ridecamp@endurance.net: RE: Horse/Rider Compatibility/Mismatch?

RE: Horse/Rider Compatibility/Mismatch?

Flemmer, Linda (LFlemmer@CHKD.com)
(no date)

Pamela,

>You wrote:
> What factors do you use to evaluate the horse/rider combination?
>When it is appropriate to sell a horse versus when it is necessary for
>the
>rider to keep on working with the same horse
> What bothers me now is that I have not yet achieved the bond with
>her that I hoped for. She still does not willingly work with me.

I owned a horse like that once. He was a head strong gelding who would
buck, spin, and bolt for no apparent reason. He was pushy, tried to
boss me around (which I wouldn't allow), and generally unpleasant to be
with. We would get about 1/2 way thru a ride & he would balk at go
forward, but was willing to GALLOP going back the way we came. I stuck
it out for 3 years with no improvement. There was a major personality
conflict!!!

He was sold to a family where 2 pre-teen horse-crazy girls & an
competitive trail mom would ride him. He is a 4H open hunter now, he
fox hunts every season, and they are thrilled with him in NATRC. He has
bonded with that family in a way that he never bonded with me. He is
docile, friendly, not too pushy (it will always be his nature, I think),
and enjoys his work.

On the other hand, the Egyptian Arab mare that replaced him was never
overly friendly with people or other horses. She was a bit
stand-offish. "I've done my work, now leave me alone!" BUT, she was a
thrill to ride. We had a bond during rides that I hope to find again
one day. (She died in surgery a few years ago.) If I asked for
control, it was there. If I needed a bit more energy, she did her best
to offer it. We could cheer each other up on long, tiring, boring
stretches. She learned to single foot while watching the gaited horses!
She was unique! You just had to understand that her free time was
HERS. My new gelding is lovey and follows me around like a puppy dog.
It takes all kinds.

You asked when should you sell rather than work on it. If you don't
enjoy the horse or your rides, perhaps it is time to find a better match
for you and her. She certainly isn't ancient at 13, but it will be
harder & harder to sell her as she ages. (I'd purchase a 13 yo over a
16 year old, all other things being equal.) Sometimes it is hard to
accept that you & your horse aren't best friends (or that the feelings
you have aren't mutual). I agonized over selling Kid, the first
gelding, but he has a wonderful home that he enjoys. I got a horse that
I loved & did well with as a replacement. I think I'd have bought her,
even knowing that she was destined to die in surgery. (I probably would
have insured her, but that's another story.) Had I kept Kid, we'd have
both been unhappy no matter how long we worked on it.

Not seeing the two of you, I can't advise you. I can just suggest that
you ask yourself would you enjoy another horse a little better?

Linda Flemmer
Blue Wolf Ranch
Chesapeake, VA
soon to move to Morgantown, West Virginia!!!!

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