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RideroftheWind 04-13-2010 06:33 PM

The Right Horse - Just thought I'd Share It!
I've been riding for only a few years, and I've liked all the horses I've ridden. But I've never really felt a connection with any of them until now. I started riding a horse named Lucky. He's an amazing horse, and he's so fun to ride! He listens really well for me. The thing is, everyone I know who's ridden him has said he is stubborn, headstrong, and a speed demon. Wha-? That's not the Lucky I know!

From the first day that I met him, it was like we had some sort of special bond. He listens very well for me. However, I've seen some of the best riders I know on his back, and he was giving them such a hard time! But when I ride him, he listens like an angel.

My question is, why me? Do horses just choose who they like and who they don't like him, or is it all about what I've done and my first impressions? I mean, he's a lesson horse, and he gets ridden by tons of people, but why would he choose to listen to me better?

When I first met him, I talked to him quietly as I entered his stall. He didn't seem very interested in me. I let him sniff my hand, and then blew softly on his muzzle (like I do with all the horses when I greet them). He blew back, and I led him out. I tacked him up, and he seemed pretty tense. I still had a few minutes left before my lesson, so I started rubbing his neck and withers (I've heard that it helps calm a horse down). I've been riding him once a week since then, and by now he nickers every time he sees me. I always massage/rub his neck before the ride, which seems to calm him down a lot. Does that have anything to do with it?

By the way, I know this doesn't really fit in with the riding section, but I didn't know where else to put it.

FlyingChanges 04-13-2010 09:01 PM

Awe! Thats great! Ive been riding since I was 4 years old I'm 14 now. Ive had 2 horses and recently sold my second one and went in search for a new one. I went to see TONS of horses until I found Lola =) She and I just clicked, the moment I saw her she whinnied at me and I fell in love. Horses ABSOLUTLEY choose people. I know PLENTLY of cases like that! ( Including Me! =) ) So now I have my 3rd horse, whom I get along with better than any horse I've ever ridden or seen.


equiniphile 04-13-2010 09:31 PM

Absolutely. My moms boyfriend has 4 polo horses. One is an OTTB thoroughbred, and when I went to ride at his house for the first time, he was saying how much of a pain in the butt that one horse was.....his stable hand hated exercising of course he put me on her since I'm an experienced rider. She was amazing. Listened like a dream.....not mareish at all, a real pleasure to ride. When I got back from the ride, my moms boyfriend was like "woww why was she so well behaved?" and such.....I thought she was amazing =)
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Sphi 04-14-2010 06:43 AM

I guess horses can just be compatible with some people. I've ridden a lot of horses that I really loved but have only really bonded to two. The first, I had to leave because I was forced to switch barns... the second, I just don't ride anymore. :)

Rule of Reason 04-14-2010 02:29 PM

I myself wouldn't exactly say that horses "choose who they like" -- but I do think you've come across a horse who appreciates the way you relate to him. A lot of school horses can get that standoffish attitude, because they're so used to people basically climbing on, banging around on them, then climbing off. Maybe a carrot and a pat afterward, maybe not. For a lot of horses, this is sort of okay. Lucky sounds like he might be more people-oriented than that. Maybe it's because of his initial training, maybe he inherited it from his mother, who knows.

Most people know to be "quiet around horses." But for many, this seems to mean just being physically quiet. I think you are being emotionally quiet with Lucky and that's what he's responding to. He may have accepted you as his leader because that's the kind of leader he needs, not the dominant, bossy kind of leadership that is so easy for humans to do with horses. People slap horses and say they're "patting" and "rewarding" them. You're giving him a neck massage! It's easy for me to see why he'd prefer you. And by the way, if he is a little tense and anxious, sure that neck massage will calm him down.

He may actually be smarter than most other horses. I'm not saying he is or isn't. But he certainly seems to have figured out who's good for him! I'd say, keep doing what you're doing as long as he keeps behaving well for you. Don't let other people talk you out of what your gut instinct tells you (but do keep an open mind). You may have a future as a horse trainer, kiddo.

Rule of Reason 04-14-2010 02:32 PM

P.S. About choosing who they like -- I didn't mean that horses don't do this. Of course they do, just like humans do or dogs or anything. I just don't think of it in exactly those terms. Not really disagreeing with you at all.

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