Recommended instructors/riders for an overachiever?

Joined
17 January 2019
Messages
47
So I've got some time off of work for Easter and it's given me a chance to reflect about what to do with my 5yo and putting my thoughts out into words sometimes helps.
I'm not afraid or ashamed to admit that I simply don't have the talent or experience to know what to do next with her. I have backed and brought on several horses myself throughout my lifetime. Some more difficult than others, but this mare is different and not something that I have dealt with before. She is very, very sharp, spooky, intelligent and opinionated (warmblood!) albeit very sweet and kind natured - I think she trying too hard and then getting upset because she isn't strong or balanced enough and she's exhausting herself. I have backed and hacked her a few times a week sweet as a nut for the last year but the problems have come to light since bringing in arena work this year. I have considered giving the arena work a break for another year but the thought of trying to do this again when she is another year older, bigger and stronger honestly frightens me.

Anyway I am really struggling to bring her on - both time wise and talent wise. I have been having lessons but due to time commitments (me and the instructor) I'm finding I can only have one or two a month and riding her on my own is simply pointless. I think my instructor is in a bit of a pickle about what to do next too, she isn't an actual instructor per se, but a young professional rider in the local area. We have trial and error-ed a few things but this mare is something else on the complex scale. I have already had this conversation with my instructor and she agrees it's time for me to find someone else who can teach us more.

This leads me on to my next thought which is do I send her away instead? I can't help but feel that if I send her away I have failed even though I know that's not in the slightest bit true but it's very tempting because it would take some pressure off of me day-to-day if there was one less horse around for a few weeks or months.

So I guess my question is who or where? Anybody know anyone prepared to take on an 'interesting' case? Either just with lessons and advice or to take in for a while? I am based in the South West - Glous/Wiltshire/Somerset borders and if she's away I would like to be able to go and see her at some points so within those counties would be nice. I have looked on the BHS website for registered instructors but they are just names on a sheet to me. I just want to get to the point where I can get a walk, trot and canter without going sideways, backwards, up, down or inside out - not asking for much.

Just to add that she is a homebred and we sadly lost her dam who my mum bred and evented so she is very special and although she would probably be better off in a professionals hands, selling is not a consideration, she will always be exceptionally well taken care of whether she's just a field ornament, hack, low-level competition or Olympic prospect (wishful thinking). She also has clear neck/back/leg/hoof xrays, regular physio and dental checks (she did have a fractured wolf tooth which was removed) and was scoped 3 weeks ago - again clear. Thank you in advance for any comments and sorry for the essay.
 
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ihatework

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 September 2004
Messages
14,947
I understand where you are coming from! And I hate to tell you but this will be expensive.

I’ve got a homebred 3yo who is very very sweet with not an ounce of malice in him, but it’s been obvious from very early on he is super intelligent and very reactive/sharp, some of which he certainly gets from his dam, who very much wanted to please but also was an over thinker!

I’m no idiot around horses and have ridden on a few and been around top flight competition horses in more than one discipline.

But this horse I know is beyond my skill set to produce effectively.

At the end of that essay, if you would like your horse set up to be a good citizen in a sympathetic but also practical manner then you could do a whole heap worse than Ellen Terray, Riverside Stables, Malmesbury
 

TheMule

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 October 2009
Messages
2,739
I have had great sucess with a similar type of mare using a guy called Tim Piper who is in Somerset. He is a proper horseman and he will give you an honest opinion and get her forwards and riding away. He has a great way of thinking outside the box- he backed a difficult mare for me and has subsequently done some remedial work for a specific issue. The mare would have downed tools very quickly in most conventional systems.
 

sportsmansB

Active Member
Joined
9 February 2009
Messages
560
I actually think you sound like you are being very sensible - as is your instructor (if only they all were as honest!)
It definitely sounds like more of a word of mouth recommendation than a list of registered people that you need. Some people have a special way with sensitive horses, others simply have a formula that they try and fit them all into. You need the first one for sure!
I can't help with local recommendations (I'm in Ireland, I do know a few over here who could probably help) but I wish you all the luck. Sounds like you have her best interests at heart.
 
Joined
17 January 2019
Messages
47
Thank you SportsmansB, off topic but maybe you can help me next year - I'm heading over to Ireland to hopefully pick up a couple of young ISH's. Traditionals only though - I'm very particular about that. But don't know where to start besides the stud my TISH was bred from.

I have started following the above mentioned trainers online to see their work they both sound great on paper. Sympathy, openness and patience is key for me in a trainer. It won't be an easy decision to make but I think a necessary one. I have accepted the costs, good job I like beans on toast because that's all I'll be having for dinner from now on.
 

sportsmansB

Active Member
Joined
9 February 2009
Messages
560
Sure, give me a shout when you're thinking about it
Unfortunately the TIH is harder to get hold if than before. If you're stuck in the house because you are spending all your money on livery for the mare (!), check out Capall Oir, the HSI irish breeding site. TIH's are marked on there - can give you some ideas of the sort of breeding you are looking for, and details of breeders. I can get lost for hours in it!
https://breeding.horsesportireland.ie/Person/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=/
 
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