The unrideable schoolmaster!

Date posted: 29th August 2011

This is a story about a couple named Gail and Andy who wanted to have a Friesian each to hack out together. They decided to buy from Holland and did so unseen. One horse arrived and was as described and the other was a lot more horse than they were expecting!
Horse number two was bought for husband Andy who needed a calm horse to suit a novice rider and was advised that the eight year old schoolmaster stallion was exactly that. Some may say that to buy a stallion for a novice is not a sensible thing to do in the first place but when a well known and supposedly reputable company who specialise in the breed are advising that this stallion is so quiet and would not need gelded etc etc then you may be tempted to take that advise.
The stallion did have to be gelded pretty quickly due to the fighting between him and his companion. One important lesson here is that horses are kept very differently in Holland than in the UK, a lot are kept inside all of the time apart from when they are brought out for exercise. So a horse (even a stallion) may appear very calm in his box with horses stabled immediately next to him but when that horse is brought here and introduced to our way of keeping him, (especially going outside) then his nature can change drastically!

The horse was tacked up fine and stood to be mounted by his new owner for the first time and then when asked to walk on he exploded. He took off bucking and bronking until Andy was thrown off, chipping a bone in his shoulder in the process. On contacting the company who had sold the horse the following quotes are what was advised.
Please remember that this horse is supposed to be well trained and an experienced riding horse, so here is the advise from the seller on how to ride your schoolmaster!!

*”Lunge him till he is very , very tired
Than get on him and ride him , when necessary you can use drawreins , but don’t take them too tight because than he can easily buck. ( as soon as a horse is putting his head down , than he will be in a excellent position to buck , so keep his head high! When he still is trying to buck than don’t pull on the reins but ride him forewards , because no horse can buck while he is trotting in a foward movement .
In this way you will learn him who is boss and that he don’t need to buck again because you will work that long till he is listening in the right way . as soon as he is listening to you and is doing that in a good way , than come immediately off him and give him a reward . don’t give any rewards when he is doing nothing is acting in a nasty way

*I am not sure what kind of bit yu use but we always use a pessoabit or Dutch gag so , that you will have more control over the horse when he is wanting to do his own thing.

*Using a dummy : i know a training stable here who is doing it always in the beginning , we don’t do that , because in my opinion it is death weight and as soon as he feels something else than he will start all over again .

*Isn’t there a person in your neighbourhood which is a very good westernrider ? this because those people are mostly used to this kind of horses and they have no fear and will ride the horse till he is acting normal.

*A horse is smelling many times better than a human being and if you have some fear to get on him , than he will act in a different way . you have 2 options when this is the case : just put some parfum on his nose so that he will not smell that you are nervous
Or spray parfum on your own body so that he will not smell the fear. It will really help !!
We have a pigstable in front of us and horses hates pigs , as soon as the wind is coming from the wrong side than all the horses will act in a stupid way . as soon as we recognise this than we will use some parfum on their noses so that they don’t smell the pigs , the same works with people who are nervous !”

I have to admit that I was sitting laughing when I read the above, especially when advised to get a western rider in to sit to the bucking. This is a horse who was bought for a novice rider to safely hack out with and therefore the skills required for backing, breaking and retraining difficult horses should not be required.
One year on and several people had tried to retrain the horse or at least get on his back! Gail then asked if I could help. In all honestly I was pretty reluctant and I went to see the horse with the intention of telling the couple how daft they had been to buy a stallion from Holland unseen for a novice rider. When I got there my thoughts changed quickly as Ime (the horse in question) was a beautiful boy and very sweet in nature, the couple were not the naive beginners which I had expected. Infact they had owner horses for a lot of years and were very down to earth. I agreed to work with Ime for a short while to see if I could do anything with him. Two weeks later and it was clear that this horse was just an utter danger to anyone who attempted to ride him and even if he got to the stage of allowing me to ride him calmly, a horse such as this would never be suitable as a happy hacker and could cause a lot of damage to an unsuspecting person.

On top of all of the above, Gails confidence was shattered and although her own Friesian hadnt put a foot wrong she was doubting the history of the horse due to what had happened with Ime. Gail is not a bad rider but had lost her way with her horse because of all of the events which had taken place.

These two people are such a lovely couple and really genuine people. All that they wanted were two beautiful Friesian horses to hack out together, what they ended up with is Gail with little confidence to ride her horse and Andy with one very expensive, unrideable pet!

Make sure that you try horses before you buy them and buying ridding horses unseen is illadvised, even when the horse is older and advertised as a schoolmaster it is not to say that you will ever be able to ride it!

Gail has been coming here for the last few weeks to ride with me and build her confidence back up so that hopefully at least one of the couple will be able to do as was originally intended and take her horse out hacking.

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