The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2003
    Location
    Wet and Windy Washington
    Posts
    3,778

    Default How do you know when to call it enough?

    So I'm not talking directly about my guy as in the last 6-8 months he come on in leaps and bounds. Still dealing with some forward issues but when I look back from where we came from I'm happy with his progress.

    However, I've been wondering lately when or how you decide your horse isn't the one. At what stage do you say this horse either doesn't like dressage or is too much work to get to the basics?

    As many poeple say you pay the same board for a good horse as a bad one but for those who have reached the point of turning their horses over to a new career I'm curious what was the final straw or the moment when you realized that your horse wasn't the 'one' to make that dressage journey with you.

    I gave my horse this year to kind of get his act together otherwise I was going to sell him to a more suitable career. There are days where he is fantastic and days where I wonder if its worth the extra effort to work with a confident challanging horse who you have to negotiate with the whole time.

    So like I said not directly related to my guy but the thought wanders around my mind of how you know to let it go and move onto another horse.
    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 15, 2006
    Location
    North of the Frozen Tundra, but I can see it from my house.
    Posts
    1,296

    Default

    You need to have fun. If you are not having fun, it is time for both of you to move on.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    chilliwack b.c.
    Posts
    1,312

    Default

    I have been thinking about selling my mare and moving on,but i had a dream last nite that someone stole her! I almost had a panic attack in my dream...So i guess that means we are going to be a team for a while.
    mm



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2004
    Posts
    7,538

    Default

    honestly? for me to say a horse cant do it i would have to be perfectly sure the riding/training is 100%..... otherwise i might say something like "my skills are not up to bringing this horse along and we both would be happier doing something else. "

    for me at least this allows me to take responsibility and then i can let go.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2009
    Posts
    47

    Default

    I always end up doing what the horse likes to do...

    Some horses are not cut out to be straight dressage mounts, that's for sure. Some are too independent, or too forward-thinking (like a lot of TBs), etc, and while they can be a lot of fun sometimes doing dressage, it can end up not being much fun with a main focus on dressage.

    So if dressage is really what you want to do, I'd get a horse that's fun for you, and find someone for your horse that will do what he likes -- maybe trail, endurance, or a mixed bag of things, but for him it may not be competitive dressage.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2005
    Location
    Desert Southwest
    Posts
    6,264

    Default

    It took me too darn long to conclude that my mare would rather jump. Call me Queen of Denial. I think I realized how wrong she was for dressage when I found Figaro. Everything is so much easier for him and with him. For the first time in years I ENJOYED going to the barn and riding.

    Now Bea gets to jump with one of my students and they're both loving it. I need to find her a home with a brave teenage girl so she can gallop and jump to her heart's content.

    If riding your horse is more of a drag than a pleasure, it's time for a change.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
    Posts
    24,408

    Default

    Agreed, but I think most problems and 'unsuitable' dressage horses are just horses that need to be trained in dressage in a different way, and I think the chief problem with 'difficult' horses is the skill of the trainer, with the exception of physical pain and unsoundness, I think most dressage problems are due to a lack of establishing fundamentals, closing up errors in the rider's riding, and lack of fitness and conditioning(regular routine).

    I think most horses are very capable of doing intro and training level, which is what most people do. I think the basic problem is establishing that forward, and that most of the behaviors of the 'don't like dressage' horse is simply showing the forward has not been established. You can't bend a horse that isn't forward, you can't get a horse to accept the bit or later be on the bit unless he's forward, you can't stop bucking, rearing, shying, or any other behavior problem, without establishing forward. I think the problems with establishing a connnection and contact are part of this, and mostly due to misconceptions about how to train it.

    Most of the time, the rider would have to change some of his training ideas and submit himself to some lessons and following what the instructor tells him to do...something a lot of people have a problem with. They get fixed ideas about training and won't change to adapt to the situation.

    I agree that in some cases it is just not practical for the rider to proceed. It's just too hard for him, he needs to get a different horse.
    Last edited by slc2; Oct. 9, 2009 at 05:47 AM.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2009
    Posts
    625

    Default

    Horses are like boyfriends--if you aren't 100% sure he's the one, it's time to move on. You'll know 100% though and through when you have the right one!

    That said, my two gelding will spend their lives with me.

    Seriously though, you might consider sending him to a trainer you trust--either to sell him or to just ride and see how he progresses--sometimes, you get kind of stuck in a rut with the same horse. But if it's a personality clash, yes, I think it's time to move on.
    Last edited by HollysHobbies; Oct. 9, 2009 at 08:50 AM.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2005
    Location
    Desert Southwest
    Posts
    6,264

    Default

    As it turns out, jumping and cavalletti gymnastics are the key to improving my mare's dressage -- but she will still never be a superstar. She topped out at 2nd level.

    She loooooves to jump. That's her gift.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,135

    Default

    I agree with slc2-- there is more than one way to skin as dressage cat. I think most horses can do the job and the competitive discipline up to a certain point.
    While physical limits are real, I think a horse's assumed mental limits reflect a lack of creativity or sensitivity on the trainer's part.

    In other words, before you decide you and your horse "just don't click," ask if that's how good, long-standing relationships are made. I grew up catch-riding horses and (therefore) had to spend lots of time figuring out how to change my approach to suit the horse. As an adult, I find myself liking just about all of them. I have a huge repertoire of techniques for approaching a problem, and I find myself enjoying the task of figuring out how to get the most from any given horse, whatever his foibles.

    Even if all this is true, however, there is no rule that says owners or horsemen must keep horses who make them work this hard. If you don't want to be a detective/psychologist/trainer all rolled into one, that's no problem. For most of us, there is a horse with the personality, temperament and/or experience out there to suit us.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2008
    Posts
    4,038

    Default

    My poor mare....I was talking with my trainer about her. She's in her teens now and stuck with me and my routine.

    I make her do crazy, scary things like turn on the forehand and attempt to shoulder-in, etc.

    I also make her jump solid objects out in fields.

    She is TONS better than when I first started her - back then, tense as an overstrung guitar and scared of everything.

    Still....I mentioned to my trainer, and she agrees, my mare would have probably been perfect being a 2'6" to 3' Equitation horse. Little bit of dressage/basic flatwork, jumps that are decorated sometimes but fall down and are not to wide.....

    She doesn't have the stride or form to really be competitive at hunters, but equitation is probably her thing.

    She does enjoy herself - a good gallop out in the field is great fun for her and most cross country jumps don't bother her, but she will jump ANYTHING in the ring.

    Don't get me wrong - she starts down the centerline and will be DAMNED if her foolish owner/rider messes up her dressage test! It was very interesting and enlightening to discover this summer when I was learning a new test - after running through the test only twice, she started anticipating what was going next with an "I got it now mom, you just sit there and look pretty and stay out of my way."

    I think no matter the talent of the horse, horses are similar to people in that they do have different desires. Some horses LOVE jumping with speed over stadium jumps, some LOVE cross country phase of eventing. Some LOVE the precise nature of dressage while others LOVE the precise nature of hunters.

    It is about listening to your horse. The horse may be going along fine in dressage, but really wakes up and opens his stride and finds 'forward' the first time you take him out in a field - while another horse going along exactly the same as the first in dressage has a heart attack at the lack of boundaries and melts down.

    I am sure many horses (like people) go through life doing something they do not necessarily hate, but don't enjoy as much as something else they possibly have never done. Take Salinero as an example - he has great talent for dressage, but considering the behavioral problems, maybe he does not want to be a dressage horse. It makes you wonder what would happen if you threw him in a jumping ring or out on a hunt or elsewhere. Maybe a meltdown, maybe he would wake up and calm down (as far as 'tantrums' go).



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2008
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    779

    Default

    Just on a side note because you have gotten good advice here- I'm a show jumper all the way- who also happens to ride a LOT of dressage because I see what a difference it makes and I truly enjoy it! But: I have seen so many people say that they think their horses would be happier doing X rather than Y... sometimes IT IS TRUE... but then again, look at it from this perspective: If all you did every day was being ridden in an arena, over and over, same arena, same moves, etc... you'd probably get pretty bored- a lot of people have the same problems with their hunters/jumpers. I think the only ones that don't have this problem are eventers to be honest. They make things different- one day they ride a dressage test, the next day they are conditioning their horses in a field, etc. Now, maybe trying to trail ride once a week and work in a pasture or different arena another time would make your horse more interested in working (saying yours- not talking to anyone in particular). That's been key for me- I won't hesitate to take a high level jumper to a hunter pace one week-end... ALL of them should be able to go on a trail ride (and btw, I work mine on trail rides...)
    For example, one of my best friends just bought a confirmed GP dressage stallion... she just took him off the property the other day and couldn't believe how good the horse was and how his whole attitude changed... Pretty cool sight also... watching him do tempis down the trail!!
    Just my 2 cents...
    hope you figure out if this is the horse for you... can't imagine it being an easy decision
    Last edited by jumpingmaya; Oct. 9, 2009 at 10:13 AM. Reason: Spelling
    Proudly living in my "let's save the world bubble"!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
    Posts
    8,590

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jumpingmaya View Post
    Just on a side note because you have gotten good advice here- I'm a show jumper all the way- who also happens to ride a LOT of dressage because I see what a difference it makes and I truly enjoy it! But: I have seen so many people say that they think their horses would be happier doing X rather than Y... sometimes IT IS TRUE... but then again, look at it from this perspective: If all you did every day was being ridden in an arena, over and over, same arena, same moves, etc... you'd probably get pretty bored- a lot of people have the same problems with their hunters/jumpers. I think the only ones that don't have this problem are eventers to be honest. They make things different- one day they ride a dressage test, the next day they are conditioning their horses in a field, etc. Now, maybe trying to trail ride once a week and work in a pasture or different arena another time would make your horse more interested in working (saying yours- not talking to anyone in particular). That's been key for me- I won't hesitate to take a high level jumper to a hunter pace one week-end... ALL of them should be able to go on a trail ride (and btw, I work mine on trail rides...)
    For example, one of my best friends just bought a confirmed GP dressage stallion... she just took him off the property the other day and couldn't believe how good the horse was and how his whole attitude changed... Pretty cool sight also... watching him do tempis down the trail!!
    Just my 2 cents...
    hope you figure out if this is the horse for you... can't imagine it being an easy decision
    I don't necessarily think it is only eventers who don't have this problem. It is people who ride their horses holistically who don't have this problem: they can do a good dressage school one day and can also pop in an easy over fences school the next and then they also go for a long hack in the woods.
    In my personal experience embarking up the dressage levels with my hunters I find that a hunter hack over some little jumps really sets them up nicely with loose backs for practicing lateral work the next day.

    No matter what discipline you do, if it is all Pursuit of Perfection 6 days a week and the horse never gets to so much as walk on the buckle because it "isn't dressage" or he never works on collection because it "isn't a hunter frame," that is not holistic training of a horse.

    Of course, finding a rider who is interested in becoming proficient at jumping, dressage, trails, round penning, long lining, etc and developing a holistic training program that incorporates those skills toward the development of the WHOLE HORSE instead of just training for the next level in dressage or trying to move up to the A/Os in the hunters is the hard part. Finding a trainer who can teach it is no easy feat either.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 6, 2005
    Location
    The Big Mitt
    Posts
    1,714

    Default

    An easy way to find out is to ride other horses. See if you have more fun, if you end the ride with a smile. It's a fact that some horses are more fun and easier to train. It may take you a while to find the right one and you will learn a lot in the search.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,340

    Default

    Some horses are just not suited to a particular job. It may be a physical limitation or a mental one. When I bought my Trakehner, I envisioned him as my future dressage horse or mid-level eventer. He found it very difficult (physically) to collect which was exacerbated by a fear of feeling trapped. Partially it could be attributed to some piss-poor training before I bought him -- he'd been ridden in draw reins and started to rear.

    This was a horse that didn't want to be put into a "program" and it took me awhile to find a trainer who would look at him and find the best way to work around (and through) his issues. With her help he stopped rearing and became a much happier boy. At that point my trainer told me I had to make a choice -- if I wanted a competitive dressage horse I should sell him because it wasn't going to happen. Or, I could figure out what he wanted to do and enjoy him.

    It turned out that he was an extraordinary foxhunter. He loved the excitement of it and was brave, athletic and calm. I could hunt him bitless first flight and never feel that he was out of control. I didn't know that I wanted to be a foxhunter, but on him it just was right.

    I still schooled him in dressage but once I accepted that he was never going to be competitive as a show horse (despite his wonderful gaits) the whole experience of owning/riding him got more enjoyable.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    650

    Default

    It finally hit me that my mare was never going to be even remotely enthusiastic as a low level eventer. She would do everyhting I asked (well, most of the time) simply because she was a sweetheart. That is not enough for me. I just can't feel good about making a horse do a job it doesn't love. So, I sold her and got a horse who wants to work, jump and do dressage. Bingo! I go to the barn wanting to ride every day, the rides are challenging and rewarding at the same time. I have a forward, sensitive, thinking horse who tries to figure it all out. It certainly isn't easy work and we're still in the get to know you phase. But each ride gets better and we make some type of improvement in every lesson and my rides alone are productive and encouraging. I still can't believe I spent 3 years struggling. Riding for me has to be fun and relaxing. When I was spending more time scratching my head than improving with my mare I knew the time had come.

    I feel like you are already know the answer to this question or you wouldn't have posted it.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2008
    Posts
    23

    Default Another dressage horse turned foxhunter!

    I had one who would score in the high seventies and even an eighty at training level. I planned on eventing him... Took him foxhunting and he found his calling. Would not put in a decent test after that. He also could not understand cross country jumping with no hounds. Would not have anything to do with schooling cross country fences. In the hunt field he would go anywhere, jump anything, and do anything. He wasn't just jumping because of the horses in the field either, I whipped off him, too. He became a superstar at the hunt.
    Rather than continue to try and direct him to MY career choice I bought another horse and only hunted the other. It worked great! He was definite about his job.
    I try to find the job that suits the horse best and change my plans, or find someone who enjoys that discipline. We have school horses that just didn't live up to their owners expectations but who are fabulous to teach people on!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2003
    Location
    Wet and Windy Washington
    Posts
    3,778

    Default

    I feel like you are already know the answer to this question or you wouldn't have posted it.
    Ahh far from it..like I said for the most part I'm very happy with his progression this year, and he, for the most part seems happy too.

    But it crosses my mind sometimes that maybe he'd be happier doing something else, or with someone else as he is confident and challenging and so there are mini battles....I just don't know if he'd have the same issues with other poeple or not. If he did then he may as well stay with me (and I'm worried as last time someone else rode him, a good rider, really messed him up).

    I guess I want whats best for him and due to his challenging nature with dressage he'll often get pushed out of his comfort zone and therefore balk a little when it gets harder.

    But its a hard decision for me as in so many ways he's a blast to ride, and really keeps me honest and thinking which I love....

    LOL just wish a little banner would pop up that would say 'Move on' or 'Keep this horse'.

    I just feel a little pressure at the moment as he's 6 and kinda prime age to sell for endurance which I think he'd excel at. So I guess I don't want to hold him back from something I know he'd be good at (as in he finds it fun) for something I don't know how good he'll be at (dressage).

    Maybe one more year of dressage....

    God its a hard decision.
    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2002
    Location
    it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
    Posts
    12,079

    Default

    Physically we are not suited to all horses... mentally we are not suited to all horses.

    Truly, the relationship, when you think about it, is basically as intimate as marriage.

    And sometimes, courtship proves the relationship isn't the one you want for the next 20 or 25 years.

    It's ok.

    I think most of us, the marjority, would LOVE to be able to give any horse we bought a home for life. The reality is horses mature and change and grow just as we do, and not always in the direction we hope for and wish for. If riding is your hobby, your bliss, your stress reliever... then it needs to be enjoyable. If it's not enjoyable on some level, changes need to be made.

    Might be training, might be finding a new partner.

    Life is short. I don't think it's the worst sin to cut bait, but somehow it makes us feel like we've failed. Even professionals find that horses aren't suited for their 'chosen' tasks, we mere mortals should be no less...
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
    Location
    Catharpin, Virginia
    Posts
    6,675

    Default

    Haven't read all the replies. But if you are concerned about the ultimate fate of your horse if turned over to other hands, never to be seen again, I would suggest this:

    1) Find or come to terms with that venue in which he will give the most pleasure to others and the most to him, then do an "on farm" lease you you can manage is well being.

    2) Find a horse that you will find more easy to bring along in dressage and with which you will not become for frustrated.

    Believe me, you don't always need to sell a horse that is not working out for you and your aspirations. They can make more than their sale price many times over by allowing him to be used by riders who will pay a fee and happy on the back of a lazy soul... Takes a little adverts and time, but well worth it, IME.



Similar Threads

  1. What do you call your vet?
    By amastrike in forum Off Course
    Replies: 113
    Last Post: Jul. 17, 2012, 12:05 PM
  2. When to Call Vet?
    By pryme_thyme in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Dec. 12, 2011, 03:21 PM
  3. Call the vet? Or not yet.
    By OneGrayPony in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Oct. 28, 2011, 06:19 PM
  4. Why won't they call?
    By bkkone in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: Sep. 19, 2011, 06:55 PM
  5. To call the vet or no?
    By SarahandSam in forum Off Course
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: Oct. 4, 2010, 07:23 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness