Old horse needs training again. Possible ?

sbloom

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Walk is just as hard on a horse - it's hard on the back directly, and on posture, and on having the saddle in balance as with most novice/young combos, and that accounts for most leisure horses, the saddle tips back in walk if it's in balance in trot. Faster work is harder on legs - this "its just walk" has to stop.

They do up to 25 miles in the wild a day, but none of it is with a rider up, and wild horses don't have a huge lifespan, you just can't use it as a reason to do something. If arguing about barefoot then yes, it's broadly applicable but otherwise horses survive best in the wild if they're crooked so best ignored.
 
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Upthecreek

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Well I'm going to put my neck on the line because I know how this poster must be feeling after the barrage of views on here. I don't think that's a fair comment Moosea. She sounds like a younger poster and just wants some help and advice. Her statement saying she wanted the horse to be happy wasn't in reference to the horse being happy that it was back in work. It was more in reference to if its back in work I want it to be happy, or at least that was my take on it but her words have got twisted to suit.

I expect she hasn't a yard of horses to chose from and this is the only one available and she's anxious to ride as its her only chance. I don't think riding a horse a couple of times a week in walk for a couple of miles is that much of a big ask and these days a 23 year old isn't considered that old.

People are right in suggesting EDT and a professional saddle fitter to give the horse a good head start and then build up work gradually. Most horses should be capable of walking a couple of miles twice a week in walk, they walk up to 15km a day in the wild. If she has other issues like joint problems then possibly not the way to go unless she is properly assessed by the vet and receives treatment.
Sorry but you are putting the needs/wants of the person above the welfare of the horse (which should always come first). The OP cannot be that young as she says she has known the horse for 23 years. And no 23 is not that old for a horse to still be in work if it’s been ridden it’s whole life. But it is absolutely ridiculous for a horse of 23 to start being ridden after years of retirement, particularly by someone who clearly has no idea what she is doing. Why do you feel the need to defend this? 🤯
 

Birker2020

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. Why do you feel the need to defend this? 🤯
It's not so much 'it' as her. I just feel that saying she must be either an idiot or a troll is a bit unfair. She could just be living in hope and asking the question.

And I just felt that some people were coming down a bit hard on her, there are nicer ways of talking to people.
 

skinnydipper

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It's not so much 'it' as her. I just feel that saying she must be either an idiot or a troll is a bit unfair. She could just be living in hope and asking the question.

And I just felt that some people were coming down a bit hard on her, there are nicer ways of talking to people.
In fairness to Moosea, why not quote all her post, here is the bit you missed.

You're on one of the most knowledgable horse forums around and are asking people people for advice and then telling them not to argue when they tell youwhat you don't want to hear.
It's a problem on AAD too - people asking for advice but then don't want to hear it.
 

Birker2020

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In fairness to Moosea, why not quote all her post, here is the bit you missed.



It's a problem on AAD too - people asking for advice but then don't want to hear it.
I quoted the bit that was relevant to the question I was asked! And to be honest, there is a distinct difference between hearing something and having it rammed down your throat in a not very nice way.
 

Upthecreek

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It's not so much 'it' as her. I just feel that saying she must be either an idiot or a troll is a bit unfair. She could just be living in hope and asking the question.

And I just felt that some people were coming down a bit hard on her, there are nicer ways of talking to people.
But her responses and attitude when she didn’t get the answers she wanted suggests she is either clueless about horses (I don’t want to call her an idiot) so should probably listen to the advice she has asked for. Or she is a troll.
 

Pinkvboots

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I will give you an example my own horse is 18 his not been ridden or worked in about 8 months, this is a horse I have owned and handled everyday since he was 2 his been schooled competed with me I know him inside out.

I've just started to bring him back into work his had multiple issues and it's freaked him out a bit, I've had to stick to very short hacks on routes he knows, I've had to keep schooling simple and it's took everything I know to keep him calm and settled, I don't want him leaping around and getting himself in a state, his always been quite a hot horse and takes a while to settle into work and I know eventually he will be fine.

I have been around horses for over 40 years I I have worked with them so I know what I'm doing but it's not been an easy few weeks.
 

Mrs Jingle

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I would certainly think twice about bringing my 22 year old back into work after 3 years off. She looks fabulous(IMHO). But knowing her for so many years I can look at her and despite living out 24/7 so getting some field exercise roaming around, I can pick out things in her and in pics of her that show me she is no longer fit to ride at all. Some friends have suggested she looks so well she would be fine to hack out gently when/if the time comes.

My vet said he also thinks she might be OK for lightwork ambling around the lanes if and when I can ride again. But right now I cannot see me having the time or ability to devote to all that muscle rebuilding and strength and agility for her to be pain free and comfortable even walking around the lanes. Image is her last summer, I bet some of the more experienced forum members can see what I am seeing. Looking 'well' in the field does not equate to looking riding fit IMO.

So its a big No from me I'm afraid for my old horse and for OP's old timer.

Dolly summer time 2021.jpg
 

Peglo

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Both of my oldies were retired before 23. One was lameness issues, the other didn’t want to be ridden. I wouldn’t consider bringing a 23 year old back into work especially (correct me if I’m wrong) the horse had never been in any proper ridden work.

I’ve owned a pony for over 18 years but there is SO many more experienced people here than me and I value their thoughts and advice and have learned a lot from them. It maybe comes across as blunt but that might not be how it was written.
 

moosea

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It's not so much 'it' as her. I just feel that saying she must be either an idiot or a troll is a bit unfair. She could just be living in hope and asking the question.

And I just felt that some people were coming down a bit hard on her, there are nicer ways of talking to people.
OP is imho an idiot or a troll for coming to one of the most knowledgable horse forums on the internet and ignoring all advice they don't like.

If you look at my earlier response you will see I gave what I thought was a reasonable response.

But her responses and attitude when she didn’t get the answers she wanted suggests she is either clueless about horses (I don’t want to call her an idiot) so should probably listen to the advice she has asked for. Or she is a troll.
Being clueless about horses does not make you an idiot. asking advice and then ignoring it makes op an idiot or a troll.
 

Barton Bounty

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I will give you an example my own horse is 18 his not been ridden or worked in about 8 months, this is a horse I have owned and handled everyday since he was 2 his been schooled competed with me I know him inside out.

I've just started to bring him back into work his had multiple issues and it's freaked him out a bit, I've had to stick to very short hacks on routes he knows, I've had to keep schooling simple and it's took everything I know to keep him calm and settled, I don't want him leaping around and getting himself in a state, his always been quite a hot horse and takes a while to settle into work and I know eventually he will be fine.

I have been around horses for over 40 years I I have worked with them so I know what I'm doing but it's not been an easy few weeks.
But your doing it the right way! Bit by bit and slowly 😊
 

Zoeypxo

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If the horse had previously had a successful ridden career and was sound , maybe. You say she has been a pet and not ridden properly before so i would not personally consider riding this horse.
Is there a local riding school you could ride at to learn to ride?
 
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Until she is used to me and exercised gently and built up I won't be riding her. When I do it will be with a saddle that fits well enough for a gentle ride. Checked by experienced livery staff.
Am just coming on to this thread ........... IF this mare had been in regular ridden work up till now - even if that was just poddling round the lanes say, then I'd be happier about the suggestion of her being brought back into work. One of my liveries has just taken on a dear old boy of 18 who's been a steeplechaser then a hunter i.e. he HAS done something reasonably recently, he just isn't capable of a full day's hunting anymore and is seeking a quieter life which is why the owner passed him on. New Owner is taking it very very slowly indeed and doing ALL checks i.e. teeth, farrier, back/physio, and getting saddle fitter (as well as constantly monitoring the fit as he develops) as well as walking him out in hand.

But from the info on here, that isn't the case with this 23yo???

I am trying to be polite here: you say (above) that you'll be riding her in a "saddle that fits well enough for a gentle ride. Checked by experienced livery staff". Sooh are you then at a yard where the "livery staff" are ALL trained SMS saddle fitters?? Yes?? Coz if not, then you'll be running very serious risk of ruining this poor mare's back. I'm a YO, and therefore could say I guess that I'm "experienced livery staff". OK so I'd have a good idea of whether something sort-of fitted or not - but no way am I a qualified saddle fitter fit to judge nor would I pretend to be! Good grief.

OP - you are seriously concerning me when you say this!! and yet I have the feeling that you are determined to ride this mare in spite of the advice given?? If you won't take it from us here on the Forum, then I would urge you to seriously have a talk with both your vet AND a physio: both of whom as professionals should attempt to thoroughly dissuade you from this unwise course of action.

There has been some excellent advice on here which I would suggest be followed. Give this poor old gal her well-earned retirement and for pity's sake leave her alone.
 

AengusOg

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To keep a long story short. I inherited a 23 yr old mare from my dad. Fit as. Good condition. (the horse)
She has been in a paddock with a companion and not ridden for years. I'd like to ride her. She's a bit "wild" and "headstrong" at the moment. Bad mannered you could say.
Can a horse like this be schooled do you think ? I know it depends on many factors. What do people think. She will walk with you ok but gets really excited around other horses. Maybe because she was always a dominant mare.
Thoughts ?
If I were you, I'd not be thinking so much about riding your mare at this point. I think she'd benefit from a month of ground work and short walks out in hand. This will let you assess her, and will build trust and mutual understanding between you.
If, after you've spent 20 hours or so working together on ground, you have a good relationship and you feel your mare is responding favourably, you might find that she would enjoy being ridden a couple of times a week the two miles between the yard and your house.
At 23yrs old, your mare might be good for, and enjoy, a few hacks a week.
As for schooling, I'd not expect too much of her.
 

Winters100

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Quite apart from the morality of it there will be a huge cost in terms of getting this horse to the point that you could try to ride her. If she has been retired for some years she will probably need a new saddle, one properly fitted by a qualified person. Experienced livery staff are not saddle fitters, this is why pros do not fit their own saddles. Then she will need a through check by the vet, not to mention many months of daily groundwork to strengthen her muscles. At that point, assuming that all has gone well, it may be possible to try to ride her, but you may then discover that she is not suitable for a novice, or not suitable for ridden work at all. I would suggest that if you want to ride you use these funds to take lessons at a riding school.

To put this in context my schoolmistress is in daily work, but I have fully accepted that if she has any prolonged period out of work then it will be necessary to retire her. I just do not feel that getting her properly muscled again would be fair or possible. Her exact age is unknown, but vet estimates somewhere nearing 20 years.

Finally I would say that you should think of the horse, but also of yourself. If a horse feels pain their reaction can be extreme, they do not have the option of saying 'this hurts, could you get off please', so they have to show you. Injuries from riding can be life changing, so this is not to be taken lightly.
 
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If I were you, I'd not be thinking so much about riding your mare at this point. I think she'd benefit from a month of ground work and short walks out in hand. This will let you assess her, and will build trust and mutual understanding between you.
If, after you've spent 20 hours or so working together on ground, you have a good relationship and you feel your mare is responding favourably, you might find that she would enjoy being ridden a couple of times a week the two miles between the yard and your house.
At 23yrs old, your mare might be good for, and enjoy, a few hacks a week.
As for schooling, I'd not expect too much of her.
My word, hello, stranger! Proper blast from the past seeing your name!
 
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