New horse blues

bel71

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Ok.I’m an experienced, not very good, physically compromised, dedicated 50 yo rider. I bought a new horse recently after losing a very, very special horse suddenly earlier this year. We still have a lot of COVID lockdowns where I am. We have basically been lockdown since the day i bought my new horse. I’ve been trying to work with him with no instruction, no other eyes on the ground. Trying to:muddle through. Trying to make the right decisions but failing. I’ve been bucked off, cracked ribs, I’ve lost confidence. Saddle fit, dentist, body work tells me the horse has no physical issue. So it must be me. Feeling very, very down and not being able to get past this feeling. Quickly the horse seems to have examined me and decided I’m rubbish. I cannot have lessons due to lockdown. Can anyone relate?
 
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chunky monkey

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This whole covid is making things very difficult. It really sounds like you need to get an instructor to come and help you. Depending on your lockdown rules, are you able to have snyone come to your yard who could at least watch you ride. You dont have to get close to them they can watch and give instruction.
 
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carthorse

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It does sound like you need some help with him, and if you can't get that at the moment I'd suggest just handling him until you can.

How long have you had him for?

What was he like when you tried him, and how was he kept and worked? How good a rider is he used to?

New partnerships can take a while to happen, particularly if you're grieving for a previous horse. Some just don't work and in that case it can be better for everyone to sell them on responsibly and start again.
 
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Mary Poppins

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I know the pain of losing a special horse. I lost mine almost 8 weeks ago and everything is still so raw. The thought of building a new relationship with a different horse terrifies me because I know that I will be making constant comparisons and that no horse will ever match up on the one I have lost.

I wonder if you are still deeply grieving for your old horse and therefore your mind is not in the right place to work with the new one?
 

bel71

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This whole covid is making things very difficult. It really sounds like you need to get an instructor to come and help you. Depending on your lockdown rules, are you able to have snyone come to your yard who could at least watch you ride. You dont have to get close to them they can watch and give instruction.
I am in a lockdown situattion where lessons are not possible. even in the way you described. but thank you for taking the time to respond.
 

bel71

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I know the pain of losing a special horse. I lost mine almost 8 weeks ago and everything is still so raw. The thought of building a new relationship with a different horse terrifies me because I know that I will be making constant comparisons and that no horse will ever match up on the one I have lost.

I wonder if you are still deeply grieving for your old horse and therefore your mind is not in the right place to work with the new one?
Absolutely! But time without horses was hugely difficult too. I waited 4 months before I could get out of bed.
Buying a new horse Was very, very tough,
Initially I was happy to have the new horse. But now having panic attacks at the thought of riding after some bad experiences.

I am very sorry to hear of your own loss, there is no worse feeling.
 

Mary Poppins

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Absolutely! But time without horses was hugely difficult too. I waited 4 months before I could get out of bed.
Buying a new horse Was very, very tough,
Initially I was happy to have the new horse. But now having panic attacks at the thought of riding after some bad experiences.

I am very sorry to hear of your own loss, there is no worse feeling.

Thank you. There really is no worse feeling. I cry over him everyday and feel so lost without him. My whole life has changed and while I know that I have friends who would like to see me at the yard, I can't bring myself to go there and see his empty field and stable.

I hope that you start to bond with your new horse soon. I don't have any advice really. COVID sucks but hopefully this time next year life will be back to 'normal' again, whatever that is. x
 
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Jessey

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Getting an instructor in would be the best thing here but obviously isn’t possible just now, maybe have a look and see if you could do a FaceTime lesson with someone, I know lots of instructors here offered it during lockdown. Alternatively is it possible to send the horse to an instructor to be schooled for a few weeks to help get things back on track?
If I couldn’t do those I’d go right back to basics, get the ground work and lunging/round penning, long reining etc all really solid, which will help him be more disciplined, you feel more comfortable with him and give you time to build a strong working relationship, then hopefully when the time comes to get back on board you’ll be out of lockdown or you’ll just have the foundation to do it yourself 🙂
 

Huggy

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I wouldn't ride if I were you. You're obviously still very sad over the loss of your horse, and this could affect the bonding process with your new one. My one, that I got before my old sweetheart passed away, was harder to bond with, but it comes with time. Just faff with him on the ground, in the stable, walk him out and enjoy the scenery, even just sit in the field or school with him. This worked for me and each time he was difficult when I did ride him, we went back to basics. He still has his moments, but I like to think we have a bond now - better do - he ain't going anywhere! When lockdown ends, have a friend on foot, walk out with you, while you ride. I doubt he thinks you're rubbish, he probably senses you're not quite "with him" yet.
 
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Skint

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Ah yes I can sure relate. I lost my perfect horse, a beautiful mare named Maggie, in 2015, I got my boy Alex a few months after, he was a lot more forward going, bit spooky and cheeky but no vices. He did shake my confidence honestly, but the "leap" between them was achievable. Deep down, I still missed her and I think I struggled to trust him and bond with him even though I love and care for him immensely and we had a lot of fun. Then in 2019 he had to retire, I took 6 months to buy a second horse, tried to be really careful, eventually, bought an ID mare, Maisey, she's gorgeous and very well bred, but honestly I didn't notice any of that, she didn't look like Maggie but she put me in mind of her in the way she felt to ride and her attitude. I felt with a bit of tlc she'd be a similar diamond.

Well, once she'd had the tlc, i found she's not really anything like Maggie,( except for being pretty bombproof and sensible generally). She is a lot more forceful in her opinions and not all that patient and not the novice friendly ride I was very clear about requiring when i viewed her. Though I guess we did rub along ok for the 3 months or so that I rode her before it all unravelled and she bucked me off. Nappiness was a major factor, however, I do think pain, or at least discomfort, is a factor- she has had ulcers, hock and back problems and I suspect some kind of hormonal issue at various times. So, I don't ride her. I'd like to say I want to, but honestly I don't, I have lost my nerve....I might one day if the circumstances are right, but so far, it's not worked out like that. I've had well meaning friends try and push it but every time we reintroduce the saddle something happens, last year it was her back, this time it was ulcers again. I find I enjoy her best when there's no pressure or expectation, we long line and do groundwork and clicker training etc .

I guess this is a lot of words to say don't put pressure on yourself or the situation, it's not a race, take your time and do what works for you and your new horse. It may work out yet, or it may not, that is just how it is with horses. Losing a much loved horse is very hard, and no horse will ever replace them of course, but each will bring you sometime special and unique to the two of you.
 
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Bel

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Dec 22, 2020
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Ok.I’m an experienced, not very good, physically compromised, dedicated 50 yo rider. I bought a new horse recently after losing a very, very special horse suddenly earlier this year. We still have a lot of COVID lockdowns where I am. We have basically been lockdown since the day i bought my new horse. I’ve been trying to work with him with no instruction, no other eyes on the ground. Trying to:muddle through. Trying to make the right decisions but failing. I’ve been bucked off, cracked ribs, I’ve lost confidence. Saddle fit, dentist, body work tells me the horse has no physical issue. So it must be me. Feeling very, very down and not being able to get past this feeling. Quickly the horse seems to have examined me and decided I’m rubbish. I cannot have lessons due to lockdown. Can anyone relate?
Hi - just wanted to ask how you have managed to get on since your post was added ?
 

bearlythere

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Nov 25, 2021
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Getting an instructor in would be the best thing here but obviously isn’t possible just now, maybe have a look and see if you could do a FaceTime lesson with someone, I know lots of instructors here offered it during lockdown. Alternatively is it possible to send the horse to an instructor to be schooled for a few weeks to help get things back on track?
If I couldn’t do those I’d go right back to basics, get the ground work and lunging/round penning, long reining etc all really solid, which will help him be more disciplined, you feel more comfortable with him and give you time to build a strong working relationship, then hopefully when the time comes to get back on board you’ll be out of lockdown or you’ll just have the foundation to do it yourself 🙂
I don't know much of anything, but, I thought groundwork and in-hand may help both of you build confidence in one another. :) just a suggestion. So sorry about your loss.
 

bel71

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Hi - just wanted to ask how you have managed to get on since your post was added ?
Sadly, after further falls I have lost too much confidence in the partnership. I’m planning to put the horse up for sale. Very sad it hasn’t worked out. But, like relationships with people, sometimes it is best to cut our losses and move on.
 

carthorse

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I'm sorry it hasn't worked out, but if you have little or no confidence in each other I also think it's the sensible thing to do. Hopefully you'll then be able to find another that you do trust and are happy with, and with an honest sale your current boy will find someone that suits him. Good luck and thank you for the update.
 
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Mary Poppins

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I'm sorry that it hasn't worked out, but it sounds like a sensible decision. I hope that you are able to go on and find a horse that you are more suited to.
 
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Huggy

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Sadly, after further falls I have lost too much confidence in the partnership. I’m planning to put the horse up for sale. Very sad it hasn’t worked out. But, like relationships with people, sometimes it is best to cut our losses and move on.
Take your time looking around, and don't be disheartened - the right one's out there and will be worth the wait.
 
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