Need reassurance - am I doing the right thing?

Stenners

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I've been riding a beautiful 16hh Irish boy for a girl since February who I have known for years - we used to be at a yard years ago together. I took him on loan in June and she now wants to sell him (she doesn't want to ride any more and needs to fund her childrens ponies) so I have agreed I would buy him subject to a vetting.

He's just turned 9, hasn't done a lot other than hunted I imagine as he came over from Ireland and then did an awful lot of schooling before they bought him. He's green hacking alone - not silly just looks at things and can spin/plant but not as often as he used too but he's just hardly done any hacking alone. Great in company (can still spin/plant if something scary and he's in front) and bombproof in heaviest of traffic.
When I first started riding him I had no worries at all and could ride him all day long and to be fair he's been so well behaved. He is known to buck going into canter if he's behind out hacking which is fine.

However at the beginning of June - he bucked me off in the school! A new horse arrived that day and he was on one coming in from the field and in the stable as the new horse was shouting constantly so for me - I shouldn't have bothered even getting on but hindsight is great!

He wasn't listening and his new neighbour was shouting all of a sudden put in 2 huge bucks and I hit the deck! (Our school is mostly concrete walls so not over welcoming!!) I don't think he meant to actually get me off at all - I just wasn't at all ready for him! I wasn't injured and totally fine. I was totally alone at the yard at the time which worried me the most.

Ever since - I have felt a bit nervous every single time I get on for fear of him bucking again! He has bucked once since when spooking in the school but I stayed on. I have since had his back and saddle checked.

He was stiff as a board from jaw to tail poor lad and his pelvis was out! His saddle was also pinching his shoulders.

He's weak and unfit so does find schooling difficult but getting so much better now but before I was happily hopping on him anytime and schooling or hacking round the village on my own! He's done nothing wrong since but I have this fear and I know it probably goes through to him! I am not a nervous rider, I've had horses all my life, evented, hunted and re trained an ex racer a couple of years ago but I now have a 2.5 year old daughter at home! I think that's the difference.

I'm having regular lessons and my instructor said I need to get the bucking out of my head and that he's a lovely horse and we are well suited. I took him showjumping last week and he didn't put a foot wrong (having been told he won't SJ I needed to find out before I said I would buy him) and he flew everything and I had such a lovely time and his flatwork was incredible!

So I guess what I'm saying is is..... I know I need to trust him and he needs to trust me. I love him to bits - he's genuine and overall a gentle giant (he's quite a unit!) but he is green which I don't mind at all as long as his legs stay on the floor! (He can occasionally bunny hop and does lift his front feet off the floor a few inches)

He is due to be vetted next week.

I worry about being injured for my daughter but am well aware its risky getting on any horse or driving a car!

Any thoughts or advice would be great!
 

Polos Mum

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In your situation I would be asking myself what the alteratives are - are you only buying him because he is in front of you? If you were going to buy cold then write a list of what you are looking for in a horse right now and see how many of those he ticks off.

For the price - what else is out there that isn't "stiff as a board" , bucking in company, spooky / plant / spiny, difficult to hack on his own. (you don't pain the best picture !)

I might even be tempted to look at a few ads an even go and try a few others.

If he is reasonably priced for those issues and you can get physical support for him (I'd be very interested in what the vetting throws up ) and training support for you then I would carry on.

Only you know how bad you feel, it is a hobby , it is supposed to be fun.

I've been on the slippery slop of fear when you get to not wanting to ride but don't want to admit that to yourself so it's too hot, too cold, too wet, too windy, too many days off in a row, not enough days off, no company available etc. etc. etc. it's a horrible place to be in your head.
 

Stenners

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In your situation I would be asking myself what the alteratives are - are you only buying him because he is in front of you? If you were going to buy cold then write a list of what you are looking for in a horse right now and see how many of those he ticks off.

For the price - what else is out there that isn't "stiff as a board" , bucking in company, spooky / plant / spiny, difficult to hack on his own. (you don't pain the best picture !)

I might even be tempted to look at a few ads an even go and try a few others.

If he is reasonably priced for those issues and you can get physical support for him (I'd be very interested in what the vetting throws up ) and training support for you then I would carry on.

Only you know how bad you feel, it is a hobby , it is supposed to be fun.

I've been on the slippery slop of fear when you get to not wanting to ride but don't want to admit that to yourself so it's too hot, too cold, too wet, too windy, too many days off in a row, not enough days off, no company available etc. etc. etc. it's a horrible place to be in your head.
Sorry if I painted a bad picture! He’s now where near as stiff as he was before - so much more supple now!
He doesn’t always buck in company just occasionally and just the once. He hasn’t planted or spun for a long time also but he can sometimes (he’s come on so much since I’ve been riding him) he was previously ridden once a week or fortnight for 10 minutes round the village. He’s was really wasted!
He’s not difficult to hack alone just a bit more on his toes I guess and aware of his surroundings!
He generally is a really lovely horse!

I have always missed having one since having my daughter and I wasn’t actively looking for one to buy but he was offered so I said yes and the sale is heartbreaking for the owner as he’s her pride and joy. It’s helped me tremendously feeling better in myself having me time again! If I wasn’t buying him I wouldn’t be buying anything right now that I didn’t know.
Like I say until recently I’ve had no worries at all!! It’s so annoying!
 

Orangehorse

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There is nothing worse than going to ride a horse and wondering if it is going to buck every time, I have had a couple.

A unexpected buck can happen at any time, and hopefully we can sit it out and stay on, but if you find that it is making you fall off then you are bound to start feeling nervous, whatever experience you have. Yes, having children can make all the difference.
 

Stenners

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There is nothing worse than going to ride a horse and wondering if it is going to buck every time, I have had a couple.

A unexpected buck can happen at any time, and hopefully we can sit it out and stay on, but if you find that it is making you fall off then you are bound to start feeling nervous, whatever experience you have. Yes, having children can make all the difference.
It’s not the fact I get on wondering if he will buck (well I do sometimes in the school) I just don’t know what it is - he’s been as good as gold the last month since it happened and since his back was done. He came to them with a very ill fitting saddle (narrow) and he’s a unit so he was in a lot of pain so I wonder if it was also pain related
 

SatansLittleHelper

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Have a good chat with your instructor and then go with your GUT feeling.....never ignore it. He sounds like a lovely horse that you have become attached too but having children definitely makes you more aware of your own mortality.
It sounds to me that being alone when it happened spooked you out as much as the incident itself, that's definitely something you need to address. I hope you can decide what to do but it has to be you that decides what's right xx
 

Stenners

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Have a good chat with your instructor and then go with your GUT feeling.....never ignore it. He sounds like a lovely horse that you have become attached too but having children definitely makes you more aware of your own mortality.
It sounds to me that being alone when it happened spooked you out as much as the incident itself, that's definitely something you need to address. I hope you can decide what to do but it has to be you that decides what's right xx
Thank you! My instructor thinks I should go for it - he said he's a lovely horse and when he's fitter and stronger he will be incredible and we will have a lot of fun. Yes for me it's also that I was alone should it have been worse! Also 2 weeks later someone at the yard came off in the school and broke their leg (just a freak accident - their horse spooked, she was already unseated then threw in a huge buck!) and was airlifted to hospital and I kept thinking "that could have been me". I wonder if this situation as a lot to do with how I feel but again it's just getting it out of my head!!
 

Stenners

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Well I think he sounds delightful.

Something you can box up and take jumping for the first time and doesn't put a foot wrong sounds like a genuine horse.

The reality is, horses do sometimes do out of character things, especially if he was sore which it sounds like he was.
Ah thank you! Yes he hadn't been out in over 18 months, walked striaght into the box, travelled perfectly. I thought he would leap out the other end but just walked out - had a bit of a look around and a fidget but overall very well behaved!
 

Orangehorse

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It’s not the fact I get on wondering if he will buck (well I do sometimes in the school) I just don’t know what it is - he’s been as good as gold the last month since it happened and since his back was done. He came to them with a very ill fitting saddle (narrow) and he’s a unit so he was in a lot of pain so I wonder if it was also pain related
Could well have been. I knew a 100% pony that suddenly started bolting and it was saddle related. Once the saddle was fixed he returned to his good behaviour.
 

ozpoz

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I would expect a horse in pain or discomfort to let the rider know, and bucking is one way they do that. Confidence is a funny thing, and can evaporate, then suddenly return as if nothing had ever happened, I"ve found.
I think he sounds great, it takes time to build trust, and with children and age we become naturally more cautious. Don't let that hold you back.
 

Stenners

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I would expect a horse in pain or discomfort to let the rider know, and bucking is one way they do that. Confidence is a funny thing, and can evaporate, then suddenly return as if nothing had ever happened, I"ve found.
I think he sounds great, it takes time to build trust, and with children and age we become naturally more cautious. Don't let that hold you back.
This is what I think I wanted to hear - thank you!!!!

I have also spken to a friend who knows me and knows the horse and she actually came with me SJing last week and she said "he's been fantastic, have some lessons and crack on"

I actually hacked with her yesterday for the first time in a while and there is a particular ride with a drain fully across the road (there is no going around it!) and when I started it riding him a few months ago he would go nowhere near the drain - he would spin, plant, try and go into the hedge and generally need a lead. Yesterday - just plodded over it - she couldn't believe the difference!
 

Antw23uk

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I think you should buy him. Keep up with his physio/ chiro and keep checking that saddle and i say just enjoy him, he sounds like a little sweetie and will likely be snapped up.

My friend rode my RID the other day and said how wide my saddle was and how she would need it slimmer ... it made me cringe at the thought of putting something narrower on him. He's practically riding with a tea towel under it at the moment as im desperate not to go wider because of the cost (and my hips will need replacing) lol! I think you let the saddle fit get away from you, he showed you what was wrong, you dealt with it and now he's back to being a cheeky chappy.
 

windand rain

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Sounds like a case of mum what ifs not that you don't trust him. My guess would be that it's because both baby and horse will be your responsibility and it can be very overwhelming
 

Stenners

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Sounds like a case of mum what ifs not that you don't trust him. My guess would be that it's because both baby and horse will be your responsibility and it can be very overwhelming
Absolutely - it definitely is what if's but I can't go every day thinking like that as otherwise I'll be thinking the same about getting in a car or crossing the road! I've been riding over 30 years and nothing usually ever bothers me and my instructor has told me "your are more than capable"!
 

Stenners

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I think you should buy him. Keep up with his physio/ chiro and keep checking that saddle and i say just enjoy him, he sounds like a little sweetie and will likely be snapped up.

My friend rode my RID the other day and said how wide my saddle was and how she would need it slimmer ... it made me cringe at the thought of putting something narrower on him. He's practically riding with a tea towel under it at the moment as im desperate not to go wider because of the cost (and my hips will need replacing) lol! I think you let the saddle fit get away from you, he showed you what was wrong, you dealt with it and now he's back to being a cheeky chappy.
Absolutely - I think he's sell within 24 hours at the moment! He's a stunning animal with fab markings too!
 

Ceriann

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Blips happen with the sanest and loveliest horses. Mine is a near saint but I came off over 12 months ago - she was uncharacteristically high spirited and I should have known better but I had a lesson I didn’t want to waste and ended up being decked twice. She’d forgotten it next time I rode but I didn’t and had to work hard to get my confidence back. She’s not done a thing wrong since. Don’t let A blip put you off - he sounds lovely and likely reacting to pain. If you’re still struggling try and get some confidence coaching - it’s the mindset not the horse that might be the issue. Best of luck.
 

Stenners

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Blips happen with the sanest and loveliest horses. Mine is a near saint but I came off over 12 months ago - she was uncharacteristically high spirited and I should have known better but I had a lesson I didn’t want to waste and ended up being decked twice. She’d forgotten it next time I rode but I didn’t and had to work hard to get my confidence back. She’s not done a thing wrong since. Don’t let A blip put you off - he sounds lovely and likely reacting to pain. If you’re still struggling try and get some confidence coaching - it’s the mindset not the horse that might be the issue. Best of luck.
This is so reassuring thank you so much. Sorry to hear that you had a fall and lost your confidence aswell. I'm feeling much better about the whole situation today! I think like you and others have said i need to work on my own mindset.
 

Annagain

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I know how you feel. I'm nearly a year into owning Charlie and he's been fab 99% of the time. We did have, however, the odd baby buck in the school when we started schooling - he'd done very little in there before, is a big horse in a 20x40 and was struggling a bit with balance. It was only ever one and I never came off but it made me nervous, mainly as I'm not used to buckers - Monty would very occasionally pop in a tiny bunny hop if he was very excited (about 6 times in the 20 years I've known him!) out hacking but Archie wouldn't know how to. A couple of times I had the "I can't cope with a baby" (he was 6 then but a baby to me - I've never had one younger than 9 before - and very green in the school) panic but I just kept forcing myself to do it again. Once I got used to him doing it and I was almost expecting it, it bothered me less and then he just stopped! He hasn't done it for months now *touches every bit of wood she can find*. I should add I also have a very capable rider helping me once a week and she's done the really hard yards, I just back up what she's introduced.

He's generally a lovely, sweet boy so when we do have a little blip, I know there's a reason for it. We did have one not so long ago - not bucking but very belligerent and grumpy. This prompted a saddle check, which revealed he'd gone up 3 widths in 9 months! I think once he's yours you'll be able to listen to him telling you something and sort it and you'll then have the lovely horse you know is in there. We had a fairly major blip out hacking alone a couple of months ago when he had a pig related meltdown. At the time I dealt with it fine but then started thinking "what if" and got a bit worried. We've taken it slowly since then - only hacking past the pigs in company but hacking alone in other directions and it's all good. Two steps forward and one back is often the way with new horses, especially young / green ones.
 

CanteringCarrot

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I think the bucking was a cumulative thing.
It sounds like he had a saddle that didn't fit, a body that didn't feel good, and the new horse/friend thing.

Now he has a saddle that fits, is feeling better in his body, and likely has a stronger relationship with you. So things have changed.

The fact that he plodded right over the drain this time and was so good at the SJ outing, really says a lot and shows that you can develop a nice partnership with this horse.

The fact that you'd be gutted if he were sold to someone else also says a lot. I'd vet and go for it.

I think once you keep having these good rides, the fear will fade a bit. As we get older and/or have kids, we sort of realize our own mortality a bit more. Sure we should recognize this, but not let it consume us.
 

mini_b

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I’d go for it - he sounds great.
You already know him and as others have said, blips happen and if you aren’t normally a nervous rider then you can work through it.

If I have a nervy blip I just have a few more lessons in quick succession for a confidence boost.

Body protector & air jacket if it would make you feel safer. It sounds like he’s not a bad lad, was just a bit sore!

Good luck with the vet and photos when he arrives 😜
 

Stenners

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I’d go for it - he sounds great.
You already know him and as others have said, blips happen and if you aren’t normally a nervous rider then you can work through it.

If I have a nervy blip I just have a few more lessons in quick succession for a confidence boost.

Body protector & air jacket if it would make you feel safer. It sounds like he’s not a bad lad, was just a bit sore!

Good luck with the vet and photos when he arrives 😜
Thank you!! He's already here as I already have him on loan! :)
 

Stenners

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I think the bucking was a cumulative thing.
It sounds like he had a saddle that didn't fit, a body that didn't feel good, and the new horse/friend thing.

Now he has a saddle that fits, is feeling better in his body, and likely has a stronger relationship with you. So things have changed.

The fact that he plodded right over the drain this time and was so good at the SJ outing, really says a lot and shows that you can develop a nice partnership with this horse.

The fact that you'd be gutted if he were sold to someone else also says a lot. I'd vet and go for it.

I think once you keep having these good rides, the fear will fade a bit. As we get older and/or have kids, we sort of realize our own mortality a bit more. Sure we should recognize this, but not let it consume us.
Absolutely! Fingers crossed it will all work out! He's such a sweet boy!
 
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