"One person" Horses? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 07-18-2011, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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"One person" Horses?

So my question is simple, can a horse really be a "one person" horse? I only ask, because of this other horse that I tried out (that threw me off) at the place I tried Flash at. Basically when I got off, the owner who is only 23 years old told me that it took her 3 months to be able to ride her because she had to get used to her voice. She hopped on her for a few minutes, basic W/T/C and hopped off and didn't have a problem. In fact, this mare had beautiful gates. But when I hopped on, she started bopping her head and then I lightly tapped her and she picked up a steady trot and got faster, and before I knew it she was at a full gallop and took off with me. I went around the ring probably 3 times in a matter of 15-20 seconds.

Now my thing is, do you think this horse really is a one person horse and needs to really get used to me? Or was it a case that she was just testing me as a horse to see what I was like, how I handled her, etc? Or is she just a horse that really isn't used to more than one person?

She was a polo horse for a while (she's 11 now) and was abused, and this 23 year old does seem pretty knowledgeable but she doesn't have the money to care for the horses right now and she says she wants to give this mare away before she gives away Flash. Now that's not to say I'm going to take this mare and she'll be mine and be done with it. But Flash is only a lease and after 6 months-1 year if she decides that she wants to show him she's going to keep him.

So that's basically just a question I'd like to know. I might sound crazy but would getting a trainer to help me work with her be possible?

I'll take all the opinions I can get! Thanks!

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post #2 of 24 Old 07-18-2011, 02:50 PM
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Yes, one of my horses is true one-person horse (other one prefers me over others). Not the best thing should I add - creates problems in long run.

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post #3 of 24 Old 07-18-2011, 03:10 PM
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The gelding I bought for my husband and son has quickly become my horse and my horse only!! His first job was at a boys camp, so that pretty much ruined him at the start! Two more owners (good and decent horse-people) before I got him. In spite of his issues, I wouldn't trade him for anything.
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post #4 of 24 Old 07-18-2011, 03:14 PM
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I encountered this issue with Savanna. A woman came to look at her for a possible trade (to be used at a horse camp) and Savanna refused jumps with her that she's been over several times with me. She wouldn't let the woman saddle her, but I could throw the saddle right up on her back. She kept spooking at things she'd seen a hundred times when this lady was on her. Savanna knows and trusts me, which is most likely why all she'll do is LOOK at something scary, but I can guide her by it with a little encouragement and she'll pass it. Chicken wire sitting on the ground - VERY SPOOKY! But not if momma is telling her it's okay! ;)


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post #5 of 24 Old 07-18-2011, 03:15 PM
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I ride with an instructor who has a "one person" horse. His mare Annie is extremely well trained and does just about everything; reining, cattlework, trails, halter. She really is a beautiful well trained mare...when he rides her.

When I get on her, her demeanor noticeably changes. She won't do things as well for me as she would for my instrutor. She'll throw some mini hissy fits if she doesn't want to do something, and I have to ask, tell, then demand demand demand demand before she'll do it. If my instructor asked her for the same task, she'd have done it after the tell stage. When I go out to catch her in the pasture, she'll walk away from me for a good 3-4 mintues before she "surrenders". If my instructor comes out with her halter, she'll stand still as a statue til he asks her to move.

I think the "one person" horse is a facinating thing to see. Its great if you're the person the horse has bonded so strongly with...not so great if you aren't though.
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post #6 of 24 Old 07-18-2011, 03:21 PM
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My colt just arrived at the barn on Saturday, and I'm already beginning to see signs that he COULD turn into a one-person horse. I'm not certain if it's because he feels insecure in his new place and I'm a familiar face (he met me a few times before arriving at the new barn), but he always calls to me, comes right to me and stays near me when I'm wandering around his pen and working with him.

To help counteract this, I bring new people every time I visit him and have them feed him or groom him or lead him around. I would like him to get used to being handled by numerous people in hopes that he doesn't view me as THE sole bringer of food and goodness. I want him to trust me completely, but I also want him to be familiar with other people and accept their leadership.
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post #7 of 24 Old 07-18-2011, 03:22 PM
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yep my mares pretty much a one person horse in the sense that she will go fine without a second doubt when i'm on her however when someone else gets on her she will misbehave until they can show her they're boss and put her in her place which takes some time.
Also as kitten_val says it creates problems in the long run. My cousins boyfriend came to try whiskey out as a potential loan for a few months. and as soon as he got on her, her head was up, she was snorting at everything and she refused to settle down and just took off. Also another time i rode my horse 21 miles, however on the last two miles i could feel my ankle going to give way (i have a weak ankle due to injury's) so my cousins friend offered to ride her the last two miles (my cousin and her friend met me in the car at the last two and a half miles) however when she got on, whiskey hit reverse and no amount of encouragement would get her going forward unless i walked with her.
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post #8 of 24 Old 07-18-2011, 03:36 PM
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my gal Sour was actually a NO person horse up until I started working with her, and I still wonder if we really have a bond, or if I just annoy her until she submisses. She's definately one of those extremely marish horses, who does what she wants when she wants. With me though, there are some obviouse difference than if a stranger approached her. With just anyone, she won't think twice before nailing them in the face with either her feet or her teeth, but with me, there is atleast that degree of respect. She may not like what we're doing, but she'll comply. So yes, I do think there are one-person horses. I also think that this can and should be overcome though, as sometimes it becomes dangerous.

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post #9 of 24 Old 07-18-2011, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses, everyone is being really helpful. Now my other question is, would a trainer be something to really consider if I wanted to work with her? Or should I just move on because there are so many horses out there, and just start with the lease on Flash? Then once the lease is over then start looking at other horses if I'm not offered to buy him?

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post #10 of 24 Old 07-18-2011, 06:14 PM
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I think it is quite common, actually. Not so much that a horse is a 'one person' horse, but that given opportunity, many horses will be lazy or misbehave.
My horse, for instance, can be difficult for other people to get him to canter. I had 2 friends out, one he wouldn't lope at all, the other maybe 4 strides. I got on, just say 'come on', and he lopes beautifully around the field with no resistance. Not because I am the be all and end all of riders, he just knows by now that I won't take any bs.
The dude horses when I worked at a ranch were notorious for blatantly ignoring cues if they did not know their rider.
This is why you hear countless stories of how horses 'change' when they are sold. They are no longer under the watchful eye of 'mom' or 'dad', and they will test you.
So if you are really interested in this horse, I would spend a little more time. The horse is obviously capable of riding well, he just wants to make sure You know what you are doing. :)
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