Do you really think horses enjoy being ridden?
 
 

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Do you really think horses enjoy being ridden?

This is a discussion on Do you really think horses enjoy being ridden? within the General Off Topic Discussion forums, part of the Life Beyond Horses category
  • Do horses like being rode
  • Do horses like being shown affection

 
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    01-31-2011, 02:23 PM
  #1
Foal
Wink Do you really think horses enjoy being ridden?

I know horses love treats, hay, and grass. I know they need and want exercise, but do you think they actually enjoy being ridden? Do you think, that they think "Oh boy, I can't wait to be ridden today!" (yes I know horses don' actually think like this, so don't take the phrase literally, please). Maybe it just depends on the horse? But I hear so many people saying how it's cruel to the horse to have it as a lawn ornament. Is it really? If they have a big enough pasture where they can run, fresh water, a place to get out of the weather; wind, snow, hail, rain, etc., if they have a loyal companion or two and person to love them- and let the get a little chubby from one too many treats- is it really that big of a crime? Is it so terrible if the horse only is led down trails and grazed in the side yard, rather than being saddled- with an ever ignorant human on his back? What is it, then, that horses did before we stole their freedom? Lunged each other? No. Not by any means. They grazed, had company with each other, they slept, and they ran. There was no metal in their mouths, there was no saddle on their backs. There was no rider mounted onto his trusty steed. So I ask you again- is it really a crime?
A crime- to me- is something that causes harm to another. Something that you would be ashamed of if people were to hear of it. The simplicity of a horse as a "lawn ornament" seems so utterly inaccurate to me. Tell me now- if a man were to inherit an untamed piece of land, where wild horses roamed right into his very front yard, would they too, be lawn ornaments? No, I do believe they would still wear the honorable name of mustangs. So why then, are horses that are not ridden lawn ornaments? You tell me.
I'm sure I will recieve a thorough bashing from many people on this forum. Regardless- I feel everyone should consider this topic to an extent. I'd love to hear opinions. Open minds please- everyone is going to have a difference in opinion, even if it's the slightest difference.

     
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    01-31-2011, 02:29 PM
  #2
Showing
Some do, some don't.
Some humans love working, some loathe it.
Some dogs love to work, and some hate it.
Some animals (human, avian, terrestrial, aquatic) love to interact, be busy, have a job, and others simply don't. One horse in my life absolutely loves interacting with humans and loves working - his eyes get dull and you can definitely tell that he almost (being careful to not personify him too much) gets depressed when "his humans" don't come to visit and work with him. Other horses I know would rather never see a saddle for the rest of their lives.
It is totally animal dependent.
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    01-31-2011, 02:31 PM
  #3
Showing
Just to add to my thought and your post, I don't think they anticipate work. They sont have the thought process of "yay! I can't wait to be ridden/worked today!" But they know when they haven't been worked. Future vs. Past thought processes. Just my opinion.
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    01-31-2011, 02:33 PM
  #4
Showing
Diamond, we hardly 'stole' freedom from horses. It's a partnership. They gave up certain things to get certain things, just like wolves did to become dogs.

Przewalski's Horse is the only true wild horse left in existence, so the animals about which you're waxing poetic are domestic, purpose bred animals. The ones that escaped or were let go to live and breed out in the wild are still domestic animals; they've just gone feral.

Some horses live for the show ring, race track, or working with cattle. Just like humans, all horses are individuals. Sure, they share characteristics since they're the same species, but you can't say all horses would be happy if we left them alone, especially performance bred animals.
     
    01-31-2011, 02:34 PM
  #5
Green Broke
No, I don't. Would you like someone strapping a saddle to you, putting a bar of metal in your mouth and sitting on you while they make you go in what would be a totally pointless direction to any horse?
Being ridden isn't natural to the horse though people find it enjoyable and it's a good means of exercise for modern day horses who don't have to roam for their food over several miles each day.

I do, however, believe that there are horses that enjoy getting out & moving/trying something new. And since being ridden is the only way most horses get out of the pasture and explore like they would in the wild, they look forward to it.

It is not cruel to keep them as "lawn ornaments". Most horses probably wouldn't mind that life lol. And there are other ways of exercising a horse that doesn't involve getting on its back.
     
    01-31-2011, 02:54 PM
  #6
Green Broke
I think it depends on the job they are doing.. My mare loves her job. She loves to ride and go places. She does really good on trails and shows and is very excited about it. When I go to the pasture or drive by it (she knows my car??) she runs to the gate like "OH MY, Can we go? Please?) I can open the gate and she si right there and wants out,. She HATES, LOATHES, and DESPISES to go slow. If we trail ride with another horse and they are walking slow it gets her so mad and she will try me but she knows when I mean business and I'm not going to tolerate it...my gelding however..he will be 21 in May and he still likes to be ridden but if I push him or ask him to do somethin he doesn't really want to do he will sometimes try to chunk me off. That's pretty hard to do because I know that horse better than I know my boyfriend. He is like an old shoe that fits perfect. But he is a S***eater when he doesn't want to do something.. he wants to trot everywhere and wants to lope some but I make him just walk and he turns into a beast..There aren't even words to explain that horse. He is strange, but I love him. I couldn't ever sell him and I'm the only one who will ride him because my sister hates him because he is a brat and doesn't like it when he doesn't get his way.

I don't think it's cruel to ride your horses. I think it depends on their job and how they handle themselves. Some might get sour with a job if they are doing it too long and pushed to hard. I'm not going to say all horses are but alot of the horses I've worked with were eager to please and lived for the praise they got when doing something right. I wouldn't put something on my horse that would make them uncomfortable and would hurt them. I don't use a bit that would be too much for them. Riding a horse might not have been natural for them but most horse owners put everything they can into making sure their horse is well cared for and as comfortable as possible when they ride.
     
    01-31-2011, 02:55 PM
  #7
Weanling
I think that horses would prefer if we didn't ride them and that we didn't isolate them. They like to be safe, eat, and play with each other. For some reason, probably because we provide food and care, they decide that we're OK too but I think they always see us as aliens and not quite part of the herd. I've heard people usually trainers/coaches (probably because they need more business every scrap matters) say that it's not right to not ride/exercise your horse.

Well I have a herd of horses and sometimes I don't ride for months but they keep their condition and are happy. They all are friendly and affectionate towards me and I to them but I don't think that means that they like it when I ride them. Maybe they like the social, play aspect to the interactions but that's why when people use fear, intimidation or violence it just doesn't work or open the lines of communication.
     
    01-31-2011, 03:07 PM
  #8
Green Broke
[QUOTE=TheLovedOne;911314

Well I have a herd of horses and sometimes I don't ride for months but they keep their condition and are happy. They all are friendly and affectionate towards me and I to them but I don't think that means that they like it when I ride them. Maybe they like the social, play aspect to the interactions but that's why when people use fear, intimidation or violence it just doesn't work or open the lines of communication.[/QUOTE]


I think that's kinda crazy. If your horse absolutly did not want to be ridden you wouldn't ride them. Horses can come to trust people like the person is a member of the herd and as a partner. You can gain respect from your horse and trust just like you would a person..

And a person wouldn't like you either if you were using fear, intimidation, and violence to get them to do what you wanted to do.

I think if you show your horse love and care then they will love and care for you too. Horses are social animals and don't see humans as this awful thing if the human doesn't mistreat them..A horse will act as bad as you treat it..
     
    01-31-2011, 03:31 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt    
Just to add to my thought and your post, I don't think they anticipate work. They sont have the thought process of "yay! I can't wait to be ridden/worked today!" But they know when they haven't been worked. Future vs. Past thought processes. Just my opinion.
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I realize they don't think that way, if you'll look in my post, you'll see that.
     
    01-31-2011, 03:38 PM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
Diamond, we hardly 'stole' freedom from horses. It's a partnership. They gave up certain things to get certain things, just like wolves did to become dogs.

Przewalski's Horse is the only true wild horse left in existence, so the animals about which you're waxing poetic are domestic, purpose bred animals. The ones that escaped or were let go to live and breed out in the wild are still domestic animals; they've just gone feral.

Some horses live for the show ring, race track, or working with cattle. Just like humans, all horses are individuals. Sure, they share characteristics since they're the same species, but you can't say all horses would be happy if we left them alone, especially performance bred animals.
I see where you're coming from with stealing their freedom, but that was really just to emphasize that they used to just run about as they pleased and now they don't. But technically we did steal their freedom. (I'm not trying to argue, and change/discredit your opinion, just throwing my two cents in). They did as they pleased, now that can't. Not to say ALL horses would rather be "free" but before horses were used for our needs, they would have been quite content to be wild.
And I don't believe horses think that way. "Well this seems the better deal so lets go with that." We took them out of their natural habitat.
     

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