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I'm having a problem - long!

I'm a senior citizen (65) getting back to endurance after a lot of years
away.  I was always interested but participated only a little.  For the last
two years I have been trail riding a quarter horse gelding; a former rodeo
horse.  Everytime I took him out with a group he got very competitive and
nuts!  I started giving him Ace before these rides with my vets approval.  
The plan was to slowly work this out of him.  The plan took about a year and
a half and finally all things clicked.  We had a new saddle that fit both of
us and he was off the Ace.  Second time out he blew his cool.  I'm really
tired of pole bending trees and barrel racing home so he now belongs to a
high school rodeo buff and they are both happy.

I shopped for an Arabian.  Found one that should have been perfect.  Tried
him out and loved him.  Level headed and fast walking ten year old.  Great
horse.  We brought him the 1000 miles home and after a few days got him out
to ride.  Ooopps.  No brakes.  He was trained on a bosal so I switched to a
side pull with snaffle and tried again.  Not too bad.  A little antsy though.
 He was on alfalfa (a very little) plus some pasture before we bought him.  
He is now on grass hay and the only grain is a little Strongen C (all our
horses are in PreventaCare).  Our drive is about 1/8 mile so I rode him up
and down the drive and up the road about 500 feet to a trail that comes back
into our place.  All in all with about a half hour of work he was OK but a
little antsy.  Second time doing the driveway thing didn't go as well.  He is
used to large cattle trucks and logging trucks and cars and everything but a
neighbor passed us while I was on the road between the drive and the trail
and he dropped his brains.  I couldn't get off so stuck it out coming home
very gingerly.  Very unsafe also.

Next ride we stayed in our small arena and rode mostly walk and whoa - that
sort of thing.  Did this two days with a little trotting.  Trotting no
control but still had a whoa at a walk.  Next time under saddle (next day -
3rd day in a row) he jumped out from under me as I was settling into the
saddle.  I wasn't balanced yet so I grabbed the fence rail and bailed.  I'm
ok - very bruised hand and can hardly type but I am an experienced horse
person and I'm not sure what to do next.

This is the first time he has ever lived away from the area where he was
born.  His previously owner and trainer was a man and rides about the same as
I do.  Leg aids, that sort of thing.  When I turn him out for exercise he
goes out of his way to lick the ground which is not top soil but yucky clay -
yellow clay.  He is not fat nor was he fat when we brought him home.  He is
getting all the local grass he wants and it's a really good crop for our area
(western Oregon).   Does he need sore sort of nutritional supplement for
nerviousness?  This horse is a doll to handle from the ground although when
we first brought him home he would pin his ears some when I saddled him.  He
doesn't do that now.

I know drugs are frowned on in performance but I am once again considering
using ace as a training aid.  If I were not 65 I could probably ride through
this but I am and I need to work through it somehow.

Comments would be appreciated but don't flame me too bad please.  I have
raised and shown POAs for over 30 years and have produced lots of champions.  
I want to trail and endurance ride.  I thought I was buying a horse that
would be ideal for this and now I have to figure out how to do it.


Kathleen Yielding
POAs since 1968

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