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New_image 11-27-2009 07:54 PM

Why does everyone want the perfect horse?
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My friend & I were talking tonight and we were just wondering WHERE all of the people willing to learn to ride went? Everyone is throwing away horses - soon they'll all be deemed worthless.
In getting rescues every horse I get in is a throw away. There is "SOMETHING" wrong with it in the previous owners eyes. Mind you there is nothing they themselves have done, "its all the horse."
In re-homing some of these rescues 90% of the inquiries I receive ask "Is this horse kid safe? Bomb proof? Dead broke?"
Its a horse! Any horse will rise to the level of its rider or fall thus the saying a horse is only as good as its rider. If there is no such thing as the perfect human why do people expect the perfect horse? I suppose if we find the perfect human to ride a horse.... we'd have the perfect horse.
If a horse bucks, its generally rider error, confusion, a reaction or another explained reason caused by the rider in one way or another. Why can very few people realize this? Why does everyone send a horse off to a trainer and blame the trainer when the horse comes back similar? Is it that hard for people to realize that someone who understands exactly this may very well be able to ride any horse but someone expecting a perfect horse while they themselves sit back like a sack of potatoes... well they get what they asked for. Or forget sit back, perhaps you hold your reins to tight, ride with to much leg, your anxious, or heck you even breathe to quickly.

I have a little mare here, 13 and a half hands tall, she was a first horse for a heavier couple. The husband weighed right around 300 pounds. The mare came to me weighing 675 pounds so a little thin, she came with worms and in need of corrective hoof care. She was standing knee deep in manur with a halter growing into her face when I first saw her. Now that shes up to par health wise when we get on her she bites and kicks expecting someone half her weight and completely un-balanced. While riding this mare bucks, kicks, rears, tosses her head, paws, trots sideways, refuses to go forward, refuses to stop, backs up quickly and will do anything in the book. She has high anxiety and breathes heavily, she is lathered with-in five minutes and I haven't even picked up the reins, touched her sides or asked for any reaction. She can also be a bit temperamental on the ground if say you ask her to move over she may or may not buck directly in your face. The couple called her spooky & stubborn, they chose to get a "bomb proof" older mare.

This is rather extreme, the treatment and care she received. Not to mention the un-reasonable amount of weight she was asked to carry on trail rides. But she has given an equally extreme reaction to exactly how she feels right about now! They cried and said a tearful good bye to there first horse. I spoke with them later to let them know what kind of care she was given and how I felt. They refused to believe this once "bomb proof 4-H horse" (pony) became like this because of them. It just couldn't be.

I'm guess I'm curious why there are so many people out there who will not think "OK what happened to this animal to cause this reaction" OR "OK what did I do?"

sillybunny11486 11-27-2009 08:24 PM

^^ agreed. I dont get rid of my horses period. I have never sold one of my horses. Ive been bit, kicked, thrown off, trampled, got broken toes, been pinned in a stall, reared at, and drug across a field.

I have a weanling. Hes like a clean slate. Hes forgiving, curious, playful and very loving. I wonder were that all went in some horses. He wasnt imprinted but hes been well taken care of most of his life.

I had a trainer once tell me, there is nothing wrong with a horse, every experience it has was because of you (the owner) so if something goes wrong chances are it was you. I see an unbroken horse as a clean slate, if he bucks you hurt him, went to fast with training, or your are too fat. Granted there are some times when horses do have real problems that cause behavior to change (tumors, pinched nerves ect) but it still our duty as owners to get health issues taken care of, and I consider it pure negligence if you dont.

SuperStarsSugar 11-27-2009 09:19 PM

I was wondering this myself a bit ago. I'm not really big on selling horse (I only sell for financial reasons or if there's a personality conflict that won't go away no matter how much time I spend training a horse), especially due to behavioral issues or quirks, because A) I can probably help the horse overcome them, B) if I don't, the chances a horse will come to an unfortunate end are pretty high, and C) because I get really attached to my horses and love them dearly, no matter what kind of crap they pulled when I first got them. Most of the horses I've owned have come to me with pretty severe emotional traumas and, consequently, dangerous behavioral "problems" and, yeah, it took work to get through this stuff, but I learned a LOT during the process and I now have some fantastic horses. I don't understand why it is that people only have an interest in RIDING, and not training, or ground work, or any of the million interesting things you can do with horses to teach both yourself and the horse new and interesting things. I have to come to the conclusion that the majority of people want someone else to do the heavy lifting as far as training the horse goes so that they can sit around on the horse's back like a useless tub of s*** and let it make them look good. The problem is that training is an ongoing process and the horse is constantly learning, so obviously, a poor rider is going to turn out a poor horse. I would think that would be obvious, but evidently not. Don't get me wrong. I do think there are a lot of good riders out there, it's just that the bad ones really stick out and make themselves apparent.

Cheshire 11-27-2009 10:22 PM

Any animal kept and cared for by humans will reflect the treatment it recieved from its handlers in personality and behaviour. Horses should be no was always frustrating when we heard of or recieved a horse at the rescue that had a plethora of issues all because the owners were uneducated and/or uncaring. And of course, it was *always* the horse's fault.

Preaching to the choir here...but horses are not born inherently "evil" or "spiteful" or "ill-mannered" toward people. They learn these behaviours through their past experiences. As an example, take my parrot. He was abused, and he dislikes hands...A LOT. Which means he will bite quite hard when given the chance. In the wild, biting is not something parrots do when is something they learn in captivity, thanks to the actions of the humans who have caged them.

I as well have some difficulty understanding how some people are only interested in the riding part of horse ownership, and refuse or are reluctant to do anything else with the animal. Anyway, I agree 150% with everything already stated. Some people expect too much from their horses and conversely too little of themselves. These types of situations usually end up poorly for both parties.

All the training and learning involved with riding/caring for horses is an ongoing can someone willynilly buy a large, powerful prey-animal complete with the typical prey-animal mental processes and finely honed prey-animal reflexes, hop on and expect everything to be hunky-dory 100% of the time, with minimal or no effort on their part? That is so unfair for the poor horse.

sillybunny11486 11-27-2009 10:26 PM

OP I think thats silly a 300lb guy would be riding a horse who is 13.3 and what not even 700lbs. I'm about 120lbs and sometimes I have qualms about riding a pony that size.

New_image 11-27-2009 10:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Sillybunny - Its certainly not silly that man rode this poor pony, its quite horrible! She has scrapes on her knees that I've confirmed with the wife are from falls while he was riding.
No doubt in my mind why this little mare is irate with people. She'll come around though, and hopefully we can find her a home who will love her. Care for her. Have a real job for her with her size rider. Its just awful and of course these people think BAD HORSE. Well I'm proud of her, if she wasn't bucking, rearing, biting, kicking, hopping, spooking, pawing and otherwise carrying on they'd still have her.

Glad to see there are others out there with the same wonderment I have on this subject.

snoggle 11-28-2009 01:09 AM

I agree with you about keeping them for life - we've only had our horses 6 months, and they aren't going anywhere. We've worked through any behavioral issues (all minor) and will continue to do so as needed. I've had lots of pets in my life and, with only one exception, kept them until they passed on (Sorry Cheshire, it was the parrot I inherited when my dad died - I found out I was not cut out for parrots, but I did find him a lovely home.)

While I don't agree with it, I think I understand why beginners only want dead broke horses and flip out over any "problem". Its because that's what so many books, websites, etc. recommend for beginners. When we decided to get horses we looked for dead broke geldings - age 5-10 because that's what we were told we could handle. Fortunately, we fell in love with our 2 mares - mine was barely green broke - and its working out wonderfully.

We were led to believe that we were completely incapable of doing any training on a young horse ourselves because we didn't have years and years of experience. Well, how the heck are you supposed to get experience? I've read a ton and have learned a lot over the last year. I have many horseriding friends (one's a vet too) who have been awesome resources. Yet, when I've asked training questions on the forum, I've occasionally been given the "send them to a trainer because you don't know what you're doing since you're new to this" response (most people are helpful, though). I'm sure some of this is because there are idiots out there, like the 300lb guy, who really do more harm than good when they attempt to ride or train without much experience. But I sometimes feel like there are people who believe that you have to be born into horse ownership to be a good horse owner and that the rest of us shouldn't even pet a horse, let alone ride one. I think this frequent lack of encouragement to new horse people, as well as fear of injury, causes many new horse owner's to seek out that "perfect" (and nonexistant) horse.

western walking horse 11-28-2009 01:15 AM

yeas i kno right my friend bought a horse and i asked him how hard the training was and he said it was already trained

in my eyes grooming the horse is therapy a moment to get together oh there just a animal right yes they are there an animal that your trusting with your life

not training you own horse is just like going into a battle without training you know nothing about your weapon and cannot no what your body limits are

ridergirl23 11-28-2009 01:27 AM

When i was first learning to ride my riding instructor pretty much drilled it into me that if the horse did anything wrong that its MY fault, haha she was NOT my favourite instructor, but i sure appreciate her after a few years of seeing people that blame their horses! i have never actaully trained a horse from scratch (my mom said im to inexperienced yet :p ) but i do like to progress WITH my horse, i have a friend that our trainer rides her horse, first of all, i dont have tat kind of money, second of all that wouldnt train me at all! my horse si at a higher level then me, so IM the oen needing imporvement, not Rena.

roro 11-28-2009 02:19 AM

I am a naturally anxious person, so I really have to consciously calm myself down when I'm around horses. I am able to tell when my nervousness effects the horse, but I am now able to control it and my horse and I are fine. I learned this on my own, when other people were telling me that my horse needed to learn, that he is the one that needed to change when it was actually me. It is very apparent to me that a horse will often reflect the attitude of its handler, and it is frustrating when people fail to see this. There are riders who hop on their horse and gallop around wrecklessly and the horse bucks to their surprise. A wreckless rider will make the horse wreckless, a nervous rider will make the horse nervous. I see this issue a lot with some jumpers in my barn who get themselves worked up over jumps and their horse gets worked up, yet the horse gets punished. I think that if people learned to control their emotions and learn what they are projecting to their horses, a lot of their horse's "problems" would go away.

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