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Having issues with a recently purchased horse or pony?

I've only been in the business of buying and selling horses and ponies for a short few years. In those years I've been lucky to have mostly happy customers, but like any business, eventually someone isn't going to be happy. As a buyer, I've bought horses and later found they didn't fit me. It's the nature of any business that some things work and some don't. I have a few tips to consider when you aren't getting along with a horse or pony you've recently purchased and aren't getting along with.

1). Take a deep breath & open your mind:

Every horse is different. Make sure every time you catch your horse or pony, you are willing to learn something new. Everyday a new horse will teach you what they do or don't like. Make sure you give yourself and the horse an opportunity to understand each other before getting frustrated. When you feel frustration coming on, take a deep breath and consider how you can better communicate with the horse or pony. Horses feed off our body language, including our pulse, tension, happiness and frustration. They feel it all, so try to control it in a positive, willing way. You'll be amazed how your horse will feed off your energy when you allow yourself to compromise your communication technique.

2) Ask the person who knows the horse best, first:

Almost all of us struggle with a new horse at some point in time. Contact the seller/trainer when the issues start happening. Schedule a lesson to work with the person that knows the horse. If you're not able to physically get a lesson from the trainer/seller, take videos, ask questions and try to find out if there is a simple solution. The trainer/seller knows the horse better than someone who has never ridden it, even if it is a top notch trainer. Most sellers want to see you succeed and are willing to help however they can.

3) Be Timely:

A. Don't wait until the problem is out of hand to get help. Ask for suggestions as soon as you feel the problem getting out of hand. If you let an issue go to long, it can take months to get the horse or pony back to where they started when you purchased them.

B. If you decide you don't fit the horse or pony (nobody fits everything) contact the seller in a timely manner. Waiting 2-3 months isn't fair for the seller. Things go wrong and if you aren't getting along it can take months to get the horse or pony back to where it was when you bought it, especially if you want to get your money back.

4) Be respectful, understanding and willing:

For the most part, (I wish I could say all) sellers & trainers want to see you be successful with your horse or pony and are willing to try to make things right. Remember that not only are you frustrated, maybe even embarrassed that it didn't work, but so is the seller. Every time something goes wrong with the horse and pony is a mark on the sellers name. Be respectful and understand that they aren't trying to set you up for failure. If it doesn't work, be polite and give them a change to make it right.

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