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rolling- seeking advice
I posted here some months ago when I questioned if there could be the "wrong" personality for owning a horse. I ended up selling the ornery horse back to the seller- he's still at the facility where I board, and he's generally being "a pantload" to unsuspecting students learning to ride. It wasn't just me.
Now- I have a new horse and I need wise advice once again.
Purchased a 15 yo gelding. Vet checked okay although I suspect his eyesight is not as good on his right side. He's nervous on the ground- currycomb is okay, but he has to be approached sloooowly with a brush- he acts like it's a brick.Fly spray is an ordeal- one person holds the lead line, the other sprays and the horse snorts and trots around. But in the two months we've had him, he's gone from trying to tear away from the wash rack to standing still for a bath. Round pens beautifully with hand commands. And while jumpy while being handled on the ground, he's a dream to ride- he puts his head down for bridling and I rode him bareback daily. Nice running walk and excellent neck rein- with a bridle on, he's a different horse, calmer.
He has two big issues. Input please- I have a 1 year option to trade him back. I'm debating it.
1. He is TERRIBLE about foot handling. Front feet, usually okay. Back feet- look out. He snorts and jumps away. Somewhere in his past, somebody hobbled him with wire. Very fearful but while we are working with him (lots of touching his body and legs, working our way down to the hoof, slowly and firmly) and making progress (men couldn't even get near him for weeks, now my husband can touch his feet), we don't want somebody getting hurt. We also don't want him to have untreated thrush. It's been 2 months- can we still make progress or is a frightened horse too dangerous?
2. He was very willing for me and enjoyed daily rides. We took him out on trails- not confident alone but fine with another horse. 6 weeks ago, I was returning from a trail ride when he rolled. The incident was all of 5 seconds- head down, knees down, a warning shout from the other person I was riding with, I bailed, horse rolled. In getting away, I landed on my wrist, shattering it. It's been weeks of casts, surgery and metal.
It was hot, the sand was deep, he was itchy. But now I wonder if I could catch him before he rolled again. Some trainers say it is impossible to keep some horses from rolling even if I keep his head up. Others say he needs to be disciplined with a crop when he starts to roll- but will that make a fearful, nervous animal worse?
I'm looking forward to riding again but now I am feeling overprotective of my body. And being "a nervous Nellie" is a lousy attitude to communicate while riding. I plan on riding in the arenas for awhile. But can I trust going on trails again?

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