Stallion Spotlight

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Horse shopping: trainer & I disagree on this one

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  • #21

    On the one hand I really like that he settles and gets to work and you enjoy the ride. To me that says the hole in his training is on the ground. I would suggest that how he acts under saddle is how he will behave on the ground with training and experience.
    Was this the first time you saw him? Did his usual person handle him at all and was he nervous with that person? Was he actually nervous or just social, wanting to see what is going on and be in the middle of the action. Social versus nervous. When checking out a prospective horse at some point when I am beside them I will pretend sneeze or suddenly clap my hands. I want to see how the horse responds to an unexpected action/noise. For me even if the wiggly is 'just' social I prefer a horse that relaxes more. Probably my own wigglyness lol.

    Ideally a short term trial would be the best but if that doesn't work out could you go back and observe someone else handling him? Sometimes we see things differently watching someone else, similar to its good to have eyes on the ground when riding.

    On the other hand, if your gut is telling you this horse is not a good fit, you gotta check out why.


    • #22
      OP, if you do choose to go forward and they won't do a trial, at least ask to have him hauled to a new location for a second trial ride. That way you will at least have some evidence of whether he continues to be a solid citizen under saddle or whether the anxiety carries over to riding in a new situation, making that less pleasant too.


      • #23
        totally and completely hope you can do a trial or at the very least have him hauled offsite so you can evaluate a bit more of his personality and cope-ability in new situations. And it's true that many horses fare better in a larger, busier environment.

        But did want to throw in a thought to maybe help you decide when push comes to shove. If he ever becomes unrideable either temporarily or permanently, will you be content to deal with him, and/or do you think you will be able to find him a place to retire? It's so much easier to do "next step" things with a quiet, well-mannered, not-anxious horse. Just a thought.


        • #24
          Originally posted by S1969 View Post

          the OP said: He's nervous in his own little backyard home.

          So, if he's nervous there, what does that mean? It may be an fairly simple fix. Or not.
          It means he needs to learn how to relax, which is a fairly simple task. Obviously the current owner and trainer (ha, trainer who can't train) don't know how to fix it to OP is getting a nice discount on a nice horse.
          "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."


          • #25
            What sort of program and schedule would he be coming into in your trainers barn?

            How often would you be handling him alone vs the trainer?

            My point: if he's getting 3 pro rides a week and turnout overnight, and you're riding him 2-3 times a week, I say buy him.

            If he's getting 0-1 pro rides a week and the rest is in you and your shoulders, riding him in lessons, then the answer is don't buy him. The pro rides also mean pro he gets lots of solid handling.

            Does that make sense?


            • #26
              Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

              It means he needs to learn how to relax, which is a fairly simple task. Obviously the current owner and trainer (ha, trainer who can't train) don't know how to fix it to OP is getting a nice discount on a nice horse.
              I think the OP said the horse was already priced a bit too high, especially worrisome for a horse with quirks on the ground, that would be harder to sell if he over time just doesn't fit.

              He is not discounted at all?

              Why start with an overpriced horse you don't care for?

              Maybe it could work, maybe not, the op will have to decide what is best for her.


              • #27
                Nervous on the ground don't bother me. Very trainable especially if you have a nice routine and can train the horse to relax in his own skin. My own started out a moron on the ground, a few months later, he was the best behaved and as quiet as the quarter horses.

                Its a personal choice, as you are the one dealing with the horse, but if he makes you giggle when you ride, all the other stuff can be figured out.
                "Anyone who tries to make brownies without butter should be arrested." Ina Garten


                • #28
                  At this age horses are often still a "toss up" on temperament. While approaching physical maturity they often have mental maturity equivalent to an 17 year old male. Or female!!!

                  It's not so uncommon for horses to be good under saddle but poor on the ground. Many who start horses don't spend much time on ground work. Particularly if the horse is sent off for training the owner want's it done for a minimum cost and good behavior under saddle sells more horses than good behavior on the ground. Some even think emulating the "Road To The Horse" format and seeing just how little it takes to start working under saddle is a Good Thing. It ought not to be that way, but there it is. ;(

                  If the OP has not read it they should download and read Littauer's Common Sense Horsemanship. They should look at the seven month program he describes and maybe spend some time during the trial period doing some of the early exercises. That will give them a chance to see just how "disciplined" the horse is and whether or not they want to go forward. It's free to download from multiple sources and worth the time it takes to read, understand it, and do some of it.

                  I with them good luck in their project.


                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo


                  • #29


                    • #30
                      I'd go see him again.

                      That he relaxed under saddle was a great sign. Also suggests that you don't have to worry that he was medicated.

                      "Prep" for anxiety is usually for under saddle work. Sounds like he wasn't anxious under saddle.

                      I like the idea of having him hauled out somewhere.

                      I would spend some time after you try him again, handwalking and grazing. Like an hour. Get a sense of him. Give him a long grooming.

                      At the end of the day, if your gut still says ugh, then don't. Let him be an amazing horse for someone else. Find a horse that you're excited to spend the day with.
                      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                      • #31
                        I think this can go either way-good or bad. If a trial will work out, that would be wonderful. I've had a nervous nelly and I can attest to the dread of going to the show grounds to see if had spun his way to China. He would literally run in circles in the stall, huge mess. This was before ulcer meds, and calming supplements were used. He would stress colic over a minor thing too. I have recently gotten a new horse who was nervous in the stall, but has since settled. He too is wonderful under saddle. I agree with you about not wanting to deal with this. Bip said it well, you don't want to be nervous and have a horse feed off of it. Good luck with your decision. It is your money and your peace of mind.


                        • #32
                          I have a horse bought as a 4 yr old and is now 32, I've owned him all that time. Like the horse you are looking at, he was great under saddle, never tried anything but he had and still has his quirks on the ground being handled. Not all horses can be trained out of their quirks and some things just stay with the horse for ever. I was alright with it though most would not be. If this is the horse be sure you are willing to live with him just like he is. He may well adjust and with work he will get over his ground manner problems but just in case, be sure you are willing to live with them.


                          • #33
                            Don’t think there’s a black and white answer here when we don’t really know OP, the trainer or the horse. It’s the dreaded “it depends” Depends on OPs skills and tolerance for some quirks, trainers honesty in selecting the right horse for OP versus acquiring a steady income source for some time and depends on exactly what the horse is doing. One persons take on edgy behavior might be youthful energy while another might call the same thing bad manners.

                            It is OPs money and OP needs to feel happy going to the barn to ride him, not dread it. Her call.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                            • #34
                              Some horses are just like this - they worry on the ground but are excellent under saddle (and the inverse is also true - rock solid on the ground but fretful with a rider). Other times it's just a situation of calm constant reinforcement and the zen from the one (where the horse is calm) can be introduced to the whole situation. As always, it is very horse dependent.

                              Now all of this aside:
                              I don't think it's wrong to pass on a horse that was lovely under saddle but wasn't all you wanted on the ground. Some people don't have a desire to have a super personable horse on the ground. It's not a priority to them, they don't anticipate just "hanging" with a horse, it's more of a riding based relationship. Others want something they can just luxuriate in grooming, pampering, fussing over, and spending time with. Even if a horse is perfect for that owner under saddle, the owner is still left wanting because they don't have the ability to do what they want with the horse on the ground. It's more than fair to pass on that purchase. Life is too short to knowingly buy a horse that isn't actually what you want.

                              (A friend's mother tried a horse - super, super wonderful under saddle. Like, 15/10, perfect, did not put a foot wrong, everything she could have wanted. But the horse was very workmanlike on the ground and did not appreciate just hanging out with people. Anything beyond the bare minimum cursory grooming to tidy up before tacking and he'd be getting more and more irritated. So she passed on him because it was not a horse that she wanted in her barn - she wanted something she could leisurely detangle the forelock of every other day, spend some extra time two or three days a week with a grooming spray to make the horse super shiny...etc etc etc. She ended up with a lovely mare who was everything she wanted under saddle and who is very happy to bask in the attention on the ground.)


                              • #35
                                From personal experience, I recommend NOT taking the horse that’s a dream under saddle but a pain in the butt on the ground. Most of a show is spent on the ground with this animal, and shows are supposed to be for fun (as well as other purposes) and the best way to have fun is when you’re relaxed. If you spend all the day managing a horse that’s worried and anxious, the enjoyable atmosphere of the show is completely wiped away as you try and hand walk your dragon on a rope.

                                If the horse wasn’t a worrier I would agree with your trainer. If the ground manners were straight up rude because he’s a pushy youngster, that’s very fixable if you know how. However, if he’s pushy because he's nervous, teaching manners becomes a battle of overcoming his brain, and teaching him that life isn’t scary.


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                                  It means he needs to learn how to relax, which is a fairly simple task. Obviously the current owner and trainer (ha, trainer who can't train) don't know how to fix it to OP is getting a nice discount on a nice horse.
                                  LOL. Sure that *might* be the case....although I did not get the sense that the horse was a discount. Especially since half the people who have responded would be willing to buy it anyway.

                                  If you don't mind flipping horses, it's probably worth buying this one and finding out. For people that don't want that hassle, a trial might work better. Or passing until they find something that they can see will work for them.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Unfortunately seller did not agree to a trial. I get it....I’m out of state and she barely knows me.

                                    The previous owner restarted the horse off the track and took him to RRP. I have the opportunity to speak with her about how he handled it.

                                    BTW, anybody know how to look up RRP results?


                                    • #38
                                      Did you try google?
                                      "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post
                                        Did you try google?
                                        Lol of course! But it only gives you the top placings. I did find a video of him there, though. That was fun to watch!


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by gertie06 View Post

                                          Lol of course! But it only gives you the top placings. I did find a video of him there, though. That was fun to watch!
                                          Good morning! If you care to share the link, you'll get a plethora of opinions on him.
                                          "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."