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Signs that a horse dislikes/hates jumping?

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  • I feel like we should give credit where credit is due. The OP started off as offensive and now is trying to do her best at taking advice. We were all ignorant beginners at one time.

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    • OP, I want to commend you for your growth through this thread, and also to say I’m sorry that this has happened to you, especially as your first horse ownership experience.
      Although you started out somewhat defensive and resistant (edited to add: being resistant/defensive is totally normal for newbies, and even seasoned COTHers, I’m not intending to be rude at all), it is obvious that you want nothing but the best for this horse, and you were willing to open yourself up to listen to excellent advice given here. You were duped, sadly, and nobody wants to believe they’ve been had - unfortunately, most of us have been in your shoes in one way or another in our riding careers; I myself (rather, my parents) lost a stupid amount of money on a horse that was supposed to be a Young Rider prospect, back when I was, well, young. Haha.

      Anyways, my point is that a lot of other people would have gotten defensive and angry, and you used this as an opportunity to grow and learn. Bravo.

      PS - Star is very cute, I can see how one would fall in love with him easily. I hope everything works out well for both of you, however things shake out.

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      • OP, I want to commend you for your mature approach to this situation and let you know how sorry I am that you are going through this. As an adult in my 30s with a home, a graduate degree, a career and a family, and with many years of horse experience (Pony Club, 4H, etc) I very nearly let an unscrupulous "trainer" get the best of me and sell me a broken down horse I couldn't ride.

        You are getting some very good and knowledgeable advice here. I am glad you aren't letting the flippant and rude comments get to you.

        I wish I was closer and could offer some recommendations for barns/vets/trainers. Good luck with your journey - it sounds like Star lucked out, even if you didn't.
        "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

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        • OP, sorry for my flippant remark earlier. The first page of this read quite trollish but now I have read the who thing and you have my respect for putting the welfare of your guy first. My apologies. And yes we do get some dozy troll threads here but this is not one of them. Your guy looks happy in your care. Here's hoping the vet finds something reasonable that can be improved.
          "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

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          • OP, I did believe you from the first post.

            If you can get the horse comfortable to ride you will be doing a VERY good deed and get a lot of positive horsie Karma.

            BTDT. My first horse, as I described in my other post on this thread, should really not have been sold to me, a pretty clueless elementary rider, BUT my first horse was an angel from heaven and I made it through by following Littauer's training methods. Not only that, the people who sold me (well my parents paid) Hat Tricks SHOULD have known better as they were graduates of Morven Park, fully certified by the British Horse Society as full instructors, plus one had run her own riding program for years before she went to Morven Park.

            They should not have sold me a just gelded 5 year old gelding with just 3 weeks of training under saddle considering all I had done was trail riding with super quiet horses.

            I hope you have another angel horse.

            The riding skills I learned (mostly through reading equitation books, especially Littauer!) in training my first horse has been invaluable in the last 49 years of riding horses. Now I am crippled with MS, but my riding teacher uses me to get horses who are reasonably quiet but have PROBLEMS (not as bad as yours, though) to become horses that other people can ride safely.

            Believe me, this experience will turn you into a true horsewoman, it happened to me and it will happen for you because you are determined to do the right thing for this beautiful horse who has touched your soul.

            Please give us periodic updates for your adventure. You CAN do this, I have faith in you. Take it slow, and remember to always listen to your horse!!!!!

            May life treat you kindly from now on,

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            • So call me paranoid...or just overly cautious...would it make sense for all that have given specific strategic advice re: vet, questions for vet, new barn etc. to delete those posts and pm them to the OP? And for some of the convos to move to PMs?

              I’m just thinking about the very real possibility that the trainer, sale barn and or previous owner might be alerted to this thread.

              OP and all others should definitely go back and change/delete names, towns, states, any and all identifying info, to hopefully make things as generic as possible. OP, you might also want to take the photos down. (swoon, pony is adorable!) I want you to have the strongest footing possible to do all that you need to do, and come out on the winning end for you and pony!!!

              I am so very sorry that all of this has happened! You are very bright and mature, and it sounds like you are trying to rally your troops around you. None of us know what we don’t know! Keep asking questions, gleaning info and in the meantime...hold your cards tightly to your chest!

              You’ve got this!!!

              -and please update us with the full story, once it is over! Good luck to you!

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              • I can only say I'm so sorry your initiation into horse ownership has been so challenging. It sucks that there are unscrupulous, unethical people out there, and that those people are usually quite plausible at first.

                Don't beat yourself up about being taken--con artists are good at what they do. Even my mom (who has been in horses her whole life--my grandpa was a breeder and trainer) has fallen for some major misrepresentations/took for granted spurious medical histories. She's basically a nice person, and thinks other people are going to be decent, too.

                PS your guy is super cute and I hope he's fixable.

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                • Originally posted by Barn Mom View Post

                  OP and all others should definitely go back and change/delete names, towns, states, any and all identifying info, to hopefully make things as generic as possible.
                  I just went back and edited mine.

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                  • Fascinating thread. I'm sorry this happened to you. Sometimes these things are just bad luck. I purchased a 2 yr old. Did everything right- vet checked, started her very slow. She had lameness issues that the vets could not diagnose. I just had her tested for PSSM. Results are due this week. The vet who checked her did not even mention genetic testing during the pre-purchase exam. No impressive breeding so i thought we were okay.

                    Horse before that had navicular and eventually developed degenerative ligaments. Again vet checked clean. I've decided vets aren't good at diagnosing subtle lameness.

                    I rescued a horse from a friend (older gentleman who saved the horse but couldn't handle him) as a resale project. Thinking he could be a nice retraining project once he gained weight. That horse had some behavioral issues. I spent a ton of time and effort rehabilitating him, only to have him diagnosed with uveitis. Eventually he could go blind. I'm ready to name my farm misfit acres because it seems like every animal i get has health issues, behavioral issues or both. If i can't find a home for him, I will keep him until his medical bills become too much and euthanize at that point. I wish I could find him a home with someone who loves him and has the funds to give him the best veterinary treatment available. At least he is sound, thank goodness.

                    The sad thing is, my friend literally begged me for months to buy my mare. We traded horses because my mare was older and had very minor arthritis started. He only rides at a walk so it sounded like a good fit. I agreed, then he turned around and sold her within three weeks. So my mare ended up being sold onward and i got stuck with the rescue horse with issues. Quite a slap in the face.

                    As for your horse, I'm not sure you will get your money back. The vet did notice the horse wasn't sound. Most sales are As-Is. But your trainer should not have insisted that horse was perfect for you. It sounds like the seller left things out and your trainer (who you trusted) sugar coated things.

                    I don't think this is your fault- more like trusting someone you shouldn't have. As we are on the topic, please consider genetic testing for your horse as this might explain the body wide issues you are seeing. I would get copies of your x rays and show those to your current vet as well.

                    Most horses love jumping - look for one that pricks up there ears and is interested/happy with what they are doing.
                    ​​​​

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                    • OP I’m very sorry for what you are going through. I just want to add, don’t be afraid to let go of this horse and move on. I bought the wrong match for me (I truly believe the seller was completely honest) and I struggled for months with this horse and destroyed my confidence. I eventually let go and both the horse and I are much happier. I’m still shopping for a “replacement” but this time I am being much more careful and listening to my gut.

                      I do hope everything works out for both you and the horse.

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                      • This took quite a long time for me to get through - I do believe this could be great material for a novel!

                        In all seriousness, I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this, OP. I am glad however that you’ve been able to learn from it, and in my opinion, you’ve been proceeding with this new situation well. It’s comforting to know that even though this is quite a sticky situation, Star is in a loving home with you, at least for the time being.

                        I have to admit I did some fishing around on Facebook as well. After reading these posts, the story is starting to seem more clear... sort of. The woman who I think was his previous owner, with pictures of who I assume was her riding him in a dressage test. Then fast forward and he’s at rehab? The theory that he was fine until and accident makes more and more sense IMO. Maybe it got too expensive for his owner, or she just wasn’t committed enough, who knows - either way, he’s with you now. I hope you’re able to get this entire thing sorted out soon.

                        Also, THANK YOU. I clicked on this thread because I’ve been struggling with teaching my horse to jump and have been thinking that maybe he just doesn’t care. Instead this thread took quite a turn but has been quite helpful for me. I‘ve only ever leased horses and have gained so much valuable information from just reading this thread, and I hope it comes in handy when I’m ready to buy my first horse.

                        Good luck with Star. He seems like such a great horse who just ended up in an unfortunate situation. Again, it’s nice to know that he’s with someone who really cares for him.

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                        • Jim Crew was Linda Parelli’s much flaunted farrier. He used to shoe either walking or saddleseat horses. Not sure if he is still associated with the Parellis, but he was definitely “all that and a bottle of wine” in their circle at one point.

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                          • https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/f...ide-pics-added

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                            • https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/f...ide-pics-added

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                              • Previous thread about JC

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                                • Sometimes I wonder if some horses, in less than desirable situations, send out a mental SOS to the universe for someone, anyone, to save them. This does not always have to be overt abuse, sometimes the horse just wants a more understanding rider or handler, especially one who does not demand that the horse cripples itself for human-centric goals.

                                  If so your horse may have sent out an SOS and the result is that he got you to save him. There is no way to know for sure since horses can't talk like humans can.

                                  Of course you still have to do the boring grunt work before everything works out, success is never guaranteed. It always takes a lot of work, a lot of patience, and a lot of determination to be the best horsewoman you can be. But sometimes it is a little easier if you come in response to the SOS the horse sent out to the universe, as in the horse may be a little bit more patient with you as long as you work toward his benefit and comfort.

                                  I do recommend that you start your horse at the beginning again, lunging, riding with loose reins, primitive aids, just working for a free-striding walk before you go on to more advanced goals. This will give the horse time to figure out how to move naturally again, something that can be destroyed by forcing the horse into unnatural positions with his head and neck. Your horse may be trained to ride already (he does sound impressive) but undesirable muscles may have been strengthened by incorrect training and riding, allowing the desirable muscles to cramp or waste away.

                                  Starting over again also signals to your horse that you are starting a new way of handling him, giving him the chance to finally figure it (our human demands) all out.

                                  You can find the Littauer books used on Amazon, and many of them are not very expensive at all since they are used books. When I got Hat Tricks Littauer had not published his second training book yet so I went by what he laid out for training in "Common Sense Horsemanship", by far the most influential book in my riding life. Then a few years later Littauer's "Schooling Your Horse" came out and I bought it and I used it with my horse.

                                  I know some of the copies of his books are ridiculously expensive, but as you go through the pages on Amazon often much cheaper copies show up.

                                  Do not get Littauer's "Jumping the Horse", it was written before Littauer had completely developed his system of riding and training horses, later on he said that essentially he was sort of ashamed of that one book. His later books are MUCH better to learn from.

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                                  • OP thanks for continuing to post about your story and please keep updating. There is a lot of good information here to help others looking to buy a horse. You followed what your trainer was telling you and checked out the horse, had a PPE, etc- you unfortunately got caught up in a bad situation. Hoping for the best for you and your horse!

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                                    • Originally posted by Jackie Cochran View Post
                                      Sometimes I wonder if some horses, in less than desirable situations, send out a mental SOS to the universe for someone, anyone, to save them.
                                      I so believe in this.

                                      OP, I'm very experienced and I was taken, too. He was a Paint X, and like yours, had a show record and lots of photos that I focused on, not the fact that he was now owned by a cowboy who said he "didn't work out" barrel racing for her daughter. I did not draw blood, and should have, as I'm sure he was on Respirine during the several weeks I tried him.

                                      Once I got him home to my barn he unraveled, to the point a noise out in the pasture freaked him out so bad his teeth literally chattered. I had found the original breeder who wanted nothing to do with him, he'd given him away to the cowboy after he bucked his daughter off for the millionth time. Things came to a head when he spooked BACKWARDS in the stall and broke my arm. At that point we were making a date with the backhoe to put him out of his mental misery.

                                      Through some insane work of fate, right before the backhoe was due to arrive, I sold my trailer to a girl who knew the breeder's daughter, and while her dad was checking out the trailer, I told her about the poor horse's fate. She immediately contacted the breeder's daughter, who convinced dad to come get the poor horse and let him live out his life in their pasture. Amazing, and I was so happy to see a breeder stepping up and actually dealing with a problem that they brought into the world.

                                      Do despite all of my pain and suffering, both physical and financial, I do feel like this horse chose me to get back to the farm where he was born.

                                      Best wishes to you, OP.
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                                      • starr331 - I would like to compliment you on handling yourself with great maturity in this thread, and offer my hopes that things work out for you and Star.

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                                        • You know I have never thought about the cosmic call for help, but I think I believe it also. My last 3 horses have all needed a soft landing. My current horse, when I saw his ad, I had to call. I was looking for a short fat horse (my preferred body type) and he was tall (advertised as 16 h, the max I would consider assuming he would actually be shorter, you know height inflation), and older than I wanted (18 and I wanted something in the 8-15 max range). but I couldn't get him out of my mind. So I called and after a mad series of email exchanges including video and photos I went to see him. As soon as I saw his face over the stall door I melted. Then I went in. This horse is NOT 16 hands, he is 16.2 easily. He was in a lesson program but they found a small cataract and since they have alot of little ones they did not want to take a chance on him spooking with the kiddles (he did spook once and a little one fell off). I have developed fear issues, so you would think this isn't a good choice. But I got on, selling trainer helped me get used to him and I just felt good up there.

                                          took him home on trial and had him checked out every which way after my last 2 had so many problems. Spent a small fortune on xrays, had farrier check him out, had dressage trainer at my barn put a ride on him. They all said the same thing, he is a great horse, seems to have a great mind, he is stiff, he will need maintenance, but if you are willling to take that on he should be a great horse for where you are in your fear journey/return to riding joy and competence.

                                          so I bought him, started him on pentosan, he will get a chiro soon, will prob get hock injections, BUT I discovered by accident that his rear rump muscles were tight as a rock. so massaging and some surpass and 3 days later he is bucking up a storm in turnout and moving much better. My vet thinks he spooked because he was sore not because of his cataract. So he has a forever home with me, and I will do everything I can to make him be the most comfortable he can be. He has already proven how steady he is under saddle for me, and I love him to pieces already. He truly did call to me. So maybe your boy called to you, and with a little help he will fell much better.

                                          With that said,, I am still very worried about his pelvis. Can you take a picture of him from the rear showing him from hooves up so we can see his pelvis and hind end musculature?

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