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Will I ruin her horse??

34 replies

Blossombo · 23/01/2022 20:16

I’m early 30’s and been riding since I was about 10, never able to have my own due to my mums work etc.

Left horses behind in my late teens and met DH and had DD (12) we also have SDD (17).

I have ridden on and off throughout this time.

Both girls have been into horses since they could walk. They have been lucky to own their own, we have been through ponies now landed with 14.2 pony (now retired at 25) and my DD stopped riding last year with the retirement, occasionally plod that’s all, but we bought SDD an ex racer last year (he was cheap! And needed a lot of work!). SDD did all of this herself, he was her project and now just over a year on he is going well.

When we knew that SDD was moving up to a horse (we had to give it some through as she also got a job and a bf) I went back to a riding school to brush up my riding so I could share the new horse! It went well and in just over 11 months I’m jumping confidently 60cm (not fussed on more than this).

However SDD doesn’t want me to ride the new horse. She says that I can’t ride as well as her and he is (sensitive/a youngster - he is 8 so not really-, has trust issues/when I ride him he feels different after/I give him bad habits etc) for a little while I let her get on with it as I love my riding school but I was thinking of getting my own and DH asked why I’m not riding new horse? And it’s made me thing she might be being unreasonable!!

He said that he will tell SDD straight about acting spoilt but I don’t want to rock the boat as he is her pride and joy. She doesn’t let anyone ride him, even her horsey friends!

DH and I have always financed the horses, done the stables etc (with some help from hands on family) we have a horse box, landrover to tow all with the horses (and the dogs) in mind. Now she is working she does contribute financially!

So long story short, will i ruin her horse by riding him??

OP posts:
Wildrobin · 23/01/2022 20:20

That’s a really tricky one. I can sort of understand it as I was so protective of my horse at that age and she was young too. Do you have an instructor who knows both you and the horse for a neutral view? Also it would be a nice gesture if your SDD did suggest what she’s comfortable with as depending what her horse is like, surely you could manage a hack happily even if don’t jump for example.

user1499114292 · 23/01/2022 20:22

If anything happens in the life of your SDD to stop her riding, that horse will be put in quite a vulnerable situation. I think having a horse that accepts other riders give it a future, compared with one that only accepts one rider. Could you perhaps have the odd lesson with SDDs instructor, maybe follow a schooling plan? I do think your SDD is being unreasonable, but also very thoughtless. And spoilt!

RedMozzieYellowMozzie · 23/01/2022 20:24

I can kind of see her point. She's put tons of work into him over the last year and to have someone who is (sorry) a bit novicey riding him could change his way of going especially if you were thinking of having lessons, regular hacking, schooling and jumping him.

Did she know you were expecting to share the horse when you started riding again?

Blossombo · 23/01/2022 20:36

@Wildrobin I could have a lesson with her instructor who is quite new to her and him (weekly lessons for about 3 months) and see what she says? I have said to her it would only be a bit of schooling, hacking (although this wouldn’t be often as he is a-bit quirky when out) I had to walk them out for months! Maybe I’ll speak to her instructor x

OP posts:
Blossombo · 23/01/2022 20:39

@user1499114292 yeah we have mentioned this to her and when she is busy with work he goes 3 days in a row without being ridden sometimes. I would be happy to pop on and take him around the school in this time (which I have done once or twice but then SDD complains). But she would rather he was just left.
I’m thinking I might speak to the instructor.

OP posts:
Blossombo · 23/01/2022 20:41

@RedMozzieYellowMozzie This is why I didn’t really want to rock the boat but the more k think about it I wondered if she was being abit unreasonable. She absolutely put in a lot of work. When he wasn’t being ridden (early stages) we did have conversations about me being able to ride him and she seemed fine with it, she comes to watch me ride sometimes etc she always encourages my lessons progress etc.

OP posts:
BelladiMamma · 23/01/2022 20:48

I think you probably just have to leave this one be. I've had to swallow a couple of similar situations before, when financing a horse or sharing one with family or friends. So I've been both sides of this! And with the most recent one, giving up a share of a horse I'd brought on since he was 5, because the main sharer (now owner, I sold him to her) has become more attached to him and is putting a lot of work into him.
Just accept the situation but say you'd love to be involved as and when she is ready.
If she's not pulling her weight financially that's another issue!
Like you I've decided to get my own again! Less hassle all round 😊 despite the awful cost 😳

Honeyroar · 23/01/2022 20:49

If you’re prepared to take things fairly easily (not try anything too complicated in the school that might cause the horse to get heated or stroppy) and work with the instructor regularly then it really shouldn’t cause any problems for the horse. I think she’s being a little over fussy and needs to remember how much you’ve done for her. My very novice husband used to ride my eventer. She wiped the floor with him, always did, but that’s another story. Always worked properly for me.

Honeyroar · 23/01/2022 20:53

Ps, at that age I didn’t want anyone to ride my horse, thought the same as your SDD, but I was wrong! Definitely have a chat with her instructor (and I wouldn’t tel SDD)

PaperDoves · 23/01/2022 20:55

I generally think it's good for horses to be ridden by different people (just like it's good for people to ride different horses). But I also completely understand your SDD's possessiveness and I probably would feel similar.

Besides, having your own is fun! I highly recommend it Grin

StylishMummy · 23/01/2022 20:56

I think SD is taking the royal piss. You finance everything and she's telling you that you can't ride the horse you pay for?!

Fair enough have some lessons on him, but she's doing the horse no favours making him so used to her style and her style alone. It'll be good for the horse to get used to different riders and ultimately, you bought him!

Blossombo · 23/01/2022 21:00

@BelladiMamma yeah I think I will have to chalk it up this time. I am considering my own (spent enough time and cash on other ponies over the years 🤣) and interestingly SDD is very keen to ride anything I buy! She does pay for a lot for her wage but we still cover livery, Hay, shavings etc. she pays for lessons, farrier feed etc.

OP posts:
Blossombo · 23/01/2022 21:01

@PaperDoves yeah I think her age has a lot to do with it!!! 🙈 will definitely consider my own.

OP posts:
Blossombo · 23/01/2022 21:04

@StylishMummy yeah she is really, but it is a complex situation I can see how she thinks she has done all the hard work! And he wasn’t horse price, honestly! DD’s pony was more money 8 years ago.

OP posts:
lastqueenofscotland · 24/01/2022 07:55

I can completely see why she wouldn’t want someone novice/rusty on an ex racehorse that’s been a bit of a project!
Have you sat on a TB before? They are a bit of an acquired taste, and if he’s had quirks and problems before I can really see why she’d be fussy about who rides him. I’ve had horses that have had one rider who rides them not as nicely for half an hour and they’ve needed work to get them to chill out for weeks after that.
Just because you pay for the horse DOESNT mean you’re the most appropriate rider

thelittlestrhino · 24/01/2022 13:12

I think the horse is the one to answer the question. I would definitely get a few lessons with a trusted instructor and see how you get on. Keep a close eye on behaviour and attitude to work.

In an ideal world all horses would tolerate riders of different abilities. Unfortunately, some horses are definitely happier with only one consistent rider - often horses who have had tricky backgrounds. If he is only a year into his retraining he is still 'a youngster' as far as general riding is concerned, even though his racing background will have given him lots of other skills.

I would think your SD is being protective, rather than just spoilt. Every time you ride or handle a horse, you are either training it or untraining it. It is pretty soul destroying to feel like you have taken several steps back in your training every time someone else has ridden. I have always tried to support other people in riding my horses, but they all come with their own set of instructions - e.g. one is fine for others to hack in company but not alone , one I don't want jumped if I'm not there, and I don't want anyone playing with anything we've not quite established, flying changes and some of the more advanced lateral work.

Dobbysgotthesocks · 24/01/2022 14:11

Why did you retire the 14.2? That horses sounds like a better choice for you to be honest.
Or I would consider getting another horse for yourself.
I can entirely see your SDD's point though. 8 is still very young. They are still learning and gaining experience at this point especially if they have had a less than perfect start to life (which he will have being an ex racer). I am very very picky about who I let ride my horses though!

Ariela · 24/01/2022 15:06

SDD should pay for her horses in full IMO if she wants a say in it. DD1 pays for all of hers, livery, feed, hay/haylage, bedding, farrier, vet, insurance, fuel for the lorry etc. We paid for her first ponies, but she's added value as she progressed and we've sold them on at a profit and bought and sold as she's gone on, so by the time she was 20 she had 2 semi-decent horses

BertramLacey · 24/01/2022 16:10

I don't think it's the fact that he's eight - it's the time he's been out of racing that counts. Racehorses are often backed at two and then treated as adult horses long before others are. So when they retire from racing, they almost go back to having the young horse stage they missed out on. He won't be established as a riding horse yet and I can see how another rider could well cause an issue.

I would maybe come up with a plan that you have lessons with her instructor, once he is a bit more established. It will be good for him to have more than one rider at some point and by then, he'll probably have worked out that SDD rides him one way and you ride him another, and adapt to that.

One of the hunt horses I ride out has a distinct 'oh bugger, it's you' moment when I first get on board and he realises he will have to work. With his owner he doodles along getting steadily less fit. If I haven't ridden him for a while it takes me slightly longer to convince him he isn't in fact a snail. But he is a very established horse and quite wily. Give the ex racer a bit more time and make sure you're up to scratch.

maxelly · 24/01/2022 16:32

I'm another that can understand your SD's point of view, one of the conditions of the current horse I have on loan is that I never ever let anyone else ride him, even my instructor unless I've cleared it with his owner first as he is very sensitive and has caused some serious problems, it's not about good riders/bad riders or novice/experienced (in fact some of the people he's violently objected to in the past have been professionals), it's about your feel and softness, your seat and hands as he turns very nappy if he feels 'blocked' by the rider esp if they then get after him to try and get him forward. So do try not to take it personally, plus I know you say you 'only' want to school him, while riding in the school may be safer and calmer for you, for me that would be the last thing I'd want a new person to do with my horse, I would actually feel more confident about an unknown rider taking my boy out for a hack or even to do some jumping or XC or trail hunting, because those are activities he enjoys and doesn't get stressed about you'd be far less likely to have a meltdown with him than if you just tried to get him to do a nice 20m circle in the 'wrong' (wrong for him not necessarily technically) way. The point of schooling should really be to improve the horse's training and way of going and so if your SD feels it would actually confuse or worry him I can see why she doesn't want you to...

That being said mine is an old boy at the end of his career now and has a home for life with me or his owner, as your DD's horse is still young and you can't be confident what she'll want to do long-term, will she want to move away for work/uni and will she be able to keep him, I do think she needs a plan for how to get him used to new riders in a safe way, and you might perhaps be able to be a part of that even if initially it's just doing some groundwork or hacking or similar. I think the suggestion of involving her instructor is a good one. And also she should be thinking about building up to paying more of his costs herself, for me she's 17 so I don't think it's fair to say 'either pay yourself or you have to do what I say' but ultimately one day you will want your own horse to ride and if finances won't allow you to keep 3 (including your retired boy) then she's going to have to step up to contribute a bit more in the next couple of years.

Perhaps you could look for a share in the meantime if you want more of a graduated step up to owning, I do think going even from the most 'advanced' horse at a RS to a green, sharp, sensitive ex-racer would be too much for most people, it would be nice if you could find a nice quiet horse you can hack out confidently and maybe do some low-level RC and jumping on for instance, rather than worrying you're on an unexploded bomb of an ex-racer?

BertramLacey · 24/01/2022 19:25

(in fact some of the people he's violently objected to in the past have been professionals), it's about your feel and softness, your seat and hands as he turns very nappy if he feels 'blocked' by the rider esp if they then get after him to try and get him forward. So do try not to take it personally, plus I know you say you 'only' want to school him, while riding in the school may be safer and calmer for you, for me that would be the last thing I'd want a new person to do with my horse

Sounds quite like my first horse. He had very strong opinions about some professional riders, particularly riders who told him what to do. Many professionals just don't put up with nonsense, whereas you had to put up with nonsense from my old boy, or he'd tip you onto the floor. Whereas if you treated his caprioles as a bit of a game, he'd make sure he only caprioled - as opposed to sticking his head between his knees - so you could stay on board.

He was also much easier to hack out than to school and I don't think that's unusual. Many sensitive, finely tuned horses will get more confused in a school, where you're asking something quite specific, than they will hacking out, where they can just bimble along with a buddy. And that confusion can result in nappiness or a flat out explosion if they lack confidence and get upset.

RatherBeRiding · 27/01/2022 15:47

I can see both points of view, but a project ex-racer that she's put a lot of work into? I'd respect her wishes. Sensitive TBs can quickly become....'difficult', and whilst in an ideal world all horses would be happy being ridden by competent and experienced riders, or even competent novices, in practice there are horses who quickly suss out your experience and confidence levels and take the royal piss! Or just become worried because there is someone on board who feels a bit unsure about what they're doing.

I have a pony who is anybody's ride IF they are a good rider. Anyone who gets on who is heavy-handed, too much leg, not great balance - she is very likely to deck them. And that's the kind of habit I don't want her getting into.

Juststopit · 27/01/2022 16:04

I love riding my daughters ex racer, but it took a while to convince her to let me. I do have my own but he is now retired. I started out small, offering to cool him down and just wandered around the school and then rode him under her instruction. Now she is at Uni the fact I can keep him fit and she doesn’t have to pay someone to ride is a big advantage.

HighlandCowbag · 29/01/2022 18:03

I can kind of see her point. My pony is my pride and joy and Ive done her mostly myself with help from my trainer. My trainer rides her occasionally, she is a faaar better rider than me but dpony loves her. And out of a yard of 20 there is one other woman I would let ride her. As I know this rider is experienced with youngsters, has similar techniques to trainer and dpony would benefit from it. It's not to say there aren't better riders on the yard, there are, it's just weighing up what would benefit pony and what is for the benefit of the jockey.

Having said that you are contributing financially and that financial contribution possibly impacts how often you can ride. So a lesson with her regular instructor would be a good compromise. Alternatively you reduce the amount of financial support and use that to fund more lessons or a part share for you.

TheSnowyOwl · 29/01/2022 18:10

I’m on your SDD’s side here. You might have started riding at the age of 10 but you sound like you aren’t at a reasonable standard yet. Unless your SDD’s horse was bought with the intention of being a family horse, I think YABU. If you were an experienced rider you would know she is right in saying the horse is different after you being on. It’s quite normal when someone less experienced and/or confident gets on your horse for them to be different afterwards. Just stick with the riding stables or else get your own horse.

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