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Yeah, But, MY Horse…

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  • How are excuses are like dead horses

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    03-21-2013, 03:36 PM
  #11
Super Moderator
I totally 100% agree with the link.

HOWEVER.
Not to "beat a dead horse" but I spent the first 3 years I had with my mare behaving in the "recommended" way. She'd get balky about something or other and I would "do the 'right' thing" and MAKE her do whatever it was. I would get on her case when she came into my space or swung her head too close to me while I was leading her.
I was the absolute opposite of making excuses for her. I told her to do something and she DID IT, often without any sort of grace, but she did what I asked.

Then, about a year ago, it turned out that she has and has had a degenerative eye disease that has rendered her nearly blind. She was nearly blind while I was asking her to cross deep water, canter jumps, navigate steep muddy hills, etc. Thing she did not want to do but since I wasn't going to make excuses for her, she did them.
We could have been seriously injured because I was looking at her behavior through a "no excuses" mindset.

I still don't make excuses for her but instead of thinking "no excuses" first thing, I think "what's scary about this?" first, then we deal with the worry. She still does exactly what I ask her to do but I'm more empathetic about it. If she's uncomfortable with something, like navigating a steep slippery hill, we might take one small step on the hill (so she does what I asked her to do), then we go around the hill.

Basically my point is that we, as horse owners/trainers/carers, need to look at our horses through a lens of reasonable empathy. We most definitely should not be making excuses for our horses' bad behavior but we need to be benevolent about it - use a lens of empathy and consider WHY the horse might be putting up a fuss, then deal with that issue.



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    03-21-2013, 04:12 PM
  #12
Super Moderator
So very true!
It reminds me of an incident many years ago.
I was working with an Irish horse dealer. A rather nervous lady called and wanted a 'quiet' horse. We had a very suitable animal for her but, she had a horse she wanted to part exchange.
The said horse was a TB stallion. Now, this would not be a problem but seeing the horse would decide on a price to allow for him.
We arrived, with her new horse, to her stables. The stallion was parading in hos stable and when George asked for it to be seen outside the woman said "Yes but, he hasn't been out for a week."
George went in to catch him and was met with ears back and trying to bite.
"Yes but it is natural as he is a stallion."
George told me to get my hat and the owner to get the tack.
"Yes but he broke the reins by chewing through them."
Next thing I was on this stud with two halter ropes as reins.
Everything the horse did wrong (which was just about everything) the retort always began "Yes but.."
The horse was over fresh, napped and was a pig to ride. That was fair. A price was decided and next thing George returned with my whip and spurs.
I set about riding this horse. A couple of hard whacks and him feeling the difference between a passenger and a rider and he began to work and work well.
Every time I was in earshot I could hear the woman saying "Yes but......"

The horse went well, He jumped like a stag and George hollered at me to jump the rails out of the field and jump a log at the end of the field.

As he sailed the rails I heard "Yes but ..." and cantered across the neighbours fie,d heading towards a fallen tree at the far end.
The field was slightly uphill and the tree on the brow. I could see that there was a drop the other side and was prepared for it.
The horse stood to far off and leapt the moon, I slipped my reins and sat back bracing against my stirrups.
There seemed to be no landing! Next thing we hit about 4' of water. The poor horse never stood a chance of remaining on his feet and went right under - as did I!
On regaining my feet I was chest deep in water. The horse was just standing shaking his head. The water was filthy, it stank once disturbed and horse and I were both black and had strands of duck weed hanging from us.
We waded out as George and woman ran up. The first words were "Yes but there is a pond the other side!"

Hosing us both off helped a tad but I was pleased to get into a hot bath and change of clothes!
     
    03-21-2013, 04:27 PM
  #13
Trained
ROFL!!
You're pretty brave.

Reminds me of "Spaceballs"--
"I'm going down."
"I wouldn't."
     
    03-21-2013, 04:59 PM
  #14
Yearling
You got on a horse you didn't know, jumped the fence and proceeded to jump a downed tree with no knowledge of what was on the other side? And then jumped it without caution and caused the horse to crash?

I would have told you to get off the horse, take your own horse home and get off my property.

I would have never been so livid in my entire life.
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    03-21-2013, 06:02 PM
  #15
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperhead    
You got on a horse you didn't know, jumped the fence and proceeded to jump a downed tree with no knowledge of what was on the other side? And then jumped it without caution and caused the horse to crash?

I would have told you to get off the horse, take your own horse home and get off my property.

I would have never been so livid in my entire life.
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By that time the horse was not hers - the deal had been done and it belonged to George and me!

It was not the most sensible thing to do but, having followed Foxhounds most part of my life, it is nothing to be jumping blind.

I do not need to 'know' a horse before I get on it and ride it. After I have ridden it for a short time I can give you a pretty good assessment of what it can and cannot do.

It did the horse no harm at all - or luckily me! We had him gelded three days later, within a month he was out Fox Hunting for a half day, (he needed to get a lot fitter for a full day) and was sold for a lot of money very soon after.

Most of the Irish people who are on this forum will know just how 'wild' many of the Irish can be. I have known them sit on a horse a couple of times and have it out Fox Hunting the following day. Yet the Irish are renowned for some of the best horses in the world especially if you want a horse with brains.
I can tell you that we were turning around about 40 horses a month. It was a business, horses came over the England from Eire, we sold most to horse dealers so they were off one horsebox and onto another.

It was nothing to get straight on them bareback with just a rope halter and ride them about - often in the dark for these waiting dealers to se them. Hadn't a clue as to whether they had ever been ridden before or not but the long trip and strange place seemed to keep them steady. I can honestly say that I never got dropped by one of them although the odd one or two would be a bit sharp.

Things have changed over the years doesn't mean that what we did was wrong.

Oh, I have often gone to different places and ridden many loaned horses out Fox Hunting you just get on and go.
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    03-21-2013, 06:24 PM
  #16
Started
Over a log right into a pond! Sounds like a hair-raising cross country course. Mr. Yes-But knew you meant business.

Being a devout coward, I'm happy these days with forward movement at a slow pace.
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    03-21-2013, 07:29 PM
  #17
Weanling
It all speaks to the fact that few people grow up with horses, and that most are NOT taught how to be horseman and treat horses as equines rather than large puppy dogs
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    03-21-2013, 07:35 PM
  #18
Yearling
"But she is a mare in heat!". I have heard that one a lot.
     
    03-21-2013, 10:00 PM
  #19
Yearling
I used to train fox hunters at a well known facility, and I've been on high speed chases for hours. Ill never agree with that kind of negligent riding. That horse is lucky you didn't break him. It's never sensible to use the excuse "I'm a fox hunter" for reckless riding. I've seen people broken by that sort of "I'm a fox hunter" mentality (and my old boss knew of people who died) and I saw two horses destroyed because of that sort if riding on the hunt.

The fox is never that important. And for the record, the facility I worked for held one of the highest catch counts in the USA for game. We took it very seriously.
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    03-21-2013, 10:32 PM
  #20
Yearling
I would also like to add that I have seen people dismissed from a hunt due to reckless riding and kicked off of guest horses. Fox hunting is dangerous enough while riding smart, it's deadly when you don't use the caution you need to. All of our kills were obtained while riding intelligently, not carelessly.
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