Thursday, September 4, 2008

Versatile Horse

Ever since Canyon showed himself to be a more... challenging horse... I've been thinking of selling him. We are at a stage in our life where the reality is that we can only afford one horse. And it doesn't really work if I'm the only one who can ride him.

Granted, my youngest can ride him, but that's only at a walk and only with me leading him around.

I know the horses you can put a six year old are few and far between, but I've seen a few of them lately. And it's made me think about what my kids are missing by us having a horse that's a little too hot for them to ride on their own.

We talked for a while about getting another horse, one that everyone else could ride and I'd keep Canyon for myself. I can get him to behave. He's great on the ground, sweet with the kids in many ways. At this point I can keep him under control and he's getting better, good enough I think a conscious rider will do well with him. If you know what you're doing (which I am slowly grasping) you can keep him in a good place.

But if my older daughter's riding him, he tests her. And once he know he can get away with anything, he starts to act up. It's shaking her confidence and while she still loves him, she won't ride him after his last bratty behavior where he gave her either a buck or a cow kick (I'm not sure which, I was trying to make sure no one drowned in the horse trough).

I sat for over an hour with another horse woman talking about this. I mean, I love this horse. But no where near as much as I love my kids. And I don't really want a horse all to myself all the time. She hit the nail on the head when she said it. Even if I have more than one horse, I want them all to be more versatile.

We are not barrel racing. We aren't team penning. We aren't doing hunter jumper or dressage. We want to trail ride, maybe do a parade or two. A fun game at the arena, but we aren't looking for blue ribbons and trophies. We're not particularly competitive by nature.

So as much as it pains me I'm going to start to look for a home for him. He's a great horse, in the wrong home.

1 comment:

GNH said...

First of all let me say what a beautiful horse. Second I want to say don't give up on him. If a six year old can ride him, even if its just at a walk, Canyon can be brought around. If he acts up when your daughter rides him its because he does not see her as a leader. So she needs to take some time to do groundwork with him.

You might seriously getting some of the Eric Bravo videos I advertise on my blog. There is nothing I would hate more than to see someone give up on a horse. If you have gotten this far with him, then you can take him to another level. Its just a matter of knowing what to do and having the patience to do it. Please don't give up on him. I've seen Eric save many a horse. I don't know where you live so you can't get his help in person, but you can watch the videos and apply the techniques.

Good luck.