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Am I giving up too soon? re: making a trail horse into a ring horse

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  • #41
    $4k sounds extremely overpriced! i'm in SE PA and that seems like a lot for a 15yo grade horse who can't go out alone on the trail and tries to buck you off in the ring. that sounds like a free horse to me.
    Yes - it's overpriced for THAT horse lol!!

    It's not overpriced for what she actually wants.

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    • Original Poster

      #42
      DieBlaueReiterin (love the name!) you crack me up. I know the more I'm talking about this guy the more I'm thinking I'm getting hosed on the price. I'm actually thankful he's not a really lovey type of horse. Otherwise I'd feel really guilty not getting him. He'll take some pets but overall doesn't care for getting loved on. It makes it a bit easier breaking away from him.

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      • #43
        Originally posted by DieBlaueReiterin View Post
        i hope you don't take this as offensive to you, but your trainer really does not sound like a knowledgable or sympathetic horse person. comments like "no horse likes their job" and "all horses will test you in the ring" are completely asinine and untrue. also, telling you that he will be LESS buddy sour at home with one other horse is the worst advice i've ever heard! if anything, he will be twice as buddy sour with only one friend (not to mention if you take him out and your other guy is left alone he may get very upset too). if i were you i would look around for another trainer.
        Right, find a trainer that respects the horses it manages.
        Those are the ones that you can learn from how to do things right for you AND the horse.

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        • #44
          Just as a comparison for you in regards to pricing...

          I have a two week off the track four year old thoroughbred who is DEAD quiet (she is actually the quietest horse I have ever met). Raced lightly, retired sound. She is stunning (chestnut with a HUGE blaze and two hind stockings) and imbecably bred. Her movement, aside from a slight paddle, is fabulous.

          She ground ties (caught on quick!), trail rides through anything (deep mud, brush so thick you can barely see through it, ect) alone or with others on the buckle. Already she has popped over small "logs" and teeny fences in the ring. WTC, on the buckle in the ring or out. Friendly mare - her personality is raved about at the barn.
          Children could trail ride this mare by themselves.

          She stands stone still for bathing, vet work ("Oh, you're sticking a needle in me and squeezing out pus, that's fine!"), the dentist (he was AMAZED), farrier (farrier called her a classy lady).

          Now, she isn't for sale as I don't think she is finished enough (she is, after all, only two weeks off the track), but in a month of two she will be. Her price will then likely be $4000, if i can bare to part with her.

          See the difference? You can do a hell of a lot beter. And if my two week on the track TB can do this, your 15 year old experienced "trail horse" had darn well better be able to go out alone.
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          • #45
            It is a little different though when you are pricing a working horse. For example, $4,000 would not be an outrageous price for one of our older, beginner safe trail horses. Our horses work for a living so when we sell one of our guest horses we have to think about the price to replace the horse. When we buy a new horse it could take a year or more until we a comfortable putting even our most advanced guests on their backs. It could be years later that they are completely beginner safe. There are quite a few horses in the 15-20 year range that we would say are absolutely not for sale, but if you "put a gun to our head" and made us name a price it would be well over $5,000.
            Southern Cross Guest Ranch
            An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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            • #46
              The horse you want can be had in Alabama for about 2-3k, max

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              • #47
                $4,000 is certainly what you'll probably spend to get the horse that you want, who can work calmly for you in the ring and take you out alone on trail rides. In the Northeast, you'd pay more than that, or at $4000 you would have to accept a horse with some shortcomings...say one that can't jump because of an old injury, or an older horse.
                Your trainer is not doing you any favors, and as everyone else has said, much of what they've told you is just wrong.
                This horse is very good at his "job", but that job is plugging along in the trail ride line. There's nothing wrong with that, but you want more. Keep looking! Maybe even look on the Giveaways thread here, you never know what you'll find.

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                • Original Poster

                  #48
                  It's funny I've spoken to a few people in real life who have said the same thing about the trainer. What I think is the deal with this trainer is that while she has experience out the yin-yang, right now she's spreading herself thin. She's kind of a one man show on the farm aside from part time help from two college students. She's a small farm who does a little of everything, training horses, training people, trail rides, selling horses. So I think she blows a lot of things off that she should be focusing on like this horse being so miserable.

                  I picked this barn because it's close to my house and it has a more relaxed atmosphere. I'm in my 40s and I used take lessons at a hunter barn where I used to live. I was one of the oldest students which made it hard. So I was happy at this barn to find that I'm one of the youngest students. But the other women are very happy to trail ride in groups and hang out where I want to learn more ring work. It does sound like I need to consider barn hunting as well as horse hunting.

                  Even after I buy a horse I still want to find a barn to take lessons or have someone come to my house.

                  I think a hunter type barn is probably going to have more of what I'm looking for. The only thing that I am fussy about is horse size. I'm 5'3" and at this stage in life, I'd like a shorter horse. Something between 14-15 hands is ideal. I love a short stocky horse. The hunter barn where I rode had very tall horses.
                  But other than that I'm not picky about other things. But my trainer makes me feel like I am asking too much with a horse going out alone. But nobody at that barn trail rides alone. Not even a short hack around the farm.

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by RhythmDivine View Post
                    I think a hunter type barn is probably going to have more of what I'm looking for. The only thing that I am fussy about is horse size. I'm 5'3" and at this stage in life, I'd like a shorter horse. Something between 14-15 hands is ideal. I love a short stocky horse. The hunter barn where I rode had very tall horses.
                    Don't know diddly about hunters, but isn't that about the size that nobody wants? Too big to be a pony but not big enough to compete with big horses? I'd think you'd be able to find a nice well trained critter within your budget- maybe even a large pony that's been there/done that, but needs a less stressful job?

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Sounds like the trainer want's him gone. Good luck at that price.
                      There is something out there for you. Take you time and try everything.
                      You should be able to find a nice horse for that price, even less probably.
                      Good decision.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        I frequently trail-ride solo, though I bring my cell phone/id with me just in case, and usually call before and after my ride. From what you describe of your experience, a horse who you can't trail-ride solo and who is clearly unhappy in the ring is not suitable for you, either to own or to part-lease. I completely disagree with your trainer, while most horses will eventually test you about something at some point, many are very content to go around the ring and do solo trail rides. I think you'd do well to check out other barns/trainers in your area. In the meantime, if your trainer has another horse that does go better in the ring, you can take lessons, but only go on group trail rides on this horse. I understand the people who are suggesting you vet him/etc. mean well, but you don't own this horse, and should not try to take him on and rehab him.
                        Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.

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                        • #52
                          Originally posted by RhythmDivine View Post
                          It's funny I've spoken to a few people in real life who have said the same thing about the trainer. What I think is the deal with this trainer is that while she has experience out the yin-yang, right now she's spreading herself thin. She's kind of a one man show on the farm aside from part time help from two college students. She's a small farm who does a little of everything, training horses, training people, trail rides, selling horses. So I think she blows a lot of things off that she should be focusing on like this horse being so miserable.

                          I picked this barn because it's close to my house and it has a more relaxed atmosphere. I'm in my 40s and I used take lessons at a hunter barn where I used to live. I was one of the oldest students which made it hard. So I was happy at this barn to find that I'm one of the youngest students. But the other women are very happy to trail ride in groups and hang out where I want to learn more ring work. It does sound like I need to consider barn hunting as well as horse hunting.

                          Even after I buy a horse I still want to find a barn to take lessons or have someone come to my house.

                          I think a hunter type barn is probably going to have more of what I'm looking for. The only thing that I am fussy about is horse size. I'm 5'3" and at this stage in life, I'd like a shorter horse. Something between 14-15 hands is ideal. I love a short stocky horse. The hunter barn where I rode had very tall horses.
                          But other than that I'm not picky about other things. But my trainer makes me feel like I am asking too much with a horse going out alone. But nobody at that barn trail rides alone. Not even a short hack around the farm.
                          Your trainer is a busy woman who is a jack of all trades, master of none, with bills to pay. And NO horse that does hourly trail rides nose to tail is going to ride out alone, period. They are trained to zone out and follow the butt in front of them. Soul-sucking work for a horse, but he doesn't have to think, just go. It would take retraining to create an independent thinker on the trail and for THAT kinda money- you don't deserve a project.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #53
                            You all are so right. Shakytails I didn't think of the 14-15 hand horse being not a size in demand since they are too big to be a pony but too small some other things. I guess that's a good thing for me.

                            I'm laughing to myself reading your replies because they are so dead on and now my original question seems stupid. I really need to tell my trainer this just isn't my horse. I'll use him on group rides but that's it. It's not fair to me or him. Last month I rode him 3-4 times a week. This month I paid $300 for a lease and I've ridden him twice so far because of the problems. Plus I don't know if I mentioned but I recently put $1000 deposit on him. I may be out that money or I can ask my trainer about putting the money toward lessons or a different horse. Maybe she's pushing him because she's worried about me asking for the money back. I'll tell her to keep the money so we can move forward.
                            I'm bummed but I'm doing the right thing by him.
                            Thank you so much everyone. Your replies and help are much appreciated.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              If you put a deposit, generally that is forfeited if you don't buy the horse, that is correct.

                              Some times, you are lucky to get out of a bad deal without losing much.
                              I think that is one of those times, where you may have gone on to buy him and spend years not enjoying riding at all under those conditions.

                              You can keep looking and if you change your mind later, I expect he will still be there.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by RhythmDivine View Post
                                Last month I rode him 3-4 times a week. This month I paid $300 for a lease and I've ridden him twice so far because of the problems. Plus I don't know if I mentioned but I recently put $1000 deposit on him. I may be out that money or I can ask my trainer about putting the money toward lessons or a different horse. Maybe she's pushing him because she's worried about me asking for the money back. I'll tell her to keep the money so we can move forward. .
                                You're a very classy person
                                me not so much - I'd try to wrangle something for that deposit as horse has clearly shown to have several issues, credit toward lessons or board for a future horse (definitely low on my want list but possibly better than just saying bye bye to 1K) ...

                                But definitely cheaper to let the 1K go rather than purchasing this horse ... next time try for a 10% deposit, followed by vetting within a few days, many sellers will even forego the deposit if you've arranged vetting & agreed to a price etc (always be sure to include "subject to vetting" in any contract you sign).

                                I agree that it's time to look for a different barn/trainer/coach

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #56
                                  alto, thanks but I think I'm probably non-confrontational moreso than classy. Stuff like this just makes me want to slink away and hope they don't notice I'm gone.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by RhythmDivine View Post

                                    Plus I don't know if I mentioned but I recently put $1000 deposit on him. I may be out that money or I can ask my trainer about putting the money toward lessons or a different horse. Maybe she's pushing him because she's worried about me asking for the money back.
                                    I doubt he'd pass a vet check. That should get you your deposit back. OTOH if he did pass you'd be out the deposit and the $ for the vet.
                                    "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer

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                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Preposterous Ponies! View Post
                                      Just as a comparison for you in regards to pricing...

                                      I have a two week off the track four year old thoroughbred who is DEAD quiet (she is actually the quietest horse I have ever met). Raced lightly, retired sound. She is stunning (chestnut with a HUGE blaze and two hind stockings) and imbecably bred. Her movement, aside from a slight paddle, is fabulous.

                                      She ground ties (caught on quick!), trail rides through anything (deep mud, brush so thick you can barely see through it, ect) alone or with others on the buckle. Already she has popped over small "logs" and teeny fences in the ring. WTC, on the buckle in the ring or out. Friendly mare - her personality is raved about at the barn.
                                      Children could trail ride this mare by themselves.

                                      She stands stone still for bathing, vet work ("Oh, you're sticking a needle in me and squeezing out pus, that's fine!"), the dentist (he was AMAZED), farrier (farrier called her a classy lady).

                                      Now, she isn't for sale as I don't think she is finished enough (she is, after all, only two weeks off the track), but in a month of two she will be. Her price will then likely be $4000, if i can bare to part with her.

                                      See the difference? You can do a hell of a lot beter. And if my two week on the track TB can do this, your 15 year old experienced "trail horse" had darn well better be able to go out alone.
                                      Now that is what I'm talking about!
                                      Sounds sooooo nice!

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        In Florida the school horse you describe could be got for $400-$600 , if not free. With your budget you can afford to look around.
                                        Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

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                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                          Your trainer is a busy woman who is a jack of all trades, master of none, with bills to pay. And NO horse that does hourly trail rides nose to tail is going to ride out alone, period. They are trained to zone out and follow the butt in front of them. Soul-sucking work for a horse, but he doesn't have to think, just go. It would take retraining to create an independent thinker on the trail and for THAT kinda money- you don't deserve a project.
                                          That is a horrible generalization. I mean, there are very many poorly operated trail riding businesses and it would be a tragedy if that is really the attitude of their horses, but if you go to a reputable guest/dude ranch that offers trail riding to its guests, you should find many mounts that are happy with their lives and will easily leave the group and ride out alone. We've actually had a decent number of Cothers come out and stay with us and buy horses from us that can testify that not all trail riding places fall into your generalization.

                                          ETA: OP - several of our trail horses have gone on to H/J and Eventing careers. I can remember one absolutely bomb proof gelding that got sold as a "husband horse" for trail riding. Apparently his daughter got ahold of the gelding once they brought him home and a year later or so we were at a GHJA show and saw him in the 3' jumper ring! He kicked some serious butt at that show too
                                          Southern Cross Guest Ranch
                                          An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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