Were we young and foolish or were horses better back then?

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Were we young and foolish or were horses better back then?

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    05-28-2010, 01:52 AM
Were we young and foolish or were horses better back then?

In my 20 years of riding (10 competing) I've ridden some good horses. I've also ridden my fair share of stinkers, buckers...etc. In my memory, there wasn't a bad one in the bunch. Any horse was a trail horse, not a spooker to be found. The stable I grew up in did not have one horse that nipped or kicked. Horses were turned out with not a thought as to who didn't like who.

Now, at our barn, we are chock-full-o-issues. We have several horses with bucking problems, 2 who rear, 2 who wont let their feet be cleaned, 2 with food aggression, 3 bad spookers, 1 bratty foal, 1 houdini, 1 hot horse, 1 that wont move and so on...I thought it was just our barn and the coddling that goes on there. I've been considering a move and have visited 2 farms this week...they have the same thing! One barn is an all natural horsemanship barn who had some of the nastiest horses I've seen in a while. The other was an english show barn where 3/4 of the horses are kept stalled for the majority of the day because they 'just can't get along' out in the field.

So, what do you think? Are we spoiling our horses too much? Was I young and delerious? Or were horses better behaved and better trained back then?
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    05-28-2010, 02:04 AM
Well, am to young to know how horses back in the day acted but it seems to me, people stall there horses more now (due to showing) and the horses just become sour...? Blah, that was a stupid explanation, my barn is pretty calm though, the only horse drama we have is one horse doesn't like other herd mates.
    05-28-2010, 02:07 AM
I know a lot of my "Mentors" always told me that when they were young they didn't even think about th ehrose they just got on and rode. My Mom's first horse was an unbroke 4 year old arab/QH filly and she was fourteen and she broke the filly on her own (With no previous experience) then just got on and took off like a bullet. Said she was flat broke but any experienced horse trainer who got on her just laughed. Mom thought she was brilliant. Smae thing with my Aunt. She did the same thing. If you don't know any better, then every horse is a good horse. Looking back, Mom says she's amazed the filly didn't get her killed.
    05-28-2010, 02:08 AM
I heard this in a training seminar awhile back.... "humans are intelligent beings. As a result, we tend to over think everything" I think the statement is a true one. While there are some horses who just can't get along (two very stubborn horses of the same hierarchy in a small acreage, for example) with enough time, horses can generally sort it out themselves. We as humans can't seem to understand the 'nature take its course' approach--this has been said n this board before, but we tend to anamorphasize horses and as such, we keep them in stalls all day and limit their socialization time which in turn leads toll of the problems you listed (aggression, fighting horses, etc). Some horses do perfectly well, and some do not. I think the ones that don't fare well are the ones that we try the hardest to contain
    05-28-2010, 02:09 AM
Horses and kids, man.....seems like we've created all kinds of excuses for issues and behaviors that were just unacceptable back in the day. ;)
    05-28-2010, 02:15 AM
Originally Posted by corinowalk    

So, what do you think? Are we spoiling our horses too much? Was I young and delerious? Or were horses better behaved and better trained back then?
Yes people spoil horses at an amazing rate. Somehow it has gotten into the minds of so many horse people that mares can't behave like geldings, many horses don't like bits, you have to custom fit a saddle for every horse, horses must be blanketed at all times when the temperature gets below 70 degrees and horses will die if they don't get buckets of grain every day. It is impossible to convince people that horses are not terribly fragile.
    05-28-2010, 02:40 AM
The stud I ride it is the complete opposite. Think its because the horses are only a small part of the enterprise and there isnt a lot of money to waste with them. The whole herd of horses are turned out in the same paddock, never stabled. If horses don't get on, they're expected to sort it out themselves. Sure, this does lead to a few bite and kick marks but generally they sort it out after a while. The horses live on the veld/grass, just get a bit of extra hay in winter but no grain, no blankets, no shoes.

And as a result, they're some of the strongest and toughest little horses out there (granted, they are an indigenous breed). But then, it also has its down sides as the horses lose condition in winter (dont worry, they don't look emaciated, they're just a bit skinny), sometimes they're expected to get through diseases/wounds on their own (and they do get over diseases that often kill other horses).

So I don't know, guess its a mixture out there. I think it also depends on type of horses people have. And I also think, from a riding point of view, people are 1) far more cautious now a days and 2) a lot of people now take the horse's experience/mind in consideration (perhaps in some cases, to an extreme) so 'breaking in a horse' has changed, how we train animals has changed etc.
    05-28-2010, 02:48 AM
Green Broke
Yes, haha way to many people spoil their horses way to much... But Its not even like spoiling them, it just ruins their minds. No horse likes to be stalled all day. But I'm pretty sure horses were bad back then to, just not the same kind of bad. ;)
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    05-28-2010, 09:01 AM
We create our horses. The horse has not changed since "back in the day", but the person has. I've found that the best thing to create a quiet barn is to remember that every horses first priority is their safety. Then also remember that their interpretation of safety is not a strong stall and perfect fencelines with manicured pastures and timely feedings. They think of safety as a strong herd with reliable leadership. Our society has created a lot of insecure people throuh different trends, ads, making things too easy to the point that people have nothing better to do than to think about what others opinions are of them. Its rare to find an honestly confident person anymore, which is why it is rare to find an honestly confident horse, because they are what we create. Like someone mentioned before, its not just horses, it transfers to children and other pets as well. One of my students parents brought out their young dog who behaved just as poorly as their children, no surprise there. My "right hand" weimeraner just gazed up at me like "seriously, I am supposed to interact with that?". Its funny how those children have come along and listen to me better than they listen to their parents.

Like mentioned by someone else, I have definitely noticed how horses that are less pampered seem to have far less problems. I only stall my horses because I'm limited on pasture, but they have no set schedule, they go out when I get to it, they come in when I get to it. They are not at all sensitive if I get a different kind of hay. Yet I know other people that are off by 10 minutes from their feeding schedule and their horse throws itself into such a tizzie that it colics or hurts itself.

Horses weren't better, people were.
    05-28-2010, 09:24 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by BrewCrew    
Horses and kids, man.....seems like we've created all kinds of excuses for issues and behaviors that were just unacceptable back in the day. ;)
BINGO! More was expected and less was accepted (of both horses and kids).

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