Why choose a horse that is not "bombproof"? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 34 Old 07-18-2013, 12:38 PM
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Just wanted to add that "bombproof" does not guarantee that there will not be bucking, rearing, etc. A calm temperment doesn't assure that either. If you're inexperienced the best thing you can do for yourself and your future equine partner is to find a trainer or someone you really really trust to to and check out horses with you - including doing a test ride before you.
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post #12 of 34 Old 07-18-2013, 12:49 PM
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Great replies, everyone.

I also want to add that just because a horse is higher (5+) on the temperament/energy scale doesn't mean it CAN'T be a lovely horse. My 5 year old miniature mare is very high energy. Loves to 'GO GO GO' and constantly be learning and working on something, and hates to just sit around. However, she's just about as dependable in a cart as our Shetland gelding who is as close to bombproof as a horse can get. NOTHING fazes him, he's lazy, and he's very 'ladida' about everything. He's a great pony, but I prefer my mare to him because she has that little bit of extra 'pizzaz' that makes her want to try harder. He has to REALLY be motivated to move out past a slow jog, but my mare is very happy to do whatever gait I ask her to do, over any obstacle, in just about any circumstance. With a very inexperienced driver she might be harder to handle than the gelding is just because she is SO light in the mouth, but otherwise she's quiet as can be because she has been taught not to react to scary stimuli and she's very fun to drive because she has that 'Whats next? Trot? What speed?GREAT! I love to trot!!! ' attitude while the gelding is more of a '*sigh*, are we done yet? No? Do I realllly have to trot? Fine.' Different people prefer different energy levels, but just because a horse is 'hot' doesn't mean it is always prone to blow up or act like an idiot. It just means it has more 'go' than the average horse.
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post #13 of 34 Old 07-18-2013, 12:51 PM
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I had a horse that was close to bomb proof. It took a lot to spook him and the last couple years I owned him I can't think of anything that did.

But he was not a horse for beginners. He was a very dominant horse with strong opinions and he could take advantage of a situation in a blink of an eye if the rider was not paying attention.

On the other hand, my TB mare can be a bit spooky at things - not bad, but most definately more reactive than the other horse - but she is a great riding horse and very easy to get along with. I've never had her try to take advantage during a ride and I would trust her with most advanced beginners who can follow basic directions. Its a balancing act of different traits and training to get the horse that is right for you.

Think of it this way - a horse who has never been trained under saddle can still be bomb proof and not spooky about things. But due to his lack of training he would never be a suitable mount for a beginner rider.
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post #14 of 34 Old 07-18-2013, 01:10 PM
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Other people have answered many of your questions, but I wanted to give you an answer about why a horse who is low on the temperament scale might need an experienced rider. I have a four-year-old pony who would probably be a 2 on the temperament scare because he is calm, non-spooky, and a touch lazy. However, if I were to advertise him, I would say he needs an experienced rider because he has only been ridden for two months, and he still needs a rider who will make him do what the rider wants him to. In the future, he will probably be suitable for a beginner.
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post #15 of 34 Old 07-18-2013, 01:35 PM
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The thing about that scale is...it's all subjective. What I consider "bombproof" is a horse that has enough handle to not be a pain for an experienced rider to handle, but at the same time you can throw kids or beginners on him without having to worry.

Others might consider a horse "bombproof" if it just doesn't spook, regardless of whether it's actually suitable for beginner/young riders. I've dealt with horses called bombproof that you couldn't get them to walk in an area that they didn't want to go. They wouldn't bolt or anything, but they would just calmly turn around and walk the way they wanted regardless of how hard you tried to stop them.

And, on the other hand, I could technically call my old horse Denny bombproof because he doesn't spook at anything, but he's very sensitive and responds quickly to very light cues. Any beginner rider would get themselves hurt on him.

Also, what I consider a calm horse doesn't necessarily match others' definition of a calm horse. So, the scale is an okay place to start...but I tend to take that information with a grain of salt.
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post #16 of 34 Old 07-18-2013, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by walkinthewalk View Post

To answer your question, I don't like "bombproof" horses for myself. Even though I am now retired and can't ride much anymore, my preference for a riding horse is one that is full of "go" and once in awhile when I say "no", it will reply with a "why not?".

I absolutely agree with this. One mare I ride is like this and I love it- if I tell her stop she does, but there's always a little bit of"Are you sure you want to slow down?" before she does.
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post #17 of 34 Old 07-18-2013, 02:29 PM
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I agree with walkinthewalk as well. I've never had a desire to ride a bombproof horse.
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post #18 of 34 Old 07-18-2013, 02:36 PM
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I'll give you another example,
My horse isn't "bombproof" but she is very well behaved for the most part and listens to me, no buck, rear, bolt or tantrums. She contains her spooks to jumps in place. She is a very forward horse however.
Put somebody else on her that doesn't know how to ride well, (except two particular people she loves) and she is the definition of a bronco. I doubt if they'll stay on longer than 8 seconds. Because of that, I don't let anyone (besides those two people) on her.

Horses can just tell if you can handle them or not.

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post #19 of 34 Old 07-18-2013, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
And, on the other hand, I could technically call my old horse Denny bombproof because he doesn't spook at anything, but he's very sensitive and responds quickly to very light cues. Any beginner rider would get themselves hurt on him.
I agree. Our penner, Angel, is like this. If you are stopped and cue a lope, you're going right to a lope. If you shift deep in the saddle, you will stop (now). If you rest your heel on her side, you will turn, and if get in her mouth, she will toss her head. A don't put beginners on her, but do put less experienced riders on her in the ring for the sole purpose of understanding how responsive a finished horse is and letting her teach them.
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post #20 of 34 Old 07-19-2013, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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These are such informative replies. Thanks everyone! It's starting to make a little sense. :)
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