So as of about a year ago when I got Alli, I used to have lessons at a stables once a week and knew a fair few of the horses were grumpy sometimes and you had to keep your wits about you, but recently I have spent a couple of days helping the yard out and was shocked at how unhappy the horses appeared!
Horses that were big softies a year or more ago now try to take chunks out of you when rugging up, horses that are calm in the stable are finger eating feinds in the ring and a couple are quite timid and shy, pin their ears when you walk past their door.
But I found most of these horses were so much kinder and more complient when you just spent some time showing them you are there to give them a scratch and a good groom but do not accept bitting etc. It also upsets me that these horses are so clearly unhappy, but customers just think they are rude nippy kicky animals.
I don't get it! How can the barn owners not see these horses are unhappy because their students are disrespectful and badly treating their horses?! The BOs themselves of course love their horses and try to give them everything they need, but their students just seem to disrespect the ponies regardless.
Also during the lessons, the one small kid especially had no respect for their pony, smacking them with a crop when it hadnt done anything wrong. Said child stopped hitting her pony when the instructor looked so clearly knew it was wrong, but why the hell were they doing it in the first place??
I think every person that comes into the school should be given a 5 minute talk about respecting their pony as he is doing a good job for them. Something along the lines of 'being respectful means the pony is calm and well behaved in return, and the pony is doing a great deal of good work for you in your lesson so be kind enough to praise him when he does well and only use the whip when he is actually naughty'
Has anyone esle seen this in riding school/centre horses and ponies? It angers and upsets me to see these beautiful creatures taken for granted and treated like stupid fools by ignorant adults and children who don't know any better :'(