If your horse isn't making you happy, ask yourself whether he's the right one for you.
And if you're not enjoying him, he's probably not happy, either!
Maybe you should consider finding him a more suitable home? This will free up your time and money to find a horse you can truly have a fun and successful relationship with.
But how do you know if it’s time to go your separate ways?
This week's post examines three key problem areas in horse ownership, and next Friday I'll address the other four.
1. You Don’t Look Forward to Riding Him
(a) The Temporary Situation
Perhaps you’re working through a minor behavioral issue or a difficult movement, which will be resolved eventually but is consuming a lot of your time and energy.
You’re not enjoying the process, but know the final results will be well worth the effort.
(b) The Permanent Situation
But if you dread going to the barn every day, and find yourself constantly looking for reasons not to visit/ride your horse, with no happy end in sight - you need to reconsider keeping him.
2. You’re Afraid of Him
Being afraid of your horse is nothing to feel ashamed about. We all have times when our horses make us anxious. It’s far better to admit the fact to ourselves and do something about it, rather than wait until we get hurt before we take corrective action.
But can the situation be resolved, or is your horse always going to frighten you?
Here are two possible causes for your fear.
(a) Your horse really is dangerous
Examples of a truly dangerous horse are: one which consistently rears, bolts, kicks, bites and/or runs back home every time you take him on a trail ride.
Such an animal needs to find a home with a professional horse person. (Been there, done that - several times!!)
(b) Your horse handling skills need honing
Maybe your lack of leadership is causing your otherwise amenable horse to take over control instead? Horses need to follow a leader or else they boss us around.
My previous two posts discuss how to improve this situation, and feel comfortable around your horse, instead of being scared of him. Using the methods I describe, I changed from being afraid of my own horse (and desperately wanting to sell him!) to falling in love with him.
3. He’s Too Much Horse For You
Many of us are drawn to horses which are too big for us (I have also been a culprit).
Such animals require a great deal of strength and effort to ride properly and are much better matched with physically stronger, taller riders who can ride them with ease.
It doesn't matter how much we love such a horse, we'll always be the wrong person to ride him.
I've struggled many times in the past with the knowledge that a horse was wrong for me, and
have been unwilling to admit defeat by selling him.
But professional riders at the top of their game aren't embarrassed to concede that they don't get on with a particular horse. So we don't need to feel ashamed or guilty about finding another home for a horse that is wrong for us.
Make sure you find him a suitable, loving owner and you will create a win-win situation for both of you. He’ll be well-cared for and you’ll be free to find the right horse.
Next Friday I'll examine four more reasons your horse may be wrong for you.
Horses are my big obsession, and I'm constantly striving to get better, smarter and more in harmony with my equine buddy, Cruz Bay.
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