Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northern Illinois
I helped run a therapeutic riding program for 3 years. The horses DO get sour sometimes. The BEST mare that we had one day decided she was not going to do this anymore, and we retired her to be a trail horse. It is not safe at all to ask a horse to do something like that when they have a bad attitude. They are not stupid, they KNOW it is harder to discipline them when they have a child on their back. They figure it out quick.
I did have one mare that would occasionally get p*ssy with me. She never acted out though. When she would do this, I would saddle her up after the session and trail ride her for a few hours. She LOVED trail rides and this would put her back into "work" mode. Kept her mind fresh so to speak. She was an Arabian, one of the smartest horses I've ever met, and she knew she could get away with more when she had a disabled kid on her back. But the more she got out and blew off some steam, the better she was when she was working as a therapy horse.
So with this one, either find a way for this horse to be freshened, or retire her. It is part of the business of therapeutic riding to have horses go in and out, and it is up to us as responsible horseman to listen to the horses, let them tell us when they are needing retirement, and then find them proper homes, and find a horse better suited for the job. We now have 2 VERY steady horses that love their job (and it shows), and 2 more that are in training still. The ones that love the job are out there, but it takes some time to find them. It should be expected though in this kind of business.
** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **