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New barn issue or unsuitable mount ? Update- post 60

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Originally posted by Impractical Horsewoman View Post
    Just to focus on one positive--from your original post, it sounds like you have a good relationship with your older gelding. Even though he's getting on, remember that just because one horse isn't the horse for you doesn't make you a bad rider.

    If you're constantly worried about the weather so you don't have to ride in the indoor and having to act like you're going into battle for a short, fun ride (and worrying about if you can "afford" to get hurt yet again), you have to remind yourself that there are plenty of horses in the world which could give you much less stress and much more enjoyment.

    Another vote for selling him.

    Just out of curiosity, is the other rider who rides him occasionally having the same issue? Do you know anything about his previous homes?
    The lady I take lessons from has an occasional burst from him- but she stays with him and has not come off. She is a lifelong rider. I do not know much about his homes prior to me except for the guy I bought him from. He was nice but he's also a trainer and rides and shows professionally.

    gottagrey right- having him not right there begging for my attention will help me detach. It's a little emotional right now. We're dropping him off on the 26th- my 15 yr wedding anniversary too. I am sure my husband is thrilled lol.

    My other gelding is a gem. He has his issues, but he holds it together and has always taken care of me. I can lose my balance on him and not lose my seat or come off. I put anyone on him and he's good to them. I just need a younger version. Maybe I will even hold off and wait and not fill the void too soon. I will just enjoy my older guy as much as i can and focus on him.

    Thank you all for the insight, feedback and support. My instructor is riding him 3x a week until he leaves so he should be fine in the interim.

    Comment


    • #22
      I am surprised you kept trying the same and expect a different result?

      I tried a new horse last summer, super gentle he was supposed to be, but after being here a few weeks eating too well and getting fitter and fitter, his real self started showing up.
      He was uptight and full of it and looking for an excuse to levitate.

      I kept warning about it, no one believed me, until one nice, cool and windy morning, when he decided that was his chance, lets see how things go if I boogie a bit.
      Just lucky I could keep him from doing more than a mini shy, then decided that no, in my 70's, I don't have anything to prove, so away he went.

      Think about horses like this, it is not that he is doing xyz, but HOW he does it and how good you think you can ride thru it.

      I have a horse now that is AQHA but with plenty of TB and it shows.
      You can talk him out of things and if he gets surprised and does something, he is kind enough to take you along, not leave you hanging in the air, for the monsters to eat you.

      In a way, it is not that your horse is acting up in itself, but what he does when he acts up that puts you in harm's way.

      That won't change that much, even if he becomes 99.99% safe and non reactive.
      That tiny percentage left in him means, if and when something happens, you know what the results will be, you won't stay on.
      You have enough proof of that by now.

      It sounds like, as he is and has been after trying for a while now to change him, maybe consider he is not quite suitable.

      Comment


      • #23
        My horse, when I got he was 4 going on 20 which is why I got him. Not a mean bone in his body. had to move barns and that trainer wanted him fattened up so upped grain and added some supplement. Turnout was about the same but he was being ridden more and because of his sweet nature, trainer, unbeknownst to me, started using him for a lesson horse. I had a horrible commute so my riding time was cut back. I'm hearing stories of him spooking and dumping riders. HUH? He was not spooky and if he did spook it was normally a sideways movement or halt but nothing overly dramatic. I got launched but good off him.. and then the next fall was dirty "spook". I wanted my old horse back. I loved him and felt I owed it to him to give him a chance. Changed barns. I remember packing up my tack and trainer asked me about one MY bridles, which she'd been using on another horse. her words "oh you can't ride him in a snaffle". Within a week I had my old boy back. I periodically chuckle to myself as I'm bridling him - snaffle and how he's def more whoa than go and if you want to make it more than once around the ring, you have to wear spurs. On the plus side trying to get him to go is a good workout ! But in my case, I knew what I had before and had he not made a turnaround I would've put him on the market.

        OP there are plenty of nice, really nice horses out there - and you'll find one.

        Comment


        • #24
          'He is super sweet, quiet and easy to handle, shows well, has a lot talent and a great work ethic. BUT he is sensitive, quirky, and can be very spooky and reactive."
          So, to me, an outsider looking in, the fact that you can still describe this horse as "super sweet and quiet" yet the reality is that he's actually quite a handful tells me you don't look at this situation very objectively. Super sweet horses are just that- super sweet- meaning they don't lose their sh+t and dump you when you get off balance or they're not in the mood to do whatever you're asking.
          You may love him, but a horse like this will shake your confidence, and before you know it, you've found another hobby, one that doesn't scare you.

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by TWH Girl View Post
            I think I know all of this deep down. Was trying to make it work but we just don't. He's very fun to ride but it's not worth continued risk to me. I'm glad I have some connections to try and get him sold or maybe trade him for a quieter mount. I guess until he leaves for the trainer's on the 26th I will stick to lunging him and have the instructor by me continue to put a few rides on him.

            It almost feels like a relief to say "no, I'm not riding him" rather than worry and wonder all day how our ride that night will go. I felt like i almost needed a Xananx just to go to the barn to ride. I don't want to feel like that. I am a casual, fun rider and don't need to prove anything to anyone at this point in my life.
            Think about how AMAZING it would be to have a horse that you don't have to worry about falling off of! You just go out, hop on, and ride and RELAX. It's really the best. Don't risk your own safety. Which it sounds like you are at that point of realization anyways. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying "This horse isn't for me."

            ETA: Not being able to stick spooks or bolts or bucks or any other craziness doesn't make you a bad rider either. There is a difference between the good riders that have that stickability that seems to make it so they never get unseated, and the good riders that are sympathetic, quiet, balanced, and patient. Some are lucky and are both, some are neither, some will work hard to be one or the other. When it comes down to it, I'd rather work towards being the latter and stick to horses where I don't have to be the former.

            Comment


            • #26
              I'm going to address something you said in your first post-- you aren't a very fit rider. Fitness is a huge factor in the ability to "stick" a spook. While I agree this horse has too much baggage to be a good fit for you, I do think you can help yourself going forward by becoming more fit out of the saddle. As we age, and as working adults, it is hard to maintain an athletic level of fitness. We are athletes and riding is physically demanding.

              I know this, because I've have sporadic time off from riding over the last three years due to surgeries unrelated to horses. Each time I started back again, I realized my fitness had decreased to the point I was unsafe riding my slightly reactive jumper. I hit the gym-- basic weights, recumbent bike, planks and stretching. It has made a world of difference in my riding. Core is strong and tight, legs are solid, endurance is there. I was just off again for 12 weeks and came back strong and able to resume riding quickly and efficiently. At 51, I just don't bounce anymore.

              I, too, wear my "eventing" vest every ride. I've come off with it and without it. I prefer with! Take a look at your saddle--is it "sticky" leather or very smooth and slick? Are you wearing slick tights or knee patch breeches? Full seats? There are many ways to increase your friction in the saddle to stay on when minor events happen.
              Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #27
                haha yes I just started Success in the Saddle rider fitness last week. which is now derailed by a bruised tailbone and huge bruise on my rear end. Ouch! I do recognize my lack of fitness is part of it. and yeah, I work M-F in an office job...
                I do wear full seat breeches but my saddle is a County Competitor and I do want something more tacky and better security even for riding just my other guy in.

                Comment


                • #28
                  It looks like the turn out has changed since moving barns? Having large acreage with playmates is way different than dry lot with 1 other horse. Grain does not always contribute to excess energy, but a change in varieties of hay can, so how has the hay changed?

                  Since this all coincided with a move to a new barn I think it is a major player in the problems you are now having. I don't know if he is a good fit for you, but "parting company" on a regular basis is never a good idea ( as you know).

                  Sending him to a trainer you know and trust is a good idea and see how he develops once there. Go ride him and see if the answer may be as simple as changing barns. He was improving at the old barn.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by TWH Girl View Post

                    It almost feels like a relief to say "no, I'm not riding him" rather than worry and wonder all day how our ride that night will go. I felt like i almost needed a Xananx just to go to the barn to ride. I don't want to feel like that. I am a casual, fun rider and don't need to prove anything to anyone at this point in my life.
                    I think here is your own answer. Riding is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. Getting hurt is not fun, nor enjoyable. He doesn't sound like a bad horse at all. Just one that needs some miles with a rider that DOES have good balance and can stick his spooks. I feel back for the poor guy for having so many riders in his young life. I am sure that is contributing to his problems of not being able to trust his rider.

                    Absolutely no shame in finding him an APPROPRIATE home! You sound like you have his best interests in mind and I am sure you will find the right place for him with your instructors help.


                    It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Your horse sounds much like mine, though mine prefers to take me with him when he spooks. Mine is one to hold it together (though I can tell he's a little anxious) until he can't and then he's gone. The two biggest things that helped him were magnesium supplementation and cognitive behavioral therapy a la Warwick Schiller.

                      So, while I do suggest trying him on a magnesium supplement I also agree with everyone who suggested that he is not the horse for you. If the magnesium helps him it will help him find a good home.

                      I persisted with mine and spent all winter doing CBT work. It was yesterday that I was able to go out for a solo hack and realize I was enjoying it without worrying about something tipping him over the edge. He can get a little anxious now and then let that anxiety go instead of holding it and adding to it until he can't handle it. I tell you this not to suggest that you can make it work, but to say that with the right person he very likely can be a good horse.

                      Focusing on your older horse for a while may be a good strategy. I've found each of mine when I wasn't looking for a horse.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        My paint mare has thrown me twice in 15 years. The first time, she was a green broke two year old, stepped on the hose, it turned on, and she bolted forward. The second time, we were riding by ourselves in the local state forest, trotting at a fast speed, when she spooked at a flower. Yes a flower!

                        I would not keep a horse that constantly tossed me off. I love my paint mare because most of our near misses are saved by her. I feel myself starting to fall and she senses it and freezes. She spooked at a turkey the other day that was hidden behind some round rolls of hay... I had no rein control with the reins on the buckle - she cantered a few strides and stopped all on her own. There are never turkeys there -this one must have flown in.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by TWH Girl View Post

                          The lady I take lessons from has an occasional burst from him- but she stays with him and has not come off. She is a lifelong rider. I do not know much about his homes prior to me except for the guy I bought him from. He was nice but he's also a trainer and rides and shows professionally.

                          gottagrey right- having him not right there begging for my attention will help me detach. It's a little emotional right now. We're dropping him off on the 26th- my 15 yr wedding anniversary too. I am sure my husband is thrilled lol.

                          My other gelding is a gem. He has his issues, but he holds it together and has always taken care of me. I can lose my balance on him and not lose my seat or come off. I put anyone on him and he's good to them. I just need a younger version. Maybe I will even hold off and wait and not fill the void too soon. I will just enjoy my older guy as much as i can and focus on him.

                          Thank you all for the insight, feedback and support. My instructor is riding him 3x a week until he leaves so he should be fine in the interim.
                          You also may not have been able to ride your older guy when he was younger. You say you lose your balance and you lose your seat. These are not 2 things you can usually do on a young horse.

                          It sounds like you need to look for a trained been there done that horse. These type are like that because they are older.

                          Do not think about getting on any young horse unless you can sit a buck. They usually throw one in one day. It does not have to be because anything is wrong. It can be simply because they are full of joy.
                          It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            I fully understand how hard it is because I just went through this myself. I didn’t fall off nearly as many times (thank goodness I didn’t have the raccoon issue), but I learned that even though I had learned some strategies for managing my horse, it was never going to be fun because I couldn’t relax. There was always going to be something every now and then that would cause him to do the big spook, and I would a percentage of those times fall off. I decided to sell him and look for something else. It was very hard for me to do, but hopefully I will find a horse that I can enjoy more.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by TWH Girl View Post
                              I think I know all of this deep down. Was trying to make it work but we just don't. He's very fun to ride but it's not worth continued risk to me. I'm glad I have some connections to try and get him sold or maybe trade him for a quieter mount. I guess until he leaves for the trainer's on the 26th I will stick to lunging him and have the instructor by me continue to put a few rides on him.

                              It almost feels like a relief to say "no, I'm not riding him" rather than worry and wonder all day how our ride that night will go. I felt like i almost needed a Xananx just to go to the barn to ride. I don't want to feel like that. I am a casual, fun rider and don't need to prove anything to anyone at this point in my life.
                              I've mentioned my trainer's horse on other threads. He's one of the most gorgeous and athletic horses I've ever met in person. He's also sensitive and developed a rearing problem after loose dogs scared when he was hacking out with another rider while the trainer was recovering from an accident. They've mostly worked through it, but every now and again he decides he's a Lippenzanner stallion when he gets scared. Someone captured a great photobomb of them lunge-rearing out of a warm-up area while a friend is placidly saluting at the end of her dressage test in the foreground. It's a spectacular pic because it captures his raw athleticism and her incredible skill in being able to ride him through it!

                              Amazing horse with a temperament and antics in line with what you'd expect from a "professional's horse." Adult Amateur me wouldn't get on that horse unless you offered me rent money and had a ground handler holding onto either side. Sounds similar to what you've got going on, though to lessor degree. No shame in declaring you and him to be the wrong match! Riding is supposed to be fun.

                              Eta: Calvincrowe just explained why I've put off resuming jumping. I lost fitness after a bout with Lyme and am only just getting back to 100%. The seat & balance are not quite there. Especially for the kind of horses I end up riding.
                              Last edited by Wanderosa; Jun. 10, 2019, 11:42 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                You can check out my most recent post if you'd like some back story, but: I'm the sticky-seat rider who has come off my current boy twice since January. If I come off again this year I will seriously consider switching to a quieter horse permanently.

                                We will be getting him vetted since we suspect an underlying issue is at least contributing to the spooks. In the meantime, I am doing PT to improve my known imbalances, taking regular lessons on a steady Eddie and doing lunge lessons to develop a more independent seat.

                                I have also learned to muster my courage (or at least accept the fear) and learn to keep him forward and very busy whenever he's worried about anything. When he is forward and really moving with impulsion, he might try a spook but I can ride through it. But it definitely requires me to nudge those comfort zones and work my a** off 😄. We progress slower than I otherwise might, but I do it for now because, weirdly, I enjoy the challenge. However, if I come off again or start having less fun, I'm changing horses. I don't mind taking longer to get things down, but physical safety matters more than anything. I know how hard it is to make this choice, but I think you're actually very brave for making it.

                                ​​​​​

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Arlomine View Post
                                  Short answer. Sell this horse before you Get too injured to ride an appropriate horse.
                                  Totally agree. I’ve had bad falls. Some that have resulted in permanent back issues that have really impacted my day to day abilities. You may love him, but you will get hurt at the rate you are falling. Also, how can it be fun? The unpredictability has got to be sucking the fun right out. Even if he is “fixed” by the old trainer, oftentimes, we still remember the old horse. Horse senses this and becomes old horse again. Good luck. It’s a tough spot for sure, but I think once you replace him with something suitable, you’ll be so happy you did.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by ToughShet View Post
                                    You can check out my most recent post if you'd like some back story, but: I'm the sticky-seat rider who has come off my current boy twice since January. If I come off again this year I will seriously consider switching to a quieter horse permanently.

                                    We will be getting him vetted since we suspect an underlying issue is at least contributing to the spooks. In the meantime, I am doing PT to improve my known imbalances, taking regular lessons on a steady Eddie and doing lunge lessons to develop a more independent seat.

                                    I have also learned to muster my courage (or at least accept the fear) and learn to keep him forward and very busy whenever he's worried about anything. When he is forward and really moving with impulsion, he might try a spook but I can ride through it. But it definitely requires me to nudge those comfort zones and work my a** off 😄. We progress slower than I otherwise might, but I do it for now because, weirdly, I enjoy the challenge. However, if I come off again or start having less fun, I'm changing horses. I don't mind taking longer to get things down, but physical safety matters more than anything. I know how hard it is to make this choice, but I think you're actually very brave for making it.

                                    ​​​​​
                                    Thanks, that is kind of you. Right now, I don't feel brave, I feel sad.

                                    Morgan, you know, after this last fall, I jumped while falling asleep -having that feeling of him jump out from underneath me and catching me off guard. It is fun gaiting and cantering him, but the spooks out of the blue with boot scootin' boogie across the arena are definitely not.

                                    candyappy it could be the move. It's more likely just him. I should have known when he exploded the first time I went to mount him. It took a while to mount quietly, then to learn to stand still and to just walk. Honestly if not for this last spook, I don't think I'd be having this conversation with all of you. But I think sooner or later I would reach the same conclusion. Better I'm in one piece and alive than later when it's too late.

                                    Edre horse is a lovely boy and he does have redeeming qualities. I guess I was hoping we'd gel together and he would learn to relax and trust me.

                                    I hope someone else going through a.similar situation now or in the future can refer to this thread and the wisdom of contains.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      I have a similar situation. I am however a very experienced AA, ridden through the fei levels. Late 50's. I bought an amazing, talented, super well breed dressage horse who was 7. He is 9 now. Started and imported a bit late. The fun riding him was fantastic, except he could be spooky. Never came off, but man at 17.3, it was not fun to ride that . Although he is a bit more mature and brave, I am sick of it. He is with a excellent trainer, and on the market. I will probably never have this quality of a horse again, but I do this for fun and like to compete, and do not want to hit the dirt.
                                      Sometimes it just is time to move on. Life is way too short to ride the wrong horse. Good luck.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        I feel your pain literally. I am 55 and my new horse got bitten by a horsefly, and I came off on my butt. Yes my tailbone hurt and it is slowly getting better, but I don't want that to happen again. I can't imagine falling off as much as you. My new horse is only 15.1, and it scared him when I came off. I just know what to expect now when bugs are bad. Your horse sounds great for the right person who can put up with foolishness. This is supposed to fun, not cheating death every time you ride. Try and turn your heart off, and know letting him go will benefit both of you.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Wanderosa View Post

                                          I've mentioned my trainer's horse on other threads. He's one of the most gorgeous and athletic horses I've ever met in person. He's also sensitive and developed a rearing problem after loose dogs scared when he was hacking out with another rider while the trainer was recovering from an accident. They've mostly worked through it, but every now and again he decides he's a Lippenzanner stallion when he gets scared. Someone captured a great photobomb of them lunge-rearing out of a warm-up area while a friend is placidly saluting at the end of her dressage test in the foreground. It's a spectacular pic because it captures his raw athleticism and her incredible skill in being able to ride him through it!
                                          Not to derail the thread, but that picture is all over FB! (with the comment "eventing is an interesting sport" or something along those lines. It's hilarious, and quite the display of athleticism and sticking-talent!)
                                          A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

                                          http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

                                          Comment

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