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PerchiesKisses 10-20-2011 05:38 PM

My horse... not beginner friendly lol.
So granted this isn't something that happened recently, but I was thinking about it and decided to post because it brought up some interesting thoughts.

I have a 6-turning-7 OTTB, and he is by far the best horse I've owned to date. I went through 2 before finding him and he is a great match. He's got the get-up-and-go when I want it, but is content to laze around with me on trail rides 85% of the time. He tries everything I ask, and we've chalked up a nice resume of stuff we've done together. I can dress him up in any amount of flappy costume stuff, and he is gentle and I always kind of wondered if he was more beginner horse than I initially thought.

So anyways, this teenage girl asked me if I'd give her lessons on my horse. She had been volunteering at the barn I worked at prior, so it wasn't like she had 0 horse experience. I told her if she wants to come out I'll teach her what I know. Because I am in no way an instructor, I told her she could come out with me for free, and I looked at it more as having a riding buddy, because at the time my horse was at a new barn where I had no one to ride with.

So she came out only twice, and boy did I see a side in my TB I never thought I'd see. He became an evil twit in the span of ten minutes. He has NEVER given me an issue brushing or saddling. But I almost couldn't believe it when he started cow kicking at her when she brushed him. I told her to just give him a slap in the shoulder to tell him no, but every time she'd get near him, he'd flick his foot at her and she literally run away from him. It initially started with him just stomping at flies while she brushed, but eventually he was actually flicking his foot at her. I tried to go correct him, but he knows darn well not to pull that stunt with me, and stood like an angel every time I went to brush him.

So I finished brushing him and got her to saddle. Again, the brat wouldn't stand still. I ended up having to hold him against a fence. This is the same horse that I ground tie to saddle in the middle of the field.

Then she gets on, and at least he stands for that. I adjust her stirrups and try my darndest to instruct her in a helpful way. He didn't do anything outright stupid with her once she was up, although I did notice him taking advantage of her. Every time she loosen up the reins he'd break into a trot, and every time he got a chance he'd stop at the gate.

I admit she probably wasn't the best rider - we all start out there and I'm far from perfect - but I've never seen my horse be so darn bad.

And afterward he was again my perfect angel.

So a couple months after I brought him back to the barn he was first at, and is now residing at. Part of my board agreement is they can use him for trail rides if needed. So they put one of the better volunteers on him ... and he takes off with that volunteer, deciding that he'd rather lead than be behind. They now put only very experienced riders on him.

I kinda laugh about it, because I really don't know if I should consider this a problem, and how to fix it if it is. Because he doesn't do any of this stuff with me. In deed, not three days ago I rode him in completely bareback, and he stopped and turned like an angel.

So is there a way to teach a horse to be beginner friendly?

Gidget 10-20-2011 07:06 PM

Honestly,I think it depends on the horse's disposition. Not all horses can be lesson horses. Sounds like your horse was testing her and then figured out he had her wrapped around his little hoof.Once he figured out that she found him threatening that was that. I would be like that too with someone's horse that I didn't know most likely.
He is use to you. What you could try and this may not work but you need to have other people brush him,saddle him,ride him..with your supervision and I would have a contract signed incase anything happened but hopefully nothing would.
My horse is the same way. She loves kids though! She absolutely hates when other people ride her and gets a reaaalllly nasty look on her face.
I would just get your horse involved with as many people as possiible..that's what I try to do with Gidget but no one likes riding her.

Saddlebag 10-20-2011 07:34 PM

I have a question. When you let a facility use your horse, who pays the vet bill should something happen and as owner, can you be sued should the rider get seriously hurt. You're not on the ride to know what happens.

franknbeans 10-20-2011 07:47 PM

If there is, I haven't found it. My old plod around guy, who actually spent much of last year as a therapeutic horse.....much like yours, only worse. My sons GF who rides (intermediate level, I would say) go on him walk-fine. Trot-fine. Canter....2 strides and she was in the dirt with a broken hip and pelvis. :-( BAD boy. This is my 23 YO draft X, arthritic (which is probably the reason, looking back on it), raised my daughter thru 4-h.....geesh.
Guess we can say they are smart! THey know the difference!

PerchiesKisses 10-21-2011 09:32 AM


Originally Posted by Saddlebag (Post 1207042)
I have a question. When you let a facility use your horse, who pays the vet bill should something happen and as owner, can you be sued should the rider get seriously hurt. You're not on the ride to know what happens.

I have insurance on my horse, and the ranch has trail riding insurance as well for the farm. The way it works is that when my horse in on the trails he is essentially "leased" to the ranch, thus he falls under their insurance if I'm not on him and someone gets hurt. That being said, depending on the situation, if any injuries to my horse are incurred the ranch is responsible ONLY when he is on the trail. However, if he has a pre-exsisting issue that is aggravated (example: if he say had bruised a sole on something in the field and then came in and started limping) then it is my responsibiliy because the issue pre-dated him going on the trail.

As far as getting other people handling him, he gets a fair bit of people handling him, but most of them are experienced with horses - and he knows it.

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