Advanced search

Scared of over-horsing DD

(34 Posts)
frenchfancy Thu 05-Sep-13 22:08:10

So the search for a new horse continues (the one eyed one having been ruled out, along with several others we have seen).

Today we saw a beautiful mare, bigger than our original search at 16H2 Originally looking at 15H-16H. A good age for us at 12, well schooled, could do everything we want (and more) and she was a lovely ride. I am quite a nervous rider and i wasn't scared at all despite being used to our 14H2 mare. But she is a cross between a norman cob and a French trotter (don't know what that is in English so she is a big girl. She would be ideal if it were just for me and DH, but we share with DD (12). She has been riding for 7 years and is much better than I am. But is this mare too big?

She didn't come with us today, but we are going back on Saturday for her to try it. Am I mad to even consider it? She really is lovely, very calm but not a plod at all. We still have our mare, she has gone into retirement, but even after 5 days in her new home she is much better, so DD can hopefully still hack out on her so she would only be riding the new one in class and in the carriere. We'll have to buy a horse box so we can get the 2 together for hacks.

SlowlorisIncognito Tue 10-Sep-13 19:12:54

frenchfancy I had a bad fall over jumps at about 12, and have never had the same confidence since, so I totally get the confidence thing. Some days I am happy to jump bigger, and regular jumping does help me. I'm still pretty confident going fast, and happy to sit on things that are sharp/spooky on the flat. However, going over jumps, I need to know that I have full control of the horse, and it's not likely to put a dirty stop in.

If this horse can help your DD get some more confidence, then it is worth lots of money. If in 18 months, she is ready to go onto bigger and better things, that is awesome, and if she is a good enough rider, she will be able to pick up rides on horses that are a bit more challenging/talented. However, given her recent set backs, pushing her too fast now could wreck her confidence completely.

I think you are doing the right thing.

Ehhn Tue 10-Sep-13 08:08:36

Seen vid- agree absolutely with boo's comments. definitely not over horsing- if anything under horsing - but that is a v good thing if your dd has lost confidence. Can always upgrade if she gets really competitive and if that happens, you still have a nice horse for you and dh. Did you hack out before you bought?

Also. My favourite test for if a horse is supposed to be bomb proof or brave - put up a very small fence (to make it fair/safe) and then hang a jacket over it - weighed down if necessary so not flapping -and jump it. How do they react? I've bought some horses that evented to a v decent level of BE based on the bravery test! Also works as a great test for lower level horses to see if they are bomb proof and genuine.

frostyfingers Tue 10-Sep-13 08:06:43

Better under than over horsed every time - as you say confidence is easily lost and hard to get back. I had a very pretty Welsh x Arab as a child and it took off with me on several occasions and frightened the life out of me. It was sold and I was put on a Section C Cob who was slow, laid back and reliable - it took about 6 months before I felt capable of riding anything with more go. She looks and sounds great, riding is meant to be fun, and if you can all share one horse then you should have that. Good luck, look forward to hearing more about her!

mrslaughan Tue 10-Sep-13 07:33:15

Oh I remember now - you were concerned about pony getting strong over jumps - he thought that was good, we were all saying no you still need control.
Sometimes there are great instructor who just don't get certain things.
So pleased you went with your gut.

frenchfancy Tue 10-Sep-13 06:48:00

Thanks, I can't tell you how much it means to me to have a second opinion. I wish I could have taken you all with me smile

I've posted before about the instructor, he is a very good teacher, and is exceptional with horses, but he doesn't really understand the confidence thing. He trained in the army, and has a son (no daughters). I don't think he understands just how emotional it can be if you get scared. DD broke her wrist while jumping about a year ago, then just after she had got her confidence back she went out to jump a round at the stables open day, and fell at the first jump. She got back on and jumped a clear round but it knocked her back again.

The instructor is a one man band, it is his stables. Nearest alternative livery is 20 mile away. He is also part of our social circle so it would be difficult to separate from him. I just need to learn when to go with my gut feel.

New girl arrives Thursday.

DENMAN03 Mon 09-Sep-13 20:23:02

I think you have made a very sensible decision! A lose of confidence can be very hard to get back and the horse looked very good for that. To be honest, I think your instructor was wrong. If your daughter has the talent she will get a tune out of any horse so to say it wont be enough for her in a year is rather a strange thing to say. Jumping 1.10 courses takes a fair degree of skill after all. I think the horse looks lovely..have fun with her!

Pixel Mon 09-Sep-13 19:18:07

I'm so glad you are getting her, I must admit I had the same thoughts as slowloris about the instructor, she doesn't seem to realise how fragile confidence is and how hard it is to get back.

SlowlorisIncognito Mon 09-Sep-13 19:03:46


I am a little worried your instructor seems to be pushing DD towards something that could really wreck her confidence. Is your instructor the best match for your DD where she is currently? Does your instructor have any links with the dealer?

As Booboo says, there is plenty she can get out of this horse, in terms of learning how to improve her way of going, and the horse being a confidence giver. In 18 months, she may have developed a passion for dressage, or want to go cross country, but equally on the wrong horse she could completely lose confidence and never want to ride again.

Booboostoo Mon 09-Sep-13 18:53:24

That's great, congratulations!

frenchfancy Mon 09-Sep-13 17:13:45

I've done it grin just left a message for the owner saying we will buy her. Oh my God grin

The dealer didn't really have anything suitable. There was one mare who would have been good for DD but was no good for novices like DH and would have been more for schooling and jumping than hacking. Our instructor was encouraging us to go back an try her, but she just did nothing for me.

We've had a long chat as a family about what DD really wants and she is adamant that for the moment competitions aren't important, she just wants to have fun riding something she isn't scared of.

Booboostoo Mon 09-Sep-13 10:02:12

I agree with mrslaughan, especially if your DD is having confidence problems. Her first priority now is to regain her confidence and you may find that with the right horse she will start wanting to do more and more. If and when she outgrows this mare you can rethink.

mrslaughan Mon 09-Sep-13 07:52:05

I would go for this horse as well, if your dd is mostly happy pottering at the moment, who knows whether that will change. I think for the amount if time she will ride it, it will be fine.

frenchfancy Mon 09-Sep-13 07:45:34

TBH I don't really know what her riding goals are, and don't think she does either. Long term she would like to work with horses, preferably as a vet. She doesn't have any ambition to be a professional rider. Some days she says she would rather hack out and never jump again, other days she is desperate to go to a competition.

We are going with the instructor to visit a dealer today (the same dealer where we bought DPony) which will hopefully help to make our decision. After sleeping on it both DH and I are both still keen to buy her, mostly because she would be so good for us. DD gets about 5 hours a week in the saddle, of which perhaps 2 will be on the new horse.

Booboostoo Mon 09-Sep-13 07:43:56

Difficult one, but if this horse suits all of you now I would go for this horse. Who knows what might happen in 18 months? DD may be bored with horses, or she may find a share that challenges her more but without the whole cost of another horse, or this horse may develop with her in new ways.

mrslaughan Sun 08-Sep-13 21:07:26

It's hard isn't it, the thing is, you say your daughter has has a loss of confidence, so something that may "challenge" her in a year, may scare the be-Jesus out of her now......

What are your daughters riding goals?

frenchfancy Sun 08-Sep-13 17:54:56

OK so our instructor thinks that for me and DH the horse is worth its weight in gold, but for DD it won't challenge her enough and in a years time she will need something more.

So I guess that means we are not over horsing her, but where do we go from here? It is possible that in 12-18 months we will be in the fortunate position of being able to buy DD the horse she needs, which will leave me and DH with the horse we are now looking at.

Alternatively we keep looking for something that suits us all now, and will be good for all of us in 1/2/3 years time. HELP

frenchfancy Sun 08-Sep-13 05:51:34

Thanks booboo great explanation. I'm seeing the instructor today so we'll see.

Booboostoo Sat 07-Sep-13 21:14:04

Sorry about that!!!

OK MW is medium weight as opposed to light weight which would be a horse with a lighter frame. Often the issue is not so much the height of the horse but the width of their frame because the wider the horse the more difficult it is to move their shoulders and keep them straight (straightness is really crucial in working in a horse).

It's good that the horse has experience at the level your DD wants to jump at but that doesn't mean that you can just point her at the jumps and she will jump them. A horse has to be set up for a jump. Think of a horse as a spring, if the spring is really long and loose the horse can't take off, if the spring is coiled up it can take off nicely. The spring is the horse's back which needs to be rounded with the back end working under the horse and lifting the shoulders up. The longer the back of the horse the more difficult it is to round up the spring and create the bounce that leads to a good jump (if you think of a course of jumps the horse needs to be well balanced to make it round the whole course with no refusals or poles down). This horse is very long in her frame, her back legs are far out behind her and not under her, her back is hollow and not round, her head is out in front of her rather than following a round back and neck...all of which can be corrected by a good rider but it may be quite a tall order for your DD - what does your instructor think seeing them together?

The horse was also bending to the outside of the arena, i.e. towards the fence. The horse should be bent in the other direction, towards the inside, around the rider's inside leg, otherwise it is stiff and finds it very difficult to do thing like circles (not just flatwork, but a semi-circle to make it to the next jump in a course). Again this can be corrected but it all depends on the rider.

Many horseboxes are advertised as 2 or 3 or 4 horseboxes but this doesn't mean they can actually, legally and safely carry 2, 3 or 4 horses. Some are so small they can't even carry one horse height wise (which is something you want to check with a large horse as the horse needs good head clearance to be safe). All horseboxes have a stated gross weight and a stated payload which can be checked at any weightbridge (all poids lourdes garages have them). The values will probably be on the lorry's paperwork but let me check my carte grise on that tomorrow. Don't accept anyone telling you they do not know the payload because the lorry is second hand, they are lying!

frenchfancy Sat 07-Sep-13 19:24:03

Booboostoo I have to confess I don't understand half of what you said blush We know that the horse has already been out for club 2 which is fine for the level that DD is at. Owner is selling because he wants to go on to amateur which means bigger jumps, so she can do up to about 1m10 but no more.

What is a MW? What does strung out in her frame mean?

DD lost a lot of confidence jumping as DPony tends to charge towards the jumps, we think that a bigger horse that is more steady may give her back some confidence (it certainly did this morning). that is not why we are looking for bigger, that is because we all share, but it is perhaps a good side effect.

Van wise we are looking at a 2 horse box. Most of the time there will just be the new horse, but we may want to take DPony too if she continues in good health. I'll keep an eye on the weight limits (although most of the second hand ones don't state a limit)

Booboostoo Sat 07-Sep-13 19:01:15

Sorry forgot to add, on the lorry: 3.5 tonne lorries are really popular around here (I am also in France) as they are much cheaper to insure and run, but they are woefully inadequate for carrying two horses. At best they have a payload of about 1.1 tonnes and that mare look sto be easily 650kgs, add to that two passengers, tack, fuel, hay, water, etc. and you may find that there isn't a lot left. While a lot of French people don't seem to care at all about being overweight it is extremely dangerous when you need to break and for the stability of the lorry.

Booboostoo Sat 07-Sep-13 18:58:49

What does your DD want to do with her? She looks like a sweet, willing horse which is very important but she is more of a MW and quite long in the back so your DD (and anyone else riding her really, but more a slighter person) will struggle to collect her. If you see her way of going she is quite strung out in her frame which is fine for jumping small jumps and hacking, but your DD may struggle to get her engaged enough for flatwork and more decent jumps. Also in the video she is quite bent to the outside, was that the case all the time?

Butkin Sat 07-Sep-13 18:55:17

Seemed to go well and suit your daughter. As others have said if good out hacking then looks ideal for you all going forward.

frenchfancy Sat 07-Sep-13 18:41:29

We haven't seen her ridden out yet. If we buy we will have a weeks trial so we will definitely take her out, under as controlled conditions as is possible, but the owner assures us that she hacks out alone with no problems.

The other good news is that DPony is much better, we have just taken her out for a short hack with her new paddock companion and they were both brilliant. DPony has never liked hacking out alone so we have done very little with her, and the other pony is nomally very lazy, but the two together were brilliant.

It has been a great day horse wise, but I see whatever spare time I had disappearing into the horse world. I am not horsey at all, none of my family are, so it is all new territory. We've had DPony for 2 years so we have already changed, but having 2 horses one of which is living out is a whole new ball game.

SlowlorisIncognito Sat 07-Sep-13 17:19:36

I think your DD looks an ok size on that horse, she seems able to get her leg on ok, which would be my main size concern. The horse was not at all strong coming into the fence, so I don't think that is a concern. Does your DD feel comfortable on her? I think that is the most important thing.

Have you seen the horse ridden out at all? If not, you definately should before you buy, as some horses can get very strong outside the school.

Floralnomad Sat 07-Sep-13 16:38:09

there are always going to be compromises when you are buying a horse for family members to share ,but she looks lovely .

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now