What makes a kid safe horse?

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What makes a kid safe horse?

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  • Can a three year old horse be gentle enough for a kid
  • How to make a horse child safe

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    03-13-2013, 11:23 PM
What makes a kid safe horse?

Hi everyone, newbie here, so I hope this is the right place. If it is not, I apologize, and please move.

I was just wondering, what do you think makes a horse "kid safe"? And what kind of temper and training should a horse have before you can SELL and MARKET said horse as "kid safe"?

I ask this because I am having a disagreement with someone. I believe a kid safe horse needs to be gentle, easy to handle, not very spooky. ( A spook here & there maybe, but constant spooking at everything "odd" is not okay! ) I think this horse should have ZERO buck, bolt, or rear. The horse doesn't have to be a super well trainer high class show, just been around enough to have seen things, tried out different disciplines, know how to accept strange situations. I think its really about the horse's mind, and temperment. So that is my definition of what a kid safe horse should be.

Here's the thing. I know a girl,a so called ''trainer'' and her barn manger, who are selling a horse a kid safe. Now, I want to talk to them, explain why I don't think that horse should be a kid horse. This horse been known to have bucked and have bad habits under saddle. Loses her mind, cannot do barrels because freaks out, for example. They claim, this horse is cured. I don't think got a horse with these bad habits can ''cured''. I think they should the new owners. In the sale ad they say kid safe. Last time I talked to the girl she told me that in the last 6 months they have had kids ride this horse and have had 0 problems so far. So she doesn't think its a big deal.

I think a horse with a problem past should NEVER be called kid safe.
Note** : This horse has had more problems, I'm just stating briefly what she has been known to do.
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    03-14-2013, 12:06 AM
This was suppose to go in 'Horse Talk'. Not sure how I managed to put it here. Mods please move it?
    03-14-2013, 01:52 AM
Green Broke
I would say a bullet to the head is pretty much it.
No living breathing thinking 1000 lb animal is ever going to be 100% safe. Some are more docile than others, but they are still 1000 lb animals with a brain of their own, and if they get a notion they are going to do something, not really a whole lot you can do to stop it.
People wanna bicker of what is kid safe and what isnt but then you see the kids running all around the horse with flip flops on and riding with no helmets.
    03-14-2013, 06:31 PM
Your reservations about selling this horse as kid safe are in my opinion valid. It's obvious from the info you have about it that whatever training it had was based on fear and punishment, which rules out its being at all trustworthy. It's true there's no such thing as a truly "bombproof" horse, but sometimes an older horse that's been through the experiences you described with a credible behavior history can function as a "kid safe" horse with proper supervision and observation of safety measures, ie: rider w/helmet and basic lessons in how to act around a horse. Good luck in trying to prevent an unsafe situation for a child with this horse.
Wheatermay likes this.
    03-14-2013, 06:44 PM
While, for the most part, I would agree with you that a horse with a "troubled" past should never be considered a kid horse....I actually lived the exact opposite. The horse that I grew up on had hurt a couple of cowboys very badly and was being shipped directly to the killer by his owner when my Dad picked him off the truck (against the owner's recommendation).

A few years later, after some serious training done by my Dad, he sort of stumbled into becoming a kid horse (long story). But, I believe the thing that made him an outlaw was the exact same thing that made him a great kid horse. That horse is the only one I've ever met that simply wasn't scared of anything.

All that being said, a problem horse can't be "cured" in just a few months, if they ever are. It takes a very unusual horse to go from having issues to being kid safe, and it takes a very talented and experienced trainer to get the work done and make that decision as to whether the horse is ready or not.

The biggest problem I see? People greatly underestimate what a good kid horse should be. They believe that a kid horse doesn't need to be well-trained, just good natured. While a good natured horse is a big plus, if they don't have the training to allow the child to ride properly and easily (without pulling and yanking and constantly kicking to get them to do anything), then they shouldn't be a kid horse at all.

Edited to add:

This is my idea of a perfect type of kid horse. Notice that the horse is responsive to whatever the kid asks without being too reactive. While I don't believe that every child/beginner needs to have a horse trained to the world champion level, they should be supple and responsive and do exactly what they're told without too much effort on the rider's part.
    03-14-2013, 07:40 PM
Nobody knows the exact situation, and there are always two sides to every story. Example: before I purchased my horse, I was told he attacked other horses in the arena / bucked / kicked / was crazy. Test rode him and he was a perfect angel, have had him for over a year and never ONCE has he made any indication he would do any of the above. Good thing I didn't listen to someone I don't know. I know los of horses that through their training history have been full of bucks and spooks, but as they got more training calmed down considerably and are horses I would consider 'kid safe'. You say she 'claims' the horse has been fixed... well how do you know it hasn't been? While I agree horses with extreme problem pasts don't make the best kid horses, we don't know enough from reliable sources to tell you if it is / isn't.
    03-14-2013, 08:19 PM
Green Broke
Ill be back with my stories..don't have enough battery on my phone right now, lol.

I'll say it has to do with a rearer, a kicker, and an ottb.
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    03-14-2013, 08:24 PM
My gelding is considered kids safe but I'd never market him that way if I sold him. My 4 year old son can ride him, lead him, pick his feet, and load him in a trailer. He is spook proof, has been shot off of, used to drag things, ponied other horses, been extensively trail ridden and shown with no issues. However he can get pretty hot in speed courses and he gets worked up of other horses take off and leave him behind. He will remain behind but he's just begging you to ask him to go. Is he kids safe, yes under most conditions but kids don't always put themselves in just safe situations so ALL situations need I be considered. So no I don't think the horse in question is kid safe n
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horse happy and LisaG like this.
    03-14-2013, 09:18 PM
Green Broke
Alrighty..now, it all depends on who you're selling to and what the horse will be doing, in my opinion.

Let's start with Dude. Dude had a horrible rearing problem and I was the one that got stuck working with him (BO wanted to turn me away from horses without actually saying/doing it herself). But, Dude was/is a beautiful PMU foal that matured to a 16.2hh Flaxen Chestnut with Sabino, clydeXpaint gelding.
Dude reared as soon as something past walking forward was asked of him..You wanted to stop? He stopped and went straight up. You wanted to turn? Straight up he went. Wanted a sidepass? Straight up again. Wanted hin to go downhill or across mud/water? Still, he went straight up. Wanted to back up and he just about flipped himself over.
After about 3-4 months of me working with him and gaining his respect/trust and I'd have thrown a kid up on him for a trail ride, leading or following. He neck reined, never reared not once after the first 2 months, never spooked, etc. If someone wanted to buy him as a trail horse for their child, I'd have said he was a perfect candidate. If someone wanted to buy him as a show/gaming horse I probably would've laughed. He could show pleasure and trail, but he wasn't built to jump soundly, he was much too excited for games (he LOVED*it), but he could take both a pleasure and a trail class easily if the child learned his cues.

Lucky..well, she was the kicker. When I was still leasing her, I'd have her pegged as a perfect next step from the 4h pony. After 5 rides on her, she's never kicked (aside from her old owner..but she was ridiculously stupid, a 2yr old knows better than her). She only kicked at other horses/dogs/trees, never a person (I could jump up and down behind her). I'd be ease-minded to toss a kid on her and send her out on a trail leading or bringing up the rear, maybe in the middle. I'd toss a kid who knew how to ride and throw her in an arena to run barrels. She runs automatic, takes her pockets, and needs a bit of encouragement on the run home. When I first started riding her, I had to tell the gate keepers to keep the gate open and stand behind it when we went in/out. After one show we had no more problems with that, amd neither has anyone else. If you can show her that you're boss, she'd do anything she would for a kid that she would for me. Showing her you're boss wasn't hard either. If you whacked her when she tried to bite the first time (her first step of "testing", she never did it again and listened just as well. She could probably use a once a year tune up on being responsive and supple, she'd have been a great horse as a "next step" from the pony.

Alahna..I'd probably sell as a kids trail horse right now, even with only having her for 2 weeks with minimal training done. She will walk wherever you point her on the trail, never spooked, etc. If she gets loose (my fault lol), she'll meander back to the barn and stand at the gate. I mean, personally, I'd never sell her until I finished her in something and put beginners/kids on her at a show to show that she's kid safe..but I could advertise her as such and mean it, as a trail horse anyway.
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    03-14-2013, 10:37 PM
Nice to hear everyone's stories, and opinions.
Smrobs, that video is awesome. That kid and his horse are amazing. I wish I was that good.
Pocco1220, we have every similar opinions. Your horse sounds lovely, and you seem very responsible.
Iseul, sounds like after some though work you really turned that boy around. I know other people who have had stories like that. While it's rare, I enjoy hearing about horses who have made a complete 180.

Originally Posted by alexischristina    
Nobody knows the exact situation, and there are always two sides to every story. Example: before I purchased my horse, I was told he attacked other horses in the arena / bucked / kicked / was crazy. Test rode him and he was a perfect angel, have had him for over a year and never ONCE has he made any indication he would do any of the above. Good thing I didn't listen to someone I don't know. I know los of horses that through their training history have been full of bucks and spooks, but as they got more training calmed down considerably and are horses I would consider 'kid safe'. You say she 'claims' the horse has been fixed... well how do you know it hasn't been? While I agree horses with extreme problem pasts don't make the best kid horses, we don't know enough from reliable sources to tell you if it is / isn't.
In the OP I just glanced over what this horse & her new ''trainer'' have done. I kept it short to get to the point, and to not bash the ''trainer'' (& I use that term loosely..). I just wanted opinions about, " What is a kid horse?" Can a problem horse become a good kid horse? Get different opinions. But please understand, this horse & the girl are dangerous. Although I do respect that you are taking this on a forum with a grain a salt.

This girl has a tendency to lie. I think she may have a disorder that causes compulsive lying. She tells people she has trained with Ian Millar, Eric Lamaze or in Europe. She is 22, and I have known her since grade four. She has gone to Europe once for a highschool trip, and she lives in Western Canada.
Her first horse, she claimed was a sabino TB. And he was reg'd as a TB. She had him listed for sale, with his reg'd name.. He is a reg'd solid paint. Closest TB is 4 generations back. Told people he won 50k in shows, some people did a look up on him. He was shown once, before this girl bought him.
This horse was given to her because she told the owner she was a trainer, and could work with a problem horse. She work this mare for a year and a half. She's been telling people that she's owned this horse for three years. I know for a fact she met the mare's former owner a year and a half ago. They met AFTER my first horse show. The moment she legally owned the horse, the mare went up for sale for 3k. (One month ago) See where this lying I was talking about?

This horse has bucked, I have seen it. The girl told me, the mare has never bucked. I stated that I saw her kick out with both hind legs at head height at a fun event. She told me, "Oh that's just a thing she does when she canters."
She advertising as an experienced barrel racer. This horse can walk a barrel pattern, but any faster, and she freaks out, gets excited violently tosses her head and bucks.
She is now bashing the former owner. Claiming the horse is calm and sane. When asked about the horse's past, she claims the last owner is a beginner who has not clue what she's doing & the horse spooked once, former owner fell, then tried to ship the horse. None of that is true.
Okay.. This rant needs to stop now. Sorry, for the rant. But I needed to get that out. I could go on for pages.

bucking, kid safe, selling

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