Tag Archives: thoroughbred

New horse owner wonders if she should sell the horse

Question: We recently bought a 3-year-old horse for our daughter.  I know it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do but the horse was very quiet and we were assured that he had no problems.  He does seem quiet most of the time but every now and then when your not expecting it he will blow up.  It’s not a bolt but more of a jumping straight in the air and then striking out.  I think he is simply trying to avoid work, but I am worried that someone will get hurt.  I am trying to decide if selling this horse now would be my best decision as with a more experienced person I’m sure he will be great, I just want something safe for my daughter (she is 14 and has 6 years experience riding). We are an experienced horse family but if this is likely to progress into a continuous problem I don’t know if we want to deal with it.  Thanks for any advice.

Answer from April Reeves: This is one of my favorite questions as I deal with this every day. First, buying a young horse for a young girl who has had time in the saddle does not bother me. This horse does not sound aggressive enough to do any real damage, and in fact may become one of her better ‘teachers’. But the learning curve begins here, as there are differences between a horse below 7 and a horse above 7 that we will discover in this answer.

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My Thoroughbred cross is suddenly behaving badly!

Horse BuckingQuestion: I bought a 4yr old tbx gelding 3 months ago and am concerned by his behavior. He was initially very stubborn to lunge (he would rear and refuse to go out on a circle) but I managed to get him going well within a week or two. He was very friendly and easy to handle on the ground. Then I began to ride him (he was only backed at this point). He has been riding really well and learning quickly. I’ve been careful to praise him a lot and have not had much need to scold him. Then suddenly he changed. I rode him and he refused to go forwards, instead cowkicking and bucking whenever I put my leg on. He’s also started to kick out violently when asked to move over in his stable! Out of the stable, he will move over fine! The only changes I have made are bringing him in overnight and feeding him! please help! Im scared of my 17hh youngster!

Answer from April Reeves, Horseman’s U.com: I’ll be honest: this is a problem for a professional that is not scared. From here, it will take a very firm hand, and a very brave heart.

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Am I on the right track training a dangerous, rearing horse?

Rearing horse won't go forwardQuestion: Hi there like you I have a reputation for riding and re-training horses that are deemed dangerous untrainable or non ridable however I have just bought a lovely ex-racehorse who is terrified of life. He has been completely checked over from head to toe and there is nothing physically wrong with him however he trembles if he sees his tack, rears when being bridled and has progressed to rearing and going over with his current rider. I am bringing him home tomorrow and plan on riding him as he was great when I tried him out. He did try to rear but got a good boot and a slap on the bum with my stick and sent fowards and then he went lovely.

I believe he just needs a firm hand but am concerned for his well-being mentally as his tack terrifies him and his rearing has already broken bones of his previous rider.

It would be great if you could give me your insight as to the possible cause of his fears and how you would rectify the situation.

He will not be sold on as I believe he has had a rough enough life, so I expect him to work, and after an initial tantrum was a well behaved, well balanced horse. Thanks for your time.

Answer from April Reeves, Horseman’s U.com: When you get a horse like this, unless you dig and ask questions you will never know the history that made the horse what he is today. On the other hand, does it matter?
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I am the new owner of a surly TB. How can I start him?

ThoroughbredQuestion: I have recently brought a new 5yr old thoroughbred called Roger. We brought him off a kind lady who said he was in extremely poor condition (very skinny) when she got him, so she was fattening him up. We are now feeding him specially and he’ll look beautiful soon but I want to retrain him natural horsemanship way. I’m 15 and have just been starting with the basics like good manners and a bit of bonding time with grooming. He’s good under saddle and stops dead but I want to go further. Being a racehorse he was surly mistreated as he’s flinchy when I touch him anywhere and this happens on and off. One day he’s fine and the next he doesn’t like me. He also has a catching problem and he’s clingy to my other two horses which is really annoying. I want to have a good bond so he can be happy with me and not be so anxious. I have read everything possible but not enough. Where can I start? Who can i get lessons from in Australia?

Answer from April Reeves: Since I do not live in Australia I am not connected with too many trainers there, but I have searched the web and found numerous Natural Horsemen who give clinics and I would suggest you audit one of their clinics first, and if you like them, take your horse in one later.
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My TB mare won’t go over poles. Do you have any advice?

Rearing horse won't go over poles on a trail rideQuestion: Today I took my 4-year-old thoroughbred out on a hack with the girls down the yard, and we had to go over raised metal poles and she just wouldn’t go over them. She was a complete nightmare – we tried everything – she was having none of it! I’m wondering if you have any advice?

Answer from April Reeves: Your mare just hasn’t had enough work doing ‘other’ things. We tend to keep doing the same things over and over again, usually simple riding and arena work, and forget that we need to give our horses continual desensitizing.

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What is Parelli and should I consider buying a Standardbred or Thoroughbred?

Pat and Linda Parelli - Love, Language and Leadership

Pat and Linda Parelli - Love, Language and Leadership

Question: Hi April: I have a couple of questions:

1) What is Parelli training?

2) Where can I read more about Parelli?

3) What are your thoughts on getting a horse from one of the accredited horse rescue facilities?

4) I am 5’4″ 170 lbs and am interested in getting a horse in a year or two. It has been recommended to me to get a thoroughbred 10-20 yo. How about a Standardbred? I am taking beginner lessons, I was an avid rider 40 years ago. I am 58 yo and on a weight loss program. My reward will be a horse after a couple years of lessons for pleasure riding and to maybe learn very, very novice dressage for my own pleasure and dropping 30 lbs. Your advice and comments are appreciated. Thank you.

Answer: First, I have to say good for you! Getting back on a horse is a big dream, and good for you to be brave enough to do it. Owning a horse will help in your other goals, especially for strength and mental happiness. Horses do so much for us.

Parelli Training
The system of Parelli training is to work with your horse on his level; meaning that you, the human, must learn his language and speak to him in his language. This includes body language, voice (lack of it), mannerisms, and ‘play’.

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