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WWYD, help me choose which horse to take

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  • WWYD, help me choose which horse to take

    I signed up for a clinic, the first since i aquired my new green bean horses:

    Deneb: nice gaits, green, young and spindly looking still, just turned four, i think she is the one who has the talent for the upper levels, is hot and reactive, and has not been anywhere. DHH cross. Is still somewhat lean and babyish

    Kimba: Will have just turned five, lippi X standardbred, is more relaxed but a little greener, was started late due to feet issues, will probably do better than Deneb in the lower levels, but i see her topping out at third, but is slightly bigger and more muscular in her development than D.

    Which would you take.

  • #2
    Kimba, unless you can get Deneb off property a few times to see how she reacts before the clinic. I would hate to spend a ton of money on a clinic and then have the horse melt down due to lack of experience.


    • #3
      It would depend on the topic of the clinic and the level you're hoping to work at... I'd take whichever one I thought I could learn more on for that particular day. If the focus is on the rider more than the horse then take whichever one is quieter so that you can focus on yourself.... But otherwise I'd probably opt to take the younger "hot and reactive" one, since the exposure would do her good.
      Proud COTH lurker since 2001.


      • #4
        Like C said, it depends on the clinic. You may spend all your time, with Deneb, trying to keep her sanity.

        Has Kimba been off the property before. If not she may turn into a fire breathing dragon too.

        Is it possible to take both?

        Patience and Consistency are Your Friends


        • #5
          Depends on what the clinic is for. If its for desensitizing horses on their early days off the farm, then pick the first one. If its for hunter seat equitation, choose the one you can ride the best. Etc.
          My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


          • #6
            Depends on what the clinic is for. If its for desensitizing horses on their early days off the farm, then pick the first one. If its for hunter seat equitation, choose the one you can ride the best. Etc.
            My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


            • #7
              If you know the clinician well, I'd ask them. I wouldn't take either to a clinic where this is your first in person exposure to the clinician.
              chaque pas est fait ensemble


              • #8
                When faced with this dilemma, I took both!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LarkspurCO View Post
                  When faced with this dilemma, I took both!
                  What a great solution even if the OP just trailers both over & then rides one

                  I was also wondering about length of clinic, private vs group sessions, time period before clinic (e.g., how many off property trips/lessons between then & now) ... consider carefully your goals for each horse from the clinic/clinician.

                  Naturally, this would be an easier choice given video of each horse


                  • #10
                    I'd take the older, more settled horse and take what I learn and apply it to the younger horse at home.


                    • #11
                      I agree. And also the idea of taking them both for exposure.
                      Originally posted by Countrywood View Post
                      I'd take the older, more settled horse and take what I learn and apply it to the younger horse at home.


                      • #12
                        I recently took my much tougher child to a clinic. He's done shows, and has been much better off property, so I finally felt it worth a BNT clinic fee for him. He'd been to one before with a local L judge whom I really liked, but dream to ride with the classical guru at the higher price. Well, I thought hauling in day before my ride would help him really acclimate. Oh, boy - first night away other than moving, and he was NOT having it! I spent way too much money to show off my velcro butt to the guru. We had good moments, and clinician was amazing in demonstrating his range, but I didn't get to really work on me. The clinician is coming back, and I will take my sane child, and if the crazy boy is good at the shows before the next clinic, he can go, too, but we won't spend the night. With either, be sure clinician knows how to train young horses. If they buy started/going horses at higher levels and take them up from there, might not be worth it for either.


                        • Original Poster

                          sorry for not enough information: since I appreciate the input i shall try to be more informative.

                          Deneb, despite being younger has had more training. She was started young, because she was such a hand ful and so reactive that i felt she really really needed some training input get help get her accustomed to yielding her will to the handler, ( from the ground or from the saddle) she turns four on May 19.

                          Kimba had founder, when i rescued her from her obese state in a grass field up to her knees. She then suffered a rear fracture so had two periods of being completely out of work, so she is greener, despite being bigger and stronger. She is completely sound now, and standing up to work. She is just naturally calmer.

                          The clinic is a three day clinic, off site, so taking only one is all i can manage. I have to, for the same of my own progression, work on improving myself, even though i only have youngsters to work with atm. ( some of you know i lost my upper level horses and am starting over, so i have two green horses in place of my fourth level and second level horses... and that is just the way it is)


                          • Original Poster

                            PS, i do not know the clinician at all, and probably should have just audited but i paid already, to force myself out of inertia, and now i am a little freaked out that the clinician is going to be disdainful of which ever green child I take


                            • #15
                              chisamba, based on the information you provided, if I were you, I would take Kimba. Four years old is still really young and I doubt she will stand up to the rigorous three days clinic. I think despite the adrenaline rush she will have, she will be wiped out before the third day.... and then you will have no horse under you to ride; unless, of course you want this clinician to help you through the "reactivity" of the youngster in a strange environment, which is valuable if you want to take her to shows. I will take Deneb if this is my goal, but then I would probably do a two days and not three.


                              • #16
                                Do you have the clinician's email or phone number? You might try reaching out and running it by him/her.

                                I don't take clinics but audited one and the trainer, a well known national trainer, was incredibly gracious about a last minute substitute rider...a teenage girl on a totally green naughty pony! The clinician actually seemed to enjoy working her and rode the pony (beautifully of course)

                                You don't want to endanger/upset yourself or the other participants or spend your time trying to calm a panicky horse. You know the horses and know which one, despite training, is likely to handle it better. In the interest of safety and not creating drama, I'd go with whichever horse you feel can handle it better.


                                • Original Poster

                                  oh, its a dressage clinic


                                  • #18
                                    If you want to focus on yourself, see if you can borrow/lease a horse.

                                    If you want to learn how to ride your horse (yes, you could learn a lot about yourself but the horse will be the determinant/focus), take whichever horse excites you the most - I cast my vote with Deneb as she is the horse that will challenge you the most. If clinician is any good, it will be well worth it to take her, he will provide you with unique tools.
                                    You might accomplish more outward progress with Kimba but you may find that none of it applies to working with Deneb.
                                    As it doesn't sound as if you'll be able to just toss her out in a field to grow up, I'd choose the opportunity of (exceptional) trainer input into her foundation.

                                    A 3 day clinic will be a big event for a young horse but she sounds as if she's a going concern with loads of energy, so I'd just have her very fit, up her grain & offer free-choice hay during the clinic.

                                    (I'm assuming you've booked some private sessions)

                                    Are you active in the local horse scene? can you find another person to go along with, so that you could take both horses (I'm assuming that there are still auditing spaces left) - this would really maximize the opportunity for you so I'd invest some effort in trying to make it work.


                                    • #19
                                      I wouldn't take a green horse to any clinic, unless we were having a particular problem that I thought the clinician could help with. There usually isn't as much bang for your buck, and often it really isn't necessary or more beneficial than working through lessons. Three solid days of work is a lot to expect from a young horse, especially if they aren't used to it. When I work with greenies I ask for some harder work, then do easy stuff, then a little more hard, then once they're good, we're done. That might take 15 minutes. I don't drill youngsters, and I don't want to pay someone to watch me walk around on a loose rein for half an hour.
                                      I won't take any horse to a clinic if I'm not familiar with the clinician and how they teach.
                                      As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


                                      • #20
                                        I suppose that I am going to be the only one to say bring the one with more potential. I know that when I pay for a clinic, I want the clinician to push me and my horse to acheive more than we could at home, and push me to maximize my potential with my ponies.
                                        I don't know about the other posters, but I've never had a clinic where the horse improved without rider changes. The clinician should be able to help you no matter which horse you choose. Green horses can talk us into bad habits (wide hands, perching, not pushing enough, etc), so I think it's perfectly reasonable to seek professional tune ups on a less than second level horse.

                                        For a three day clinic, I'd probably take both and alternate days, but that's just me.

                                        I am actually facing a similar dillema. I have a clinic this weekend and three horses to choose from. Pony 1 is a 6 yo GRP schooling second level, Pony 2 is a (greener) 6 year old GRP schooling first level and Pony 3 is a 9 yo QH schooling third.
                                        I'm bringing Pony 2 because she needs the exposure and I would rather her get out and about at a clinic than a show. Of course I live in a location where lessons/clinics are few and far between, so I'll take any opportunity to improve myself and my ponies, even if they are a little green.