Difficult horse decision *UPDATE*

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Cara, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Cara

    Cara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2007
    Last October my husband and I bought a mare. I was looking for a confidence builder, but not anything that i'd 'outgrow' since horse shopping is a PITA. When we went to look at her I didn't like her. My husband felt that she was a good choice because she was not deadheaded. He thought she would be a challenge, and once my confidence was built up i'd have no end of horses to ride (we live on a ranch) rather than just one bombproof horse that I felt safe with.

    We gave her a few days to settle in when we brought her home, then my husband took her out to work cattle. She started to colic, so he brought her back home and she quickly recovered. A few days later I decided i'd be brave and ride her. She would not leave the house, not a single step. The only way I could get her to move out was to circle back home then keep pushing her forwards for a step or two. She'd freeze again, we'd circle back, and so on. Eventually we'd got maybe 30' from the house. She saw the calves and decided she wanted to move out, so I thought she might feel happier trotting around them and turning them back. The next thing I knew she was bucking. I rode it, but was afraid of getting hurt while everyone was gone, and didn't know what else she might do, so I got off and lead her home. That afternoon I lunged her instead, and she ran me out of the pen bucking. Whenever i'd try to make her move out, she would rear.

    By this point we decided that she was a project for my husband to work with until her manners improved. I make no excuses, I am scared of horses. My husband is not. He took her to work cattle, and she decided that she preferred running backwards and throwing her head to turning left. After quite a few battles over several weeks she was neck reining fine. I rode her in the arena, and although it took ten or fifteen minutes of relaxation exercises before I was ready to get on her, she was perfectly behaved.

    Last weekend when my husband got on her she decided she needed to buck again. He got that straightened out, cut some calves on her which went well, but she had another one of her tantrums leaving the arena. He worked her until she was behaving better, then we turned her out. She is absolutely rotten if she is kept penned overnight, but horrible to catch also. My husband told me that he didn't want me riding her for now, and he'd keep working with her.

    Today she nearly fell over backwards with him, running backwards and spinning around.

    I hate to give up on her (well mostly I hate to let her win!), but after today my husband has pretty much had enough of her. She is aggravating because she has so much potential, but we have the same argument with her almost every time we ride her. When do you decide to throw in the towel?
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  2. kryptoniteqhs

    kryptoniteqhs Rosecomb Rich

    Nov 14, 2008
    Perris, CA
    well....since u work cattle and she trained to cut? i assume shes a quarter horse and bred real well....plus shes a mare to boot....thats how id make that decision...how much potential? (ie age, training, breeding) and if anything if shes bred well make her a brood mare
    but if u have 50 other horses equal in quality....get rid of her....
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    When do you decide to throw in the towel?

    I'd say she's had her chance. Why waste any more time with a dangerous animal when there are so many good ones out there?​
  4. silverfilly

    silverfilly Peepin N' Cheepin

    Jan 25, 2008
    here is my sudgestion, first make sure there is not a medical reason that she is uncomfortable when ridden. Does the saddle fit properly?
    If those things are fine and you really want to make this work I would work on your relationship with the horse. Do some Natural Horsmanship, there are plenty of great programs out there, Lyons, Parelli, Anderson, Ponyboy. All use a lot of the same consepts put dont get locked into the marketing hipe of them just go for the info and work on your relationship before you ever even ride her again. Once you both create a good understanding relationship then start on the ridding again.

    If you dont want or have the time to do this process then Id sudgest finding anouther very well broke horse for you to ride. Just depends on how much time and effort you want to put into it.
  5. Kanchii

    Kanchii Chillin' With My Peeps

    People can't give away their awesome horses these days in this economy. I live in one of the most well off counties in the world (though I'm not rich) and no one is out there buying horses. I bet you could find a free horse that is well broke and perfect for you. She's dangerous, you don't have to deal with her.
  6. lizardz

    lizardz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2007
    Grass Valley, CA
    Have you had her checked by a vet to see if there is some pain issue? Poor saddle fit, chiropractic issue or any other multitude of things that might cause her to behave this way? If she has been vet checked and nothing appears to be wrong, I say throw in the towel. This was a horse that was supposedly bought for you to help you build your confidence. Obviously that's not going to happen, so you're still without a horse that you feel comfortable riding. Plus, she's shown that she's dangerous - is your husband willing to risk himself to ride this animal? I wouldn't. Of course, the difficult decision is what to do with her? In this market (at least around here) there are some great horses that are almost being given away, so it may be difficult to find her a new owner. If you can find her a home with someone who is willing and capable of working with her, great. If not, can you keep her as a lawn ornament? I hate to recommend taking her to auction, but if you can't keep her, that may be your only option. I would have a hard time making a decision on this one - I would be concerned about letting anyone else have her and being hurt, but then again, there may be that person who has the magic to help her become a great horse.

    Next time you go to buy a horse, leave hubby home [​IMG]. Take a girlfriend who is knowledgeable about horses with you and be really firm about what YOU want in a horse (I know it can be easy to get talked into something that's not right for you). Ride the horse a few times, have your friend ride it, go out and catch it in the pasture yourself, and see if the owner will let you "try" out the horse at home for a month or so.

    Good luck. Sorry your first horse didn't turn out to be the right one for you. There are lots of really good horses out there; I know you can find a great one that will help you learn to be confident around them and learn to enjoy riding.

  7. kryptoniteqhs

    kryptoniteqhs Rosecomb Rich

    Nov 14, 2008
    Perris, CA
    these are good points being made...bucking is common in horses with back/neck injuries/problems as is rearing and throwing the head and all sorts of bad behavior...even biting
  8. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    Sometimes some horses are just stubborn and crazy. No matter what you do with them. Your hubby sounds like he knows what hes doing, and if he thinks shes had her chance, ship her down the road. My advice is ship her out. Horses are a dime a dozen these days. Even decent horses.
  9. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    There is probably a reason for her antics; its up to you whether you want to take the time (and probably money) to figure it out. Even then, she may well not be suitable. There are too many perfectly wonderful horses out there needing homes. Id move on, life is too short.
  10. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    Having been there and done that myself -- having a horse that I wasn't comfortable riding because of our mutual issues -- I suggest that you let someone else work with this horse and get yourself one that you're comfortable and confident on. Your confidence will not improve on a horse that you don't feel safe on. In fact, it can steal any confidence you thought you had. [​IMG]

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