ponytails

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    TX, USA
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    reading, horses, Native American history, ghost stories
  1. Could you guys give me a good exercise program to get an old horse into shape and keep her in shape? She is 25 years old and in good weight and health. She hasn't shown any limping/pain at all, but her joints will creak or pop some and I feel she can be a little stiff when it comes to making a sharper turn. She will trot and lope willingly, but I don't want to overdo her at all due to her age so we haven't done a lot of that yet.
  2. Could you guys give me a good exercise program to get an old horse into shape and keep her in shape? She is 25 years old and in good weight and health. She hasn't shown any limping/pain at all, but her joints will creak or pop some and I feel she can be a little stiff when it comes to making a sharper turn. She will trot and lope willingly, but I don't want to overdo her at all due to her age so we haven't done a lot of that yet.
  3. All of you have such great advice! Thanks so much! I have some good tools and suggestions to keep in mind and use. I'm sorry I didn't post yesterday. Well, my trainer never did get to come out which really disappoints me. She said she was coming yesterday, but she didn't call & she didn't come. So, I don't have her opinion on this horse and tomorrow is the last day. I will have to use my own judgement. I have decided to keep her. I feel this horse will only get better the more she gets to know/trust me and I will keep everyone's advice in mind. Even if she doesn't turn out to be the total been there, done that trail horse all the time, she has many good qualities. She's a great lesson horse! She has been great with my daughter and is a very calm & good girl at home. She has been very consistant with my daughter and I riding her here. My daughter is in love with her already and the horse rides really quiet and behaved with her. She has been riding her everyday learning to stop and turn her. She even got Lucky (horse's name) to trot a little. The horse walks nice and slow with my daughter. When I get on her she gets more pep in her step and seems to adjust to her rider's skill level. She seemed ready to trot and lope yesterday when I got on her after my daughter had finished riding her. Also, this little mare likes to go down the road and seems to actually look forward to going out so I don't think I will have any barn sour issues. My daughter only has a little trouble with her in one spot. If she rides her past a certain area (close to the gate & run in shed) the horse will not respond to her and will continue walking up to the gate or run in shed and stop. I think once my daughter gets better at riding she will be able to make her respond in this area. I am wondering if the horse is thinking "Let's get out of here and ride out there.".
  4. All of you have such great advice! Thanks so much! I have some good tools and suggestions to keep in mind and use. I'm sorry I didn't post yesterday. Well, my trainer never did get to come out which really disappoints me. She said she was coming yesterday, but she didn't call & she didn't come. So, I don't have her opinion on this horse and tomorrow is the last day. I will have to use my own judgement. I have decided to keep her. I feel this horse will only get better the more she gets to know/trust me and I will keep everyone's advice in mind. Even if she doesn't turn out to be the total been there, done that trail horse all the time, she has many good qualities. She's a great lesson horse! She has been great with my daughter and is a very calm & good girl at home. She has been very consistant with my daughter and I riding her here. My daughter is in love with her already and the horse rides really quiet and behaved with her. She has been riding her everyday learning to stop and turn her. She even got Lucky (horse's name) to trot a little. The horse walks nice and slow with my daughter. When I get on her she gets more pep in her step and seems to adjust to her rider's skill level. She seemed ready to trot and lope yesterday when I got on her after my daughter had finished riding her. Also, this little mare likes to go down the road and seems to actually look forward to going out so I don't think I will have any barn sour issues. My daughter only has a little trouble with her in one spot. If she rides her past a certain area (close to the gate & run in shed) the horse will not respond to her and will continue walking up to the gate or run in shed and stop. I think once my daughter gets better at riding she will be able to make her respond in this area. I am wondering if the horse is thinking "Let's get out of here and ride out there.".
  5. Well, my trainer never did come out which really disappoints me a lot. I did, however, decide to keep this mare. She has gotten better on the roadside and she has so many good qualities. My daughter has fallen in love with her and she really rides so nice for my daughter. She walks calm and slow with her, but when I get on she gets a little more pep in her step. I think she adjusts to the level of her rider. She is a good little lesson horse! That is hard to find and I believe in time she will just continue to prove herself in other areas as well. She seems to really look forward to and enjoy riding down the road and seeing the different sights. So, I don't think I will have to deal with barn sourness from her. I can't stand to ride a barn sour horse because they can really make me nervous when they put up that fight. Thanks guys and I hope I am making the right decision. I feel that I am!
  6. Fear of Riding

    Hi everyone! Becaco and Wild Rose, it was good to read your posts! I am glad you are making progress. Sometimes it may seem slow, but slow progress is better than no progress. It's nice to know that I am not alone in this. Wild Rose, I think you are right about riding where you are confident which helps build your confidence and in turn the horse's confidence. I am so disappointed that my trainer never did come out and ride this little mare and evaluate her for me. She was supposed to come yesterday, but she didn't call & she didn't come. So, I have to make this decision on my own. I have decided to keep the little mare. She has some wonderful qualities that I really like. She is great with my daughter and my daughter is already in love with her. She would be upset if the horse went back. This little mare is a good lesson horse and walks nice and slow and calm with my daughter on her. My daughter is learning to stop and turn her and even trotted her a little. She seems to adjust to her rider, because when I get on she gets a little more pep in her step and seems ready for some trotting and loping and sight seeing. Although she isn't as completely dead calm as I wanted on the roadside, she seems to really enjoy going out and down the road and isn't or hasn't shown any barn sourness. I rode her down the driveway yesterday and there was a water puddle in front of us that she wanted no part of. She tried to whirl. I got off and walked her by it while I walked right through it. She did look at it funny. Then on the way back I didn't get off and I rode her by it. This time she didn't try to whirl or get away from it although she was still very suspicious of it. I like her and I am going to give it a whirl. At home she is totally calm and confident. She is very good with my daughter (which is extrememly important to me). She is getting better on the roadside. I still get butterflies too before I go out and ride. Once I get on her and she rides so quiet here it boosts my confidence. I hate that I think too much about all of the what if's and terrible things that can go wrong on a horse. I am having to work on myself mentally and emotionally with that. I am going to stay in my comfort zone and try to expand my comfort zone little by little. I think this will help my confidence and hers.
  7. Thanks all! Well, there is really no way to go around and approach this problem area from a different direction. It's also not a bridge, but there are deep culverts on both sides and it is very woodsy. There are cows and donkeys on one side that I'm sure she smells and hears moving around, but cannot see. There are also a lot of deer, turkey, hogs, and coyotes in that particular area at any given time. I was impressed with the fact that she did well going the other direction (which is the way I mostly ride). She also seemed interested in our ride which makes me hope that she will enjoy going out on the trail and won't develop any barn sourness later on. I am going to have the vet look her over (joints, vision, teeth). I was amazed that she was not sweaty when we got home and she didn't seem like she was dragging and tired. The only place she was sweated up was where the saddle sat on her back.
  8. Thanks all! Well, there is really no way to go around and approach this problem area from a different direction. It's also not a bridge, but there are deep culverts on both sides and it is very woodsy. There are cows and donkeys on one side that I'm sure she smells and hears moving around, but cannot see. There are also a lot of deer, turkey, hogs, and coyotes in that particular area at any given time. I was impressed with the fact that she did well going the other direction (which is the way I mostly ride). She also seemed interested in our ride which makes me hope that she will enjoy going out on the trail and won't develop any barn sourness later on. I am going to have the vet look her over (joints, vision, teeth). I was amazed that she was not sweaty when we got home and she didn't seem like she was dragging and tired. The only place she was sweated up was where the saddle sat on her back.
  9. Thanks guys. I really do appreciate it. I keep going back and forth on this mare. Part of me wants to keep her (rationalizing that she's not that bad and she could get better), but then the other part of me says no because she may not get better and what if (heaven forbid) she gets worse. Then I will be stuck with the heartbreak of selling her. I also want a horse that I feel comfortable taking to new environments (group trail rides, playdays, local equestrian trails). I don't know how she will be with that. I do tell myself that the horse I was looking for in the first place was a been there, done that, confidence builder, take care of the rider type of trail horse. I am really eager to have my trainer come out and evaluate her. If she rode as solid on the trail as she did at home it would be such an easy answer. Judging on how she rides at home, she would make an awesome lesson horse.
  10. Fear of Riding

    Wild Rose, you really have a good point there. I probably do tense up and I don't even realize when I start doing it. Horses are very smart like that. I can't wait for my trainer to come over and ride her. I am really wanting to see if she does better for her going the scary direction. I'll keep you posted!
  11. Okay, 2nd ride... We started out at the house. We walked, trotted, loped a little and went around a barrel and a cone a little. She did great! Very calm and behaved. So, next we went down the road. She was much better today. Instead of first going the scary direction, we went the opposite way and she did very well. No spooks, no balking or trying to turn around. She was still somewhat of a looky lou though. She handled big cows in a field next to the road okay and even held it together when a mini horse whinnied to her. She whinnied back the second time but didn't cause a fuss. She seemed a lot more relaxed but interested in her surroundings. Now for the big test, I wanted to see how she would do going the scary direction that we had problems with before. She wouldn't have any of it. She fought me more this time. She wheeled around, felt like she bowed her back a bit, and she tried to get away from me. It wasn't pretty. I turned her the opposite direction and got her stopped and standing still. I got off, turned her back around and led her through the "scary" way. We crossed the creek and kept going. Now I was leading her and she was definately bothered by her surroundings but she went. I then led her back through the creek and back to where we started. I got on her and rode her the direction that she had no problems with and she rode off fine. I did that to see if she was just being barn sour and just wanted to go home. I turned her back toward home and away from home a couple of times and she never fought me going away from home. So, I don't think it's barn sour, I think she is just afraid of going the other direction. This does bother me because I wanted to have a horse that will willingly go wherever you point it. It's sure scary getting into a bind (battle) on the roadside. I am hoping my trainer will come tomorrow to help me with this and help me decide. I don't have to ride that direction and it's not my favorite place to ride anyway, BUT how will I know when and wherever I am that this might not come up somewhere else.
  12. Okay, 2nd ride... We started out at the house. We walked, trotted, loped a little and went around a barrel and a cone a little. She did great! Very calm and behaved. So, next we went down the road. She was much better today. Instead of first going the scary direction, we went the opposite way and she did very well. No spooks, no balking or trying to turn around. She was still somewhat of a looky lou though. She handled big cows in a field next to the road okay and even held it together when a mini horse whinnied to her. She whinnied back the second time but didn't cause a fuss. She seemed a lot more relaxed but interested in her surroundings. Now for the big test, I wanted to see how she would do going the scary direction that we had problems with before. She wouldn't have any of it. She fought me more this time. She wheeled around, felt like she bowed her back a bit, and she tried to get away from me. It wasn't pretty. I turned her the opposite direction and got her stopped and standing still. I got off, turned her back around and led her through the "scary" way. We crossed the creek and kept going. Now I was leading her and she was definately bothered by her surroundings but she went. I then led her back through the creek and back to where we started. I got on her and rode her the direction that she had no problems with and she rode off fine. I did that to see if she was just being barn sour and just wanted to go home. I turned her back toward home and away from home a couple of times and she never fought me going away from home. So, I don't think it's barn sour, I think she is just afraid of going the other direction. This does bother me because I wanted to have a horse that will willingly go wherever you point it. It's sure scary getting into a bind (battle) on the roadside. I am hoping my trainer will come tomorrow to help me with this and help me decide. I don't have to ride that direction and it's not my favorite place to ride anyway, BUT how will I know when and wherever I am that this might not come up somewhere else.
  13. Okay, 2nd ride... We started out at the house. We walked, trotted, loped a little and went around a barrel and a cone a little. She did great! Very calm and behaved. So, next we went down the road. She was much better today. Instead of first going the scary direction, we went the opposite way and she did very well. No spooks, no balking or trying to turn around. She was still somewhat of a looky lou though. She handled big cows in a field next to the road okay and even held it together when a mini horse whinnied to her. She whinnied back the second time but didn't cause a fuss. She seemed a lot more relaxed but interested in her surroundings. Now for the big test, I wanted to see how she would do going the scary direction that we had problems with before. She wouldn't have any of it. She fought me more this time. She wheeled around, felt like she bowed her back a bit, and she tried to get away from me. It wasn't pretty. I turned her the opposite direction and got her stopped and standing still. I got off, turned her back around and led her through the "scary" way. We crossed the creek and kept going. Now I was leading her and she was definately bothered by her surroundings but she went. I then led her back through the creek and back to where we started. I got on her and rode her the direction that she had no problems with and she rode off fine. I did that to see if she was just being barn sour and just wanted to go home. I turned her back toward home and away from home a couple of times and she never fought me going away from home. So, I don't think it's barn sour, I think she is just afraid of going the other direction. This does bother me because I wanted to have a horse that will willingly go wherever you point it. It's sure scary getting into a bind (battle) on the roadside. I am hoping my trainer will come tomorrow to help me with this and help me decide. I don't have to ride that direction and it's not my favorite place to ride anyway, BUT how will I know when and wherever I am that this might not come up somewhere else.
  14. Fear of Riding

    Okay, 2nd ride... We started out at the house. We walked, trotted, loped a little and went around a barrel and a cone a little. She did great! Very calm and behaved. So, next we went down the road. She was much better today. Instead of first going the scary direction, we went the opposite way and she did very well. No spooks, no balking or trying to turn around. She was still somewhat of a looky lou though. She handled big cows in a field next to the road okay and even held it together when a mini horse whinnied to her. She whinnied back the second time but didn't cause a fuss. She seemed a lot more relaxed but interested in her surroundings. Now for the big test, I wanted to see how she would do going the scary direction that we had problems with before. She wouldn't have any of it. She fought me more this time. She wheeled around, felt like she bowed her back a bit, and she tried to get away from me. It wasn't pretty. I turned her the opposite direction and got her stopped and standing still. I got off, turned her back around and led her through the "scary" way. We crossed the creek and kept going. Now I was leading her and she was definately bothered by her surroundings but she went. I then led her back through the creek and back to where we started. I got on her and rode her the direction that she had no problems with and she rode off fine. I did that to see if she was just being barn sour and just wanted to go home. I turned her back toward home and away from home a couple of times and she never fought me going away from home. So, I don't think it's barn sour, I think she is just afraid of going the other direction. This does bother me because I wanted to have a horse that will willingly go wherever you point it. It's sure scary getting into a bind (battle) on the roadside. I am hoping my trainer will come tomorrow to help me with this and help me decide. I don't have to ride that direction and it's not my favorite place to ride anyway, BUT how will I know when and wherever I am that this might not come up somewhere else.
  15. The mare is in pretty good shape and still has energy so I don't think speeding her up a little will hurt her. She has not acted barn sour and there are no buddies at home with her. She's an only horse at my house. I have her on trial period (until Saturday). I was looking for a been there, done that old trail horse. She has been hauled all over with buddies and ridden with buddies the last 4 years with previous owners and they said she never spooked, run off with anyone or bucked anyone. So, I thought I'd give her a try. This little mare rides nice, calm, and willing at home. My timid 8 year old daughter rode her at home and this mare was very good with her. It's when I rode her down the road that I had problems. She hasn't (yet) tried to actually balk and stay at home (barn sour). She goes down the road but is not relaxed at all. She will speed up, she's a looky lou, she holds her head high and is very alert. She balked at the direction I wanted to go and tried to turn around. It's a very scary piece of road that goes over a creek and there are woods on both sides. Lots of critters and scary things for horses there. I made her go by yelling "Hey!" and she gave in and did what I wanted, but she still was not relaxed about it. I have riding experience and a good seat, but I would not call myself a confident rider because I have fear issues. I have been working on this with a trainer and have learned some techniques to help myself. The thing is though, I still wanted/needed a seasoned, been there, done that horse for roadside riding. My dad said to ride her as much as possible during this trial period and go with my gut feeling. If I have any doubts I should take her back and keep looking for the right horse.