Scared to ride my new horse after 3 weeks

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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#21
I don’t know lots about horses and I am by no means a good rider but in my limited experience TBs are very very quick to react, sometimes explosively so as you have found. You need to keep yourself safe and if you were so scared by what happen that it’s keeping you awake you need some help from someone, let’s hope his old owner can show you how good he is again but in the mean time I would be walking him out and about, keep it short and sweet and make sure you are wearing your hat, gloves and boots and lead him in his bridle with a lunge line attached in case he has a moment, stay calm, you know he can be good, you know the area, so set off with purpose and take charge if he wobbles a bit, baby steps and remember all of this is new to him, owner, yard, companions, it’s all going to unsettle him, it unsettles most horses for a wee while.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.
 
Likes: Trewsers

domane

Chatterbox
Jul 31, 2005
15,126
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#22
Hiya and welcome. Lots of good advice here. I would also advocate walking him out in-hand in his bridle with a 12ft line. Try to stay chilled and relaxed, as if you were walking a dog, but if he gets stressy do allow him to move his feet so let him walk circles around you if necessary. Trying to restrain him or make him stand will only wind him up and increase his adrenaline so letting him use his feet will keep him calmer. He's obviously still settling in but the bucking definitely is unusual.
 

Seton

New Member
Sep 27, 2018
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#23
Hello all... just an update for you. I did try to walk him in-hand but that didn’t work, he started stressing, jogging, it’s amazing how big they can look when their head is so high, there was no way he was going to walk calm :( My confidence is shot with him.

Anyway my husband and I decided that he’s not the one for me and I have to just accept that mistakes happen and he’s more than I can handle. Such a sweetie on the ground but more than I can cope with or have the experience to further educate. The previous owner is taking him back so my search continues....

Not the best of starts to my dream but you live and learn. Thank you guys for all the positive comments and I’ll be back soon with hopefully my new best friend :D
 

Seton

New Member
Sep 27, 2018
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#24
I agree with the suggestions above and would emphasise that any horse coming to a new yard, needs to be led on the new tracks and taught to understand the yard and land - horses need teaching and then reinforcing what they learn.
However, I will add from my experience as a RS rider that even the best trained ex-racehorse TB may vary from day to day. And knowing when it is safe to ride or better to dismount is incredibly important to one's safety and not something to be ashamed of.
I posted here last winter about the blissful time I had riding just such a TB in a riding school. Both physically and mentally she was the most perfect horse I had ever been given to ride. And she overcame my fears of canter in a small school. Then one day she was quivering and unsettled in my lesson, spooking at pigeons in the eves and skimmying sideways when other horses passed outside. I simply took the decision we wouldnt canter and eventually she became agitated even in walk and we brought the lesson to a close.
No one, neither rider nor RI is to blame for variations in the mood and behaviour of a TB or any excitable horse. It is up to us as humans to recognise the danger signs.
Another rider less cautious than myself was thrown by that mare the following weekend.
So we had a situation when a horse like yours was trained to such a level as to be suitable for riding lessons and none the less, some upset or other caused the horse to lose her nerve. That same horse might have been perfect in a one to one relationship with a skilled and gentle rider. I hankered after her myself. But one can never be absolutely sure and even if you were the wisest buyer in the world, this is not a matter where one can guarantee. Nor criticise your confidence.
Lots of things here are so true.....plus previous owner told me that getting off was wrong and That he’s. I’m lost all confidence in me, not helpful when I was feeling teary and fragile. :(

This is me too :) But don't underestimate how much schooling can help hacking - I'm not talking about learning dressage tests or anything, but just practising together the underlying principles of control - moving your horse off the leg in different directions, turn on the forehand etc (so handy for opening gates!) going forwards when you ask, stopping when you ask etc. All things you can practise when you're out on your hacks, but it sounds as though your horse could benefit from some one-on-one in a safer environment first.

Let us know how you get on when the old owner comes out to you and good luck :)
Oh yes I totally agree, I just meant schooling in an arena :oops:, hence I chose my yard based on location and hacking and not a sand school :rolleyes:
 

Seton

New Member
Sep 27, 2018
14
7
3
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#25
I agree with the suggestions above and would emphasise that any horse coming to a new yard, needs to be led on the new tracks and taught to understand the yard and land - horses need teaching and then reinforcing what they learn.
However, I will add from my experience as a RS rider that even the best trained ex-racehorse TB may vary from day to day. And knowing when it is safe to ride or better to dismount is incredibly important to one's safety and not something to be ashamed of.
I posted here last winter about the blissful time I had riding just such a TB in a riding school. Both physically and mentally she was the most perfect horse I had ever been given to ride. And she overcame my fears of canter in a small school. Then one day she was quivering and unsettled in my lesson, spooking at pigeons in the eves and skimmying sideways when other horses passed outside. I simply took the decision we wouldnt canter and eventually she became agitated even in walk and we brought the lesson to a close.
No one, neither rider nor RI is to blame for variations in the mood and behaviour of a TB or any excitable horse. It is up to us as humans to recognise the danger signs.
Another rider less cautious than myself was thrown by that mare the following weekend.
So we had a situation when a horse like yours was trained to such a level as to be suitable for riding lessons and none the less, some upset or other caused the horse to lose her nerve. That same horse might have been perfect in a one to one relationship with a skilled and gentle rider. I hankered after her myself. But one can never be absolutely sure and even if you were the wisest buyer in the world, this is not a matter where one can guarantee. Nor criticise your confidence.
Lots of things here are so true.....plus previous owner told me that getting off was wrong and That now he’s lost all confidence in me :eek: not helpful when I was feeling teary and fragile. :( Previously she told me to give him a smack if he played up but I know that would make him worse

This is me too :) But don't underestimate how much schooling can help hacking - I'm not talking about learning dressage tests or anything, but just practising together the underlying principles of control - moving your horse off the leg in different directions, turn on the forehand etc (so handy for opening gates!) going forwards when you ask, stopping when you ask etc. All things you can practise when you're out on your hacks, but it sounds as though your horse could benefit from some one-on-one in a safer environment first.

Let us know how you get on when the old owner comes out to you and good luck :)
Oh yes I totally agree, I just meant schooling in an arena :oops:, hence I chose my yard based on location and hacking and not a sand school :rolleyes:
 

Jane&Ziggy

Learning together!
Apr 30, 2010
16,713
4,643
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Surrey Hills
#26
Well, that sounds like the right decision for you at your stage. I'm glad the previous owner took him back, and good luck in finding something more suitable.
 

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
6,080
2,744
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Yorkshire
#27
Well, that sounds like the right decision for you at your stage. I'm glad the previous owner took him back, and good luck in finding something more suitable.
I agree, far better to admit that you're not suited and give both horse and rider a chance of finding a suitable match. Don't be disheartened by the previous owner's comments either. You did what you needed at the time to stay safe and consequently both came home in one piece. If you hadn't dismounted and the horse had thrown you goodness knows what could have happened. The 'give him a smack' option only works if the rider is totally confident in what they're doing IMO.

Good luck with your new search. If you tell us what you're looking for you never know, someone on here may know of something, but in any case a lot of us like an excuse to trawl the horse adverts :D
 

domane

Chatterbox
Jul 31, 2005
15,126
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#28
Nothing wrong with admitting you're over-horsed..... I wish a lot more people would! I see so many bad partnerships where people have picked the horse that they want, rather than the horse that they need.
 

carthorse

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2006
6,342
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#29
Hello all... just an update for you. I did try to walk him in-hand but that didn’t work, he started stressing, jogging, it’s amazing how big they can look when their head is so high, there was no way he was going to walk calm :( My confidence is shot with him.

Anyway my husband and I decided that he’s not the one for me and I have to just accept that mistakes happen and he’s more than I can handle. Such a sweetie on the ground but more than I can cope with or have the experience to further educate. The previous owner is taking him back so my search continues....

Not the best of starts to my dream but you live and learn. Thank you guys for all the positive comments and I’ll be back soon with hopefully my new best friend :D
For what it's worth I think you've done the right thing. I didn't post earlier, but my initial reaction on reading your post was that he wasn't & wouldn't be the horse for you & your best bet would be to put him in sales livery & sell on or try to get him a place in a racehorse rehoming charity - I was partly wrong, the owner having him back is a better option.

Good luck with finding something more suitable.
 

newforest

She's not fat, she's too short :-)
Mar 15, 2008
25,271
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A field
#30
Hello all... just an update for you. I did try to walk him in-hand but that didn’t work, he started stressing, jogging, it’s amazing how big they can look when their head is so high, there was no way he was going to walk calm :( My confidence is shot with him.

Anyway my husband and I decided that he’s not the one for me and I have to just accept that mistakes happen and he’s more than I can handle. Such a sweetie on the ground but more than I can cope with or have the experience to further educate. The previous owner is taking him back so my search continues....

Not the best of starts to my dream but you live and learn. Thank you guys for all the positive comments and I’ll be back soon with hopefully my new best friend :D
Please tell me you didn't buy an ex racer as your first horse? Mistakes happen and you have done the right thing for him. But the owner was partly irresponsible to sell a novice owner a horse that hadn't been reschooled from a racer to a ridden horse.
A lot of what you decribe is perfectly normal and looked for in a racer. A slow walk is described as flat and that in the morning could mean a horse being pulled it off race for being off colour.

Let us know how the search goes. We like looking btw :D
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
7,726
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#31
As everyone else has said there is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting you are over horsed, I certainly think you've done the right thing and it's a bonus that his previous owner has taken him back, confidence at our age is very fragile and once it's gone it's very hard to get it back, as I said before I've been where you are and it's stressful, disheartening and hard work both physically and emotionally, but, now the pressure is off you can go and find a nice calm horse who you will regain your confidence with and have lots of fun hacking out with.
Good luck and please let us know how you get on.
 

Seton

New Member
Sep 27, 2018
14
7
3
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#32
Thank you all :oops: Better to admit these things early as you say. No point in both of us being unhappy. Will keep you updated and will try and contribute to the other forums if I can :)
 

Seton

New Member
Sep 27, 2018
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#33
Hi, just to let you know that he’s now back with his previous owner. Newforest...he wasn’t my first horse, but my fourth horse after a ten year break, but I agree, not the best move I’ve made.

I’ve seen a nice 19 year old looking for his forever home so am going to take a look at the weekend. I think a golden oldie is the way forward. He sounds very steady :)
 
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carthorse

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2006
6,342
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#34
Just remember that with one that age you may start to run up vet bills &/or have to start limiting what you do - is that what you want when you're getting back into ownership?

Are you actually riding at the moment? If you aren't then maybe it would be worth shelving plans to buy for a while & getting back into riding at a good school or even hacking centre. That way when you buy you can look at what you want rather than what you can cope with after a 10 year break. I've never stopped riding, but I know that after a few years on an easier, less powerful horse I couldn't get straight on the equivalent of my previous one & ride it - skills get rusty, reactions aren't as sharp & the core strength is less.
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
7,282
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London
#35
Just to agree with Carthorse. I shared an older mare - a semi retirement carefully arranged for both of us by her owner. But she had times turned away and her capabilities were limited. I wouldnt buy an old horse myself. The overheads in health, vet etc are high.

Plus behaviour wise, an old horse isnt always easy. I knew her as had had lessons on her for years (while hacking another) but she could be a right so and so. No staff on the yard would hack her. And they told me why after she died. You have to be really devoted to an elderly horse and know how to adjust their behaviour to enjoy them.
 

eml

Moderator
Apr 29, 2002
12,805
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Leicestershire
www.ivanhoeequestrian.net
#36
Sorry to hear of your problems. There is a reason the ROR motto is 'trained to race retrained for fun'.
Sadly many people do not realise the proper retraining requires starting from the abolute beginning as the horse will not have been taught conventional aids.I realiseo you are no longer involved but i would ask anyone to get help from the ROR who can put wu in touch with alocal network with experienced TB trainers
 

Seton

New Member
Sep 27, 2018
14
7
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#37
I have a very good friend who has rehomed 4, but sadly as you read, he wasn’t the horse sold to me. But I’ve dealt with it early on and he’s now going to p2p this season. I think he’ll be much happier...
 
Mar 25, 2018
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Oxfordshire
#39
Hi Seton
Fascinating reading your story as we are in such a similar position in so many ways.
I am 50 and hadn’t ridden on medical advice for 8 years. I moved in with my partner at the beginning of this year. He is a very experienced horseman having competed xcountry at Badminton on his first ex racer. We are lucky enough to live in a house in the Cotswolds with 2 self built stables behind the house and we lease 2 small grass paddocks within short walk of our house - one is over a level crossing.
Cut a long story short, Phil already had Briar, an 18 year old ex racer, and we decided it was time for him to have company and for me to get back in the saddle. We put the feelers out with some of my old racing connections and we were gifted Bella, a 5 year old mare who had only come off the track 3 weeks before after snapping a tendon.
Our circumstances dictated that was the right decision for all of us. Bella needed box rest and a summer of field rest which enables me to spend the time hands on with her getting to know her as she adjusted to life off the track and away from the racing yard. Walking her in hand from the house to the field morning and evening all summer has built up such a trusting bond between the two of us that I am able to stand with her at the level crossing gates as a train comes through and she has the trust in me that if anything frightens her she tends to stamp and lean in to me rather than panic or attempt to break away.
Taking on a project such as an ex racer takes time, patience and confidence. We are lucky that the horses have each other for company, Briar is a great mentor, and Bella will even trot round behind him while he is on the lunge rein.
Everything that the horses experience when tacked up or on lead rein is with us, so we have that time to tune in to each other.
Nothing has been a rush, we have lunged Bella, she has been tacked up, I am now having a series of refresher riding lessons at our local yard to get
myself ride fit again. Once I am ready then the instructor will come over to us so that me, my partner and our two horses will start work as a unit.

Walking in hand chatting away to Bella is invaluable. 6 months on I can lead her about relaxed and tuned in.
The time we have taken means that even if we never get out hacking for whatever reason she has a home with us forever.

I hope that you find your match, don’t give up x