Do you really think horses enjoy being ridden? - Page 3

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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

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    01-31-2011, 08:00 PM
Green Broke
I also think riding and making them think keeps them entertained and mentally healthy. My boy Ducky, likes to find entertainment his way if not ridden... In the form of bad habits.

I also heard of one gelding that one time his owner thought he was getting to old to show, so stopped showing him (he did pole bending) The first show that they left him home all he did was run back and forth in his pasture. When they got home he had broken out in hives and was sweating like crazy. So they keep showing because he loved it so much.
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    01-31-2011, 08:23 PM
Oh lord. From my experiences with the horses I've ridden, they love their job. Mines a born show horse, and loves it. And it shows in his performance. If he doesn't want to do something, or isn't feeling well, he let's us know in his actions and we respect that. I let him out from time to time to let him run, and just be a horse. After about 15 minutes of walking about, eating some grass, and rolling, he's at the gate wanting to come back in. This is just my experience. And we do it with all of our old horses who we have tried to retire. We have older horses who just needed a new job, teaching little kids. They love it. When they don't feel well, or are tired, we give them their time.

Like some of the posters said, they're like people with jobs. Some are meant to be "workers" and some just aren't. It all just depends on the horse.

Just my little opinion(: it's not the gospel, so no need to attack or go against. Everyone has a right to their own opinion.
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    01-31-2011, 08:28 PM
I know that my horse hates winter time when she is basically a lawn ornament. She gets so bored. She loves to go riding though. We do trail riding, so maybe that's the difference, because I know that she doesn't like arena work. She'll come running across the pasture to be caught, jump into the trailer and trot down the trail with her ears perked forward. It makes me happy to know that she enjoys her work. :)
    01-31-2011, 08:38 PM
In General, horses are curious, active creatures. They like running around and "exploring" (as they don't explore the way we do.) While riding is not a natural activity to a horse, it provides mental and physical stimulation that otherwise might not be possible in the 2 acre pastures.

Sure it isn't the same stimulation that a feral horse would get within a herd roaming several hundred acres, but riding is set for our purpose as well as theirs. Its the same concept with dogs. Do you really think there are tennis balls in the wild that dogs play with? No. Humans gave dogs tennis balls to stimulate their natural prey drive and exersize their otherwise cooped-up pets.
    01-31-2011, 10:20 PM
Green Broke
In my opinion horses and any animal for that matter don't have the ability to think "hey, id much rather allow myself to be ridden in exchange for food & a home". They don't understand the term "earn my keep", all they know is that there is generally a good supply of food & water where they are and they learn to accept people and what is asked of them.

If (hypothetically) all humans were to disapear, horses would be perfectly capable of going back to their natural ways. They might anticipate people to bring them food, but they wouldnt worry about it when the oats didn't come around, they wouldn't fret because they aren't getting ridden and would learn to fend for themselves again.
Same goes for dogs. What certain breeds might see as a fun job herding sheep would eventually revert back to hunting the animals they once protected.

It's because we offer these animals a good supply of food & water so they don't have to find it for themselves, as well as shelter & protection that they are able to relax (so to speak) and focus their minds on other things.
    01-31-2011, 10:27 PM
Oh, I never meant to imply that they would understand that work=food and shelter, but I think (as a human) it's a preferable fate being a saddle horse than one out on the range.
    01-31-2011, 10:29 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt    
Oh, I never meant to imply that they would understand that work=food and shelter, but I think (as a human) it's a preferable fate being a saddle horse than one out on the range.
Oh I wasn't responding to what you said, just what other's have stated throughout the thread.
    01-31-2011, 10:31 PM
^^Agree, Knack, well said. I have a 30 year old arthritic AQHA mare who used to come running when she saw me at the gate. We quit using her when we got the gaited horses, about 3 years ago, so eventually when she came to the gate she learned that she got some loving but not work, and at one point I realized that she didn't bother coming all the way to the gate, as if to say "it's not for me so why bother..."

One day I had my girlfriend to visit and harnessed the mare to hitch her to the cart, and my friend and I both commented on how she perked up, ears forward, head up, energy in her step and so forth... it was like she was transformed when she realized she was going off property with us, and obvious that she was very happy to be out and about again. She hadn't been driven for at least a couple of years, and was a perfect lady....

(And -yes, we took it slow because of her age and condition...)
    01-31-2011, 11:43 PM
Ladytrails, I'm glad that the old mare got to go out! Sweet story, & an edifying one!
    02-01-2011, 03:47 PM
Originally Posted by Northern    
Ladytrails, I'm glad that the old mare got to go out! Sweet story, & an edifying one!
Thanks! Since then, we've tried to 'use' her a bit more bso that she stays mentally happy as well as physically fit, but we have to be careful. She needs bute for her old knees and that's not good for oldies on a regular basis...and at her last vet check he said she has a heart murmur. He also said she's in such good shape generally that she'll live to be 35....time to train her son to be the next best babysitter horse for little kids who come visit us. She is a treasure and we've been so lucky to have her. She has made a lot of kids very happy!

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