What to do...?

Discussion in 'Horse Riding' started by Shandeh, Dec 29, 2010.

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  1. Shandeh

    Shandeh Well-known Member

    So long story short, I put anyone and everyone I can up on Latte, from beginners right through to experienced riders, and all the more experienced riders so far have asked me how the heck I ride him, because his movement throws them so far off balance. I've had DopeyQH on him, Mum on him, one of Mum's mates from years and years ago who used to be a very very good showjumper (her horse is retired now), as well as a few other friends and friends of friends, and NONE of them feel like they can ride him. To be honest neither do I!

    His trot is bigger than Sugar's - and Sugar is a full hand taller than him. Lots lots bigger than even the biggest horse I've ever ridden (which I suspect was 16.2 or 16.3hh). I swear I've never seen a horse with such enormous movement. Photos don't do it justice, you have to see him in the flesh.

    So how do those of you with horses that take strides longer than the Olympic long jump record manage to ride them and look good on them??? I ride ponies, I look great. I ride TB's, I look great. It's just Latte. Even (finally) having a saddle that fits him, and teaches people to ride in the correct position, I struggle. In fact I think I struggle more! It's not that the saddle doesn't suit me - quite the contrary, I've ridden in one on another horse and absolutely adored it, felt very secure. It puts me in a brilliant position at walk. I just struggle so much with trot and canter.

    And I can't see if it is in fact the saddle causing troubles with trot and canter, because it's completely the wrong shape for the pony, and WAY too long. I struggle on Latte bareback too - even more so - but I ride Edward at walk, trot (sitting and rising) and canter and have jumped 65cm - all bareback. I would have ridden Sugar bareback all the time except for one small issue - that sitting on her bareback felt like sitting on a gate! The only horse I've ever struggled this much to ride is Latte. And he's not even being difficult any more.

    So my options are a) get off my behind and finish paying off this saddle so that I can afford an instructor (on it, but I don't know how much difference it'll make, after all the experienced people who have told me they just can't ride him)
    b) put him back in harness and sell him as a harness horse
    c) sell him as a serious dressage prospect
    d) sell him as a pleasure horse
    e) keep him as a pleasure horse and buy/lease another horse
    f) lease him out as one of the above

    The problem with option E is that I can't afford to have two horses. I really don't want to sell him but I really can't afford the risk of him going out on lease and then coming back right as times get the most difficult.

    No, I don't want to just have him as a harness/pleasure horse, with no avenue to competition. I want to compete and better myself and my riding.

    It's a bit of a dilemma. I've just bought a new saddle and have paid just under half off, and won't get what I paid for it if I sell it. So if I get a new horse, I will have to either get a horse to suit the saddle, or have the saddle fitted to the new horse (which might take some extreme fitting, therefore be expensive).

    Sorry for the novel, I just don't know what to do!!! To get a second horse I would need another job and jobs for people my age offer little to no job security, therefore I would be in BIG trouble if said job fell out from under me. Either that, or I have to save up my $$$ once I've paid my saddle off, build up my emergency fund, and THEN get another horse. Meanwhile, the more I ride Latte, the more I confirm the bad habits and compensation I'm picking up from him. And really, I'm getting to be too big for Edward (but Mum needs him to teach the kids so we can't sell him for something bigger, there's just too much risk that the next horse/pony wouldn't be suitable temperament-wise for complete beginners), so it's not really fair on him for me to be working him every day.

    ARG! lol
  2. pso

    pso Gold Member

    core strength....fitness...dedication....determination...

    If you want to ride him- you will- stop making excuses and get on with it if thats what you want:))
  3. Gaia

    Gaia Gold Member

    Latte is an ok mover, but he is certainly not a massive mover. I have ridden many more SB's that move bigger with more elevation than him. I think you will find it is the SB trot that is the problem, not that he is a big mover. SB's (especially ones that have raced) tend to roll there hips side to side when they trot, which is why ppl that don't normally ride SB's have trouble with the balance.
    I can't answer for you what you are going to do as I am sure you will work that out, but I doubt you will be able to sell him as either a harness horse OR a SERIOUS dressage prospect. You could sell him as a decent SB that can walk, trot and canter and be a pleasure horse or compete in SB shows.
  4. Lakota

    Lakota Well-known Member

    Agreed. STB's are a completely different kettle of fish from other breeds, and need a very balanced rider (particularly when they are green).

    I know this thread is likely to turn into a bit of a mess and the decision is completely up to you, but if you really do want a future with Latte then your best bet is to get some lessons and increase your fitness. Core strength is highly important when riding and I always find that the fitter I am, the better the horse goes. However given the amount of times you have thought of selling him, maybe it is worth seriously considering it? If you do sell Latte you would be better off searching for a nice schoolmaster for lease, which would allow you to learn and reduce the financial stress.
  5. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    o mate, reading your posts is like watching the few seconds before a car crash. you must deliberately set out to think of ways to make people go crazy when they read your stuff.

    a) get off my behind and finish paying off this saddle so that I can afford an instructor (on it, but I don't know how much difference it'll make, after all the experienced people who have told me they just can't ride him)


    I want to compete and better myself and my riding.

    you cannot get anywhere without further instruction. simple as that. give yourself and latte a CHANCE & go get yourself 6 months of lessons, then reassess where you are at.

    It's a bit of a dilemma. I've just bought a new saddle and have paid just under half off, and won't get what I paid for it if I sell it. So if I get a new horse, I will have to either get a horse to suit the saddle, or have the saddle fitted to the new horse (which might take some extreme fitting, therefore be expensive).

    seriously, fitting your saddle to a new horse (extreme or otherwise) should be included in the projected cost of purchasing new horse. and debating whether or not you'll get it to fit your potential new horse is well and truly counting your chickens a tad early!

    whatever you do, shandeh, you need to make a commitment to this horse. reading about your journey with him is just sad. please try and get yourself some lessons, i'm sure you can find an instructor for about $50/hr & just one lesson a fortnight will help you get somewhere (at least get you off this fence you're metaphorically sitting on with your horse) so you can make a more informed decisiion.

    but if you honestly feel your HEART is just not in it with him, stop wasting everyone's time with "what ifs" and make a commitment to that horse to find him a good home before you start predicting the glass to already be half-empty with your hypothetical 'new horse' and the problems you will have getting it fitted etc and so on.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  6. Pepsea

    Pepsea Gold Member

    I don't belive his trot would be 'bigger' etc etc than most horses, but he will be unbalanced etc and standardbreds as Jackie said do move differently, their troys can be harder to ride ad especially sit to compared to 'normal' horses

    We have all heard so many issues and excuses with him, make up your Mind
  7. montygirl

    montygirl Well-known Member

    just popped my popcorn in the microwave.... anyone want some ??? ;)
  8. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    out of interest (and cos it's all about me, LOL)

    i bought a horse 4 years ago who quickly figured out my number. i got emotional, stopped having fun & STRUGGLED. eventually bit the bullet 1.5 yrs in after a very nasty fall & started getting lessons (keep in mind i'd been "riding" for 25ish years & thought i was the shiznit). 7ish months later, horse helped me go a little crazy, decided i needed to sell him. but couldn't sell him & hope to recoup some costs unless he was in work (and i HAD to recoup some money if new replacement horse was not just a nag). so, many more lessons & a lot more work.

    we've gone from this:

    to this
    (last week)
    and i'm well aware there is a HUGE amount of stuff to improve upon...

    but just this much was a LOT of work, money, effort, time, sweat, blood, tears, late nights, angst ridden posts on stockies & my blog, and LOTS of support from friends & family. miracles DO NOT just happen & you will not magically win all the competitions you enter if you never have a lesson. i really hope you can see here that you HAVE to make a commitment to improve both yourself AND your horse in order to have success & that comes naturally to... no one. even the best have instruction!
  9. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    *sigh.... i know. i shouldn't *bite* but... eh, it's holidays! i have some time!:}
  10. Pepsea

    Pepsea Gold Member

    Me and my stb didn't improve untill we started lessons! Then it was huge improvement!
  11. CatLover

    CatLover New Member

    i think pepsea and i have the same instrucotr, i have been watching for a while now...

    just stop making excuses and get on and ride!
  12. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    YUP. the teenager who leases my stb, taz, is getting lessons with my instructor too, and they look A MILLION DOLLARS, in just a few months of lessons.
  13. Pepsea

    Pepsea Gold Member

    Catlover, haven't been having lessons on my standy for close to 4 years, he's not ridden anymore/ at the moment.
  14. Shandeh

    Shandeh Well-known Member

    Yep as usual you guys aren't listening.

    It is NOT just me. Pretty much everyone who gets on him has the same problem. He does have a big stride for a horse of his size (seriously, I have photos of his canter stride, which, compared to lots of other horses, is quite large) and I have ridden other STBs and not had the same issues. The saddle fitter who came out and fitted the new saddle was very impressed by his movement and Jackie I think that since you haven't seen him for AGES you can't judge. He's been off the track for a lot longer now and I have seen plenty of horses change completely movement wise in 18 months. Remember that I could actually ride his trot when I tried him out at your place - well now, 18 months later when I am a MUCH better, more balanced rider, I have a lot of trouble with it. And this is in a saddle that actually fits him, which, as I'm sure you will know, makes a HUGE difference to how horses move.

    Mum has ridden STBs before and she has the same problem that she says she has never had with any other horse. Ever.

    As I have said plenty of times before, I would welcome any of you to come and have a ride of him and see what I mean. I have had VERY experienced, VERY skilled riders on him with the exact same results. This is a horse that throws you up and forwards at trot and THAT is what makes it so hard to sit trot on him, or rise only a little way.

    I think that part of it is his conformation, being a Standy therefore not really bred for riding. Part of it is quite likely me - but not a massively significant part seeing as I can actually ride (competitively) on other horses.

    I would not be asking what I should do here if I really had much of an idea what is right for me and him. I know I want to compete in showjumping, and I know that he's getting bolder, but let's face it, he needs to be able to walk, trot and canter in a balanced manner, with a balanced rider, before we really go anywhere with our jumping. And he tips me forwards, which is NOT me, trust me, I'm a lot more upright on other horses. Having a rider who is tipped forwards is not going to help him be more balanced, though he is improving. I have 10m canter circles now, at a lovely slow pace, and we all know that slow is very very difficult for an unbalanced horse, especially in a tight circle.

    I posted here looking for understanding, perhaps a little bit of help to decide what to do, and hoping that someone would suggest something that would mean I could keep Latte and actually have the possibility of having a horse that I can compete on (at a high level, not some low-level allrounder/pleasure horse like everyone's suggesting Latte is 'only' capable of - been there, done that (with Sugar), want to actually GO somewhere with my riding like I was doing with Edward, before I got too big). I'm not allowed to have him and a project horse because apparently Mum needs the land to be making money (therefore another horse on here would have to be paying its way) and I can't afford to keep 2 horses on agistment. I'd probably be OK if I didn't have that issue hanging over my head, but sometimes, a few dollars is the difference between being able to afford something, and not being able to.

    Thanks SO much for all the help. Now I know exactly what to do. </sarcasm>
  15. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    and yet wasn't he up for sale/lease and you having the same thoughts on "What to do?"

    Ladies!!! Really #( I've read this, and read what was written *elsewhere* and *#)

    If you don't like the way Shandeh's rollercoaster operates, kindly hop off the ride and move along ';' I, too, get amused at some of the expectations of a standy and young person who hasn't got the independence (financially or logistically) that some of us ADULTS have.....but at least the kid has the guts to ask questions (even when she doesn't listen to "advice" :p).

    Gaia, blitzen, Jaana....I love you all.....and I've loved watching some of your adventures and trials as well......isn't this what the Forum is for ';'

    and Shandeh.....get off Edward and stay off :p
  16. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    Thank you wattle. :)
  17. Pepsea

    Pepsea Gold Member

    Wattle I sold pepper because I got pregnant and brought him back later I had educated pepper to a much higher level then latte is, so I'm not sure quite what your getting at?

    If you want to go somewhere far with your riding, sell your standardbred get lessons on a school master and save for a educated other breed of horse
  18. Crafty

    Crafty Well-known Member

    Shandeh you need to write things down or re read your reasons for wondering on this thread.

    In my time of riding I have re educated to pc grade 9 STB's and to pleasure grade 8. However I have been struggling with my boy Ben who I have had for the last 5 years simply because he was suffering from an old injury is a drama queen and anticipates every single thing I do be it minute or not.

    It has taken me having lessons and clinics with imported instructors to get to the bottom of Ben's problems and be able to now use him as a pleasure horse and maybe dabble in a few local hack shows. It has cost me thousands! Mostly because I live in Coolgardie and not near a big center like heaps of people on stockies do but the cost is a thing you really need to consider.

    I thought you would have had your new saddle by now I have been reading your threads for a while and I know you are young but if you don't have the capacity to buy a saddle within a reasonable amount of time then do you think you will be able to financially support this horse to a point where you can use him for jumping?

    I think it would be best if you found him a new home where he is more suited and then maybe look for a new horse yourself. If you want to jump then look for something that can do that but most importantly make sure you are in a position to be able to afford whatever that new horse needs.

    I find in the horse world and the real world many people are experts in their chosen field but not one person can know everything there is to know. I spend my life learning and using what makes sense to me and what works for me at the time :) Goodluck
  19. Cadabby

    Cadabby Well-known Member

    Could you perhaps sell him and use the money to have riding lessons on a school horse? Some riding schools will lease out their horses, and then you could also do some competitions. Not sure if this is viable in your area, no doubt you will say so if it isn't.
  20. Hayley

    Hayley Well-known Member

    Shandeh make the most of what you have... Some people aren't able to have their own horse or Ever be exposed to the wonderful world of horses.

    You on the other hand have your own horse, you live on a horse property with your horse out the door, you have a horsey mum (which I would die for) and you have not 1 but several horses/ponies surrounding you. You are blessed with a horse which by the sounds of all of your other posts tries his heart out to impress you, yes he may have a big trot, plenty of horses are difficult to ride, it took me 3 years to get my last horse going properly because I got him at a young age and I wasn't as knowledgable as I am now, he hated going to shows and it was a very unenjoyable experience for me to take him out but I percerviered and ended up with the best first pony ever.

    I remember your thread not long ago called "we got it, we got it". So yes you are having a down moment at this point in time but you have posted plenty of times to about how you and latte had a good ride and he did this and he finally got that. Hold onto those moments and re read those posts about how you were impressed with him when you are having a bad moment. Remember with a green horse it's 1 step forward 3 steps back. Things take time and I think everyone knows you believe in latte and if you persist with him and be patient then at the end of it all you will feel amazing. You are young and have the rest of your life to compete take things slow with latte, pay off your saddle then start looking at getting lessons (they are much more important than some iPod you want which you mentioned in the other post) who cares if you can't start competing for another 2 years, you will be all the better or taking your time and putting the correct time and work into latte. All good things come to those who wait.

    I really do wish you the best with the horse and I think instead of changing your mind every other day on what you want to do with this horse stop making excuses and get out there and start making something out of him.

    Remember we are all fighting some sort of battle with out horses and I for one am not a quitter when times get tough, I hope your not either 
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