When I was 18 my mom had a horse that had club feet in the front (not so clubbed with shoes on). I don't know whether the club feet made it uncomfortable but this horse NEVER went faster than a walk. NEVER! We always stuck beginners on him because no matter what you did he wouldn't go faster than a walk so what the heck could happen? Not to mention he had been in parades and was used for "pony" parties. So he was pretty much bomb proof.
One time I took my non-horsey friends out to ride with me and I put the one that was afraid to ride on him (because he NEVER went faster than a walk, we'd go trail riding and the whole group would hit a spot where you could canter everybody would be miles ahead and no matter how much you kicked, whipped or begged he wouldn't move into a trot). So I figured no matter what she did he'd be ok.
So before we decided to go on the trails I took them in the arena to see if there were going to be any problems. The owner of the stable's wife opened the arena door to get a load of sawdust or something and my horse and the girl that was on my other horse spooked. When they spun around it must have spooked Cowboy (my mom's horse) because he spun around and started to trot. Which scarred the girl that was riding him. She went a little sideways and pulled the reins back. Cowboy, who doesn't even trot in the field without a rider, stuck his head between his legs and started to buck. I'm not talking crow hops, I'm talking three feet off the ground, kicking up back feet and spinning in circles bucking. Needless to say my friend stayed on for about three seconds before she was thrown off into the arena wall. I was horrified, I thought I had killed my best friend. She was on the ground and not moving.
Fortunately all that was wrong with her was a few bad bruises and a very big knot on her head. But it could have been worse. This is the same horse I put my blind friend on just a few weeks before that happened. We had him for several years and he had never done anything like that.
Another time when I was younger my uncle had a little pinto pony. He was about 20 years old and had been there done that. My uncle would tether him (stupidly) to a big cinder block in the front yard. One day I was standing (stupidly) standing on the cinder block watching him eat because someone had to stay out with him in case something happened. Out of nowhere a little private plane came zooming overhead and started to putter. The horse spooked and went flying. I was caught off guard and went flying off the cinder block. The horse drug that cinder block all the way across my uncle's corn field, across a creek and into the neighbor's field. He had been tethered like that for years and had never done that.
Before my mom bought Cowboy she went looking at horses. She went and looked at an older thoroughbred mare who was used for lessons. Before my mom got on the horse she asked the trainer to get on her. The trainer got up on her, the horse took one step and supposedly a pin that had been put in her knee snapped. The horse reared up, flipped over on top of the trainer. The trainer had several broken ribs and a concussion. This horse was pictured online with little helmetless kids riding her around an arena. What if it would have happened during one of those lessons?
Horses are unpredictable. Kids are even more unpredictable. What if one of those horses was having a bad day? What if something happened?
If you go on the website you'll look and see the lady getting on the horse between the kids. You can tell by the horses body language that it wasn't enjoying the process. I'm sorry but an ad that screams "look my horse is so calm I put my helmetless child on it bareback or bridleless" is pure ignorance to me! Parent of the year award I think not....
100% Anti-Slaughter and PROUD of it!