is being created.
        I.D.E.A. yoda


        • #5
          Lots of ways to proceed. If you don't want to work through it, sell/lease horse (preferably while in training, and with full disclosure that you are selling it because it's too much horse for you.)

          Or, you can pursue getting yourself and the horse on the same page. I was in this situation... Mare was hot, spooky, and very clever. We went into full training and stayed there for over a year; I did very little riding at first, just let the trainer work with her, and then very gradually worked up to more comfort with her. We were showing at the end of a year. I switched barns after that but continued taking lessons. We do better if a pro rides her once a week.

          I did really have to push my own boundaries as a rider, getting out and about and deliberately putting us in spooky situations. What I discovered, along the way, is that the mare is very honest, and actually quite safe. She can still be difficult, and I have scratched a few show because of it, but I really enjoy her now. I am not point-chasing or trying to move way up the levels with her, so I'm a lot more flexible about my definition of "success."

          By the way, there should be no shame in saying "this is too much horse for me." You never really know with a horse until you've had it a while.
          You have to have experiences to gain experience.

          1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


          • #6
            It depends what makes it too much horse.

            My horse has moments where he gets explosive - dangerously explosive. In those moments, he gets side reins and a longe line, because while he hasn't managed to actually buck me or my trainer off yet, the word is *yet.* He is the most athletic horse I have ever ridden, and is easily capable of getting us off. That kind of garbage needs professional help and wet saddle blankets plus looking at possible physical issues (he just started ulcer treatment in coordination with vet recommendations.)

            On the other hand, if a horse is a spooker it may just honestly be fearful of things. If you feel that's too much for you to deal with, training may or may not fix it - and it's intelligent to admit it and look for a different answer. When my horse is not explosive but just very FORWARD he gets powerful, and I absolutely love it. Another situation where that might scare a lot of people, but I absolutely love the feeling and am glad he feels like that more and more often - but if it bothered someone, they'd be better off finding a horse like him a new home.

            If it's something where a pro can help, working through it can be rewarding. But if it's something where the horse is a fundamentally poor match for you there is no real blame, and trying to find a more suited home so you can find a horse you enjoy more is not only acceptable, but smart.
            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.


            • #7
              What qa said. Learn how to ride the "too much" (with professional help). Or if that's not what you want to do, sell or lease the horse with full disclosure of whatever it is that makes him too much for you.

              15 years ago, I chose the first option because the only horse that wouldn't have been too much for me was the kind you put a quarter in. But there is no shame in moving the horse along. You just need to choose what will make you happy.

              Good luck in whatever you decide.
              "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
              the best day in ten years,
              you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."


              • #8
                All of the above are insightful and helpful replies. HOWEVER -- do not ever feel bad or guilty if it is just something you don't want to deal with. Find both of you a better situation that you will enjoy.
                "Listen to your mind. It has a whole lot more brain cells than your heart does." - SillyHorse


                • #9
                  Horses are too expensive to not have some fun along the way. If the horse is truly "too much horse" for you and you have tried your best to make it work, have your trainer help you sell the horse and find one that is suitable and fun for you.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bearskin View Post
                    -- do not ever feel bad or guilty if it is just something you don't want to deal with. Find both of you a better situation that you will enjoy.
                    This is so true! Better to start off with "less" horse, develop a comfort zone and some confidence, enjoy riding, and then some day, maybe buy more horse - or just stick with the horse you are happy with! Don't be miserable - this is suppose to be fun!


                    • #11
                      If you aren't looking forward to riding your horse on a daily basis, don't have the time or money to hire a pro to help you and, most importantly, don't feel safe, than it's too much horse IMO. And, like others have said, there is no shame in moving on to a horse better suited to your current lifestyle and rehoming your current horse with someone better suited to handling his needs. Anyone who has been around horses long enough has been confronted with this dilemma.
                      Last edited by suzy; May. 9, 2012, 11:57 AM.


                      • #12
                        Dottie I have watched people with too much horse become stressed out and scared of their horses. Riding was no longer any fun for them and they lost alot of confidence. Three that I am thinking of now all worked with pro's but that did not change the personality of the horse. All three have moved on to too much quieter horses and are very happy now and have rebuilt their confidence in the saddle.

                        Patience and Consistency are Your Friends


                        • #13
                          In my case, I worked through it, one baby step at a time, and it made me a better rider than I knew I could be. There were days I just didn't feel I could rise to the occassion, and those days I just groomed or did ground work. Looking back, I'm glad I stuck with it. But you have to want to. If you don't want to, find a different horse.
                          Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


                          • #14
                            If this horse has already made you nervous/scared you probably aren't going to get very far. IMO, you'll feed off one another and end up just going around in dirty, dangerous circles.

                            A good horse person can realize that some horse/rider combination just don't work, no matter how hard you try, and it is okay to move on from that horse if you are worried about your safety. If possible, lease out the horse that you feel overmounted on, and lease a safer one to help you gain your confidence back. Then you can try to work back up to the other horse, or if you still feel like it isn't going to happen, sell him and move on.


                            • #15
                              Someone once told me dressage eventually gets too hard for you to keep a dream horse that would rather dump you in the dirt.

                              It is soooooo true.

                              Eventually you get to a level that you need every brain cell for just ONE movement. If and when that happens ole King Opius the third may be the lovliest pony this side of the horsey rainbow but you will fail to notice anymore when the cow legged mule next to you has a beautiful 8 half pass ... Lol

                              You cannot explain to the judge how beautiful and promising your horse is.

                              You cannot score potential.

                              Find safe today.
                              ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~


                              • #16
                                How is the horse too much for you? Too much forward power and big gaits? If so you can eventually learn to ride those gaits and absolutely LOVE them in time. Even if you are timid I promise you can learn to love that power!

                                If however you mean too much like the horse is naughty, a bucker, or very spooky, I would say that is much harder to deal with and this horse may need a different rider.

                                A horse that is powerful with big gaits, but is honest and trustworthy will help you gradually build your confidence up ride by ride until you are loving the ride.

                                A horse that spooks constantly, or attempts to remove you from the saddle will most likely destroy your confidence ride by ride until you don't want to ride at all. Don't let it get that far. There are plently of horses and riders out there and not every horse matches every rider.


                                • #17
                                  I echo the question in what way too? Too much movement and power? Too much unpredictability mentally?

                                  I have a homebred that I love but he can be very spooky and reactive and too much horse for me sometimes. Let's just say that my next horse is going to be a very different personality, even though I love this guy.

                                  I am learning to work through it positively, but did change our course along the way to focus more on his strengths (dressage) versus my goal (eventing). He is interesting in that 70% of the time, he is pretty predictable and laid back. His 30% of 'bad days' include spooking at sand underneath him that is a different color, or just not being able to recover from the wheel barrow that was moved to a different location, or spooking when I laugh (yes this happened in a lesson last week, a good lesson too. . . .) and I am learning how to productively and positively stay in the saddle, not get mad, and work through these. Most of it is focused on keeping his mind busy on things I want him to think about, constantly. Constantly asking for different movements or adjustments or change of bend etc. so he is focused on me versus his environment. It is exhausting but it is paying off and my trainer has helped alot with guidance for our routine.
                                  McKinley Farms


                                  • #18
                                    I think sometimes a horse and rider just don't click. That's how I felt about my last horse and I ended up having to sell him. I tried 2 different trainers and lessons on him but we kept falling back into the same problems. He could be very naughty and I got to the point where I dreaded riding him. That's when I had to make a decision to sell and quit dumping $ into a horse that just wasn't going to work for me. However his new owner is retired, has time to work with him every day, and also is training him to a new sport which he seems to like much better. I felt like crap for having to sell him but in the end it worked out - my horse has a great new home & I am saving $$ to put towards another horse.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by jlmckinley View Post
                                      His 30% of 'bad days' include spooking at sand underneath him that is a different color, or just not being able to recover from the wheel barrow that was moved to a different location
                                      Have you been riding my horse?

                                      My marvelous homebred is now good about 90% of the time ... which makes it even more interesting when he spooks at the water tank that's been moved 10 ft or the shaft of sunlight in the arena or the pad someone left on the arena rail. And all this after a rigorous 45 minute lesson.

                                      I will give him credit, though. He gets it back together pretty quickly, even if the first reaction is a bit over the top. And it's about time. He's 12 years old.
                                      "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                      the best day in ten years,
                                      you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."


                                      • #20
                                        If he's too much and you're not enjoying it you have two options...keep going and work through it (which I did and am glad I did) or sell.

                                        Depends on the light at the end of the tunnel and your long term goals.
                                        I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.