The best thing to do

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10 December 2020
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I purchased a horse last year, he is 17hh my first real horse. He was 4 and unbroken when I purchased him.
I backed him myself last year and have done all of his education myself with the help of my trainer. I’ve continued with his education and are now jumping courses of 80 and he has lots of lovely movement in dressage. He is sometimes challenging for my abilities
I really love him but just don’t know if he is the right horse for me. I don’t know weather it’s just hard with young horses or if he is just too much for me. I feel like we have come so far and if I decided to part ways with him I would be throwing all the hard work away.

thank you in advance for any advice
 
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What do you want from a horse that you haven’t got now?
honestly just the something a little more experienced, I know he could be my dream horse if I just keep working with him but I just feel a bit frustrated and burnt out. Hope this makes sense
 

paddi22

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what's making you feel burnt out about him? has he behaviour you don't like, how challenging is 'challenging'?

a lot of young horses can be challenging at around ages 6 and 7 but turn into lovely horses when they mature. might it be a case of just riding out the teenage years? Horse prices are crazy right now, and it sounds like your one is just green but has potential. there is a lot to be said about knowing you have a healthy horse and its education history. Would it be worth sending the horse away for schooling for a while if you had the cash?
 
Joined
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what's making you feel burnt out about him? has he behaviour you don't like, how challenging is 'challenging'?

a lot of young horses can be challenging at around ages 6 and 7 but turn into lovely horses when they mature. might it be a case of just riding out the teenage years? Horse prices are crazy right now, and it sounds like your one is just green but has potential. there is a lot to be said about knowing you have a healthy horse and its education history. Would it be worth sending the horse away for schooling for a while if you had the cash?
he is not challenging in a way that makes him dangerous (like bucking and rearing) he just takes a lot to put his mind on his task. I think I’ve just had a couple of bad rides in a row and I feel abit down about everything.

He has so much to give me but is sometimes just really unhelpful.

I shouldn’t really moan we’ve come so far but it just feels like we’ve still got a long way to go.
 

Hepsibah

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It sounds to me as though everything is hard work right now. That happens at times with lots of different things but since this is your hobby, not your job or your children, you are able to re-evaluate it. Think about why you do this, what your pleasure is in it, what your goals are. If the way you're feeling at the moment is a hiccup, you can power through it but if it doesn't line up with your reasons for keeping a horse then consider finding a horse that meets your needs.
 

paddi22

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he is not challenging in a way that makes him dangerous (like bucking and rearing) he just takes a lot to put his mind on his task. I think I’ve just had a couple of bad rides in a row and I feel abit down about everything.

He has so much to give me but is sometimes just really unhelpful.

I shouldn’t really moan we’ve come so far but it just feels like we’ve still got a long way to go.
Young horses can really be tough at times and it's so natural to get periods where you feel like it's a pure struggle at times. If he's young it's natural his attention will wander and that his brain isn't as focused, that will improve with age. When you say he is 'unhelpful' you need to break down what is happening that is making him like that. with young horses it is usually because they don't fully understand something yet or they find it tough physically.

Training young horses is always a challenging process but it's a brilliant learning curve and you come out the other end with a total knowledge and understanding of that horse. it's the difference between buying a car to drive and then on the other hand having put in the work to learn to build the engine yourself. every problem you hit is a chance to learn something.

Are you having bad rides when you are by yourself or in a lesson? is there a pattern to the day it doesn't go well?
 
Joined
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Young horses can really be tough at times and it's so natural to get periods where you feel like it's a pure struggle at times. If he's young it's natural his attention will wander and that his brain isn't as focused, that will improve with age. When you say he is 'unhelpful' you need to break down what is happening that is making him like that. with young horses it is usually because they don't fully understand something yet or they find it tough physically.

Training young horses is always a challenging process but it's a brilliant learning curve and you come out the other end with a total knowledge and understanding of that horse. it's the difference between buying a car to drive and then on the other hand having put in the work to learn to build the engine yourself. every problem you hit is a chance to learn something.

Are you having bad rides when you are by yourself or in a lesson? is there a pattern to the day it doesn't go well?
My lessons are usually fantastic. I think I’m just being hard on my self if I’m honest. I’m going through a few life changes so I think I might just be questioning everything. I’ve never had a young horse and I think sometimes I forget that.
thank you for trying to talk some sense into me I think I just need to start tomorrow as a new day and leave my expectations behind me and just get on with it without being overly self critical :)
 
Joined
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It sounds to me as though everything is hard work right now. That happens at times with lots of different things but since this is your hobby, not your job or your children, you are able to re-evaluate it. Think about why you do this, what your pleasure is in it, what your goals are. If the way you're feeling at the moment is a hiccup, you can power through it but if it doesn't line up with your reasons for keeping a horse then consider finding a horse that meets your needs.
I think it’s just a blip and I needed to vent to someone. Young horses shouldn’t be as perfect as old ones. He’s a having a holiday in a few weeks so we can start a new chapter after that.
 

Equi

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Sometimes you need to take a step back and a break. Instead of having ride after ride feeling crap and uninspired why not do something different for a week or two..some ground work or even just a total throw him out break. Just decompress for both of you and then come back with a fresh enthusiasm.
 

paddi22

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yeah if you have other stuff going on, then a relaxing hobby not being relaxing can often be the last thing you need if you are under pressure elsewhere! when I have tough stuff going on personally, then as a self-care thing I take all pressure off myself horse-wise, I'll just hack or do stupid fun stuff until I'm in the right space mentally to focus again. If it's a young horse then I often just feck them out in the field for a few weeks for a holiday and then pick them up again when things settle. If you aren't depending on paying your mortgage by getting a horse to a young horse class or something, then you are blessed with the luxury of taking your time and enjoy the fact that it doesn't matter in the slightest what you actually do with them.

also make sure you look back at old photos or videos to see just how far you have come and congratulate yourself for that!
 
Joined
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yeah if you have other stuff going on, then a relaxing hobby not being relaxing can often be the last thing you need if you are under pressure elsewhere! when I have tough stuff going on personally, then as a self-care thing I take all pressure off myself horse-wise, I'll just hack or do stupid fun stuff until I'm in the right space mentally to focus again. If it's a young horse then I often just feck them out in the field for a few weeks for a holiday and then pick them up again when things settle. If you aren't depending on paying your mortgage by getting a horse to a young horse class or something, then you are blessed with the luxury of taking your time and enjoy the fact that it doesn't matter in the slightest what you actually do with them.

also make sure you look back at old photos or videos to see just how far you have come and congratulate yourself for that!
thank you so much for your advice!
 

SatansLittleHelper

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yeah if you have other stuff going on, then a relaxing hobby not being relaxing can often be the last thing you need if you are under pressure elsewhere! when I have tough stuff going on personally, then as a self-care thing I take all pressure off myself horse-wise, I'll just hack or do stupid fun stuff until I'm in the right space mentally to focus again. If it's a young horse then I often just feck them out in the field for a few weeks for a holiday and then pick them up again when things settle. If you aren't depending on paying your mortgage by getting a horse to a young horse class or something, then you are blessed with the luxury of taking your time and enjoy the fact that it doesn't matter in the slightest what you actually do with them.

also make sure you look back at old photos or videos to see just how far you have come and congratulate yourself for that!
This 100%
I put alot of pressure on myself and then have a melt down...as above, I'm learning to drop the pressure when other stuff is going on and not stress about it.
 
Joined
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Are you school-bound and a bit frustrated? I’m a big fan of masses of hacking for young horses (and all for that matter!). The same frustrations can be there every time you enter the school in my experience.
yes we do lots of work in the school. I love hacking but had a bad experience and now every time I think about it I get so anxious, I’m trying my best to be brave when I take him out but it doesn’t seem to work.
 

Trouper

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I think we have all raised our eyebrows at "5-yr old antics" at some point with horses. If you do lots of school work he, too, might be getting frustrated with the routine and need a change which is not just chilling out in a field for a bit.

Can you get a good steady horse to hack out with you or get your instructor to come with you. It really does help them mentally - and you might feel better about things if you can get over a mental nervousness about hacking.
 

Melody Grey

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yes we do lots of work in the school. I love hacking but had a bad experience and now every time I think about it I get so anxious, I’m trying my best to be brave when I take him out but it doesn’t seem to work.
Have you considered either getting an instructor to help you or getting them/ a pro to come and take him out. I think the variety would do him the world of good and hopefully get you somewhere towards hacking more frequently?
Are you able to box out to some farm tracks if your roads are busy? That’s all good education too.
 

Leandy

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The other alternative is to send him away for schooling. It will give you are break and you will have a pro to further his education in the meantime. If he goes somewhere local you can go and ride him and have some lessons along the way to help you both progress. Let the pro turn him into the horse you want him to be and get you over this hump? If you don't feel it is working and actually another horse would be best after all, then ask them to sell him for you.
 

Merrymoles

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He's a big horse and will take time to mature. I'd give both of you the rest of the summer off, you for a break and him to have time to assimilate what he has learned and relax for a while, and then come back to work when you are both fresher.
 
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