Advice please(34 Posts)
Just after a bit of advice please as we're in a tough position.
My husband bought me a beautiful percheron as my wedding present September last year. I'm very very attached to her and we thought she'd be a good shared horse ( we're both 6ft). She's very green in the school but is sweet natured.
We gave her the winter off and after loosing her field companion suddenly ( although she's got company ; 2 horses in the next door field and 4 ponies she can see) I've been starting to bring her on.
Bank holiday Monday shed been great but then spooked, bolted and I came off and really hurt myself as it's a long drop down. I was slowly on the mend and rode her with a riding instructor mon, Tuesday and today. I noticed she was quite highly strung this morning cantering up and down the fence when she saw us which is unlike her. She was difficult to mount and then tried trotting off with me as soon as I got on and then bronked me off. She then tried again when I got back on on the lead rein and tried to bite and charge at my riding instructor when she lunged her after I fell off. I was bit out of practice so didn't ride it as well as I would of last year but it's set me back confidence wise.
I knew I'd fall off from time to time with a green horse but my problem is we recently found out our daughter has a muscle weakness disease and we have to do lots of carrying her and physical help and she's heavy. When I fall off and get injured I really struggle to look after her. My husband sometimes has to travel for work so it means I'm parenting solo after my fall today! I love this beautiful horse but questioning if we made the right decision buying her. She can be driven and used to pull farm equipment which is more my husbands thing than mine. Wonder if I should have gone for a steady bomb proof chunky smaller pony/horse.
Just wondering if you've got any suggestions, opinions ( but please be gentle) or ideas.
How did you go about bringing her back into work? How experienced is your instructor? What is she like on the ground? Would getting a little companion be an option?
I don't really know what you're expecting people to say? From reading your OP, you sound quite inexperienced and you really haven't given much relevant information - is this your first horse? How old is it and what had it done before you got it? Why did you give it the winter off? What do you want to do with it?
Our instructor is bhs level 2 and works regularly at a local riding school. We spend quite a bit of time lead reining her and we're coming off recently and she looked very comfortable up until today! We've been doing walk, holt, trot and steering. She's a bit resistant to being told which was to go Ect but we seemed to be making good progress. We unfortunately have to ride her in the field she lives in even though there's a riding school next door with a gate into from our field
We were thinking of getting a companion come September and we're trying to hold out till then. I'm reluctant to keep a horse I'll struggle to ride.
My husband and I had ponies and horses as children. My family had shires used for showing. She is our first horse as grown ups and not what I'd originally thought we'd go for but went for it. She's 5 and was a carriage and pulling horse used for breaking in youngsters.
We want her as a happy hacker, showing, light driving and farm work.
We gave her the winter off with little bits of long reining, lunging and being lead and sat on because we had so many hospital appointments and needing two adults to ride safely. We originally thought we'd bring her on over the winter but circumstances meant we had to leave it till Spring to crack on.
I'm gutted as I feel being a carer is taking over all aspects. It's been a tough journey with an unexpected diagnosis for our little girl.
When you say "level 2", what exactly are her qualifications? If it's stage 2 riding and horse care that's nowhere near enough. You need at least BHSII- stage 4 riding and care and also intermediate teaching.
A 5 year old is very young and green, and will take a lotvof work to be reliable. For your needs you'd be better with an older, more experienced horse.
Our riding instructor has the Bhssptc and riding for the disabled qualification. Is this enough?
What exactly does the bhsai add if you don't mind me asking please
I would say you need to ask yourself whether you are prepared to put in the time and hard work that will be required to bring this horse on. If you are, then you may well end up with a lovely horse that meets all of your requirements.
However, if the journey to get there is going to be too difficult, perhaps the best thing would be to sell her and find a more experienced, older horse?
The other alternative is to perhaps pay for someone to school her and bring her on for you?
Five years old is nothing for a large breed, she's basically just starting. From what you say it sounds like she's hardly been broken in and that is a job best left to professionals. She needs a companion, you need facilities (safe, enclosed space to ride), you need time to teach her all sorts of things (e.g. how to load and travel safely) and you need a breaking in programme that suits her needs, e.g. long reining in field, long reining on hacks, getting used to bridle/saddle, being sat on, establishing stop/go/steering, hacking in company. Send her to a professional or try to find her a good home (easier said than done in the current market).
Can you afford to pay for someone to school her? Have you had her vet, teeth, shoes checked? What is she fed?
Our riding instructor has the Bhssptc and riding for the disabled qualification. Is this enough?
On paper, no. Obviously there are exceptions- if she's had years and years of competing high level dressage or schooling green horses, but not got around to the qualifications for example.
A BHS Assistant Instructor (BHSAI) must pass Stage 1, 2 and 3 riding and stable management. Stable Management covers very basic lunging etc. They also must pass the preliminary teaching test (PTT). Those 4 give you your AI qualification.
BHSII (Intermediate Instructor) must have their AI, plus stage 4, plus Intermediate teaching. This is the minimum I would accept when it comes to young horses and schooling.
This is when I did mine, it may have changed since.
From your set up, it sounds like your horse needs more than you can give. It's not just riding, she needs all the things BooBoo says.
Yes unfortunately we're lacking facilities and the expertise. When we bought our house we were told we had right of use of the riding school and could use it whenever. But not the case which is very frustrating. Like I said we did have a companion for her who we sadly lost three weeks ago
She passed her vetting, and had her teeth done in November and doesn't wear shoes at the moment. We have her on hay and she lives out 24/7. We have clay soil so the grass can be quite rich.
I'll look into getting her professionally schooled. What sort of price do they charge? Any tips for picking somewhere?
Thanks for all your advice and tips. It's very much appreciated.
The trainer we bought her off said she was lightly backed and had done a few solo hacks out.
Could be many things causing her behaviour. Over the least few days the grass has really changed. As a result my boy is being a pillock but I know him well enough to think it's funny.
I would send her to a professional. You need someone used to bringing on heavy horses. Then either sell her on or if you can then cope, keep her. Please don't just sell her - she may just get passed from pillar to post. Make sure she's sorted first.
IMHO bronking is always pain-related. Bucking, napping, rearing, being a twat I could put down to grass or work (but it doesn't sound as though you're asking much of her despite her tender age).
She could be "having hormones" - my mare's first season was always horrendous, a demon horse to ride but she settled throughout the summer.
But as I say, IME bronking is never good and the combination of that and her kindly suggesting you don't mount would have me asking the vet to look at everything going on with her back end - and of course this could be ovaries as if they're particularly swollen it can be sore for them.
I agree with Hildur. Re-reading the op it does sound like she's in pain. Start with asking for a vet check.
If you don't mind saying what area you're in posters might be able to suggest good trainers.
you need to send her to someone - I would say this is really typical for a green horse...she could be in pain, and I would check that - especially teeth at this age (I know at the yard I am at the recommend youngsters - which yours would be classed as- every 6 months).
Where our horses are they break and bring on green horses, do re-schooling.....I would say it is an art. I would also say you are both (I am including your riding instructor in this) completely out of your depth, unless your riding instructor has experience (and I don't mean 1 or 2) of breaking and bringing on young horses.
I agree with older established horses brooking is often pain related, but in youngsters it is par for the course, it is a stage most go through - from what I have seen. I think you need someone who doesn't make a fuss about it, can stay on and in balance and then when there finished, just say " right now you have got that out of your system, we'll keep on with the lesson shall we......
I am really sorry if I sound blunt but as much as you love her, you owe her it to her, for her introduction to riding to be as correct as possible.
either send it to someone who knows what they are doing or sell her as a project to someone who is experienced (easier said that done)
She was lightly broken and the turned away in a field? She needs restarting. Young horses don't need working to the ground but they need consistent, frequent, short training session ( to include ridden and groundwork). Best post on HHO with your location for recommendations for professionals. Janet George is always highly spoken of there. Before you chose someone visit their yard, make sure they have healthy, happy horses in a suitable environment. When you chose make sure they clarify what work they will be doing with the horse, how many times a week, who will be riding her, extras that may cost more, etc. Arrange to visit once a week to keep an eye on progress.
Agreed with what others have said about having her professionally (re) started. and checks for teeth, back, ovaries. Also bear in mind she could have ulcers. I've known several horses whose only indication of ulcers was biting, being a bit girthy and fence running.
I recently broke in a horse for my friend (first time doing it solo but worked at a breakers yard for ages so was fairly confident). I will never even sit on a horse before its had teeth, back, farrier and tack checked and rechecked.
The first stages of backing a horse is the most crucial and you really want to eliminate any possible pain or discomfort so you can focus solely on the horses work.
It may be worth while sending your horse off to be broken in, or ask if there is anyone experienced enough to help you do it as a loan/share kind of thing.
For the time being I would continue long reining and ground work, every single day.
Agree with all said above. I'll get the vet out for a teeth check and once over. We'd originally hoped to do it at home in partnership and bring her on gently the way we wanted but we are so out of our depth. I needed a vent and somebody else to say it - she needs re- schooling professionally.
I'll try and have a look at her wee but I think it's just as likely her age.
We are invested in her and owe it to her and us to get the horse we want. We're based in Cambridgeshire/Norfolk area. I'll post with an update once I've found somewhere.
Thanks for all your help everybody. We're learning to go with plan B on all fronts at the moment. I was hugely upset this morning ( not all horsey related ) but you've all helped loads. Thanks
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