Imaginary Day From Hell - Any Horse Event - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 42 Old 02-19-2019, 12:44 PM
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I don't have a lot to add here, and I've only ever been to one horse shoe, which was quite a low-level show, so maybe most shows don't have all of the other horses just sitting around right outside the ring waiting to go in, but anyway. I imagine a situation where someone is riding a mare who is in raging heat and stops about halfway through whatever routine they are supposed to be going through, sees a super studly gelding waiting, and just runs up to him, starts, um, flirting, and won't be moved away for anything.
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post #12 of 42 Old 02-19-2019, 12:46 PM
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I already posted this in Krones and Codgers, but if you are not a K & C, you might get a kick out of it.

I did have a very bad horseshow, but I had a really horrible trail ride from hell once, which I will tell about.

I knew a teacher from my school who said she was an expert rider and was looking to buy a horse. She said she never jumped anything lower than 4 feet and the horse she was looking for had to be super hot. It so happened that I had a friend, J, who had a horse named Red Pepper who jumped 5 feet easily and was super SUPER hot. I wrote about him recently on another thread.

I had been taking a mother/daughter combination riding every week for several years, and I thought it would be so lovely to take them both on a trail ride together. I only had two horses, so they never could ride together. The mother had escaped from Communist Czechoslovakia with nothing but the clothes on her back, not speaking a word of English, when her daughter was a baby. She was extremely well-educated, and had worked long and hard cleaning motel rooms and working at Loew's trying to make a life for herself and her daughter in the US. Their passion was horses. I met them when the daughter was 8. At the time of the ride, she was 12.

My friend J brought Red Pepper and his new fox hunting horse. I brought my two gentle quiet safe horses.

My friend in Virginia lived next to some of the most spectacular trails in the east, winding through streams and up and down mountains. I knew this trail ride would be an incredible thrill for my mother/daughter friends. When we got to the Virginia farm, we discovered that the 4 horses there wouldn't allow themselves to be caught. I had ridden these horses lots of times and normally they were super easy, quiet, and safe. Finally, after an hour and a half, we coaxed them into the barn and got the pony saddled.

So, we headed out down the trail, heads high, hearts high with anticipation--the trail ride to remember. Within 15 minutes, the teacher announced that she could not possibly ride Red Pepper. He was waaaay too much horse for her. She wanted off NOW. Sigh. OK. I loved Red Pepper, so I got on him, and she got on my safe quiet gentle horse. Stirrups needed to be adjusted . . . and re-adjusted. At last we were on our way. NOW we were going to have SOME FUN!

No. The 12 year old announced she hated the pony. He was horrible. Why was she stuck riding this awful pony. He wouldn't do a thing right. She hated him. Why couldn't she ride the nice gentle horse she was used to riding, etc. etc. Sigh again. Mom said she would ride the pony, and the daughter got my safe quiet mount. Stirrups adjusted again--pony stirrups on the Western saddle stiff as wood, extremely tedious to adjust. Everyone re-mounted, we headed out. Not so gleeful at this point.

The mother announced that since it was a bit cold, we should stop and build a fire. I said that we couldn't do that since we were on private property, only permission to ride. We couldn't just build a fire on someone else's land. She was disgruntled.

The teacher announced that she was bored with my safe gentle horse. She wanted to ride J's new hunter. J said he wasn't comfortable with that. She was surly and angry, and told us many times what a terrific rider she was and how she should be on the hunter. J and I could see she wasn't any kind of rider at all.

After an hour or two of non-stop complaints . . . now the mother went on about how awful the pony was . . . J decided, perhaps to put the teacher in her place, that he would let her ride his new hunter. I got on the pony--I had ridden him many many times and loved him. J got on Red Pepper, and the teacher got on the hunter. All stirrups having to be re-adjusted AGAIN. Before J let the teacher ride his hunter, he demonstrated for 15 minutes, how lightly she needed to be ridden. Mother, daughter, and teacher were all 3 grousing about how they should be allowed to go faster. Teacher got on the hunter, booted her into a fast canter, mother and daughter took off after her, and all 3 were being run away with. Teacher began screaming hysterically.

She fell off, and J watched his $6,000 brand new hunter, which he had gotten a week ago, gallop towards home 80 miles away. He booted Red Pepper into a dead run after his new horse. I followed as fast as I could go on the pony. Mother was furious with me for abandoning teacher (whom I was ready to throttle). Daughter was crying and terrified. She stuck with mother and injured teacher.

J and I rode high and low searching for his new hunter. We rode for hours. She was gone. We rode back to where the injured teacher had fallen. She was gone, along with mother and daughter. This was before the days of cell phones. We rode back to the farmhouse. Turns out a person driving past saw the trio, drove the teacher back to the farmhouse, then mother/daughter drove the teacher to the hospital. On the drive, the teacher fumed in a high rage, saying she was going to sue J because he said several times he wasn't comfortable with her riding his new horse, and he had no business letting her ride it, so it was his fault. Mother/daughter were furious with me for abandoning injured teacher to search for the horse.

Six hours had now gone by. We had missed lunch. The brand new fancy schmanzy horse was gone. Everybody was mad at me and blaming me. They said I never should have had them ride the horrible pony (who was lovely for me), Red Pepper was unrideable, the trails much too difficult. We had the bright idea of calling the sheriff's department, and they knew where the hunter was. Someone had captured her and put her in their barn. So J and I rode out on Red Pepper and my horse, and retrieved the hunter. Her saddle was shredded, stirrups torn away, J's antique sandwich case gone. And all we got was complaints from the folks we had invited on the ride.

The teacher had a broken wrist, and when she came back to school, she had the unmitigated gall to announce that she wasn't afraid of the hunter and intended to ride her again as soon as J let her. She had no intention of paying for the lost stirrups, leathers, or sandwich case, however, since it was his fault for letting her ride the horse. Needless to say, neither J nor I had anything more to do with that fool.

And I never again invited the mother and daughter on a trail ride together, though I did continue to take them riding for many years after that fiasco.
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post #13 of 42 Old 02-19-2019, 03:19 PM
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@Walkamile . LOL We a bunch of lying effing trail riders too. Read your post and laughed.

First Story!

One of the ladies who rides with us, and paid a steep price not long ago, rides a show type Welsh pony. She's a very petite, older lady. Learned to ride English style, in arenas. Switched to western, rides with a western type Tom Thumb bit (!!??!?)with an English posture in the saddle, and keeps her pony super COLLECTED the entire time we're on the trails! Pony struggles, tosses head a lot, but they somehow make it work. Last time she came out with us, the pony balked at a rain swollen creek, wanted to go one way to get across, rider over-corrected her to go the way the bigger horses had gone, Pony tap danced, tried to change directions, and it was over in two seconds - the lady panic snatched back on the reins, pony went straight up, and came right over on her side into the creek bank and the mud.

THANK GOODNESS our lady friend was okay, but shook and bruised up, banged up!!!! She told me later in the ride, somewhat nervously, that she really wished there were lessons to be taken on how to trail ride. God love her, she wants to do this, and we're there to help her all we can, but she's right - REAL trail riding isn't something you can learn in the controlled environment of an arena. There's no lessons you can take, really, except the type of Get out there and Do It sort, preferably with people who know what's up and can help you if you get in a jam. Anyway. Once we were back at camp and everyone had settled, we gently told her her first step is to learn to ride trails with a loose rein and trust her horse to know where to put her feet... and to get a different type of bit!

Second Story!

My friend who's gotten me started on this whole Camping with Horses type trail riding is also a barrel racer, her 7 year old daughter barrels races. She's in the saddle every. single. day. They don't wear helmets. None of us wear helmets. We respect the choices made by those who do, You do You, so all we ask is that the same is offered to us for choosing to not ride in a helmet.

That said!

She was contacted by her local trail rider association, she's very good friends with them, they asked if she'd be willing to come out and help them with a 'big trail ride'. Some people were coming up from the metro area, said they wanted to see what 'real' western trail riding was like. So... Coffee Mill lake/the Bois d'arc Trail Head was the location they wanted to try based on googling and reviews. Now... this is national grassland/forest. The trails are rated beginner to intermediate. MOST of the trails are sandy loam, but there are places that are red clay. There are lots of creek crossings - most are dry in the summer, some aren't. Water is shallow. There are some creek banks to climb, and some places going uphill that are 'stair stepped' by tree roots.

The trails can be maintained, and they are very well taken care of and kept clean, but they cannot be widened by cutting any trees or brush. Trees that fall over the trail, if they can't be gone around, can be cut into blocks and laid aside.

So. Where they can get in, the trail riders are allowed to use a skid steer to keep the trail clean, but eventually it narrows down and the skid steer won't fit. Trees can't be cut to allow it to fit. From that point on, the trails narrow to something like cattle trails. Still very lovely place to ride, still very laid back, low effort riding.

This group rolls up in high dollar rigs,not a speck of dirt on their trucks. Horses are unloaded and the horses are PUMPED. They are HOT and READY WOO OUTSIDE LOOK AT THE GRASS! Most are riders who have never been outside an arena, nor have ridden western, but 'wanted to try it out'. They all have helmets and impact vests on.

Friend said the second the trails narrowed down (And that's about 15 minutes into it) folks started complaining. They were bashing her for no helmet, bashing her for being a bad mom because daughter wasn't in a helmet and vest (That kid rides barefoot, legs crossed in the saddle, on a palomino mare that's built like a sofa and is about as excitable as one). They were kvetching about how horrible the trails were, how difficult and in some places, scary, they were (??? que?), how there were creeks to cross, trees to go around, and how LOOONNNGGGGG the ride was (THAT complaint started about 30-45 minutes in. Lots of Are we There Yet?)

One lady, the one that had carped the most about the lack of helmets on the 7 year old, actually lost control of her OWN HORSE and nearly fell out of the saddle... was dangling with a death grip from the horn, one leg still draped over the saddle.... at a slow trot. 7 Year old had to kick her old Twinkie mare up, and collect the dangling, loose reins of the complainer-in-chief, and safe her bacon by slowing her horse down and helping her regain her seat. 7 year old then quipped: I see why you ride in a helmet! I would too if I were that bad. Wow! (She's... young and a little... forthright. Not a lot of filters at that age y'know?)

So, everyone was going to 'camp all weekend', but friend said when they got back, they gave a few terse thank yous, said This isn't for Us, loaded up and rolled right out. They've never heard from that group again. Come to find out, they were expecting a well manicured horse park with level, raked trails, no brush, and only expected a half hour to an hour ride on each trail (The shortest is 2-2.5 hours long, the longest is just south of a 4 hour rider) and most had never ridden outside of an arena environment before.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #14 of 42 Old 02-19-2019, 04:58 PM
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A friend of mine who is a bit scatterbrained was so excited about the end-of-the year Championship show at her local circuit that she forgot to load her horses. Her husband came home and called her, asking her if she was going to take them, as they were both still standing, blanketed and wrapped, at the rail by the barn. She said she had just been thinking how nice her new trailer was pulling, she couldn't feel the horses back there at all!

*she did go back for the horses and get to the show in time to show in all but one class, and did quite well for end-of-the-year honors.
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post #15 of 42 Old 02-19-2019, 05:19 PM
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Wow. Good stories. Here is my awful horseshow story:

This happened in the early 60's when horses were trained a bit more barbarically than now days. I was a young teenager in 4-H. We were told a lot of stuff that wasn't correct or fair, but that's the way it was. If your horse didn't do what it was supposed to, we were told to MAKE it do it. And that was with forceful punishment.

My 4-H was a little odd, in that there were 4 kids who qualified (and rode) in the Washington International Horseshow, and there were wild harum scarum hillbilly kids who didn't own saddles, galloped everywhere and were completely fearless. And a couple of backyard owner kids like me who didn't know much and wanted to learn.

It was around my 4th or 5th horseshow. Our shows were fairly large, about 15 kids in the classes. There wasn't much chance of me doing well since I was competing against international caliber riders, but I had high hopes.

One of the things I wanted to do was get Apache, my black and white pinto really clean. Some of the kids in the 4-H told me that they washed their horses' faces. My pinto Apache would never allow me to squirt water on his face, so I never had gotten it very clean. And I was told that if my horse wouldn't tolerate something, it was my job to MAKE him. So . . . determined that he was going to get his face squirted whether he liked it or not, I tied him to our clothesline pole, which was imbedded in cement. He was not going to pull THAT up. When I got to the face washing part, I squirted his face with the hose, he backed up violently, and the clothesline pole separated, swinging up and clipping me in the eyebrow. I had no idea our clothesline pole consisted of two parts, one more slender pole inside the heavier pole.

I went in the bathroom to see how bad it was. My eyebrow was hanging down in my eye. I stuck it back on my face and put a band-aid over it, went back out, and finished washing my horse. I didn't want my parents to know what had happened.

The next morning, I had a huge shiner around my eye. It looked really bad. Of course nobody could see the eyebrow under the band-aid.

We had rented a U-Haul horse trailer and attached it in some jerry-rigged way to our sedan. It was a step-up trailer and my pinto had only hauled in a ramp trailer. He wasn't going to have any part of loading in that thing. At the other shows, I had ridden 3 1/2 hours to the show grounds and then ridden 3 1/2 hours home. Long day, but it was the only way I could go. They had completed the Washington Beltway after my last show, and my folks agreed that it wasn't safe to be crossing 6 lanes of traffic on horseback, so we rented the trailer. I was so thrilled.

But not when we couldn't get Apache in. I knew nothing about how to load a horse. My parents were both afraid of horses. We tried everything we could think of, including putting a piece of plywood up on the trailer in a makeshift ramp, which promptly fell when Apache stepped on it. After about 2 hours of struggling, Apache finally gave up and stepped into the trailer.

We were off to the show! We weren't late because I had gotten such an early start. In those days, there were no low jumps, baby green classes, or anything easy for beginner jumpers like me. All the jumps were 3 feet. But Apache had jumped 3 feet lots, both at home and at other shows.

But not this time. He refused every jump, possibly because I was in a lot of pain, my eye swollen shut, my face on fire. Oh well, I thought. He'll do the cross country class, I thought. I fox hunted him regularly, and he always flew over those jumps.

And he did sail over all the cross country jumps. We were doing great. I thought we even might have a chance for a ribbon. Then we came to the stone wall. Three feet of solid stone. I don't think Apache had ever seen a stone wall. He stopped. I didn't. I could feel my face scraping over the stones as I sailed over the wall without my horse.

I hurt SO bad! That was the last class. I went to gather up my grooming tools and other show paraphernalia, and discovered they were gone. I stored everything in a bright orange paint bucket. Gone. Nowhere to be seen. I was so sad because my hoof pick was something I had bought when I was 9 years old at my first time attending the Washington International. My mom said I could get one souvenir, and I chose a hoof pick with the promise that some day I would have a horse of my own to use it on. It was gone.

That was ONE LOUSY show day!!!

By the way, my eyebrow healed right back where it was supposed to be and nobody but God and I knew it had torn halfway off.
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post #16 of 42 Old 02-19-2019, 05:54 PM
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My worse show was a Pony Club Interbranch event.
Five of us from the riding school had been away eventing several times. This was expensive as we had a hired horsebox and the ferry fare. Being Pony Club, no prize money if you were placed.

We learned a lot and we were always high on the pleadings as a team. I was riding an Anglo Arab, Faro. He was well into his teens, not an easy ride but I got on well with him. He hated hard ground.

One girl, Susan rode a young 14.2 pony Timber and had never been out of the ribbons.

We had a trial to see the most suitable team to be picked. One girl, Daryl was riding as an Associate Member, she was to old for the team.

We all had to ride the dressage test, jump some CC fences and a round of show jumping. The committee had paid a woman from the mainland to judge and give an outside opinion. She didn't know any of us at all.

When it was all over she selected two Associates, one being Daryl, and the four of us who had been competing from Easter on the mainland.
The committee didn't think this was right as they couldn't have four from the same stable. So they dropped Susan and Timber with the excuse he didn't have enough experience, and Pam on her pony Nimbus and including two sisters.
I said that as the ground was most likely going to be hard to drop me and take Susan but they wouldn't have it.

The day arrived when we were travelling over to compete. We started at 4 a.m. Ken, the horsebox driver arrived. I went into the back to load all the tack and baggage in the Luton, above the cab. An area had been partitioned off and straw bales put on the floor to sit son as there's wasn't room for all in the cab,
We then drove to pick up the other two team members,

It was a very hot day. On arrival we set of foot tomwalk the CC course, I was disappointed to find that the going was not only hard it was all,across stable and masses of flint stones, Faro would hate it.

I was the first to ride, I went to change in the back of the horsebox to find that my jodhpurs had been left behind. Susan who had come to help, was wearing a new nylon pair of jods somshe wasnstripped of those and I was poured into them - think Olivia Newton in Grease.

I couldn't bend my knees in them which is probably why I got the best dressage score ever!
I had permission from the organisers to wear jeans cross country. I went to the saying I was recovering from a broken leg and my jods were to tight around my injury. They believed me.
The cross country was terrible, Faro,was holding back all the way, I had to use my whip and spurs a lot and I could feel him tense up over the fence knowing he was going to feel the landing.
Only riding through some woods with soft going did he really fly.

Debbie went clear but the two sisters were eliminated cross country.

The show jumping course was on stubble and very stoney, as the team required three members scores I couldn't see the point in jumping Faro. Itmwasnt fair on him.
Oh boy, were those in charge mad at me. I had three fences in hand to win and go to the championships but I wasn't interested and flat refused to ride.
I was berated, yelled at and called all sorts of names. That just made me more stubborn.
After they had all had a go at me saying I was letting the branch down I just looked at them all and very calmly said, "I thought the Pony Club was about teaching horsemanship, not about winning. Faro is not going to be sound if I beat him up around a course of stupid show jumps. Is that what you want? If you had chosen the team the judge said, I wouldn't have to rode as the other two wouldn't have been eliminated!"

They weren't pleased but did leave me alone after that.

It is fairly insignificant as far as being a a show from hell but I hated having to beat an honest horse to get him around, I did it for the team, then to have a load of adults try to bully me into beating the horse more made it so for me.
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post #17 of 42 Old 02-19-2019, 05:56 PM
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"I knew a teacher from my school who said she was an expert rider and was looking to buy a horse. She said she never jumped anything lower than 4 feet and the horse she was looking for had to be super hot. It so happened that I had a friend, J, who had a horse named Red Pepper who jumped 5 feet easily and was super SUPER hot. I wrote about him recently on another thread."


We were at a jackpot barrel race back in December, and a young lady just... fell off... her horse at the FIRST TURN. Just fell right off in the dirt. Got back on, finished slow, obviously shaken.

She's late late teens, early 20s.

Mom of girl knows T, my trail riding barrel racing friend, who was there to race as well. Came over, visited a little while, then asked T if she knew of any 1D horses for sale, that her daughter (Who fell OFF a 3D horse) wanted a faster, hotter horse.

My friend didn't hold back, she blurted out: "Can she even stay ON a 1D horse!?"

Are some people incapable of being honest about their ability or lack thereof? I mean, I needed a golf cart for a first horse, got a Mazaratti instead, but it wasn't because I thought I was an excellent rider. It was by accident and I didn't want to give up on my hot horse, NOT because I thought I needed a hot horse.
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"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #18 of 42 Old 02-19-2019, 05:58 PM
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Another time I was riding a horse that had a really dirty stop to him. I had to hold him together and ride every inch of the way around the show jumping course.

Coming into the last fence, I thought, "I've done it, got him around without stopping!"

Never count you chickens before they hatch, at the last second he stopped deat.

I didn't I crashed into the wing and was left suspended by the seat of my breeches on a jump cup. I wasn't touching the ground at all.
No one came to help me because they were laughing so hard!
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post #19 of 42 Old 02-19-2019, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by greentree View Post
...but the place was quiet, and I figured I could hold the reins through the crack in the door of the porta-potty, and be fine. Thatís what I did,...
Never done a horse show, but when I read this & thought about Bandit, I had a vision of me, perched butt-naked on The Throne while my horse galloped away with the rest of the Porta-Potty! Glad THAT wasn't your experience!

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #20 of 42 Old 02-19-2019, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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@Walkamile , your accountant's wife needs a rocking horse. It would be perfectly predictable with its motions, and also very age-appropriate for her emotionally.

Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
I practiced galloping on our local playing field, if you didn't stop at the one end you hurtled down the steep slope and ended up in the canal. That was incentive enough.
Brilliant! And I'm so glad she worked out so well for you!

@knightrider , I already had some choice phrases for that on K&K, but overnight I've wondered why so much of humanity is apparently suffering from lead deficiency...

And I'm glad your eyebrow healed back on properly. Your motivation to ride really is extraordinary!

@AtokaGhosthorse , I used to scratch my head about this stuff until I realised that a lot of people's riding schools apparently don't teach people the difference between riding a horse in an arena, and on a trail. I now feel very fortunate that the place I learnt to ride placed equal emphasis on both. I can't believe some people try to ride horses collected outside the arena. They need to be able to balance over uneven ground, see where they are going, choose their own route to an extent, and actually have an enjoyable outing, rather than just being a monkey-carrying slave. Collected on a trail is to me as incongruous as a ballroom dancer waltzing down a hiking trail, instead of walking...

@Foxhunter , isn't it amazing how many people don't care for anyone's wellbeing, so long as they can win! Would be nice to send all of them off to live on a faraway planet.

@SilverMaple ,

@ACinATX , I've never competed in showjumping, but I've been imagining a scenario involving an escaped rhinoceros from a zoo charging around the arena while a horse and rider are coming in to compete. And then when they can finally jump the course sans rhinoceros, they come up to the triple jump and there's a big lake of rhinoceros manure at the jump-off point...

SueC is time travelling.
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