Darielle & Dante

Getting To The Root of Dante’s Problems – Our Journey So Far

 From Day 1 of buying  Dante he always struggled with trust issues. They all would mainly appear when I was in the saddle. I now have Dante two years and I have recently started looking back on videos & images of him, only to come to the realisation of how far this horse has actually come on, even over the last 6 months alone. 

Recently I have found out a bit about Dante’s background which all seemed to really explain some of Dante’s underlining issues from the moment I had bought him until now. Photo 12-10-2018, 10 09 18

Dante had 4 previous owners (that I know off) in the space of 1 year, He was basically bought, had some work done & sold on again & again until I came across him. I presume he was prepped for a quick sale, sold on, then when he wasn’t of anyone’s interest he just became a stable filler until the process began again for him. 

Dante has some impressive breeding behind him, the type of breeding where people just expect him to be good from the get go, & really forget about the back bones, the most important foundations of bringing on a young horse.

At the beginning as time went on I was getting more and more out of him, he would begin to trust me in the contact, or he would stop bolting or rearing but there was always that fear of the unknown with him. If I asked him to do something out of routine or different he would freak out & go off on one. As the good came, the bad came with it 10 times as bad. 

Lux horses are know for being quite the temperamental horses, they take a LONG time to mature, but I am beginning to think this might not be the case. People buy these horses & expect them to be as good as their Sire, they rush them and expect immediate results, then when they don’t see the progress quick enough they  write the horse off, they say he had issues & move onto the next horse. What I think, well I think its Bulls*!t.

Photo 15-09-2018, 19 10 54


A lot of factors have helped in gaining Dante’ s Trust under saddle over the years, a lot have also been quite simple factors to take into account with bringing on any young horse, time & patience people, its all you need! 

Behaviour

Some horses are renown for “bad behavior” but I say if you have a good bond with your Snapshot_166horse no matter their back round you shouldn’t have to use behaviour as an excuse for problems. Young horses have their off days, just like us humans, they shouldn’t be punished for it. Rearing for example, when Dante done this instead of “punishing” him I would stop him let him relax & give him a pat on the neck, talk him him. Punishment is simply not an an option with young horses. They react to thing out of misunderstandings or out of frustration of not knowing what they are being asked to do. 

Maturity

Maturity in young horses, is something that may take a few years. This is one of the most impatience stages of owning a young horse. One that many people often forget. Some horses take longer than others to mature, bigger horses for example need a bit longer to grow into themselves, find their feet. Be sure to give your horse time off, they need time to mature, to grow & to process what they have been learning.

Accepting the Contact

I remember so clearly the hardship I had for the first 6 months owning Dante. I decided to involve myself in a yard lesson with a top dressage rider, (who I wont name for Photo 12-10-2018, 10 05 03obvious reasons!) To this day, it really made me question people who have made it in the equestrian world, are they really capable of teaching if they can’t read the horse they are teaching? Or be capable of telling the horse & riders needs from watching them riding? I fell off Dante during one lesson, I was told to force him into a contact to push and push until he accepted it. Of course he didn’t, and of I stupidly listened to the instructors instruction, he ran around the place with a cocked jaw in protest against me. Dante is one of the most sensitive horses I have ever came across in the mouth, forcing the contact was most definitely not the answer. I kind of think those few lessons of force are half the reason why I have such problems with him accepting a stern contact & still have that problem to this day, it was one of our first things we done together, so it has been one I have been trying to un-do for some time! 

Horse Care

One of the utmost important things to keep on top of with your horse. Try to always remember that they are growing, building muscles, gaining weight. Your horses back & Photo 11-10-2018, 21 45 09your horses teeth are two of the most important to keep a close eye on as they begin their journey under saddle & Bridle. I recently had a dentist out to do Dante, he has been done every 6 months since I bought him except recently where it had been an 8 month gap, I had a new dentist come in and this time I was present to watch him get his teeth done, to my shock the dentist tried to get me to put my hand into his mouth feel his teeth they were that bad.  I was quite shocked by the revelation & quite disheartened by the trust I had put in previous dentists. My advice, always be present if your horse is having work done! 


Our progress to this day has been phenomenal, the last 6 months with him I honestly don’t know what has happened, maybe the penny has just dropped & he has learned to enjoy & accept his work. 

Going back to ground work such as lunging, long reining and driving has also helped massively instead of constantly doing arena work. We also do a lot of road hacks, I try to get him out once a week (try being the main word!)

Photo 12-10-2018, 10 01 06

To finish off this post, I will admit the last few weeks with Dante have not been easy, work & life got massively hectic, riding Dante had been put on the back burner, simply because I felt like I wasn’t capable, I hit a wall & things I was hearing did not help.

Some talk regarding my riding capabilities had been muttered around, of course in turn which I heard about. This had put a big affect on my riding and my own way of thinking, maybe Im not good enough or capable, maybe other people are better riders than me…

But what I say to that now is F*%k off! I don’t think I would of gotten this far if I wasn’t capable. Photo 07-10-2018, 17 29 53People can be mean & people often say things to make themselves feel better, or quite possibly they say things without realizing the lasting effects. I was always told that if you haven’t anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all, so If you have been part of anything like that, my advice, ignore it, you don’t need anyone trying to rain on your parade!!

Have you like me come out the other side with your horse?  Or are you still trying & trying in hope of one day everything will fall into place?

Let me know in the comments below, & remember perfection takes time! 

And it is most definitely worth it!

As Always, thanks for reading,

Darielle 

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