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Trial Horse Goes Home

I know all my readers have been waiting on pins and needles to hear about Trial Horse (TH)! Okay, maybe you’ve not been quite that upset that I haven’t posted, but things went downhill quickly.

Thursday Lesson

My lesson last Thursday was terrible. Unfortunately, it was all my fault, which makes it even worse. We rode outside for the first time, and TH handled it great. He was a little up and looky, but didn’t spook once and as soon as I put him to work, he was fabulous. There was a lot going on: different horses in and out of the arena, trailers pulling in, horses unloading, etc. and he handled it all perfectly.

We started with some small crossrails, and my goal was to keep my leg on and get him over the first time — no refusals. It was a success! Not a single refusal all night long. We did a line of crossrails and a single diagonal crossrail. All of these fences went well — not perfect, but pretty good.

Then we moved on to a small gate and a small jump with boxes. TH was good — and I sucked. I could not flow over those fences to save my life; I bounced on his back, didn’t fold my hip, forgot to release. TH handled all that with class, only getting upset twice, to which he got fast and cow-kicked once. But who can blame the guy? It can’t feel nice to have a big sack of potatoes flopping down on your back.

After that, I was very discouraged and down on myself — hence no post sooner. I try really hard not to be a total Negative Nancy on here, so I opted to wallow in misery by myself.

raindrops on leaves

Saturday Lesson

TH got Friday off, and by the time Saturday rolled around I was determined to jump again and try my absolute hardest to just ride better. In order for us to work, we have to be able to jump together. Not that Thursday was any fault of TH’s, but regardless, that can’t happen every lesson.

I had a private lesson scheduled, so I was happy for the extra attention, and hopeful that we could get things worked out. TH came out of his stall very looky-loo. He fidgeted more in the crossties than usual, and Trainer told me he kicked one of the workers on his way to turnout this morning. Not cool. So I mounted up prepared for anything, but as Trainer and I chatted, he was fine and stood like a perfect gentleman! After a few minutes, we got to work. We trotted around, and he was just a little ouchie in the front. His head was bobbing, and he just felt uncomfortable. Definitely not three-legged lame, but not sound either.

Insert total devastation here.

But I put on my big girl panties, checked him for heat, swelling, abrasions, etc. to no avail. We put him away and decided to see how he looked on Sunday.

Sunday Hack

Trainer met us at the barn Sunday afternoon. Again, checked TH’s legs for any reason for lameness, but found none. Mounted up, and we got the same response: just not comfortable in the front. I was pretty upset — I felt like there was so much about this horse that I really liked, and that I didn’t get a chance to make a final decision my way. I was so looking forward to jumping him again.

Of course, I also feel terrible that this happened at all — if this was my horse I would be so upset. But I know I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary or contrary to instructions. But it still sucks all the way around.

So Sunday afternoon, Trainer graciously trailered him back home. The end.


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

16 thoughts to “Trial Horse Goes Home”

  1. I understand what you are going through. I had a mare on trial that unfortunately had to be sent home because she just wasn’t right. What was supposed to be a PPE was more like a Diagnostic and I just had to call it quits. I was quite heartbroken over the little mare 🙁

    But… You will find something perfect for you 🙂 Chin up.

    1. Ugh — that’s the pits! Good to hear that I’m not the only one that has gone through this, and knowing what an awesome horse you ended up with gives me hope!

  2. Good luck with the search. You must be frustrated 🙁 I can feel your pain. Luckily dating horses is tons easier than dating humans! You will find another very soon!

  3. When I was looking for my first horse, I fell in love with this little chestnut. When he got vetted, turns out he had navicular so we sent him back. I was devastated, but if I had kept him I would’ve missed out on the BEST HORSE I COULD HAVE EVER HOPED FOR, who I had for the next eleven years until he had to be put down. So, chin up, things happen for a reason, the perfect horse is out there 🙂

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