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The tack room

I need advice

7 replies

ItsMeYourCathy · 07/01/2013 15:24

I've already started two threads and had some terrific responses so thanks very much!
In a nutshell, I've really got the horsey bug! I'm 31 and just wish I'd got into this earlier in life. I took lessons a few years ago and then stopped as I was ttc and had fertility issues.
My neighbour co owns a stable and has a beautiful ex racehorse with whom I have fallen in love. She intends to jump him, she's an ex show jumper and wants to get back into it. The other owner suggested I could take lessons on this beautiful horse as they know an RI who would use their ménage to teach me. Im wondering if me riding him would 'spoil' his technique? should i learn on such a horse? The horse is 16hh, I'm 5"6.

TIA

OP posts:
PoshPenny · 07/01/2013 15:51

Is his temperament suitable for a beginner (I'm assuming you are, forgive me if you aren't) to learn on? Some of these talented horses/ponies would be happy to have a more novice rider banging about on their backs and jabbing them in the mouth and ribs, others would let you know in no uncertain terms that that kind of carry on was not on...

Maybe you would be better going back to a riding school for now and finding something used to giving lessons and then riding a number of different horses until you are more confident in your abilities.

Height wise that is fine, if not slightly on the big side, but it is all a matter of opinion. I am same height as you and ride a 14.2 pony as do many others round here - other parts of the country, horse snobbery is rife and they wouldn't be seen dead on anything less than 16.2 (personally I prefer to be safe and have fun)

RayBansWife · 07/01/2013 16:08

Hi OP can you tell us a bit more about your level of ability? As PoshPenny says it depends on whether the temperament of the horse is suitable for someone of your ability.

If you are still a beginner I would suggest it would be better to go to a riding school where they have horses specifically aimed at beginners. And it will do you good to ride a mix of horses.

If you are not a beginner and are in fact more experienced why not have an assessment lesson with an instructor on this horse and see if they think it's suitable for you?

ItsMeYourCathy · 07/01/2013 20:25

Thanks for the replies!
Lando (the horse) is the most chilled horse I've ever seen. He nuzzles into me and the owners when you go into his stable - i think he likes the attention. I groom him and he lets me pick out his hooves no probs. I've had a little walk around the ménage on him and to be honest, I felt quite comfortable on him despite his size.
I'm a novice I suppose. Was quite a confident hacker previously but struggled a bit with technical stuff in the school. I've provisionally booked in at a school but they can't take me til feb because of the dark evenings

OP posts:
ItsMeYourCathy · 07/01/2013 20:26

Thanks for the replies!
Lando (the horse) is the most chilled horse I've ever seen. He nuzzles into me and the owners when you go into his stable - i think he likes the attention. I groom him and he lets me pick out his hooves no probs. I've had a little walk around the ménage on him and to be honest, I felt quite comfortable on him despite his size.
I'm a novice I suppose. Was quite a confident hacker previously but struggled a bit with technical stuff in the school. I've provisionally booked in at a school but they can't take me til feb because of the dark evenings

OP posts:
MoonlightandRoses · 07/01/2013 20:53

Size-wise I'd say fine (but my horse is 17.2 and I'm 5'2" so may be biased!). Temperament-wise - he sounds lovely on the ground, but what is he like when pushed to do something he doesn't want to under saddle? Ex-racers can be fabulous, but, like any horse, a bit bolshy on occasion. I know one that's great on the flat, but wants to go his own speed at jumping, and arguments are had! (Usually I win...Grin)

If the owners are both experienced, and happy to let you ride him, I'd say go for it on a six month trial basis. That's long enough to really sound him out.
Unless they are hoping you will purchase him, they are unlikely to offer the ride if they don't think you'll suit, or they think you'll ruin him.

Hope you have lots of fun together!

Callisto · 08/01/2013 09:39

Size isn't a problem, the ex-racehorse + novice rider combo is. I would never put a novice on a horse like this, I think it is really irresponsible. And some of th sweetest horses on the ground can be absolute shits under saddle (particularly TBs). I'm not saying that this horse will be, he may have been nicely re-schooled, but if he spooks (and he will) you will have no warning and probably end up on the deck.

I don't want to put you off but I really think you need to find a horse that will suit your level of riding ability, at least until you get back into it. Also, what are the owners getting out of you having lessons on the horse? Are you going to be making a financial contribution? It's just that if I was going to be competing on a re-schooled ex-racer, I wouldn't want a novice jabbing him in the gob and bouncing around on his back. Not that I think this is you, but hopefully you see what I'm getting at.

Booboostoo · 08/01/2013 09:47

What he is like on the ground tells you very little about he might be like in the saddle. He sounds like a nice, affectionate horse on the ground...this tells you nothing about his confidence when ridden.

How long has this horse been out of racing? Ex-racers need careful and lengthy re-training to become riding horses. Some may indeed become suitable for novices but some may always be horses for more experienced riders. What does his rider think of you riding him? Has she tried imitating the seat/reactions of a more novice rider to see what he does (e.g. wobble about a bit, use the reins a bit too much, give confused hand/leg signals)?

If I were you I would wait till Feb for the lessons (it's only a few weeks away), get a proper assessment done at the RS where they will put you on a horse suitable for a beginner to get an idea of your abilities, see how confident you are and go from there. If you have a bad experience now on the ex-racer, it will set you back quite a bit and frankly the easiest thing that can happen is that if you use your hands for balance a bit he will take off with you which is a scary and unpleasant experience.

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