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  1. #1

    Default To change horse or not? V long, sorry

    Long time lurker looking for advice.

    Iíve had an ISH for about three years. Sheís a proper pet, very willing and responsive and a super jumper. However, her previous owner had only hunted her so she was very green in some ways.

    Iím novice in a lot of ways - sheís my first horse, and Iím very much in the happy hacker camp with no ambitions to do much more than Iím currently able to do - 70-80cm jumping, intro dressage, pre novice hunter trials and fun rides.

    As Iím working full time and am inexperienced in schooling and stable management I keep her in full livery with lessons on site, riding 1-2 times a week in winter and 2-3 times in summer. I also have a share agreement for riding of her with someone far more competent & who schools her, competes her at a low level and takes more advanced lessons and would ride her 6 of 7 days.

    Hereís the problem - I feel sheís a bit much for me sometimes. The more work thatís put into her, the fitter she gets and the more forward she becomes.

    For example, I can take her out cross country and we can have great fun, we walk, trot, small canter, pop a few small jumps. If weíre in a large group she gets strong above a trot or putting a string of jumps together. Or, at a local show she can get a bit fizzy - not bold exactly, just happy in herself and full of life.

    So, itís not unmanageable, her other rider has the skills to sort it out as soon as it kicks off and with me, I tense and start getting into a pulling match, she picks up on the nerves and so on...

    What Iím wrestling with is: to get to the level of enjoying her to the full I should upskill & Iím not sure Iíve the time or inclination. Iím thinking Iíd be better with a more cobby type and leave this one go to her loan rider full time (havenít raised this with her yet!).

    Iím mad about her, sheís so honest and brave and tries her best at whatever sheís asked to do, lovely to handle on the ground and sheís fun to ride. Plus, all animals can act out and most of the time I can sort out her messing. On the other hand, her sharer loves her as well and she (the mare) gets on so well with her and I canít see myself ever getting to the point of being as confident on her cross country or off site as I am with a school horse.

    I suppose Iím looking for what other people would think & to see if there are things I havenít considered?

    Sorry for the essay, trying to organize my thoughts as I type!

  2. #2
    Old nag
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    Default Re: To change horse or not? V long, sorry

    she sounds lovely...sometimes its better to stick with what you have got as you are happy with her alot of the time.....a more cobby type can still be very forward going and strong so you could end up with more of a problem....is she more chilled in the summer? if so why not do most of your riding in the summer and let the loaner take more of the riding in the winter..... or have lessons on her to try and improve yourself and feel more confident....dont feel you have to match up to her loan rider, if you are happy hacking only then just do exactly that. good luck

  3. #3

    Default Re: To change horse or not? V long, sorry

    A couple of things come to mind, firstly that the sharer seems to be getting rather more out of the deal than you do, no wonder she loves her and the opportunities she is having, her management is out of your control are you sure she is not getting fed/ managed to suit her sharer rather than you, it may be better if she was less fit, she can still be fit enough but an over fit, over fed horse will be tricky for a person who only rides 2 or 3 times a week and is in fact riding far less than the sharer does.

    I would suggest that at the end of the winter you ask her to be let down a little, get less feed, assuming she is on hard food, the sharer to remember the horse is yours and needs to be less fit, they can still do plenty with her just wind things down to nearer your level and see if that helps, otherwise you may end up with another horse that you may not enjoy as much when a few tweaks to change things in your favour could make all the difference.
    As a YO I have seen similar happen and am always conscious of the level of riding the owner has so try to keep the horses in a way that fits in, I know who pays the bills and they are the ones to keep happy, so to my mind I think you need to see if something can be done as the mare sounds lovely and probably just a bit too enthusiastic at times, just to add don't be concerned about her not reaching her potential or being wasted with you, she is loved, well cared for and will not care if she doesn't go xc or jump big jumps .

  4. #4
    Over the hill and far awa YorksG's Avatar
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    Default Re: To change horse or not? V long, sorry

    Quote Originally Posted by be positive View Post
    A couple of things come to mind, firstly that the sharer seems to be getting rather more out of the deal than you do, no wonder she loves her and the opportunities she is having, her management is out of your control are you sure she is not getting fed/ managed to suit her sharer rather than you, it may be better if she was less fit, she can still be fit enough but an over fit, over fed horse will be tricky for a person who only rides 2 or 3 times a week and is in fact riding far less than the sharer does.

    I would suggest that at the end of the winter you ask her to be let down a little, get less feed, assuming she is on hard food, the sharer to remember the horse is yours and needs to be less fit, they can still do plenty with her just wind things down to nearer your level and see if that helps, otherwise you may end up with another horse that you may not enjoy as much when a few tweaks to change things in your favour could make all the difference.
    As a YO I have seen similar happen and am always conscious of the level of riding the owner has so try to keep the horses in a way that fits in, I know who pays the bills and they are the ones to keep happy, so to my mind I think you need to see if something can be done as the mare sounds lovely and probably just a bit too enthusiastic at times, just to add don't be concerned about her not reaching her potential or being wasted with you, she is loved, well cared for and will not care if she doesn't go xc or jump big jumps .
    Perfect reply!
    Good luck, we all need it!
    "Perhaps it is better to be irresponsible and right than responsible and wrong " (Winston Churchill)
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil ' is that good men do nothing" Edmund Burke
    I am owned by a mare with appytude

  5. #5
    Not slacking-multitasking
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    Default Re: To change horse or not? V long, sorry

    I agree, she genuinely sounds lovely so let down a bit might help. I certainly wouldn't presume you won't have the same issue, or different issues with a cob.

    Do you think with help you'd be able to work on not tensing up? It does get you into all sorts of trouble on all sorts of horses .

  6. #6

    Default Re: To change horse or not? V long, sorry

    I can relate to this - I have a fantastic ISH who is pretty challenging to ride. And the stronger and fitter she gets, the harder it is to ride her power. I'm not (yet!) really up.to her level. But I agree with the above posters - if I was not interested in competing I'd reduce her workload and feed, let her lose some fitness and just have fun. She would be fine with that. So I don't think having a loaner keeping her super fit and tuned up is helping you tbh.

  7. #7
    Veteran LaurenBay's Avatar
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    Default Re: To change horse or not? V long, sorry

    Agree with the others, I would ask the sharer not to ride as much so the Horse loses a bit of fitness. See if that helps

  8. #8

    Default Re: To change horse or not? V long, sorry

    ETA when my daughter was having a confidence wobble I rode her pony several times a week. But I was acutely mindful of needing to ride him in a way that suited her not me. I could have taken him up a few levels, jumped him round bigger tracks, getting him nicely forward and confident. But actually I rode him as she would ride him: calmly, with lots of small jumps from trot, lots of boring (to him) flatwork so that he was not too hot for her when she got on. Not that many horses adjust to the rider - they need to be ridden how you want them to go.

  9. #9

    Default Re: To change horse or not? V long, sorry

    Quote Originally Posted by splashgirl45 View Post
    ....is she more chilled in the summer?
    Very much so, she doesnít like the shorter turnouts & feels she has to have the most fun she can in her ridden time! Once March is half way through, sheíll start chilling a lot more

  10. #10

    Default Re: To change horse or not? V long, sorry

    Quote Originally Posted by be positive View Post
    A couple of things come to mind, firstly that the sharer seems to be getting rather more out of the deal than you do, no wonder she loves her and the opportunities she is having, her management is out of your control are you sure she is not getting fed/ managed to suit her sharer rather than you, it may be better if she was less fit, she can still be fit enough but an over fit, over fed horse will be tricky for a person who only rides 2 or 3 times a week and is in fact riding far less than the sharer does.

    I would suggest that at the end of the winter you ask her to be let down a little, get less feed, assuming she is on hard food, the sharer to remember the horse is yours and needs to be less fit, they can still do plenty with her just wind things down to nearer your level and see if that helps, otherwise you may end up with another horse that you may not enjoy as much when a few tweaks to change things in your favour could make all the difference.
    As a YO I have seen similar happen and am always conscious of the level of riding the owner has so try to keep the horses in a way that fits in, I know who pays the bills and they are the ones to keep happy, so to my mind I think you need to see if something can be done as the mare sounds lovely and probably just a bit too enthusiastic at times, just to add don't be concerned about her not reaching her potential or being wasted with you, she is loved, well cared for and will not care if she doesn't go xc or jump big jumps .
    A lot of this rings very true! While the sharer is lovely, she is very young (early 20s) and I think she might forget sometimes that I might prefer to just potter and it should be up to me how the mare is used.

    What really kicked this off is the sharer texted me to say the yard owner had passed on a message I shouldnít ride in an upcoming local show ( sj unaffiliated , Iíd be going into the 40-60cm, I have no shame being surrounded by kids and out performed by them) as it might be a bit much & I just thought, if Iím not able for that, then Iím going backwards!

    On reflection, itís very unlike the YO not to cal me direct so I think there might be some filtering of what was said... which annoys me in a different way.

    I feel the sharer is almost restricting access, asking me not to ride unless sheís there, etc. I know Iím not great but I know my limits and I can tell if the mare is getting fizzy and when to call a stop. I find sheís fine with just hanging out together, I can take her xc and I can take her away and walk while everyone else flys off - where she gets hot is when she thinks weíre going for it - so if sheís in the group thatís galloping, she wants to be in front! So at least I know most of the trouble spots..

    I think the best way to deal is to call the YO direct and ask her about it, then have a three way get together to wind her back.

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