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Update, post 32, 2nd guessing future hunter,

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  • Update, post 32, 2nd guessing future hunter,

    Cliff note version:I ride hunters. My mare is athletic enought o be a 3'6 horse. Nice mare (6 this summer), athletic, great mover, but hot (QH/Trak cross, I rescued her at 3 months).

    ETA: I put a pic of her as a 3 yrd old as my profile pic... She is on the smaller side still ( 15'3) but perfect size for me...

    Never has tried to get me off. It takes her about 15-20 minutes to settle to get to work.In the beginning, she is a giraffe.

    This is going into her 3rd year in work. We had to take some time off this winter so we are just back to a program. I have had her in just a plain snaffle right now. I have ridden her in a french link.

    Yesterday the frustration hit me. I rode 2 other younger horses and they are much more green, but it was a quiet, soft ride. Heads and neck NOT up at every little noise and wind.

    Unlike the giraffe. I am getting ready to either send her away to be tuned and start up with lessons w/ local pro but now I am second guessing.. Is it worth it w/ her? It's not like I have a lot of disposable income (single mommy) but I have training money to use for lessons and since I took the winter off of training, I COULD send her out.....

    I have 2 other who are soft, quiet, greener but less of a fight when I am on them ( coincidently- not near as athletic).

    I guess I just needed to vent. I really need to have the local pro evaluate her and go from there. Yesterday was just like a wall for me with her...

    Hitting my head on tack room door........... sigh.
    Last edited by Pennywell Bay; Mar. 15, 2011, 09:07 AM.
    Come to the dark side, we have cookies

  • #2
    If she just 'giraffy', a bungee cord may be helpful to encourage her to drop her head without getting tough on her mouth.

    (Obviously, if she's up in general, the usual litany of feed/turn-out/lunge/season options need to be considered).


    • #3
      I've had 2 horses-just bought my third-both had the same sire. One was my hot mare the other my laid back gelding. On good days I cleaned up at shows with my mare, on bad days I went home and had a drink or two and tried to forget about the complete humiliation. My gelding was super easy just not as talented. I could show all day with him while my two kids were around and go home and make dinner. My mare, I was wiped out by the end of the day with her, but the ribbons were always fun ! I had my kids with my gelding, I never could have had my kids around showing my mare.

      My mare taught me a lot. There were times when my lovely white and pink ribbons with my gelding were frusterating, but he did help me win in eq. Horses are funny, they are all different and they all have something to teach us. My highs were higher with my mare but my lows were pretty bad.


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by Come Shine View Post
        If she just 'giraffy', a bungee cord may be helpful to encourage her to drop her head without getting tough on her mouth.

        (Obviously, if she's up in general, the usual litany of feed/turn-out/lunge/season options need to be considered).
        Good points. She lives out 95%, except in horrid weather. Great quality hay ( on a round bale). Comes in at feeds times b/c the younger ones come in to eat, she only gets TC 30 % b/c she is an air fern.

        I have tried her on Thia cal, though honestly- I am really a "good training program" type of girl and don't nec. buy the "supplements will cure all" but it was free...

        I can/have lunged her, I was hoping as she grows up and gets miles, I would not have to. I am swear I am not looking for a magic bullet, just frustrated.

        @ Stolen- YES. She is the one NO ONE else on the farm ( I live on a private w/ a few boarders) want to ride or get one. Yet I can hack her out, trail or road. When she is quiet, I put one of the barn girls on her once in a while to see how she looks but ALWays w/ me first. Sounds like she is a lot like your girls...
        Come to the dark side, we have cookies


        • #5
          (6 this summer), This is going into her 3rd year in work.
          That part is not encouraging. Most horses would be made up by now, in a consistent program. So, there are some things you need to honestly ask yourself:
          1) Have I given this horse her best shot? Have I tried everything and put the consistent work into her, and, most importantly, do I have the experience to know what she needs? Am I holding her back to the point that outside help is going to make the difference?
          2) Is this horse really worth it? Is she a good jumper? Has enough step? Does she actually have a shot at being a competitive 3'6" horse? Or is she a local horse talent without the mind to be a local horse?
          3) What do I want out of this horse? Show it myself, market it? A mare of that size and breeding, age and level of training, is not going to be a great sales prospect even before you take other aspects into consideration.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post
            I am swear I am not looking for a magic bullet, just frustrated.
            I hear ya. It's probably worse when you have two others on the same program who are laid back.

            Seriously, though, give the bungee a try. You can make something for about $10 from the hardware store. My coach recommended it years ago and it is one tool I would not be without.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by CBoylen View Post
              That part is not encouraging. Most horses would be made up by now, in a consistent program. So, there are some things you need to honestly ask yourself:
              1) Have I given this horse her best shot? Have I tried everything and put the consistent work into her, and, most importantly, do I have the experience to know what she needs? Am I holding her back to the point that outside help is going to make the difference?
              2) Is this horse really worth it? Is she a good jumper? Has enough step? Does she actually have a shot at being a competitive 3'6" horse? Or is she a local horse talent without the mind to be a local horse?
              3) What do I want out of this horse? Show it myself, market it? A mare of that size and breeding, age and level of training, is not going to be a great sales prospect even before you take other aspects into consideration.

              Excellent questions I have been mulling. I would keep her and show her myself. She has enourmouse step and nice jump, even at her size.

              Have I given her a fair shot/ can I bring her along... I have brought along others that I have ended up selling for a nice profit ( half siblings). Fair shot- prob not.

              Being honest- being a single mom - I have NOT had her in the program that she apparently needs as far as work and consistency. Which is why I am considering sending her out for a month of consistent training w/ a pro and see if it makes a difference?

              I am fortunate that I have a good support system (barn kids, boarders, SO) that I do have time to ride but honestly- when I get on her and she is hot and giraffesque, then I get on the 2 3 yr olds, and they go around like pros, I wonder what my next step should be.

              I trust the pro I am thinking of sending her to for training. She has brought along a lot of young horses and best, I can trust her to give me an honest opinon. Still, $1500 is nothing to sneeze at............
              Come to the dark side, we have cookies


              • #8
                I suppose one way of looking at it is that sending her out will answer some of your questions (i.e. whether a program will make a difference), and if you don't get the answers you like, she'll have more miles on her to make her more salable.

                That being said, I've got a mare that had me beating my head against a wall too. When I stopped trying to make her into something she wasn't going to be, and listened to what she did want to be, everything got much, much easier. My horse is cute, has a great jump, and would be adorable in the 3'0" or 3'6" hunter ring. Unfortunately, long, low and quiet are not in her make up, at all. We have now changed gears, are in a hackamore, and headed for the jumpers instead, and we're both having a ball. Not so surprisingly, she's soft, happy and ridable now that we're not fighting with each other all the time.


                • Original Poster

                  Small Change

                  I was thinking she just not be a hunter.... dang. I don't have to guts or the inclination to be a jumper....
                  Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                  • #10
                    You know, I think I would spend the money and send her off to the pro for a month. If it works and you see real improvement... it will be money well spent, and you'll have a better idea of what to do to continue to bring her along. (And a month "off" from each other might allow you to see her with new eyes, so to speak - which can be a good thing when you've gotten frustrated with a horse.) Give it a couple weeks, maybe, before you go watch a session, so the pro has some time to push the reset button and get the mare in a groove before you take another look at her. I also wouldn't paint a negative picture of the mare to the pro when I sent her off, either. I'd maybe just say that she isn't as soft and as relaxed as you'd like and you are hoping for some new ideas or something like that. Let them assess her with an open mind.

                    If it doesn't work - well, you will have the peace that comes from knowing it wasn't because you didn't try, and the horse will have had the benefit of some good time with a pro, which should help make her more marketable.

                    I had one that really needed a long, slow warmup before he could do any real productive work. I did a clinic with a BNT who made me warm up on the buckle - and I mean for a good 15-20 minutes, WTC. I had to totally ignore the front end and focus on working him forward from behind. In the winter he stood in the crossties under an electric blanket for 15 minutes before I even tacked him up. It really, really, really helped him and he turned out to be a really special horse - he just needed that extra time to get loose.
                    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                    • #11
                      No advice to offer, but the lovely horse in your profile picture appears to be... a boy?
                      Here today, gone tomorrow...


                      • #12
                        I know you mentioned you aren't a supplement will fix it gal. I am a mare person. Just wondering; Have you tried Regumate? or another hormone therapy.

                        They don't have to be W!tchy, to need a little help. I have one that gets Regumate because she loves everyone, and is distracted. We stop for the winter enestrus. Well... with that being said she was wild this past weekend at the show. The first thing I am doing is restarting the Regumate.


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by FrenchFrytheEqHorse View Post
                          No advice to offer, but the lovely horse in your profile picture appears to be... a boy?
                          I switched out her pic back to my regular ( her brother). I was PMing w/ someone who wanted to see him and I don't have the ability to post thumbnails.
                          Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                          • #14
                            It's hard to say without seeing the mare go whether or not it's worth it to stick it out.

                            FWIW, I had a Paint/TB mare that we got as a 3 yr old that was tough, tough, tough. She had been running in a field with her mom since birth & I guess she had about 15 rides on her.

                            She wasn't hot, just very reactive & had a ridiculous amount of energy. She was a ton of work & needed a lot of management. However, she was very very pretty, was a great mover and had a terrific jump so we kept at it.

                            The whole first show season was pretty brutal - she acted like a space cadet at every show; jumped the jumps like there were monsters underneath of them & barely ever had a soft moment. I remember being very frustrated when it was August & she was still acting like a fool. She needed a long lunge at every show.

                            However, we persisted & finally by the end of her 6 yr old year & her 2nd full show season, she was starting to get more predictable...had longer stretches of time where she wouldn't act like an idiot.

                            This is her:


                            The only thing I can say that worked with this mare was lots and lots of riding. She was a 6 day a weeker, no exceptions. And those weren't get on & hack around days - she needed to be worked. We changed tack a lot (draw reins, bungie, different bits etc) & did lots of exercises. We also took her off property as often as we could - lots of exposure.
                            \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River


                            • Original Poster


                              I know people hate it but I'll try to put a video up on FB......I think the pro will give lots of sight as well. They have seen her go, she did YH at Devon 2 yrs back( did not place but put in a solid showing) and a few HB YH classess.

                              I think how you described your mare is most like mine. Perhaps the term "hot" is used to loosely. Space cadet is more like it. She has NEVER tried to get me off ( and the girl has the ability to do it).

                              I am not against using Regumate or Depo but would that help since she is not "marey"? She is sweet, ear up no kicking or tail swishing.

                              It is a hard balance w/ a job, toddler ( who rides a mini and loves it BTW) and young horses to ride. Now that the weather is nicer, hopefully I can get more time in the saddle.

                              I always tell people "miles makes manners". It was just one of those WTFudgenut days when all the 3 yr olds went like champs and the Space Giraffe was in orbit....
                              Come to the dark side, we have cookies


                              • #16
                                I used Regumate for the first time in my whole life last fall. We started with a Welsh mare, that was cute as a button but had a switch that turned her into devil's spawn. It has turned her to butter, and now I LOVE the pony.

                                I had another mare come in on trade. Big, lovely, sweet and mostly quiet. This one was distracted, always looking around and forgetting her task. The not kind to kick you or buck you off. Just friendly, silly, head up and sideways. I started giving her the Refumate as a test, and it brought her head right around. We had a great fall & winter of training. We lovingly nicknamed her Dori (from finding Nemo.)

                                ETA: I have 8 mares in training, I only use Regumate on 2, I felt that thier behaviors needed some therapy.


                                • #17
                                  I also recommend trying depo or regumate. I have known a few where depo helped young mares tune out the rest of the world a bit and focus on the job at hand. I also say go for it on the training, at least it will give you some answers.


                                  • #18
                                    That 1500 seems alot but it's chump change compared to continuing to beat your head against the wall and throw money at stuff that may or may not work on a mare that is already behind where she should be at age 6 and frustrating the crap out of you.

                                    Some of those solutions might help a bit if the problem is her. But what if it's you? What if your skills don't apply to what this one needs? What if you have erred in assesing what she needs to be doing now? Or in the future? NOTHING wrong with that.

                                    The very best horsemen are the ones that know they cannot do everything with every horse and do know somebody who would fit it better then they do.

                                    On top of that, you are probably a little more emotionally invested in this one since you rescued her-we ALL get a little barn blind. I bet you want so much for this one to be good, it's frustrating you even more. There may well be something you are missing an emotionally neutral Pro can solve.

                                    Right now, the trainer probably fits this mare better then you do. Send her out and go from there. Don't continue to waste time and money, let the trainer evaluate it and work with it and then help you with it. Get you out of that rut you are in with her right now and pointed in the right direction for both of you. Where that direction points? We'll see.
                                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                    • #19
                                      Its not just the "forward" ones that can take awhile to bring along, we have lovely hano gelding that we did 2 years in the baby greens, he is very quiet, I mean don't even think about riding without spurs and maybe a stick.
                                      He is now in his second year at pregreen, (proudly at winner at WEF this year ) and he is coming seven year old.
                                      However I can feel your pain, we had one like yours, took awhile to settle in and finally we just got tired of dealing with it and sold him to a lovely young girl, who has the trainer and the prep in place to deal with it, and yes he is on depo.

                                      So you decide, do I want to continue to deal with this or would I more enjoy a quieter one?

                                      You can see what we decided.^^


                                      • #20
                                        Sending her to the trainer is a great idea, but a month won't get you much. That is barely enough time to get one fit and to start to understand them. That is also assuming the trainer is home the entire time. I would think three months minimum or don't bother. Trainers can't work miracles in 20 rides. Good luck!