Do I carry on?

Ceifer

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Opinions please?

I purchased my gelding nearly 9 months ago. He's a beautiful WB, everybody falls in love with him when they meet him. He's good to shoe, load, clip, easy to do. I brought him off two amateur showjumping brothers who had ragged him around. I've spent months on his flat work and although it's been a slow process getting him to muscle up correctly (he's had years in draw reins). He's looking better. We had a slight behavioural hiccup when I first got him. He hated the first livery yard I had him at, but we moved and all has been ok. However, we have one major issue. Hacking.

Before I continue I'll explain what I wanted from a horse. I wanted a nice general all rounder that could do a bit of everything. I saw nearly 20 horses ( I know lots of people on here have seen more than I had to :( ). The main problem I had was most of the horses were mis advertised or overpriced for what they were.

I saw my gelding and there were two over riding thoughts. He wasn't what I was looking for, I'd only seen him as he was close to another I'd seen earlier that day. He was a showjumper that wouldn't go any further up the levels so they were trying to Palm him off as a RC/ hunting horse. But he is a very nice horse and I saw potential in his paces and temperament.
Plus I felt sorry for him lol.

The problem - he's god awful to hack.
To be fair to him, he's brilliant in traffic. Cyclists don't bother him either. But off road he's a nightmare. I knew they'd not done much with him due to his background. We've had a couple of incidents, one rearing and the other he absolutely blew his top and tried to buck me off. He's had his back checked, teeth checked - sharp but not problematic after rasping and that was when I first had him. Feet are fine and he was scoped for ulcers.
He's been going out with a 'nanny' who is a calming influence, but the owner of his nanny usually likes flying around the countryside and I think is getting a bit sick of my calm hacks.
The rearing took place out on his own and the explosion in company on the way home after a perfect ride not putting a foot wrong.

So the crux of the matter is this. I don't like to blow my own trumpet but I'm an experienced rider, I know that to tackle this needs time and to persevere. But I'm not as young as I used to be and if I injure myself (I know this is possible on any horse). I now have responsibilities and I'm not the carefree 21 year old that would get on anything (what a fool I was) and didn't have a mortgage and could return home to my parents if really necessary (although they wouldn't have been impressed)
The idea of having a horse was for fun, a break away from my stressful job. But I'm not finding him fun, sure I love schooling him and it's great to see him making progress but sometimes I just want to go out on a hack without worrying he's going to do something. I now hack less and less and feel unhappy when other liveries go out and I can't.

The yard owner did recommend I pay somebody to hack him. A girl she knew who is a very experienced rider came and tried him in the school, but she pushed his buttons and he reared with her as she did something daft with him. Then suggested I bit and gadget him up to the hilt to hack him out.

Should I sell him? To a lower level competition home where hacking isn't a bother to them or they're braver/ have more time than me?

Sorry for long post.
 

sunshine100*

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Hi thanks for coming on here and posting this-we are all here for you-personally I would sell him to a very good home where you can check up on him and get another more suited to your needs. Its not wrong and life is too short to not enjoy what you want to do...the main thing is finding a new owner that wants something from your horse that he cannot give (even when you have told them his limits).. and then sells him on again..which is not good for the horse also ..:(
 

ester

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Is he any better on long reins? If he is ok on the road it does suggest he has some sense of preservation at least!
If you want to hack happily then sell him with full disclosure, plenty of people don't want to hack at all so I am sure he would find a good home where he could continue his schooling.

If you want to persevere then no one says you have to go with your yard owners recommendation ;).
 

Rlister89

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Personally, if I really liked the horse, I would continue. Have you tried walking him out in hand or slowly increasing how far you ride? My horse I sold as he would hack, would nap at the gate etc with or without company, I sold him to someone who just wanted to school and Compete and ending up getting him back a year later and he was a sorry state. If selling I would be very careful of the home he goes to and try and keep in touch with them. After getting him back I persevered with riding him round the yard/to the gate/just past etc,then walking him in hand as well. It took a while (pretty much a whole summer) but now he is a fab hack and completely different horse to how he was.
I knew I wanted to persevere with it as I loved riding him, enjoyed having him around and didn't mind dealing with all his rubbish!
 

Ceifer

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Is he any better on long reins? If he is ok on the road it does suggest he has some sense of preservation at least!
If you want to hack happily then sell him with full disclosure, plenty of people don't want to hack at all so I am sure he would find a good home where he could continue his schooling.

If you want to persevere then no one says you have to go with your yard owners recommendation ;).

Not really much difference re rein length. He was on the buckle when he exploded
 

Ceifer

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Personally, if I really liked the horse, I would continue. Have you tried walking him out in hand or slowly increasing how far you ride? My horse I sold as he would hack, would nap at the gate etc with or without company, I sold him to someone who just wanted to school and Compete and ending up getting him back a year later and he was a sorry state. If selling I would be very careful of the home he goes to and try and keep in touch with them. After getting him back I persevered with riding him round the yard/to the gate/just past etc,then walking him in hand as well. It took a while (pretty much a whole summer) but now he is a fab hack and completely different horse to how he was.
I knew I wanted to persevere with it as I loved riding him, enjoyed having him around and didn't mind dealing with all his rubbish!
He's fine out in hand. Doesn't really nap when ridden, sometimes he can be foot perfect and be a pleasure. Other times all hell lets loose. I can't seem to find a tangible reason why. He spooks at silly things, suspicious bushes etc. But bin lorries, motor bikes, carriages, people with push chairs he's fine with.
 

rachk89

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Maybe try finding a professional rider. I had one ride my horse and he was meant to be schooling him for jumping but I mentioned that the horse had randomly started being an ass in the indoor school and even just walking to the indoor school so the rider rode him up there and pushed him through it. The horse did get better after that one time with the pro. A professional doesn't have to do fancy work with your horse they can help with whatever you need help with. I have seen the same professional get on a small highland pony because it was being a git to its rider and he just made her listen.

You like the horse otherwise and once you push through this i think he is perfect for you but get a professional rider. They wouldn't tell you to put harsh gadgets on him to control him.
 

rachk89

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He's fine out in hand. Doesn't really nap when ridden, sometimes he can be foot perfect and be a pleasure. Other times all hell lets loose. I can't seem to find a tangible reason why. He spooks at silly things, suspicious bushes etc. But bin lorries, motor bikes, carriages, people with push chairs he's fine with.

Oh that's just normal if he is young. My horse is 7 and finds any piece of wood at the side of the road an evil lion. Even tree stumps are evil. Litter no problem cars motorbikes no problem. But a plank of wood? Oh dear.
 

FfionWinnie

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If you really want to hack then there is no shame if you sell. I completely understand what you mean about not wanting to be injured. I am exactly the same with one of mine. It's not that I cannot ride anything this horse throws at me, it's that I don't want to. I am lucky in that I have two and the other is utterly saintly so if the reformed one has had some time off or whatever, I can drag her out off the other one to get her back into the way of things. As I say she is now reformed but the problem is I did the reforming and I've seen her at her worst and I remember this!

I'm hoping a summer of fun gets me past this as really there is nothing wrong with mine now and she's a very good talented horse.
 

Farma

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I would sell, if he isn't what you want there is nothing wrong with changing for something that is that you can enjoy more.
I wouldn't waste loads of time worrying it hasn't worked so move on and find what you really want x good luck!
 

PorkChop

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If hacking is a must then no-one would blame you for selling.

There are lots of people that don't want to hack - me included - and if he is good in the school and at competitions there will be someone out there for him.
 

LHIS

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If I really liked the horse I'd preserverere, maybe consider getting some professional help involved. If after a while it wasn't helping then I would sell him to a suitable home and get yourself something you can hack out of safely.
 

Micropony

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No shame in finding him a new home if you're not enjoying it, there are plenty of people who don't want to hack and he will be someone's perfect horse. Equally, some horses just take a bit longer to settle to it.

I got my last horse when he was rising 9. He had been imported from Germany a couple of years beforehand, and I don't think hacking had formed part of his early education. To start with, he really didn't understand uneven ground, traffic or any of the other things you don't really see in a school or a paddock. He could be incredibly spooky and nappy, and I am not too proud to admit that I came off several times. It probably took about two and a half years, but he did become bomb proof. I think it helped massively that we had company to hack with, especially in the really difficult times in the beginning, who were incredibly calm and sympathetic. They were quite happy to plod around in walk with only the occasional trot or canter. We are not blessed with much off road hacking at all, so it probably did help that hacking was always a low adrenaline, relaxing thing rather than an exciting hooley around the countryside...
 

AdorableAlice

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Being an older and more fragile rider than I was years ago I can see exactly what the OP is saying. With Spring upon us there will be many fun rides, if he was mine I would be sourcing/paying for a rider with an independent seat to take him to every fun ride within a reasonable travelling distance and I would keep sending him every weekend until he settled down and behaved himself. On the rides I would be asking for the horse to walk and trot not race round. I would want him put into situations where other horses are whizzing past him, I would want him queuing to wait and jump small stuff and to be mannerly at all times.

During the summer I would try to keep him as busy as possible getting out to every venue possible, when autumn arrives the rides will start again, send him out again on them and add in plenty of cubbing.

I am a great believer in tiring horses out if they are naughty or too clever for their own good - and do it all on a diet of hay.
 

stormox

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Has he only been 'naughty' twice in the 9 months? once rearing, once bucking? That doesnt sound too awful, I would carry on seeing how he goes if thats it. But has there been other times he's been naughty on hacks as well? If he's consistently bucking and rearing thats different altogether.
 

Goldenstar

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I would set myself a time limit say three months and throw everything at it for that time .
I would turn him out on a bare paddock feed him nothing and work him very hard .
I would pay someone to come and hack with me and I would make hacking hard work .
I would also lead him from another horse if that possible.
I keep him as busy as it's humanly possible .
 
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