Tuesday, August 16, 2011

End of the road

I'm really sad, but not at all surprised that I am writing this post.  

We have tried to help Boomer for over 3 years and he just is who he is.  Unfortunately, his bad habit is dangerous.  

For those of you who have been following the blog for a while, you know we have had our ups and downs.  I have always kept trying and kept giving Boomer more chances to prove himself.  

The fact is that he is an incredible athlete.  I know he could be a star.  He is totally capable of being a 100 mile horse.  He could probably do Tevis. I am amazed at his ability and strength.  

Unfortunately, he is reactive.  I wouldn't even say that he is spooky.  When something happens to upset him or doesn't go his way, he reacts in a big and dangerous way.  This manifests as either pulling back while tied or throwing himself over backwards.  

I have tried avoiding situations that make him flip, which does work to an extent, but makes me miserable to be walking on eggshells around him.  We have thrown countless dollars in training at him to no change.  

Our trainer agrees, he isn't scared.  He gets mad.  

I think that someone with more time, confidence, and knowledge could give Boomer a great home and use him to his potential.  

I am just no longer able to feel safe around him.  I have spent the last few weeks thinking of what I need to feel safe with him.  I need to hear the words "He is cured, he will never pull back or blow up again".  No one can tell me that.  He went almost 2 years without pulling back.  No one can guarantee that he will never blow up again, because he does it in protest, not out of fear.  

If it was fear, it would be something that sacking-out or exposure could fix.  

Unfortunately, my confidence has taken a pretty big hit in this process.  I have a bit of fear and anxiety now around all horses.  I feel like I am just waiting for them to blow up and flip over in the cross ties or whatever.  

I need to take a step back and just take lessons for a while to rebuild my confidence.  Maybe try a new discipline and ride a few solid horses.  I'm not looking to own another horse anytime soon.  Our next horse will be one that I can actually enjoy and is also safe for our whole family.  

By all means, if you think you can help this horse and give him the home he needs, please contact me.  He is dangerous on the ground and I have no doubt that he will hurt someone someday.  He is also a dream to ride and learns quickly.  He is built for endurance and will do great things in the endurance world.  


Dom said...

I wish I had the time and money for another one. Horses like this fascinate me.

I am sorry you've had to come to this decision. I am sure it was a hard choice to make. You're absolutely right. His behavior is dangerous and he is going to hurt someone. It's not worth the risk.


Story said...

Oh Heather. I feel for you and the weight of this decision. I believe you read my blog when I was going through all my troubles with Page so I don't need to tell you how I most definitely know how it feels when you reach that point. It's a terribly difficult thing. Good luck to you and to Boomer. *hugs*

Heather said...

Dom- I wish you ndid too, but then again, I couldn't live with you getting hurt.

Story- Yeah, I remember reading your about your troubles and knowing exactly how you felt. I hope this can work out as well for me as it did for you!

This is a very difficult decision, but not one that has been made lightly. I sort of feel like it has been in the works for years.

KSLongrider said...

You've certainly gone the extra mile with this guy!! I think you've made a wise decision. Occasionally you come across one that just isn't the right fit.

Heather said...

That was something John and I discussed extensively. We wanted to make sure that we tried EVERYTHING before moving on/giving up. We didn't come to this decision quickly.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend with a horse that acts the same, and after about giving up she took him to a trainer who help her lay him down. Apparently a few sessions of this helped this horse a lot.

But the bottom line is not to risk being injured...this stuff is dangerous enough without dealing with this kind of severe issue.


Ruth said...

Don't feel bad! No horse—no matter how beautiful or talented—is worth risking a career-ending injury for you. With a reactive horse, it is only a matter of time.

I made the same decision this spring about my beautiful Otto. It was hard, but it was for the best. When it comes to the point that you're pouring time and money into doing something you no longer enjoy, then it is time to make a change. The right one will come along!

irish horse said...

I'm so sorry to read this! I have read your stories and know you have really tried your best. It is hard when our partner is not the right fit for us. You have to take care of yourself and family first. Good luck to you and Boomer, you may be going separate ways but in the end things have a way of working out.

irish horse said...

What a difficult decision! You have certainly tried your best to make it work. It is hard when our partners don't work out, we have such a close relationship with our horses. You and Boomer may be going different directions, but in the end things have a way of working out. Good luck.

Shanster said...

Hey Heather - I was so sorry to read this.

However, reading the other comments, I'm glad others have been there too.

You know about all the b.s. with Rosso. Similar.

I absolutely know you did everything you could do and gave him every opportunity.

It really sucks. I also never felt fear around horses until Rosso and it's like it just sucked a part of the joy horses always gave me right up. Really feels like failure to me and I hate it. I've been struggling with it and trying to reframe it in my head.

I'm sorry.

Heather said...

Shanster- I think that is a huge part of it for me. The fear/loss of fun. I hate feeling fear/out of control around Boomer. I want to have fun again. I think I need to do something totally different with horses for a while. Take a whole different direction and see if I can't find the joy again and lose the fear.

It is so hard because I have tried so hard for so long with him. I feel like I am giving up or a failure. But I also am just so over it. I am ready to move on and have fun with horses again.

Shanster said...

Yes - exactly. Another reason I made Rosso a pasture pet. Rex, my trainer was like - you CAN do it - but you aren't having any fun doing it... why torture yourself when this is supposed to be fun? Costs so much $ and it is hard work and you should at least be enjoying yourself. It really rang true.

While I still struggle with the "failure" feeling - I also recognize that I WANT something different - this is a choice - a well thought out choice. I WANT and DESERVE to have fun and joy around the horses.

I really feel for you and know absolutely what it feels like to make that decision. You deserve fun too... you really do.