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Can an adult re-rider with confidence issues adopt a rescue horse?

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  • Can an adult re-rider with confidence issues adopt a rescue horse?

    Here's my story - adult re-rider with some confidence issues. Was doing great when I first started 3 years ago and then about a year and a half ago proceeded to fall off more than I stayed on. Since then, have had confidence issues off and on. But... I have gotten the bug and am thinking about buying a forever friend before I'm too old to do it! I only jump 2 - 2'3" and my loft ambitions are to jump 2'6" eventually.

    Do I dare try and adopt a rescue horse or would my confidence issues pose too much of a problem. Thought I would ask all you experts what you think on this issue. I would just love to save one of these lovely creatures but I also need to be realistic about my abilities.

  • #2
    It depends on the horse. I've rescued horses that have had nothing wrong but a stupid owner who let it starve in a field. These horses were broke to death and wouldn't put a foot wrong. They weren't intereted in going terribly fast, but weren't old horses either.

    I've also seen rescue horses buck harder then a rodeo horse, trample people, and kick people repeatedly.

    With your issues I would seek out a horse that has already been rescued and put into training. New Vocations helps transition OTTBs and the put mileage on them and do a good job of matching horses to riders plus they have a "return" policy.


    • #3
      I would think it would depend on what the rescue horse in question's issues are. I have one rescued horse that can only be caught quickly on a good day. I have another rescued horse that is perfect in every way imaginable and has never so much as stepped on my toes. A lot of it depends on the horse!
      "I think animal testing is a terrible idea, they get all nervous and give silly answers."
      -fry & laurie


      • #4
        My darling boy is a rescue and his biggest thing is that he was left to starve. He would give you the world and he is a great teacher. He takes a kid around plodding like a western horse, but when I get on him and ask him for things he gives them to me with a swish of the tail.


        I bought him through the person that rescued him. I am not confident enough in my horse buying to see a diamond in the rough anymore. I have serious confidence issues and it has gotten better with a year of darling boy, and consistent lessons.
        OTTB - Hurricane Denton - Kane - the big dog!
        Tuggy - RIP 9/12/2016 - Wait for me at the bridge
        Foster LolaMaria AKA LolaBean (Boxer)


        • #5
          I'm going to say no... unless you are getting an already rehabbed horse from a rescue. Don't rescue one yourself. You have ambitions of riding and jumping- and those are not givens for lots of horses. On top of that, you need a horse of a certain temperment. Lots of horses that are malnourished will appear to have that temperment- until they are feeling better. IMHO, its just a recipe for problems.

          Let rescues know what you are looking for, and maybe something will turn up- but don't head out to an auction and rescue your own. Also, make sure you can try the horse a few times in a few different circumstances (out in a field) so you can be sure the horse doesn't intimidate you. Good luck!


          • Original Poster

            thanks everyone - are there "halfway houses" for horses that have already been rescued and are more of a known quantity? Im in Northern VA if that helps any.


            • #7
              I would recommend holding off on a rescue horse for now. I've certainly come across wonderful, kind, gentle rescue horses that are bombproof and beginner friendly, but they can be hard to find. The wonderful rescues that I personally know needed a lot of training and help to get to where they are. My favorite rescue horse is an absolute gentleman and a joy to ride, but is still very headshy and skittish, and he can't even go near jumping equipment without melting down.

              It sounds like right now in your riding you need a horse that can build your confidence. A lot of rescue horses need a rider with whom they can feel safe, and you can't give confidence to a horse if you are not confident in yourself and your abilities. As others said, you may be able to find a horse that has already been rehabbed but I wouldn't expect to rehab a horse from his "ground zero."
              "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

              Phoenix Animal Rescue


              • #8
                What was it George Morris once said? Something like, "The best way to learn to ride well is to buy the nicest horse you can afford, and ruin it as quickly as possible." I was shocked the first time I heard it, but have learned the value of it over years of riding. I like fancy hunters, so I've always had OTTBs or baby warmbloods. If I could afford it, I would buy one that suits me finished, but my husband and children really like our house and don't want to live on the streets (it's cold in Michigan).

                My vote for a rider with a confidence issue, old, young or in the middle, who needs a horse for under 3' is to buy a been-there, done-that horse. A known quantity, who, when you're heading for a jump and feeling a bit leery will say, "hang on mom, I've got this." Those horses are readily available in every price range, and are usually on their way "down," they can't do the 3'6" anymore but will have YEARS of use left at under 3'.

                Completely understand your desire to rescue, but the important thing is you'd have a partnership you KNOW will work. And, you're providing a veteran with a home where he can be a superstar.
                Trinity Farm LLC
                Quality hunters and jumpers at Midwest prices
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                • #9
                  Lori, I really think your horse is out there. I would say no to one straight out of the kill pen or straight OTTB, because they aren't a known quantity, and this horse is going to be (hopefully!) your forever horse. A horse like Tag, who was a rescue, now is in training and is more of a known quantity would be the way to go I think. Or Tag with a year more training kind of horse. They ARE out there and I know your future horse will have the best new mom!
                  WestWind Farms
                  Love means attention, which means looking after the things we love. We call this stable management.
                  - George H. Morris


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks everyone - I think maybe older might be a smarter idea. I really would love to rescue one but I might wind up ruining both of us!! Michelle - you are such a sweetie - together we'll find me my boy! And if anyone has an older boy (or girl) - feel free to pm me!!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LoriW View Post
                      thanks everyone - are there "halfway houses" for horses that have already been rescued and are more of a known quantity? Im in Northern VA if that helps any.
                      Try Day's End in Lisbon, MD.

                      Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


                      • #12
                        I have zero experience with owning, so this isn't worth much, but I totally understand the desire to 'rescue' as all the talk from the more experienced about how their pony/horse/donkey/etc. went from starved/abused/neglected/terrified to happy is incredibly wonderful to read and it really makes you want to be a part of it in a more direct, personal way than making a financial contribution to a rescue group. But as a new and not-so-confident rider, I don't think I'd go the adopt/rescue route unless I found a very conscientious group that listened to my needs/wants seriously, and honestly dealt with the fact that I wouldn't be a potential home for the harder-to-place horses, but would really only be interested in horses that are probably the easiest to place - trained, quieter, sound enough for jumping, etc.

                        On a more practical note, I've done my fantasizing time at the websites of horse rescues, particularly OTTB, and I've noticed that there are sometimes horses who come in after having been placed for several years prior, make a full transition from retrained racehorse to saddle horse, but are returned because the adopter had financial trouble, etc. Something like that could work for OP.


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
                          I have zero experience with owning, so this isn't worth much, but I totally understand the desire to 'rescue' as all the talk from the more experienced about how their pony/horse/donkey/etc. went from starved/abused/neglected/terrified to happy is incredibly wonderful to read and it really makes you want to be a part of it in a more direct, personal way than making a financial contribution to a rescue group. .
                          I think you hit the nail on the head. I would aspire to have enough confidence to work with one of these horses but the reality is I'm not a strong enough rider with enough confidence. I wish it were different but right now it isn't so I just need to adjut my thinking in that respect.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LoriW View Post
                            Do I dare try and adopt a rescue horse or would my confidence issues pose too much of a problem.
                            I have been this person, and I can say -- rehabbing a rescue horse is wonderful fun. But you don't really know what you're going to have at the end of the process. I've done it twice, and both times it's been a process of paying for a lot of pro training, expending a lot of patience, and finally deciding the horse was a splendid horse... but not the one I needed.

                            Don't get me wrong, rehab is a joy and provides no small satisfaction, but if you want a horse for you to ride, not for a pro to ride so that *maybe* you can get up there one day -- get one you can ride right from the beginning, and who gives you a secure feeling.
                            Originally posted by HuntrJumpr
                            No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.


                            • #15
                              Why not try volunteering at a rescue organization? Then you can see what the horses are like and what' involved in rescuing horses. It might give you a sense for whether your confidence issues would pose a safety issue for you or the horse.
                              ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~


                              • #16
                                I think you have to ask yourself - do you want to have something that you can ride, enjoy and improve yourself, or do you want a horse you can help have a better life, albeit not one you can enjoy riding?

                                If you want a horse to ride, definitely go for a slightly older, been-there-done-that one. The joy of knowing your horse will do whatever you ask is worth oh-so-much. Yes, they may require a little maintenance, but that is what you pay for having a teacher. In a way, taking those older horses and giving them a job with the promise of a happy retirement is a rescue before the fact.

                                If you want to rescue something, you have to go into the situation knowing that you are taking a huge gamble - they may or may not ever be something you enjoy riding or are able to ride at all. As long as you're ok with that, I'm sure many rescues would be happy to load one up for you.
                                A proud friend of bar.ka.


                                • #17
                                  Lori-rather than a rescue, what about a retired school horse? While these horses can't pull a full lesson schedule there's no reason they can't be gently ridden by one person. Staying in the right kind of work is just what older healthy horses need. A retired schoolie will be quiet and safe, yet be able to teach you worlds about riding. In return, you repay his years of service by giving him a good life.



                                  • #18
                                    I'm a seriously wimpy adult re-rider and my rescue horse has taught me more than I could of ever imagined possible in a year. Granted he is going to be 17 this year and has been a show horse since he was 3, but there are plenty of older/well-seasoned horses out there in desperate need of home. There are a lot of nice horses out there who might not be capable of the big fences anymore, but are perfect for adult re-rider types.

                                    I wouldn't trade my "rescue" for any horse in the world. He has given me confidence and puts a big old grin on my face every single day.

                                    Good luck on your search!!!


                                    • #19
                                      If the rescue horse is quiet enough that you can walk, trot and canter it comfortably, go for a walk outside the arena, and maybe hop over a raised cavaletti on the first day you meet it, you will be fine.

                                      Plenty of horses straight off the track or right out of the auction are quiet enough for this.

                                      That should be your criteria for any horse, rescue or no.
                                      The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                      Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                      The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                                      • #20
                                        Do you have a trainer?

                                        Or someone that could help you along? I have "inherited" horses as boarders that were rescued by well meaning people, but with my help have turned out to be great for them! I think the big difference is having someone that can help you with your confidence as well as with any issues that the rescue may have. I would also HIGHLY suggest that you take this person along with you to look at the horse you find.

                                        Remember, some of them are damaged goods and never recover from whatever hey went through, but others are truly grateful for your love and care and return it tenfold!!

                                        Good luck!
                                        "A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority." Rick Warren