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Love horse, Green horse, Green rider. It’s not working.

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  • Love horse, Green horse, Green rider. It’s not working.

    I’m not sure if this is the right area for this.. but I’m new to the forum and couldn’t find a more appropriate place to post. So here goes! I rescued my horse from the meat pen three years ago. I love her... and she’s a good horse overall, but even with the help of two trainers on and off over the years, we have made no progress. I don’t have the time or the experience to bring along a green horse and I know it. She’s probably about 13. I feel guilty (and I’m not sure if I should), for holding onto her and basically paying to maintain her at a stable. I see her about once a week..and we lunge and groom etc. That’s pretty much it. I’ve been on her a few times but I’m afraid of her, she’s spooky and doesn’t know commands, even now after three years and help from a couple of ‘trainers.’ Do I give up? Do I retire her? She barely stands on the cross ties (she breaks them occasionally) and still barely accepts fly spray and hardly accepts the bit. I know my lack of experience and time is the problem. But I do really worry that with her lack of training and the excess of horses out there, that she’d wind up right back in the kill pen. I had dreams of her being my trail horse... and I just don’t see that happening. Any thoughts/advice? Again, I worry that re selling her could land her back in the pen... so I don’t know the best route to go here. I also don’t want to be injured accidentally.

  • #2
    Can you find a truly competent trainer and send her for 30 days training?

    Can you at least take some ground work clinics so you are safe on the ground with her?

    Can you rehome her for free to someone with training skills?

    Is the problem that no one has worked with her, or is she extra crazy and that's why she was sent to auction?

    If you have only one day a week to work with a horse you don't have nearly enough time to train or even maintain a horse who is already trained.

    What do you like about this horse?

    What kind of ground work skills do you have?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I think I just got discouraged after spending thousands on the last two trainers to no avail. It was frustrating and eye opening and I realized that I’d pretty much been taken advantage of both times. Main issue is that I was horseback riding as a kid (say 7-14), loved horses, but barely touched them again until 24, when I purchased this one sight unseen from an auction in Texas for a few hundred dollars from a kill pen. I’ve learned a lot since then.

      No, I didn’t expect her to be a lesson horse by any means but I assumed based on my online research that getting her into a training program with a professional would = at least a horse that I’d be mostly comfortable around. No, she really doesn’t have any drastic or dangerous behavior issues... it’s just that she intimidates me and I guess as time has gone by I realized how easily she could injure me without meaning to. We do walk, trot and somewhat canter in a round pen. She knows “whoa.” I taught her this pretty much on my own with a few pointers from other horse owners at the stable. I also over time taught her to be comfortable lifting her feet and letting me pick them. But she pulls ahead of me while walking, doesn’t have good ground manners, has broken a few cross ties by yanking her head, reared once on cross ties, refuses the bit... it has even taken barn owners up to ten minutes to get the bit in. Occasionally they can get it in right away. I can’t. I know it’s an obvious lack of respect for me... and she has moments where I feel like we really connect, and she’ll join up after ground work and follow me all over, stop when I stop, turn when I turn, etc. I think she’s just overall very green. I’ve hopped on maybe 20 times in the past three years (I know.. it sucks), and it’s always been a nerve wracking experience.

      I worry about the free rehome because of horse auction (kill buyer) flippers. Right now I don’t know anyone who is willing to take a green horse... but if I found someone who I could trust then I’d be willing to consider that.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        I guess I just like her because she’s my horse and I feel responsible for her. I don’t feel an extreme connection the way that I feel with my dogs per say. But I also don’t want anything bad to happen to her, and it’s not her fault that she’d sat in a field all her life and then wound up here with me, and I don’t know what to do with her. If the risk of her winding up back at auction was less. And if I found a great home offer, I’d probably rehome her. I’ve also toyed with the idea of just sending her to a retirement barn and cutting my current board in half and just seeing her a few times a year. I think like you said, I’ve more or less come to terms with not being able to keep up with working with a green horse due to my lack of experience, time and resources. Is it that bad to retire a difficult horse? I feel like people shun the idea and instead try and convince you to sell the animal, which I think in many ways could be worse. I also may buy several acres of land in the next couple of years for my dog boarding business. I’ve thought of hanging onto my horse and eventually moving her onto the property... far away from the dogs and where she could be a pasture puff basically. Maybe get an old ridable horse as a companion for her and something for me to hop on and ride around the property without fear. But this may just be a daydream too.

        Comment


        • #5
          Any chance you can give us a general location so we could make a recommendation for a trainer? There are great trainers out there! It might be a situation where she is not actually difficult, but you might not be using the same language she uses when you attempt to communicate.

          It sounds like you are overfaced. A good trainer should be able to evaluate your situation and determine what the best way to move forward would be.
          "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Definitely, I live about an hour north of NYC, in the Hudson Valley. Near Cold Spring.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Love horses, but not a horse trainer View Post
              Definitely, I live about an hour north of NYC, in the Hudson Valley. Near Cold Spring.
              Let me think about this. I am originally from NE PA, and used to show in your area. Will PM you if I come up with someone.

              TheHunterKid90 also might know of someone, and is not far from there, so you could also try PMing her!
              "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                I really appreciate it. I’ll reach out to her as well. Thank you again for your help.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The horse may have been in the "kill pen" for a reason. There is a very small percentage of horses that are, for want of a better term, un-domestic. For reasons not clearly understood they don't take training. Sometimes that's because of a prior owner, sometimes there is something "mis-wired" in their heads. In any event, they are dangerous to the people around them.

                  I've been fortunate to have only dealt with one. She was a beautiful, jet black Walker mare. I took her in trade for another Walker and found out too late that her owner had ridden her like she was driving a bulldozer. The mare had a mouth and sides of iron. Her attitude was perpetually sour. My trainer took her out on a short ride and the mare tried to toss her, rub her off on a fence, and run away with her. She came back in and said this mare was dangerous and she would not ride her anymore (and this young lady would usually successfully ride anything with hair). We sold her to a local "buyer of last resort" and I reused to give him her papers (even though he offered me an extra $100). I said I wanted her in a can before she really hurt somebody. This is the one and only time I've intentionally sent a horse to slaughter. I have neither remorse nor shame about it. It was what needed to be done.

                  The OP might have one like this mare. It's not their fault. But they might have made a bad decision in taking her on and becoming attached to her. Sometimes when we make a bad decision with a horse we have to admit it and take unpleasant steps. If this mare is as the OP says then she is risking her life, the lives of others, and her money (if she hurts somebody and they sue her for injuries sustained).

                  It's a tragedy that we have to destroy a few horses like this. It a much greater tragedy if we have do to that AFTER they've caused injury and loss.

                  G.
                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OP: I'm near you. Unfortunately, this is an expensive area. There are many exceptional trainers and some real quacks. There is no harm in retiring her if that is your choice. If you want to try a trainer, I can recommend a few truly wonderful young pros who might not be as expensive, and are within a reasonable driving distance. Several of them are good with sales too, and try to find a better match. If you want to give it a shot after training, plan to make it out to the trainer a few times a week to learn from them. Sending the horse out for training without sending yourself too is rarely productive. IMHO, you are unlikely to find someone competent who will come to you. You will need to bring the horse to them.

                    If you want suggestions, please pm me!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Lets start from the beginning with leading you say she will join up and follow you any where. You also say you can not lead her as she is in front of you.

                      You also say she is being lunged but she does not know commands.

                      Forgive me but from the sounds of it she is not being lunged but run around at the end of a rope or around the round yard without the rope. To continue to do this you will get nowhere fast.

                      So put her in the round yard. The first thing to teach after join up is to stand still, so do not tie her. I use good girl for praise and uh uh for not what I want.

                      Now groom her and tack her - if she walks uh uh. Put her back where she was. Good girl and stroke her neck. Never pat it reverberates around her brain and is punishment. Do this from this moment on and forever. Start putting her further away from the grooming and tack. You can start with a long leadrope on her. In the end you can do it without a halter on and you leaving her to go inside to retrieve each piece of tack separately.

                      Teach her that you can touch her all over. Now to lower her head. Now you should be able to put her bridle on.


                      Leading. Teach her to walk before you walk with a single click. Halt before you halt with the word halt and she should go back when you say back and put a thumb on her chest. Always 2 signals for back. Use the halter and lead rope to initially teach. The end result is that no pressure is needed and as with the join up she can do it with or without the halter. She should be beside you, not behind you.

                      About now people will be telling you how lucky you are that you have such a lovely quiet horse.

                      Once you have those things down pat for lunging you need at least a helmet, gloves, sensible footwear, a saddle, a bridle, a lunging cavesson and side reins.

                      You NEED to be taught how to use side reins. Horses are injured, maimed and killed with side reins. You never pull the horses head in with side reins. You never walk a horse in side reins. The horse MUST always go forwards and NEVER backwards in sidereins.

                      First teach her to lunge without side reins. She should know the voice commands walk, trot, canter and halt. Watch who is going to teach you to use side reins lunge other horses. If they do any of the things above find someone else to teach you.

                      As with riding you have to be taught to lunge. In the beginning the horse will lunge you! Learn on other horses if you have to. If you get it completely wrong the horse can attack you in the round yard. Don't get it wrong.

                      10 minutes in side reins is equal to hour of riding. Do not lunge for long.

                      You will know on the ground that she is okay for you to hop on. You know from watching her that you will be safe. Stay in the round yard until you have lessons on her.

                      Do this at least 5 days a week or send her off to retirement or put her down.

                      It is not really up to other people to take her on unless they are capable and willing. It was your decision to take her out of the kill pen where once put down she would never have felt pain again or cost anyone anything.

                      Do the above and you will have a different horse I can promise you that.

                      You can pm me if you want. I do care.
                      Last edited by SuzieQNutter; Jun. 14, 2019, 07:44 PM.
                      It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                        The horse may have been in the "kill pen" for a reason. There is a very small percentage of horses that are, for want of a better term, un-domestic. For reasons not clearly understood they don't take training. Sometimes that's because of a prior owner, sometimes there is something "mis-wired" in their heads. In any event, they are dangerous to the people around them.

                        I've been fortunate to have only dealt with one. She was a beautiful, jet black Walker mare. I took her in trade for another Walker and found out too late that her owner had ridden her like she was driving a bulldozer. The mare had a mouth and sides of iron. Her attitude was perpetually sour. My trainer took her out on a short ride and the mare tried to toss her, rub her off on a fence, and run away with her. She came back in and said this mare was dangerous and she would not ride her anymore (and this young lady would usually successfully ride anything with hair). We sold her to a local "buyer of last resort" and I reused to give him her papers (even though he offered me an extra $100). I said I wanted her in a can before she really hurt somebody. This is the one and only time I've intentionally sent a horse to slaughter. I have neither remorse nor shame about it. It was what needed to be done.

                        The OP might have one like this mare. It's not their fault. But they might have made a bad decision in taking her on and becoming attached to her. Sometimes when we make a bad decision with a horse we have to admit it and take unpleasant steps. If this mare is as the OP says then she is risking her life, the lives of others, and her money (if she hurts somebody and they sue her for injuries sustained).

                        It's a tragedy that we have to destroy a few horses like this. It a much greater tragedy if we have do to that AFTER they've caused injury and loss.

                        G.
                        Yes! I have mixed feelings about horse slaughter. But it's evident that the closer of US-based slaughter houses has led to a glute of such horses out on the general market because the only options are euthenasia or the inhumane pipeline to Mexico.

                        I can't say from the OP's posts if this horse is really one of those. OP - The problem with being green and dealing with with a green horse is that you're training it every time you interact with it You can send it to a trainer and they may get good results. Unfortunately, you lack the trainer's skill and the horse spends far more time with you inadvertently training bad habits.

                        I wish I knew what to tell you. Maybe 90 days or longer in training and then keeping her in a program where you're taking lessons weekly and supported/reinforced daily in your interactions with the horse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Love horses, but not a horse trainer View Post
                          Definitely, I live about an hour north of NYC, in the Hudson Valley. Near Cold Spring.
                          I'm quite near you -- about a half hour -- and I would be willing to come to you to at least see what's going on between you and your mare, help you make a plan or whatever makes sense. PM me if you're up for that.
                          Last edited by danacat; Jun. 15, 2019, 01:24 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I bought a broke-broke-broke ranch QH (as advertised to me), who nips, earshy, pulls back, rears, tests rider with rapid backup or refusing to go in arena, and generally had/has my number. He does seem like he is broke, and might have been with prior owner(s), but definitely smart, strong, and intimidating with me (I am 64). It took 3x weekly work with a trainer for him to learn boundries. Not a high-priced trainer, but a competent one who is experienced and shows, and he has come around. Consistency was and is the key.

                            I have owned four horse before him -- would go out bushwhacking by myself, horse-camping by myself, didn't need a trainer -- until I got this guy. He is by far the most difficult horse I have worked with, but we are making progress, and it is all due to her. I had him for 9 months before I came to that realization. And she made a difference in a week. She admits he isn't easy, and super smart, which makes me feel a little better, lol.

                            Some things just simply take time, and I realize how good my prior horses were, as he points out all my holes. But time has allowed trust to build on both sides. And I no longer think that I will send him down the road. Even if he doesn't turn out to be "the one," he is worming his way into my heart. We aren't completely fixed, he still gets ahead of me and will be balky, but the other stuff is no longer an issue.

                            I bet if you could give her 90 days of consistent full time training, you would know if you wanted to go forward, or sell her to someone, and it wouldn't be the kill pen with 90 days on her. (or you'd have a trainer that concurred this horse was simply untrainable). It is an investment that you might not own, but will do wonders for your education, especially if you can go and simply watch a few times a week. If horses are back in your future, it seems like a small price to pay now.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              OK, you don't actually love the horse. You feel some sense of responsibility for her, which is good. But you don't feel enough sense of responsibility to motivate you to get down, learn some ground work skills, and make mare a decent citizen.

                              You've had her for 3 years. I can see deciding a horse was too hot, too forward, too spooky, for a timid adult re-rider without many skills in the saddle. Fair enough.

                              But in 3 years almost anybody can teach almost any horse to lead, tie, stand to be groomed, and basically behave on the ground.

                              It takes persistence and the desite to go out and acquire some horsemanship skills. Have you made any efforts that way? People on COTH often recommend Warwick Schiller's videos. Have you investigated anything like that?

                              Who knows what training the mare had. My pushy mare has lots of groundwork training by now but if someone took her over that *let* her dive for grass, bolt on the longe line, and rush ahead when being led, shed be a handful in about ten days.

                              No one just gets a horse and magically it all works out. Everyone has to learn to school and train, even if they buy a trained horse.

                              You wanted the adventure of rescue. But you don't want to do the hard work of learning basic horsemanship skills. So you are also failing the horse as much as everyone in the past.

                              Time to step up to the plate and take responsibility. You don't have to ride her. You do need to teach her how to lead, tie, and be safe on the ground.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                OP, check out this thread from just 2 years ago. There is a link in Post #2 that might be helpful to you.

                                https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/f...ey-ny-trainers

                                Try PMing btswass if you haven't already. See thread here:
                                https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/f...decide-to-move
                                Rack on!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  It seems like part of the problem may be that you're only working with the horse once a week. Did I get that right?

                                  There isn't an animal alive that will learn anything on a once a week basis with no work in between times. Right now the horse probably sees you as a minor annoyance, like an extremely large fly, that can be shooed away.

                                  There's nothing wrong with only having the time to "do" horses once a week, but if you're a horse-owner that time restriction means arranging for alternative training between times, or it means not being a horse-owner but rather someone who takes weekly lessons or who part-leases a horse.

                                  If you feel responsibility for this horse, please follow up with one of the COTH'ers near you who have offered their advice. Until the horse gets some consistent handling, it's unlikely that anyone can definitively say whether this horse is a "problem-horse" or just needs some dedicated training.

                                  Good luck.
                                  "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have nothing to say except I feel for you.
                                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                    Incredible Invisible

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                                      But in 3 years almost anybody can teach almost any horse to lead, tie, stand to be groomed, and basically behave on the ground.
                                      False.
                                      Not everyone has the sense of horses, not everyone understand what is needed to train a horse, even less how to do it. I would have numerous example to provide but it’s not important.

                                      The OP rode from 7-14... Probably occasionally and on safe school horses. At that age, you just don’t understand much about the reality of what is needed to own and take care of a horse.

                                      Comes a 10yrs hiatus and then she decided to buy a sight unseen rescue horse... Is the horse even sound and pain free?

                                      Yes, the OP sought help from trainers BUT from what she wrote, only has limited time to devote to this horse.

                                      This is not the school horse she was used to see once a week in lessons.

                                      As per the OP, she goes to see her horse only once a week. Nothing much can be accomplished with such « training » plan. (And if the horse is retired, she thinks it’s good enough to check on said horse a few times a year.)

                                      The OP feels cheated by the money she spent on different trainers...
                                      How many time was this horse trained in reality?
                                      Are we talking about lessons here and there?
                                      Even with a 30 days training at a Pro barn..., if the OP is only going to the barn once a week, how is this training was going to be sustained?

                                      I trained a horse for a year for someone with a similar story as the OP... There is a limit to what trainers can do. Some people just aren’t meant to own horses, even less to train them. Horse reversed back to his previous behavior within a week of going back to its owner... I had the horse going nicely (clinics and all) with me and with other people of different skills - handling and riding. This was part of the training I offered.

                                      Originally posted by Love horses, but not a horse trainer View Post
                                      I don’t have the time(...)

                                      I see her about once a week(...)

                                      my lack of experience and time is the problem.(...)

                                      I think I just got discouraged after spending thousands on the last two trainers to no avail. It was frustrating and eye opening and I realized that I’d pretty much been taken advantage of both times.
                                      You got this horse into training twice.
                                      What was each of the training deal exactly?
                                      Why do you feel cheated?


                                      (...) that getting her into a training program with a professional would = at least a horse that I’d be mostly comfortable around.
                                      This is totally subjective to a lot of things.
                                      Basic intensive training (30-60-90 days) needs to be followed with regular training sessions afterward.

                                      Did you get into training yourself?


                                      I know it’s an obvious lack of respect for me...
                                      No. It’s not a lack of respect.
                                      It’s mostly a lack of understanding and/or knowing from your horse.

                                      (regarding retire in pasture) and just seeing her a few times a year.
                                      This is not realistic.
                                      Like seeing your own horse only once a week and expecting things to go better.

                                      I also may buy several acres of land in the next couple of years for my dog boarding business. I’ve thought of hanging onto my horse and eventually moving her onto the property... far away from the dogs and where she could be a pasture puff basically. Maybe get an old ridable horse as a companion for her and something for me to hop on and ride around the property without fear. But this may just be a daydream too.
                                      You shouldn’t own a horse at home with your current state of knowledge.

                                      You are already overwhelmed with seeing one horse in a boarding barn situation once a week.
                                      ~ 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

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Yeah, my point to the OP was that in 3 years she could have learned ground work skills, applied them to the horse, and at least be able to safely handle the horse. My point was that part of taking responsibility for a horse means taking responsibility for learning skills to handle them.

                                        A horse is not a goldfish.

                                        A parallel would be someone gets a rescue puppy, leaves it unhandled for long stretches of time then is disappointed it won't go for a nice walk on the leash. Cue Cesar Chavez, of course.

                                        You have to put in the hours, and you have to want to learn.

                                        I have so far met one older woman (stuck with her kids horse) that had physical dyslexia for lack of a better term, such that she couldn't learn to competently handle a horse on the ground. One. Everyone else has been capable of getting these skills, though some are slow learners.

                                        I agree OP made a big naieve mistake and that her current horse handling skills are probably about zero.

                                        My point is OP has had 3 years to do something about that, but hasn't done so.

                                        Comment

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