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Should we sell her or not?

Hi Franklin

My wife and I have found your site and have been getting a whole lot of information from you. We just bought 2 horse as I stated in a previous e-mail. One is a 3 year old Paint. We will call her "Aspen". On our first day with her she was hard to catch. But we wanted to see what she had. We walked her. We bridled her and saddled her with no problem at all, except for a llittle jitterness. Her ears were back a bit. We think that it was the new surroundings that she was unsure of things. We were mislead about how much training they had done with her. I got on her and the game was on!!! Lasted for about 30 seconds before I jumped off. My wife said to get off. Aspen never really bucked, but she was jumping and turning. I also think that she is testing me for leadership as you say. She will nuzzled my jacket and then grab at it? Is this bitting or not? Exactly what do you consider bitting? If I think she is getting to teething I put my hand up and say "NO". In the last 3 days I feel I have made a friend! She follows me around the pen, and if I turn my back to do something she will nudge me on the shoulder watching me. When I take a lead rope out, she runs down to me. I can now walk up to her without her shying away, and rub her around the neck, and body. I can brush her now and talk to her and she seems to listen. Anyway this is a rundown on things. BTW, I am new to this, my wife has past horse experience, but its been about 10 years and her knowledge of finishing meant the old way. She wants to try Aspen in the new way of breaking. This is now called 'starting horses'.

My real Question that we need help with is this?
Should we keep her
??? Everything I have read, says that a beginer shouldn't have a green horse, however we can't just see that as a good enough reason to sell her. We like her and feel we want to keep her and start from scratch, with a lot of book help. I strongly feel that Aspen and I are starting to bond and that we will get along fine. I believe her trust is starting to grow. We hate to sell her because we were mislead. We bought her because she is a pretty horse and sounded like a lot has been done with her and that she would fit what we were looking for. It's just that now, I'm not so sure.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thank You

Hi Charlie,

Well, that is only a general rule. Its like who do you want to bring up a child, an experienced parent/adult or another child? Any three year old is still a baby no matter how much training it has on him. With a baby, if you make a mistake it shakes their confidence and produces fear, as opposed to a more mature horse who has good confidence already. That horse will be more tolerant of your inexperience and error. The baby has some trust issues already I think. With some good guidence and coaching you may be able to do this. I would not tell you to abondone it if you are open to seeking help, advice and being willing to stop and not go to trying to make the horse do anything. Behavior you do not want can generally be handled by making it hard for the horse to do that behavior. A way to do that is to give the horse something else to do, like hind end yields around an inside leg, 3-4 rotations in both directions. Do you understand this? You can do this on the ground as well to moodify all sorts of behaviors.

Anyway, it takes years to become proficient at starting colts. But everyone has to begin somewhere. Make certain you have good help when you need it, and you will!

At least you did not go and intentionally by a green horse, being green yourselves, thinking you will grow up together. Please keep me posted on developments.

Sincerely, Franklin

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