Perseverance - is it worth it?

Serephin

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just a rant really - but I am feeling down at the moment. My boy has tested my confidence right from the start (he is a 15.1 Irish Cob, 8 years old) - he was everything I wanted when I bought him, but then he dumped me - bronc'd - and I found out that he has a reputation as a bucker - the woman that sold him to me lied, copiously as it turns out.

fast forward one year and my confidence is on the rocks - but I go on holiday and gallop an arab horse along the beaches , through the desert and realise that a) I can ride b) I love horses still despite everything

I come home full of renewed confidence - I get on my horse, hack round the block no problem, he is twitchy but we get back in once piece - full of optimism I ride again the next day, this time he plays up badly, spooky and galloping off, I manage to control him the first time but he is trying to buck - get him back on the track after some napping - four strides later he spooks and runs off again, this time catching me and bucking me off.

I have been on the floor 3 times now, which in my mind is 3 times too many - fortunately this time I bounced quite well, so am unhurt by the most part. But I am annoyed. I wasn't after a project and I am not after a battle of wills, but this is where I find myself.

Is it worth the perseverance? Or should I just give up? I am fond of this horse, but I am not sure I have the fight in me to have the battle of wills that is obviously necessary before he will fall in and be the horse i know he can be. I suppose I am after a bit of reassurance that it can be done. help, please *at wits end*
 

Pixxie

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i am/was in exactly the same situation loved him but ultimately knew it was wrong, (this is recent btw) and i would now say (as i will potentially be getting my new horse this weekend) that all i feel now is relief i made the decision and can move on and enjoy my riding and continue to improve with something rideable rather than somethign totally unrideable

even though it has caused me so many tears and heartache and will do for a while longer, i have not felt such relief in a long time

sometimes you have to ignore your heart no matter how hard it is

ETS: PM me if you want to chat about it
x
 

cokelly

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TBH if you really aren't feeling 'positive' about working with him I think the best thing would be to sell him on as a 'project' because it is NOT worth losing all your confidence over!

I had a 13.1hh pony for a while and he and I just DID NOT work lol He would bronc round the place and basically just didn't want to do anything I wanted to do! He SHATTERED my confidence and I've never fully got it back... So I got Buster (my one now) and I'm enjoying riding again!

It is not worth it if you begin to dread going up to ride etc.

On the other hand you could seek help from someone to assist you in working with him? Plus before dong anything---are his back and teeth okay? And does his tack fit him etc?

Good luck!
 

Bowen4Horses

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in general, yes, perseverance is worth it...

however, horses and humans need to click. you need to want to fix him, and (it might just be an off day for you) but you don't sound like your heart is in it.

you didn't buy him as a project. by the sounds of it, he's a bucker and a bolter. that's quite a project. so, you wouldn't be failing in anyway to admit you guys aren't meant to be, and call it a day. be honest when you sell him. and he may find the perfect owner.

in the meantime, you could find the perfect horse who won't rattle your confidence and who you can canter along the beach with! xx
 

eventing09

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Hmmm.. personally i think you should go with your gut-instinct. If you dont feel up to it to put some hard work into the horse like as you say you didnt want a project then to be honest if problys wont help you because if you do carry on and you have a few hiccups along the way then not been 100% that you want to do it isnt going to make you even more determined to succeed. I would say keep trying but then again i dont no how bad it really is. /maybe try riding with another horse to give your horse confidence and you for that matter. Maybe get some lessons and possibly, this is a guess, could he be in any pain at all, ie. teeth back etc ?
I wish you the best of luck and this is nothing like yours but i was going through a really rough time with my mare to the point i was going to sell her, i no everyone says that but i was at witts end, but i just made sure i rode 100% positive and rode through all her stupidness, had some lessons etc and things have never been better tbh
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Good luck
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pottamus

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It really is down to you and the type of horse you have really. I took on a green Welshie and was a bit mis-sold if I am honest. He does not cope with change well and was a confused, worrier that was also very bolshy and knew his weight and how to use it. He was a ticking time bomb for most of the first 6 months I had him and I had to start from scratch with him...and re-teach him everything whilst dealing with his tantrums and strong instinct to run from anything he was not sure of.
He had me off a few times in the first few months and I wondered what the hell I was doing as I am not the best rider technically in the world and he was my first horse in adulthood since leaving home some 10 years previously!!!
But underneath my horse was worried and frightened by everything but had a heart of gold and did not have a mean bone in his body...I had also fallen in love!!!! So I got help when required from an instructor to get the worst ironed out and then through sheer bloody mindedness dealt with the rest myself. I learn't to stay very calm with my boy at all times and did hours upon hours of ground work with him...establishing a bond and me as leader in addition to introducing him to scary things in a controlled environment. It took many many months for things to become steady in his improvements and he will never ever be a dope on a rope...he is Welsh and has a switch that turns him from a lazy so and so to a raging nutcase who will not listen to reason in seconds...but I have learn't what works for him and that is to stay calm amd quiet with a very deep seat in ridden work and keep asking nicely to go on and for in hand moments at horse events or leading on roads etc I never lead him in anything but a chirney...just in case.
I love my lad to bits and he has changed behond recognition to a lovely lad that is settled and loves hacking out and is generally on the whole very managable and calm...but it has taken a long time to build the trust...loads of tears...some falls..other injuries generally and the patience of a saint...BUT I would not swap him for the world, he trusts me and I trust him and we have fun together.
But i will say that for me from day one I knew it would work out and that I wanted to keep him come what may..he was never going from me and I think only you know if that is the case in your situation.
 

Flame_

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No it really isn't.
frown.gif


There's a big different between battling on through teething problems and having been fobbed of with a horse with serious issues. You've had him a year, given him plenty of time and chances to meet you half way, and it doesn't sound like you are any closer to a break-through. Chuck it and get a normal horse that rewards your efforts. That's what I've done and I had more fun in the first week of owning the newer horse than I've had in the whole last two years with my big mare. I'm not saying your horse means to be bad, I know my weird horse doesn't, but no horse is worth that amount of effort and danger.

Is he sellable or is your only way of giving up and getting rid PTS?
 

Serephin

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thanks for the replies

he is rideable - in that I think he needs a stronger rider, I am a quiet rider and obviously not firm enough for him, although I can be at times, but I find it tiring TBH.

He bucks as a form of evasion, he has a bit of a f*ck you attitude - so, whilst he wants a leader, he resents being led at times and resorts to bucking. He takes advantage really. I don't think it would take much to sort him out, but I don't feel my heart is in it - and if I sell him, I will probably make quite a bit of a loss, which my husband is not so happy about.

All I want is a horse that has a positive outlook to being ridder, which will be happy to go out hacking and pop the odd jump - whereas mine, has a bad outlook to being ridden for the most part, but will act like a donkey in company when he doesn't have to think.

I think the short answer is that we just don't 'click' and I am not sure we ever will and that is the sad part really. *sigh*
 

Flame_

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If you're just not suited, and he wouldn't be an unpleasant horse to the right person, sell him. Life's too short.
 

ForeverBroke_

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Not sure if its quite the same, and quite a few know of the little triump i feel i've over come with Mr Darcy.
Basically, when i went to view him he was super quiet, sold as a novice / first horse and jumped anything etc. Passed his vetting brought him home.
In the first few months it turned to i wouldn't hack him besides on the roads, i became panic stricken about cantering in the school and jumping was/ still is a no no. He reared, bucked, bolted, napped , spooked and i felt like selling him so many times. Anywho, he ended up getting turned away for 3 weeks or so for various reasons and when i got back on SOMETHING clicked and i've not looked back since.

He still is a rearer, and still quite nappy in company (refuses to lead,) and will give any spooky pony a run for their money.

Anywho, what im trying to say iis although i felt like there was no end to what was happening, there is and there can be.

It just depends whether you can see it x
 

0ldmare

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I think you should sell him and buy a horse you can enjoy.

Its been said before, but there are a great many things we HAVE to do, riding isn't one of them. Its supposed to be fun. It costs too much not to be enjoying it.

At the end of the day certain horses suit certain riders and maybe yours would be better suited to someone else. It doesn't mean you can't cope or aren't a good rider, its just that you don't suit each other.

I sold my young horse earlier this year. She was pretty and easy and yet I didn't enjoy riding her. I kept trying for 2 years and got to the point where I was either going to stop riding altogether or sell her. Everyone kept telling me to keep her but in the end I sold her and her new owner adores her.

Only slight flaw to this story is I can't find a new horse lol.
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but I am back riding my old mare and at least i love riding again!

Sell him and get one you can enjoy.
 

Mithras

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Before you give up, try changing something or doing something different, such as getting a more experienced rider to do what you cannot do on him. I think you are right when you say he is looking for a leader. Do you not want to be a better rider and improve? This horse could do you a favour and think of the feeling of satisfaction if you can overcome this. Is it not worth really thinking about how you could solve this and then going about it with a real mission before you give up and sell him on? A lot of people have problems with their horses in the beginning and it can take two or three years to build up a partnership.
 

A1fie

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It's a really difficult decision for you. I'm not sure what to advise really. I think on balance I would say that maybe he is not the horse for you.

I was in kind of a similar situation in that I shared a little 15hh horse for over a year that had me on the ground a few times. She was 15 and funnily enough her owner and everyone on the yard loved her. I tried so desperately hard to enjoy her and improve. I spend hundreds of pounds on lessons but do you know what, I just never clicked with her. I didn't trust her or feel safe with her. It wasn't that she was dangerous or awful, I don't know what it was, but I just didn't feel comfortable riding her.

I think things might have continued indefinately if I hadn't started going to a new yard to have lessons. I fell in love with a 9yr old, 17hh hunter and realised when I was riding him what the difference was - I trusted him completely. He could be a bit nappy and spooky but it was only because he wasn't used to going out on his own. I was still nervous a lot of the time and when I tensed up he became a rock for me. A lot of horses will understandably get tense or play up when a rider gets scared, but he didn't and became my nursemaid and that's when I fell in love with him.

I have just taken him on on permanent loan and am so happy. We look after each other. My confidence has improved a thousand fold, as has my riding because I am not worried anymore. I am finally able to start becoming a good, kind leader for my horse.

I'm really sorry for this long ramble. In my roundabout way what I am trying to say is that, if you haven't clicked with your horse, it may not be your fault, the horse may just not be the one for you. The longer you stick with him, the more inadequate you may feel about yourself as a rider. I know I did. I thought I was so useless that I couldn't properly ride this little horse that everyone else loved.

The only other thing I would say is if you do decide he isn't right for you, is there any steps you may be able to take to safeguard his future? If he has a problem with bucking and bolting he may have a very uncertain future.

Good luck with whatever you decide. I really hope things work out for you.
 

skewby

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Sorry to hear it's not working out and you've hit the deck, not nice. Have you got an instructor in at all, or anyone else to give you an opinion on his behaviour/see how he behaves when they ride him? Has he had the physical checks?
 

Serephin

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thanks again for the replies - I shall try and answer most of them....

I would like to be a better rider, yes and a part of me does feel like i am being pathetic in thinking about giving up on him, but I feel like riding is a chore, and like someone else said, there are enough things that we have to do in life, riding should be fun, not another thing to resent having to to, and I am close to resentment with him.

My instructor has been helping right from the start and she even said that maybe it was time for him to go, whereas usually she would encourage me to try something else - she has really helped me with my nerves, and has seen me come back from holiday so much more confident and is reluctant to see me go back to being a nervous wreck again.

this is my second horse, and the thought of trying to find another is horrible - he was supposed to be the 'one' this time, but I just don't feel right when I ride him and I definitely don't trust him, not at the moment anyway.

I thought I loved him, but now I am not so sure- I am fond of him, yes, it is hard not to be he is so sweet and a friendly chap and very pretty - a part of me can see a future together, and maybe that he will be the horse I know is in there, but I don't feel like I can do it, I don't think I am strong enough for him mentally if you get what I mean, I need a horse to build my confidence and not the other way round.

He has been ridden by others and displayed similar behaviour, all checks have been done and he is fine, it is a behavioural thing - he just has a typical welshy attitude at times, not all the time, I am making it sound far worse than it really is - he is just a bit more of a challenge than I wanted and now I am stuck at a crossroads and I can't feel in my heart which way to choose.....
 
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