lucysgirl1246

Very Hard...advice Needed

Recommended Posts

Okay, so here goes. I have a 9 year old grade quarter horse mare named Lucy. I got her when she wasn't even two, and i was 16...and she was/is my first horse. She has been to professional training, but still I do not feel as though i can trust her when I ride. She spooks a lot and is very flighty and hard to handle for me. I feel like I am a confident rider (while she is my first horse, I began riding and taking lessons when I was 7), but I am no longer confident with her. While I have never been seriously hurt, I have taken quite a few spills with her. Riding has become a chore for me. I find myself making up excuses for why I shouldn't saddle up--because I am scared of the ride that looms ahead. I don't really think it is all Lucy's fault. Others seem to not have as many problems with her---and I don't have as many problems on other horses. So I feel that I have mostly lost my confidence with her (not all horses). My boyfriend thinks I should keep trying to make it work out with her. He thinks that if I just keep riding her I will eventually get over this and it will be okay. I'm just not so sure. :-( It just breaks my heart to even discuss selling her, but I want to enjoy riding again.

I even called my trainer tonight to get some advice. She said she would be more than willing to continue working with the two of us, but when i said to her, "honestly, what would you do?" She replied, "I would sell her." Just hearing someone else say it stung---I kind of expected her to say "just keep working at it, it will be okay..." So when she said what I was thinking, it really hit home.

That being said, I found a posting for a horse that just seems "right." I am a small gal at 4'10", and this is a 16hh Belgian/QH cross, but he seems so gentle and laid back per the video and listing. The kind of horse I feel like i could trust. I haven't looked at him in person yet...but I think I might...

So, what would you guys do? Do you think I should keep trying with Lucy and see if I can get my confidence back with her? Or is it time to move on.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not all horses & people are going to get along, if your trainer should know your ability & the way your mare behaves. If she says sell her, and it sounds like your heart is telling you the same thing. I had a quarter filly trained by good trainer 3 years ago, when he was done with her, he told me to consider selling her, as he thought she was more horse than I could handle. He was right, at every turn she challanged me, & when she reared & went over backward with me on her. I got rid of her, Had no desire to get on again, horses should be fun to ride, & not something you should dread working with. I should add I'm almost 62 years old, I have no desire to be killed by a horse, I have 3 now that I can trust. Best Wishes. PD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally agree with PD. The horse can sense your fears and you should be enjoying your time with your horse. I have a friend that owns a horse that anyone can ride but me. She got the best of me about 10 years ago and still has it. I can ride any horse big or small but this mare and I are like oil and vinager. She is not my horse thank goodness. My mare is an angel and anyone can ride her without any fear. That is the way it should be. Sorry to say it but it is time to move on. Your horse should be happy too and let someone else do that for her.

Tannerbanner.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've gone through that same dillemma a few times. Once I bought a leopard Appy who was just a psycho. I had also bought an Arab whose owner had just loved him. He and I didn't get along. I sold them and ended up with exceptional horses that I could take anywhere. I am on the fence with a mare I have now, but we are building confidence pretty well, so I'm gonna wait and see a little longer.

The bottom line is, when you get yourself a good partner and get rid of the other one, you're going to wonder what took you so long. The emotional part that you're feeling right now will be pretty insignificant to the relief you'll feel. Think with your head, not your emotions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Sell her,

You already know that you should, and get yourself a nice horse that only spooks in place and does not lose his/her head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Selling her might be in your best interest and hers. I had a mare I raised and spent 14 years trying to make it work. I finally decided she would be a great horse..................for someone else. We just didn't click. She was sold and her new owner was thrilled with her. There was nothing that horse wouldn't do for her. I visited her and couldn't believe how happy, content, and willing that mare was with her owner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, horses are like boyfriends... If they aren't nice and don't make you happy and you don't enjoy your relationship with them, it's time to say good bye, no matter how painful it might be to say good bye. In the end, you'll be happier for it.

Good luck girl! Just think, you'll be able to be as picky as you want in looking for your future horse! Find your dream horse! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks you guys. This has been so difficult for me. I do know what I SHOULD do, it's just hard. Everything you guys have been saying makes so much sense. It's good to know that I'm not the only one who has gone through this.

I guess the only other thing I have to add---My trainer called me today, and she mentioned trying the "depo?" shot on Lucy. She said that this could help her as it helped her friends horse in the past--if her "moodiness and difficultness" is due to hormonal reasons. Is this worth trying or not really?

Again, thank you all so much for your input. I really am taking it to heart as I struggle to make this tough choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Find her a new home and find yourself a good safe horse. I agree with Peppersdad-there are too many good horses out there to keep one that doesn't suit you.

Riding should be a joy and a passion not a chore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only you will know what is best for you . My advice is to seek another opinion from another trainer!

With the right trainer she can become the horse of your dreams. The reason I'm saying this is I have been in your shoes. My mare I have had since she was to she is 4 now. I was going to give up on her when I found a trainer that could help me.

My advice is this (this is what my trainer had me do)

439857hze1vgnqaz.gif

1. Start allover like she is a new horse

2. stay off her back for at least a month and work with her on the ground only! Build up this relationship better first. Even if you think she is fine on the ground she is not trusting you to be her leader!

3. Spend time with he just hand grazing some days when you are not working together give her treats and love play with her don't just make it all about work.

4. Do allot of leading exercises on the ground. My trainer had me lead my horse with a training stick in one hand and her in the other. She had me lead her a few steps behind me (just for the sake of the training lesson as this is not safe to do all the time obviously) When I stopped my feet she had to stop her feet if not I would turn around and wiggle the rope to make her back up. if she still didn't back up I would wave the training stick and lastly I would whack her in the chest if she still wouldn't respond (she caught on fast though)

5. We went on with me leading her through obstacle's and then to scary objects. being patient and encouraging until she would take time to sniff it or putt it in her mouth then I would praise praise praise her and take the pressure off . (there is allot more to this but you get the just)

6. Walk her in hand where you ride her make sure she is paying attention to you not to what ever is around her. Do this by giving a sharp jerk on the lead when she is off in lala land to bring the focus back on mom.

Its amazing how simple exercises build up your own confidence again and hers in you . somewhere along the way you both lost it in each other or maybe you guys never had it. But I believe you can get it back!!!!

Lunging for respect is a great way to work with a insecure spooky horse! Not lunging around in mindless circles but lunging with a purpose. Lots of direction changes and ground poles jumps anything you can think of to keep it interesting.

Just think of starting all over fresh like it was the first time you have ever met your horse. There are so many things you can do to get her back. Most important you have to want to do it and be willing to put the work in. You may get another horse and end up with the same problems. Or you will get that other horse and they will be awesome. There are allot of under saddle lessons you can do to work with her to but that comes later...

No matter what you do I wish you the best of Luck!

127570xegbokddho.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had to sell a horse that just didn't work for me before. Everyone else could ride this guy but when I would get on him it was not a good situation. When his new owner came to pick him up my daughter was bawling but I honestly was glad to see him go. Better for him, better for me. Good luck in whatever you decide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for all the advice and kind words. I have decided, for now, to keep her and try to work it out. I have contacted another trainer who lives very close by and thinks she can help. She did wonders for my neighbor and her VERY problem horse, so I am going to see if she can help us too. I just love this horse to much to just give up on her. I have also seen how much potential she can have with a rider who is more confident in her than me. If this trainer also thinks it would be in my best interest to give her up, then I will do so. I don't want to be stupid about this--but I want to make sure that I really have tried all I can for the both of us before I truely make up my mind.

Groomertabby, thanks so much for the advice. I am so glad that you were able to correct the problems you had with your mare! Lucy is supposed to go to the new trainer the beginning of April, but until then I think I am going to try some of the things you mentioned. I think my main problem is that I totally have lost all confidence in this horse--as you said you did too. As a 2 and 3 year old, her and I had no problems at all. But she is now 9, and quite a few spills have happened in between that have really shaken me and caused me to doubt her. I think my fear is certainly transferring to her and then making her more skittish and just causing a cycle that I need help to correct.

Again, thank you all for your opinions--I'm not ignoring your advice, I promise...I have taken it all in.

I will keep you guys updated, wish me luck!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By all means, give it a final try for your own peace of mind since you are so attached to this mare. I actually still have my same kind of horse. I just don't ride her anymore. She's pretty much a pasture pet. She's 20 now. I gave up years of riding because it just wasn't enjoyable and I don't bounce off the ground as well as I used to. I regret that. But every ride was a fight, and most ended with both of us on the ground. So now I added a spooky TWH mare to ride. If we can't work out the issues, she'll be moving on this fall. I'm tired of the fight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well no matter what you do good luck to you. If you need anything feel free to send me a pm!

Don?t forget to try and do something with her everyday. Even if it is just hand grazing,grooming,ext.

Another small exercise if you only have a few moments is : Back her into her stall , This takes allot of trust on her part in you , back her out of the pasture gate, back her up into anything you can think of (safety first of course your building trust so don?t back her into something that may cause a wreck)

Use you imagination come up with many different games you can do with her.

Can she flex laterally with lightness? This is a big one first off its good for a stretch second of all this exercise may save you from a wreck someday. The goal is to get her light light light . It must take very little pressure in the end to cue her to bend her neck around.

Disengage the hind quarters: If you can get the back legs to cross over and have her bend laterally your doing great. A horse cant bolt or buck (generally speaking ) if the back legs are crossed and the neck is bent around. The problem allot of people run into when trying to do as they "call it circles to avoid a wreck" is that the horse has never been properly trained to relaxed at this pressure and disengage the hind quarters. So there horses are bracing up bracing up and they run through the bit or still buck or worst case fall on top of the rider.

The more ground control you and her develop the more you are going to feel in control. Believe it or not she wants you to be in control. Horses look for a leader and when they cant the burden falls on her shoulders. Like you said she can do some pretty great stuff with other riders who are more confident riding her.

Check youtube for free training videos and watch rfd tv

mystiquequeen.jpg

YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now