How to politely tell some one they can't ride your horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 62 Old 02-09-2013, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bear Creek, Wa
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How to politely tell some one they can't ride your horse?

Why is it that just b/c you have a horse, people think its okay to ride it? I would never ask if I could take some ones car or husband for a spin, or ask to borrow their dog.

So one of my old co-workers and his wife are renting our other house from us. We don't hang out but it wouldn't be out of place if we did. She called and told me she had repaired something (fine, it was expected) but then we got to talking and she said "Hey can I come out and ride your horse this weekend?"

I was so taken aback that I spouted off some very true but lame reasons why not, "She's a pretty advanced horse and she's kind of mean".

Seriously though, she's a 16.3, 1450 lbs Swedish Warmblood Alpha Mare, who was competing at 4th level Dressage before taking the last year off to foal and is only now just after weaning starting to get back to being ridden.

I tried telling her that, but since she's not a horse person, it doesn't mean anything. All she said was, "Why would you have a mean horse?"

I tried explaining that she's tests riders and if she sense you don't know what you're doing she will pull wonky tricks until you either get scared or fall off. (If she thinks you know what you're doing she's an angel and is highly sensitive and responsive.)

But she still assumes she can ride my horse and its just a matter of scheduling.

How can I tell someone I have a personal and business relationship with, that she is not good enough to ride my horse?
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post #2 of 62 Old 02-09-2013, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
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Just tell her, no, this is an expensive horse that I don't let others ride, sorry.
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post #3 of 62 Old 02-09-2013, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ashland, OR
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Tell her like it is.

I don't let anyone ride Selena unless it's someone I know and trust (My Mom or my trainer) or my cousin, but she's six and only wants to walk around.

My friend wanted to run Selena in poles and I thought, okay, let her try.

After a ride or two it became obvious she was not going to be able to handle her. It was a mess, she was going to undo the work I had done with my horse, I told her Selena was too much for her and I would prefer she not run her.
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Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #4 of 62 Old 02-09-2013, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
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Write out a huge great disclaimer, absolving you if any responsibility in the event of your horse bucking, rearing, running off etc etc etc.

Then add a few clauses about how you can reclaim money from her if a ride by a novice rider upsets your mares training.

If she signs it then let her ride


Just smile politely and say "No, you can't ride my horse, I don't allow anyone else to ride her"


You could say yeah sure, you can ride my horse If I can sleep with your husband.

I vote for choice 2, just very nicely say no, it's your horse, it's up to you who rides her, no need to make excuses, justify or even apologize.
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post #5 of 62 Old 02-09-2013, 06:50 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
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Just be frank with her. Tell her that you don't want her getting hurt and your mare is just the kind of horse that could/would hurt her, just by testing her. Or just say that you don't let other people ride your horse, period. I've had to do the same thing, but it was a guy at work asking if he could ride my green-as-grass coming 4yo draft cross gelding who I've only let my trainer friend and my best friend ride (both of whom know exactly how I want him trained/handled).
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post #6 of 62 Old 02-09-2013, 06:50 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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Tell them you don't have liability coverage for non-family members.

If married, blame your husband. That is what my wife would do..."He won't let anyone ride the horses! He's paranoid, but what can I do?"

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #7 of 62 Old 02-09-2013, 06:52 PM
Join Date: Dec 2012
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i tell people no, unless its a pony ride for kids in the family. im not training my horse to let others ride it. i say politely 'no, ive put to much work into said horse and he/she is NOT a beginners horse and you dont need to get hurt'
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post #8 of 62 Old 02-09-2013, 06:52 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Dallas, NC
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I don't mind people asking to ride, though I don't let but a few (very few) ride my gelding. My mare, no. Everyone has to start somewhere to ride, who else to ask but a horse person? And them not being a horse person (at least not yet) don't know what they don't know. I just explain why, they seem to understand. I usually kindly direct them to a local rental stable (with good healthy, well cared for horses) to get started.
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post #9 of 62 Old 02-09-2013, 06:53 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Middle Tennessee
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Under these delicate circumstances, I would say:

1. I don't have liability to cover anyone but myself or my husband (as the Owners) to ride the horse.

2. Horses have varied personalities and levels of schooling. She is not your ordinary backyard/pasture pet that just anybody can ride.

3. She recently had a baby, sometimes has Post-Partem Syndrome, and will most likely remain 1,500 pounds worth of hormonal until her system gets back to normal from nursing a baby.

4. She is essentially a college graduate with a _______ degree in Dressage (what would 4th level dressage equal in a human degree?) That means she is extremely sensitive to physical signals; inadvertently giving her the wrong signal at the wrong time could end up with you "falling" off.

4.1 Annnnd that goes back to number one regarding no liability insurance

I have found more-often-than-not, if you can translate horse talk into language non-horse people understand, they have a more clear understanding, and hopefully fear, of why they don't need to get on your horse

I have been riding and training trail horses 53 of my 65 years and I wouldn't ask to ride your highly schooled horse for fear of giving it the wrong signals. There's a big difference between riding a trail horse and riding 4th level Dressage

And for that fact, she wouldn't be riding my trail horses either. In this day and age of law suits, I would simply say "nupe, you can't ride, I'm not watching you get dumped and land in the ER at my expense

I hope this helps

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.
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post #10 of 62 Old 02-09-2013, 06:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
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I would tell her I'm old school and if she touches my horse again without my permission I would not be above cutting someone's hands off.

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