Ex Hunter Quirks

Craileon

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Does anyone have any experience of Irish hunting horses? I have recently bought one and she has a few quirks which I would like to know if they are typical of horses who are just off the hunting fields. She has threatened a few times to go "up" if I ask her to stop immediately after mounting. To me pure bad manners. Not much bend etc. Just want to know if anyone can share any typical behaviours of a horse just off hunting fields?
If I knew what a typical day on the life of a hunter it may help me understand her ways
TIA
 

be positive

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I don't think there is a "typical day" as people all keep their horses differently, when I worked in a hunter livery yard all horses were kept in over the season and ridden out every day, they were all well mannered and would stand when asked as they need to stand out hunting without becoming badly behaved, but nowadays people often don't take the time to give horses a proper education and accept a few quirks if they do the job required.

Your mare may have missed out on parts of her basic education, which should include standing when asked, she may just be a bit impatient generally and always been got on and told to go so now is confused by you asking her to stop, I would forget her past and treat her like any other horse that is new to you, start with a clear idea of what you want and gradually expect a little more from her, the walking off is usually more easy to fix if you exercise then get off and back on a few times afterwards when she is more relaxed, it should not take long to fix alongside her generally improving with the schooling she lacks.
 

paddi22

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yeah there's definitely a market of dealer who just break them, and have them out hunting and sold quickly. I doubt she'd had schooling or even the basics. If you try and fix her from the point she's at now, I think you could run into trouble as she hasn't the basics in place, you'd be better nearly taking her back to lunging and longlining for a bit. A lot have bad balance and will struggle in arenas until they get a bit more flexible and understand bend. Long lining is good as a lot can be nappy hacking, as they have usually gone out in groups and just followed the herd.

The psychology of those horses is just 'up and go' at times, and i've had one that took ages to get relaxed and working in a field and wide spaces properly, he just was programmed to go in that environment.
 

spacefaer

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Hunters are not a different breed or type that are treated any differently from competition horses.

Some horses are just badly educated, whatever their career!

I assume that you have had all the usual checks done - back, teeth, saddle fit - that usually get recommended on this forum and that she's not uncomfortable.

A lot of ex-racehorses don't stand at all to be mounted, as the jockeys get a moving leg-up or vault on. Just be thankful she stands at all! !
 

meesha

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As soon as on give a treat to encourage standing, I bought my then 4 year old when he had only been over from Ireland 6 weeks, fairly sure all he had done was hunted, wanted to be with the other horse at all times and wouldn't stand still for me to get on. However, he stood like a rock at meets when hunting and knew his job as long as not asked to separate on his own from the othes. Mine also had sore withers which a saddle that fitted and a good back lady resolved. When I first had him he wouldn't pick up feet nicely, wouldnt stay tied up and literally wouldnt standstill for me to get on (even if held) and looked like had never been hotshod. Worth the effort though.
 
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