Back to the joys of horse hunting

The lack of brakes some people just accept as normal, not everyone expects them to be light and stop on a dime, but it can often be changed with consistent schooling. Equally given your experience with Sapphire I wouldn't think a horse that needs any 'fixing' would be ideal for you at this point, because with the best will in the world it isn't guaranteed and you could end up with another that doesn't suit you and it seems something ready made would be better for you just now from what you have said previously.

This. Plus at 16yo I don't think it's wise to buy a horse with a view to changing it's way of going, it's established in that way and probably comfortable physically and mentally going like that. Changing it could very likely create problems, easier to change the rider's technique or buy something that goes how you want. Sometimes in an older horse those slightly heavy brakes can be a sign of stiff hocks so they're loading the front more, yes the brakes can be made lighter and sharper but possible causing discomfort to the horse is the process. And even if it's "only" a schooling problem Jessey is quite right in saying there are no guarantees, and then you've wasted time and money on another horse that isn't right for you.

I have to say I'd call Luka a good hack nowadays, but if a strange rider took him down a road he didn't know then turned him towards home and asked for trot then I'd expect him to light up like a firework display, and pulling up would only make matters worse. as would circling. But in traffic and all the things we come across hacking he's solid, and ridden in a way he knows he is polite and responsive. The advert I could honestly write for him - not that he's ever being sold! - and the horse I could show someone would probably be a very different one to the one a strange rider with a different style would get though and I suspect things could go very badly wrong. That's the problem with trying horses, much as they're different to us we're different to them and that's why when I was looking I went to different schools and centres and rode friends' horses simply to get back up to speed at getting on strange horses and making a quick assessment other than "doesn't ride as nicely as mine!".
 
I think you have to come away thinking that you can’t live without that horse. If you have to think about it too much then this isn’t the horse for you.
 
Sometimes in an older horse those slightly heavy brakes can be a sign of stiff hocks so they're loading the front more, yes the brakes can be made lighter and sharper but possible causing discomfort to the horse is the process.
Now you say it that makes a lot of sense.
I did wonder if the bucks could have been caused by discomfort in the hind legs during the upwards transition on a hill.
Horse was probably tired too - not used to doing much recently & then sounds like OP had quite an exacting schooling session before the hack.
 
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Now you say it that makes a lot of sense.
I did wonder if the bucks could have been caused by discomfort in the hind legs during the upwards transition on a hill.
Horse was probably tired too - not used to doing much recently & then sounds like OP had quite an exacting schooling session before the hack.
This happened within 10 minutes of being ridden, she did 10 minutes in the school where she only walked and did a couple of trots and wasn't tacked up or sweating when we arrived. She was sweating when we finished riding her. The bucks happened just after we turned around for home, and it was not a steep hill, just a tiny bit uphill rather than totally level but safer than trotting for the first time outdoors on the flat. So i don't think it was discomfort more naughtiness and excitement.
 
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Maybe going to see her at weekend, bombproof in traffic seen videos, only 14'2 whic may be an issue but rider is taller than me. Lwvtb not far away. Hunted, pony clubbed, private home, known history
 
People usually have that sort of tack on for a reason, if you get her be very very sure of your control before you change it.
Bought the horse in February say that she is forward but very good brakes. I used to ride an older horse in a gag, it suited him. He was perfectly relaxed in it on the snaffle setting. More concerned about the noseband as i dislike any noseband which keeps their mouth shut and won't use one. Buddy detests nosebands and doesn't need one now but he spent his life with his mouth tightly bound and he is terrified of them. He only has a noseband on to hold his nose net and it is loose. I will ask about it before riding her as i wouldn't want to be riding in this combo.
 
And hunting can mean she likes to go, no one cared about brakes and she went.
I had lessons in a small indoor school and was warned that the RS horse had been hunting, implying that she would have no brakes once she got out of walk. It was all fine, but I never cantered her.
 
There are many worse things that can be used than what looks like well fitted a grackle.

From one not great pic I like this one a lot more than the black one you posted!

The opportunity to have the horse on loan first would have me a lot less concerned about various tack/bitting solutions as long as the horse seems nice to ride and nice on the ground. If its not right you can send her back. Id be more asking questions about why they are moving her on after having her less than a year, clearly not outgrown size wise.

However, from my experience, sometimes people just carry on with what the horse came in. If she was a pony club/hunting pony that may have been smaller child (and thats a lot of front end on that horse) and hunting is very exciting! My boy is snaffle mouthed for almost everything, but if i were to ever take him hunting again he would probably need barbed wire in his mouth to stop him. Hence Im not hunting again!!!

My sister bought a horse that came in some hideous bit. The previous owner was nervous and wanted to 'make sure she had brakes'. He never ever needed anything more than a snaffle even with the 12 yr old girl who bought him eventing at be100.

I also know a lovely lady who bought a haflinger who came with a snaffle and a kimblewick and the warning from the old owners that sometimes she wouldnt listen out fast hacking, and that you almost never needed to use it, but the kimblewick she didnt run through. Lady had her 3 years. Ended up down to a bitless bridle until the day the pony took off out hacking for the 1st time in 3 years and dumped her when the track came to the end at a gate. She didnt ever need that kimblewick, but didnt hack her bitless again.

Make your own educated judgement with the horse in front of you and good luck!
 
There are many worse things that can be used than what looks like well fitted a grackle.

From one not great pic I like this one a lot more than the black one you posted!

The opportunity to have the horse on loan first would have me a lot less concerned about various tack/bitting solutions as long as the horse seems nice to ride and nice on the ground. If its not right you can send her back. Id be more asking questions about why they are moving her on after having her less than a year, clearly not outgrown size wise.

However, from my experience, sometimes people just carry on with what the horse came in. If she was a pony club/hunting pony that may have been smaller child (and thats a lot of front end on that horse) and hunting is very exciting! My boy is snaffle mouthed for almost everything, but if i were to ever take him hunting again he would probably need barbed wire in his mouth to stop him. Hence Im not hunting again!!!

My sister bought a horse that came in some hideous bit. The previous owner was nervous and wanted to 'make sure she had brakes'. He never ever needed anything more than a snaffle even with the 12 yr old girl who bought him eventing at be100.

I also know a lovely lady who bought a haflinger who came with a snaffle and a kimblewick and the warning from the old owners that sometimes she wouldnt listen out fast hacking, and that you almost never needed to use it, but the kimblewick she didnt run through. Lady had her 3 years. Ended up down to a bitless bridle until the day the pony took off out hacking for the 1st time in 3 years and dumped her when the track came to the end at a gate. She didnt ever need that kimblewick, but didnt hack her bitless again.

Make your own educated judgement with the horse in front of you and good luck!
"She is forward but safe. When I got her she had the gag and grackle noseband so I've just kept her in what they had." "Hi she is upto date with everything. Excellent to clip shoe teeth vet load. Loves to be out is currently stabled at night. No known health issues. Open to vet. Very kind mare. Forward you don't need any leg but you have brakes. Buzzy in an arena loves to hack has hunted most her life over the north East. Previous home had her 6 yrs and daughter outgrew and no longer rides. Not mareish. Loves to jump will do ditches hedges show jumps. Goes through water. Would ride her happily in a busy town. I've had her since April. I lost my mare of 17 yrs in Feb and bought Bailey because she was alone in field and was sad and underfed. My daughter has a 14.2hh so don't need or can afford 2 ponies on livery" "She will walk in the arena on buckle end allday it's just once she knows your jumping she gets keen. Has never bucked reared or bolted. To hack out she's forward but not spooky." " I'm 20 years younger than yourself but I haven't good health and I find Bailey easy to do. She can be rude sometimes and once you tell her she she apologises. Not a nasty bone in her body. She has been hunted then pony clubbed fo most her life coming over from Ireland so a slower pace would do her the world of good." I used to hunt in my youth so well aware of how they can be have, we had one mare who was utterly perfect and an arab x gelding who was a total nightmare! Buddy was ridden in much stronger bits with a flash and a martingale and I have taken him on a 200 horse hunt ride in open moorland and survived with just a myler curved snaffle with rollers and a neck rein! Just see what she is like on the day. There are videos of her hacking out in heavy traffic, going past big farm vehicles etc. She may or may not be too whizzy for me, but you never know.
 
Going to see her sunday, with Brian who rode Sapphire, so it will at least be constructive criticism. His main concern was she might be too small for me, also saddle fitting for her/me could be tricky thought the saddle on her was too far forward and constricting her shoulders movement so my vsd might be a better fit if not too long. Doesn't like the gear on her but can be played around with, will take my bridle as well. And he can ride her if necessary though she will be far too small for him.....
 
Just been offered this 15'1 10 year old gelding distress sale, just hoping he isn't in Wales or somewhere impossible, owner replied to my advert. in a trekking centre
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An issue to perhaps bear in mind with trekking horses is that they are used to only following another bum and find going out alone very difficult.

I tried this on one of our's from a trekking centre just to see what would happen and poor lad nearly died with nerves and worry. He managed to leave the ride by holding his breath. When I eventually turned him round he did this stonking trot home and nothing, and I mean nothing, would've stopped him. Luckily he was a total gentleman and was very safe, trying very had to put his trust in me but even for him, who could wear shopping on his back for miles, drew the line at going out on his own..... ever.
 
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I really like the mare and I think it's only her legs that make her shorter than you'd like. It's hard to tell from the angle of a photo but looking at her body and head I think she could feel underneath you the same as a bigger horse, only you'd be closer to the ground. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that she looks like she'd take up your leg well 😂 and she looks nice and stocky enough to carry some weight (not that I'm saying you need that!)

Not so keen on the gelding, but only because he reminds me of a horse I rode as a teen, who had a trick of walking under low branches to scrape their rider off. So that's not fair really, he's probably lovely.
 
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