Does anyone else not ride theirs? - Page 8 - The Horse Forum
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post #71 of 79 Old 11-26-2014, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Colorado
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I do :) Horses aren't machines and I wouldn't sell mine if they couldn't be ridden anymore. My mare has PTSD and she's bipolar. I know some of her history. She was in an abusive home and she was in a backyard breeding place at one point. Her rides are different every time. Sometimes she's excited and has a lot of go, other times she's sluggish and doesn't want to do anything. She's not the type that will take off on her excited days and not the type that won't go eventually on her sluggish days (it just takes a few kicks but on her excited days a light squeeze but on her sluggish days she's more irritable and annoyed) and sometimes I trigger a switch (from her PTSD) and first she starts shaking so hard her mane bounces on her neck, then her legs buckle as if she's about to fall down, then she explodes. She has had a hard life and whenever I ride her I'm too busy going against her emotions. Like if it's her excited day and I want her to walk she just wants to trot and riding is supposed to be fun for both of us. I've ridden her for six months (had her for 9) and it's not "attitude" or "disrespect" it's just the crap she went through in the past and her being bipolar she's a different horse every time I see her. I accept her for who she is and wouldn't change her for the world. She's my girl and none of it is her fault.

As for my gelding, I ride him. He enjoys it and his ears are always perked and he looks ahead and does anything you ask of him. Even if he couldn't be ridden he'd be mine forever because once I get a horse they're mine and they're my friends, not slaves meant to serve me. I'm not the type that will sell a horse if they can't compete (I don't like the competition world anyway, a lot of the riders go to extremes and sacrifice their horse's health to win) or if they get old.
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post #72 of 79 Old 11-26-2014, 07:45 AM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Colorado
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My opinion on the slaughter issue (don't bash, just stating it) is that if you really love your horse, you won't send him to slaughter if he won't do his job anymore. I'd pay as much as needed for my horse to get euthanized and buried. My farrier saved a horse that was getting dragged outside the back of the trailer and her hoof almost got cut off. She can do light riding and she is in a happy home. A lot of people want pasture pets if they have a horse that they enjoy riding and want one to keep him company in the pasture and would take any of your horses Phly, and others just enjoy working with a horse on the ground because of an injury that keeps them from riding, lack of confidence, or just not enjoying riding at all but liking the animal. Phly, from reading your post you seem to care a lot about money but by selling the horse as a pasture pet you can make $500-$800 and you can sleep at night knowing your horses are retired in a nice place even if they aren't being ridden. They're with someone that can no longer ride for whatever reason or is someone's pasture pet for a lonely horse (that is if you check where the horse is going to and not to an abusive home).
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post #73 of 79 Old 11-26-2014, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Ohio
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I'm not quite sure how the OP's question about enjoying horses without riding them turned into a debate about slaughter.

IMHO, the magical horsie dust that keeps me (relatively) sane works on the ground as well as in the saddle. I love riding, but even if I couldn't ride, I would still NEED to be in the presence of equines.
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post #74 of 79 Old 11-26-2014, 08:35 PM
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If you read the past posts some people say that if they can't ride their horse anymore for whatever reason they send the horse to slaughter.
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post #75 of 79 Old 11-28-2014, 11:21 AM
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Location: Ontario
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Not everyone falls within bylaws that allow a horse to be buried. It can be more cruel to keep a horse alive as a pasture pet than to put it down and for some people slaughter is the only option. What do you think is in canned dog food? As for the question of riding or not, a very dear friend rode for years until he couldn't. He had some very nice mares so became involved in breeding on a small scale. He lost half his insides to cancer so the program came to a halt yet he so enjoyed seeing and having contact with his horses. As he deteriorated his bed was moved to the living room with the big window. His sons tended the horses. When he was hospitalized his last request was to see his horses. He passed away on the drive back to the hospital.

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post #76 of 79 Old 11-28-2014, 04:18 PM
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Can't say that I 'like' Saddlebag's, post with it's sad ending for both objects.

However; I do feel they are very good statements, points of view, and mature commentary on both subjects.

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post #77 of 79 Old 11-29-2014, 10:51 AM
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I think it's great that you have a horse you aren't worrying about riding. Horse time is Therapy time for me and a lot of us and I am not one of those who believe that a horse has to have "a job to do".
At least 1/3 of the people who have horses where I board and at least that many friends outside the stable never, ever ride their horses and both human and animal are quite content with that arrangement!
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post #78 of 79 Old 11-29-2014, 11:58 AM
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Location: California
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I've just made the decision to back off riding with my Haflinger gelding. I'm not totally giving up riding, we'll still do off-property trail rides if we get invited along, and if the barn has a play day or something. There's nothing wrong with him physically, he's a gentleman under saddle, but as a rides and drives, I have a feeling that he'd much rather be pulling his cart in harness than trying to put up with me mucking around with multiple saddles in multiple disciplines. Which was frustrating me too, I felt I lacked motivation and direction that I think driving could bring back because it's super fun with a well trained driving horse.

I have a mare who has been "intermittently gimpy" the last few years and we've been unable to pinpoint the exact problems short of a very extensive (and expensive) full body exam. It's possibly something in her back, as she pins her ears and tried to buck at a gait faster than a walk, and only does it with a rider on her back. So she doesn't get ridden, I take her out for walks, and as I have a spare harness, ground drive her to give her a "job" to do (she'd be perfectly happy as a pasture puff, but I don't really have a pasture -- big corral, sure -- and I know she likes going out and moving around and at least she's got something to keep her from getting bored). Maybe someday, we'll take the next step and she might end up driving too.

I know other people at my barn who doesn't ride their horses. One is the woman who is my "mentor" ( she almost feels like an older sister, or an aunt). One of her Arabians is older and was diagnosed with Cushings a few years ago. Her other Arabian is still rideable, but she feels he's not quite up to her weight so she has a lovely gal come out and ride him so he gets his stuff done. Another person is a woman I think got a little spooked by her horse's high jinx a few years ago and stopped riding. She spends her time grooming him.

People don't have to ride their horses. Although I think when it comes to boarding, the costs are often high enough that someone should at least be doing something with their horse, be it riding, driving or in hand trail walks.
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post #79 of 79 Old 11-30-2014, 08:34 PM
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i like this thread, it's really important for a lot of reasons. first off, horses don't 'need' to be ridden. they weren't even anatomically designed for it. we domesticated them into riding creatures but in the wild, they would never have anything on their backs. So the idea of riding for their sakes is sort of silly. Now, they do need exercise since they are no longer in the wild and many find riding easy and pleasurable for them (the human) the horses, most tolerate it, some enjoy it and some demand it (horses who were bred to perform and win)
So...if you are in a position to have horses, give them space to roam, forage to eat and keep them somewhat protected from the elements.. GO FOR IT!!!! awesome. I do ride my horses, but often I lunge or free lunge them for exercise and circulation because I just don't feel like riding. Many times I would just rather hang out with them then ride. And I think people who only care about riding...and not the other things their horses care about (which aren't riding typically) I think they aren't truly 'horse lovers', they are horse utilitarians.

Long story long...good for all of you to enjoy your wonderful horses in whatever way you can! And they are very happy to be cared for and not ridden, I promise you that! :)
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