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Do I Really Want to Take This Horse On?

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  • Do I Really Want to Take This Horse On?

    I'm 5'2". He's 17 hands. I'm middle-aged. He's seven. I have a bad back. He has a bad habit of bumping off the bit and throwing his head and being a little headstrong. And I've never ridden with a martingale.

    But his ground manners are pretty good. And his gaits are great. And he's very light on the forehand (I think that's how you say it; he doesn't lean on the bit).

    And he's beautiful. Seal brown with a white blaze and 2 whites and that lovely fox-red shading around his muzzle and chest and loins.

    And he's got an old injury that I think would make him sound for anything I might be up to doing, but probably won't let him go on to great things as an eventer or jumper. I think he was over-stressed too young.

    So, what do you think? Go for it? Or run from it as fast as I can?
    Rack on!

  • #2
    Do you smile, think of the things you can accomplish and feel good inside when you look at him??? If so...do it!! If your good sense tells you no...pass!!
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


    • #3
      Would the current owners be open to letting you lease him for a bit?


      • #4
        You can't ride looks. Too many good horses out there that would probably suit you better.


        • #5
          I'd say there's not enough information to make a decision. Throw his looks out the window - they are not important. Pretty is as pretty does.

          I'm taller than you but only 5'4". I went from riding big horses to riding small horses. Then I had a big horse on lease for DH. I didn't like riding him - he was too big, his "antics" were just that much bigger because of his size, and I was always aware of how much more powerful he was than I. Of course my small horses are also more powerful than I am, but at least I can con myself into thinking I have a chance if the shit hits the fan.
          "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


          • #6
            Is he free? Is there a good chance you can find another home for him if he doesn't work out? Is he kind?

            I'm middle aged (If I live to 125) with arthritis and some other problems. I was given a spooky, fairly green Arab in need. Sweetest, prettiest horse in the world and I'm having a great time with him. I have always had "special" horses so I knew what I was getting into. He's starting to go rather nicely now too and I could most likely rehome him if necessary. If I had it to do over I don't know if I'd take on another "project" as I already have my other horse. Maybe if I was retired and could play everyday.......
            Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"


            • #7
              I'm 5'9" and all leg, and I'd think twice about 17h. I can't imagine what you go through! Unless he's built super slab sided with rediculously short legs, he's going to be difficult for your body to stay with.
              chaque pas est fait ensemble


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rackonteur View Post
                I'm 5'2". He's 17 hands. I'm middle-aged. He's seven. I have a bad back. He has a bad habit of bumping off the bit and throwing his head and being a little headstrong. And I've never ridden with a martingale.

                So, what do you think? Go for it? Or run from it as fast as I can?
                So my opinion? Run away. With your back, just getting on him in a couple of years will make you not want to ride. Plus arguing with one the fights the bit and a little headstrong? Do you really want that?
                I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.


                • #9
                  Why would you want a horse that tall with some behavior issues under saddle? You have a bad back, you are on the smaller side, a big horse like that will overwhelm you. Why take a chance on hurting or disappointing yourself with a horse that you fall in love with his looks but can't ride? Pass, he may well be a bargain but probably not for you. With your physical limitations and risk of hurting your self further look for a horse that you can easily manage, on the ground and under saddle. Personally I would look at horses 15 hands to 15.3 hands. You want something you can easily put a saddle on and ride comfortably, a horse that is sane and well behaved so you can enjoy the ride not worry about behavior issues.
                  "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."


                  • #10
                    Buy a big happy pony.


                    • #11
                      I have a horse that's almost 17h (16.3) and very wide, so he takes up a lot of leg. I'm also only 5'4" on a tall day and have pretty short legs. He works for me because he's very agreeable and we 'mesh', for lack of a better term.

                      This horse does not sound like he'd mesh with you and if I were going to even consider it, if I were in your shoes, I'd probably find a good trainer to send him to for a month or two and see if some of the 'headstrong' issues can be figured out and maybe mitigated first. If he makes your heart go 'pitter-patter' when you think about him, it might be worth it. If all you can think about is how much work he's going to be when you think about it, pass and find something that will work better for you as soon as you bring him home.
                      The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                      Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


                      • #12


                        • #13
                          does not sound like a good match to me.


                          • #14
                            My gelding was a head tosser when I got him...but he'd had been ridden too heavy handed, with a shanked bit and a training fork (running martingale) (and I know, wrong in too many ways). I put him in a French link and circled him every time he wacked his head up. It worked, but took months and a strong back on my part. Just some more input...it will take a bit of work and are you up to that?


                            • #15
                              Your bad back worries me most of all in this situation. So, I'm going to add my voice to the "find another horse" group.
                              If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                              Desmond Tutu


                              • #16
                                I will be the voice of dissent LOL the easiest horses to ride, that I have ever owned and trained, happened to be 17 hands.

                                I recently taught an older lady, 5' 1", how to ride out on terrain on a 17 hand horse. It was a perfect match.

                                I say give it a try and it it doest work, move on. Size is only one variable.
                                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                                • #17
                                  Have you ridden him?

                                  On paper he doesn't sound like a good match for your needs but sometimes when you sit on a horse you realize that you work together.

                                  I took my current horse as a foster. When I picked him up I dismissed him as being too small for me. When I sat on him, I realized that he rode as a much bigger horse and that he suited me very well.

                                  BUT and it's a big one, if he's big and strong and has behavioral problems AND potential unsoundness, I'd think long and hard before taking him on.
                                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                  • #18
                                    If in doubt, don't.

                                    Easy to make a decision quickly, compared with long time to regret it.

                                    Be sure, if you are looking for a horse to keep for long, that it be suitable up front, not a questionable project that may or not fit.

                                    There will be out there that one horse you will be sure is one worth taking chances to own to hopefully be your next great match.
                                    This one? You don't seem that sure.

                                    If in doubt, don't.


                                    • #19
                                      I'm a trainer and only 5'3 on a good day and I don't even like taking in horses over 16.3 in on training. Just don't have the long legs to back it up when they are being bad. The older I get the more I like the smaller TBs and large ponies.


                                      • #20
                                        My horse is extremely light to the aids and is over 17.00 hh. So light - in fact - that my legs hardly do any work and I'd probably fall off if she bucked.

                                        I would ask for a trial and see if he responded better to your hands. I had a loaner once that rooted so badly she gave me whiplash, until she learned that I rode differently to her owner.

                                        On the one hand he is 'light on the forehand' and then you say 'he is a little headstrong', so not sure if I understand what you are saying.

                                        Once you have ridden a larger horse, they become normal to you - but if you want to hold him together between hand and leg for a lot of dressage, he might be a bit tough for you. Are his soundness issues going to be a millstone round your neck - because then I would turn away because vet bills are no fun at all.
                                        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique