My first post and a couple of questions - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #21 of 28 Old 12-18-2017, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Left coast
Posts: 55
• Horses: 0
@thecolorcoal I'm afraid you've lost me a bit on the distinctions between the different jumping disciplines @[email protected]

@bsms goodness gracious; the thought falling into cacti and boulders! I am sorry to hear of your injury, managing chronic pain bites and you have my sympathy.

@Change thank you for the Gymkhana explanation! When I wrote my "one-liner" I honestly didn't realize there was an equestrian sport such as vaulting!

And thank you everyone for chiming in about crops. I did some thinking last night and suspect I've found the root of my fear of them. I remember spending a couple of summers of my youth in "horse camp". All the lesson horses were very sweet to us kids, and ever so patient. We did neck reining and a bit of using out "seat" to steer and I remember the horses being easy to handle.

However, the only time I saw a crop used at that camp was in reaction to one horse kicking at another. The instructor was steaming mad because both of the horses involved had kids on their back at the time and she immediately and ferociously disciplined the misbehavior. I think that display really stuck with me, even though it's been nearly 20 years since that took place.
AnitaAnne likes this.
elzilrac is offline  
post #22 of 28 Old 12-22-2017, 10:37 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 7,832
• Horses: 12
Whips, crops and spurs are tools. They can be used correctly or incorrectly. Better to use one of them correctly than to deaden your horses response with over use or incorrect use of body aids.

My advice is to learn the basics where you are before you do any "window" shopping. Once you have gotten to where you are competent and confident then be honest with your trainer about wanting to experience different disciplines. You'll find out in a hurry where you stand and what they will tolerate. Many I know want to see their riders gain experience and get a taste of what else is out there. They'll pass on the names of trainers they feel would give you good experience. If they are honest they will also point a rider that isn't doing well for them in another direction if they feel doing that will benefit the rider.

Everyone falls off at some point. Most falls hurt the pride more than the body though you don't walk away without a few bumps, bruises or scrapes. Wear protection that fits the discipline and learn how to fall. Ride to your level on good horses that are considered safe to start. If this is what your current instructor provides and you are getting what you need/want out of where you are then content yourself with that for now. You don't want to become the local barn hopper or tire kicker. No one will take you seriously. This is a good thread that covers quite a bit. I think you paint with much too broad a brush at times colorcoal and your experience is limited to some degree by more bad experiences in your discipline/s than good. There are extremes in every discipline and horses as well as riders that just don't do trails for one reason or another. My show experience is with drafts but I have ridden champions that were shown in different English or Western disciplines on trails and in arenas. To clarify I was not showing these horses. The opportunity to ride them was there and I grabbed the reins and ran so to speak. For the most part English or Western they all had great minds and were willing partners. Riding them was a partnership not an exercise in submission. There are riders though that demand that submission and those that expect a partnership and reap the rewards. That is a product of their personalities and how they were taught. I've ridden and driven my drafts on trails. They have BTDT and seen just about anything you could throw at a horse. Ride, drive, arena, show ring (halter, ground driven, with a wheeled vehicle - single and in various team configurations, ridden, I don't think there was a class we didn't show in that at some point we didn't place or win in), trails, parades from small county fair to circus, from Mardi Gras New Orleans to the tamer parades in smaller towns as well as Courir de Mardi Gras, Circus parades and Fort Worth Stock show, farm work, road work, part of a public display and various historic demonstrations from farming to logging, weddings, funerals, one has spent time as a lesson horse, at summer camp and being ridden by a top level dressage rider that got more out of her than I ever will but then again I am not driven to ride that level in that discipline. In her younger days she could also beautifully clear 5ft. I am much more comfortable at lower heights but I've taken her over many 5 footer way, way back in the day. They take care of me and I take care of them. They had great minds, were open to any and all experiences and excelled at several but could be counted on for anything they were asked to do. It all comes down to the horse, not the discipline except when you consider exposure to different experiences. It also depends to some extent on the rider and their comfort level. In my experiences in areas from Maine down to Florida and west to Texas with a chunk of the midsection mixed in, natural horsemanship and round penning were/are not restricted to "Western" riders. Far more English that I know use these tools than Western. Use of stud chains has not been restricted to the English set. With the draft crowd theses things run about half and half. The majority of lower level riders, be they English or Western, in my experience get plenty of real horse experience from the ground up as that benefits the rider and the instructor as it can foster a lifelong involvement that gets passed down generation to generation. My child's instructor has many a third generation student in her lessons. The instructor rode with or gave basic lessons to those in her age group, began seriously instructing their children when she stopped showing and now has their grands in her lessons. Some of the old crowd still rides with her on "ladies" day though there is a gentleman in that crowd as well. Sure there are those out there that are only interested in getting on the horse and riding. They ride at barns that deliver that experience. The horse is brought to them and they are given a hand up. When they are done there is someone there to help them dismount and care for the horse. They are free to go. That has not been my experience with any barn but for a rare few riders in those barns that could afford that kind of service it behooved the BO to provide it - at a cost. A very steep cost. One of my nieces rode for a very short time after winning a lesson in an auction. Her extended family filled her head with so much nonsense about her skills and set her expectations high then told her horses were dirty, smelly animals and since she was their princess did she really want to smell like a horse? She stopped riding lessons as in all of three months she has become the "expert" rider. She now expects to have a groomsman to do all the work when she does ride. She doesn't get that here so she eventually stopped asking to ride and cajole her cousin into doing all the work X2. While he'd gladly do it for a guest he isn't going to coddle this one. When I asked him why he says it is because she is snooty about her expectations and treats him like dirt. All for a fifteen minute spin around the property on a horse happy to be nose tail to his. From this spin she gets reinforcement that she is the best rider ever and in total control in her mind. Same for the rent a rides provided at my husband's annual family picnic.
AnitaAnne likes this.

Last edited by QtrBel; 12-22-2017 at 10:51 AM.
QtrBel is offline  
post #23 of 28 Old 12-22-2017, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 15,433
• Horses: 2
Originally Posted by thecolorcoal View Post
great, english is very technical. Not saying western isn't, but i have no western experience. There is a lot of biomechanical theory that goes into english riding, as it is derived from fox hunting and pleasure riding. Western is derived from working horses, ranchwork, where the mechanics and finesse were not necessary. English will teach you good equitation, western will teach you how to work alongside your horse accomplishing a goal, like cattle penning or roping or even reining. Trail riding, i'd say, is the real test of english and western. A lot of english horses struggle on the trails because english in itself requires a horse that is nearly 100% dependent on its rider, and I believe and have experienced western horses rely on a horse who has a sense of self and can be independent, a thinker, and who can problem-solve for their rider.

Western riders, correct me of i am wrong. I am fascinated by the discipline, coming from dressage/hunter-jumper it is a completely different need and philosophy in a horse.
You are so wrong, Western is every bit as technical as English, but in a different way, I suggest you go have a couple of lessons and see how technical it is.

English horses do not struggle on the trail, many top level English horses hack out as part of their routine.

Originally Posted by thecolorcoal View Post
There are a lot of misgivings in english riding, and if you want to point out one downfall and blame worthyentity it is the Pony Club, both UK and USA. It is derived of military riding technique and is incredibly outdated/old, but many youth start their riding experience in PC, so that is where a lot of the over-use of crops/whips/spurs comes from, along with people seeing horses as mindless machines. I was never in PC but I do know, from a nonfiction book I read, that it teaches very old, very unuqdated horsemanship. So keep that in mind: you cannot fault ignorance, for ignorance is simply the lack of knowledge.
Iím not sure where you got that impression, The Pony Club is a great place to learn about both riding and care of horse.

Originally Posted by thecolorcoal View Post
It is also important to note that a lot of lower-level english riders haven't a clue about horses outside actually riding. They do not understand horse language/psychology. This is a very common thread in the english world. There is no pressure to understand the horse. If you ride at SDEC, there is a lot of this mindset going around, but MOST barns operate very similarly to SDEC unless they are smaller and more independent. It is the rare gem of a barn that lets you try and make mistakes on your own.
Again where do you get this stuff?

Originally Posted by thecolorcoal View Post
I ride hunters, and hunters in itself is a very high-nosed, snotty discipline filled with people who can't ride, but can sit and look pretty. Dressage is where the real test of rider and horse come into play, and can be compared to reining. But still, shortcuts can be taken when there is pressure from sponsors to do well.

I love to jump. It is harder than it looks. My horse is very forward on the flat but not 100% on the aids, though when the standards come up she gets it into gear. We have some soundness issues that make her unsuitable for sports like eventing and showjumping, and hunters is a slower, laggier style of jumping so that is what we do because that is what will keep her safe and sound, pun intended. I personally HATE hunters. I am an equitation rider but there is not much in terms of adult eq. She's not an equitation horse, her bascule is too round and I still don't trust those tight turns.
You ride hunters but you hate hunters? You seem to be down on the whole horse world here, is there anyone that you approve of? I am a Dressage Rider, but simply do not agree that it is THE real test of horse and rider. Any discipline, to do well is a test...

ďNever attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidityĒ
Golden Horse is offline  
post #24 of 28 Old 12-22-2017, 02:28 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,472
• Horses: 0
Originally Posted by thecolorcoal View Post
@elzilrac, Oh bay area! Then we are close! I'm in the portola valley/los altos hills area. (now I can be stalked!) .
Hello. I lived in the Bay Area for a long time. Acronyms are not keeping anonymity.
AnitaAnne and sarahfromsc like this.

Quantity does not mean quality.

Last edited by jaydee; 12-24-2017 at 12:10 PM. Reason: edited quoted post
updownrider is offline  
post #25 of 28 Old 12-22-2017, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Southeast
Posts: 8,307
• Horses: 0
Originally Posted by elzilrac View Post
Hello! I've been lurking here for some weeks, reading as many of the threads as I can as well as taking weekly lessons for the last four months. I had no idea how much I didn't know!

The more one learns, the more one realizes there is much more to learn!!
Congratulations on seeking knowledge!

Originally Posted by elzilrac View Post
2. Riding crops. I uh, don't like them. I really don't want to use them at all, because as I've improved and my communication gets more clear to the horse it's becoming more apparent that "lazy" behavior is more my fault than the horse's. Eg, now that I can feel them slow down, a squeeze and a cluck before they change gates is so much more effective than nagging at them after. (btw not knocking my trainer here, she's the one who helped me realize that). When do you get to understanding when use of a crop appropriate vs it's "user error" and you need to fix yourself instead?
You are on the right path! I bolded a part of your statement, because it tells me that you have a natural understanding of horses and the gift of FEEL.

This is CORRECT! Better to influence the horse before he changes gaits, than to wait until after the error is made to correct him. If you don't need a whip to influence the horse, there is no requirement to using one. However, it is important to learn how to carry a whip while riding, just in case you might need one.

A whip is nothing to fear, however. A whip is just an extension of an aid, usually a leg aid, and is used for various reasons, some already listed.

For a horse lacking good impulsion, it can amplify the leg aid.
For a horse deadened to aids r/t ineffective riders, just carrying one can tell the horse you mean business.
For a horse endangering a person or other animal, it can be an effective deterrent.

Originally Posted by elzilrac View Post
5. Kind of a joking-not-joking question here. How can I cure myself of this horse crazy bug??? I feel like I'm going to drive all my non-horse friends nuts because it's all I want to talk about
Hmm. No cure that I am aware of! Really, do you even want to be cured??? Those non-horsey friends will look at you a bit oddly at first, but eventually they will realize that all they need to do is buy you a meal and you will spend time with them!

(horse people are always broke)

Golden Horse likes this.
AnitaAnne is online now  
post #26 of 28 Old 12-22-2017, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Southeast
Posts: 8,307
• Horses: 0
Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
You are so wrong, Western is every bit as technical as English, but in a different way, I suggest you go have a couple of lessons and see how technical it is.

English horses do not struggle on the trail, many top level English horses hack out as part of their routine.

Iím not sure where you got that impression, The Pony Club is a great place to learn about both riding and care of horse.

Again where do you get this stuff?

You ride hunters but you hate hunters? You seem to be down on the whole horse world here, is there anyone that you approve of? I am a Dressage Rider, but simply do not agree that it is THE real test of horse and rider. Any discipline, to do well is a test...
AnitaAnne is online now  
post #27 of 28 Old 12-23-2017, 05:29 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
Posts: 33,832
• Horses: 3
Originally Posted by thecolorcoal View Post

There are a lot of misgivings in english riding, and if you want to point out one downfall and blame worthy entity it is the Pony Club, both UK and USA.

I don't know where you're getting your experiences of UK Pony Club from but its not 'first hand'
I went to Pony Club in the UK and so did my children and its nothing at all like the picture you're trying to paint. They provide an excellent foundation for children and very much keep up with the times.
I would recommend it to anyone with absolute confidence
Golden Horse and Trinket12 like this.

Just winging it is not a plan
jaydee is offline  
post #28 of 28 Old 12-23-2017, 05:52 PM
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 410
• Horses: 0
Hi there! So I am also often nervous about who (horsewise) doesn't want pets, or protective owners. What I try to do is use it as a chance to ask whoever's around if they know who the horse is, how old they are, what they're like - including if they like a good scratch. So it benefits everyone - I get to learn, a rider can gush about their horse, a horse gets pets if he wants them.

Injury from an EMS perspective- we talk about mechanism of injury. For example, at a walk, a fall is less likely to cause serious injury than, say, a fall at a canter or while jumping, because of the forces and impacts involved. If you fall in mud it hurts less than frozen ground. Also, there's the tension factor. The more tense a body is in an impact, the more likely injury will occur. (This is why intoxicated drivers are sometimes less injured than expected- they aren't tensing for the impact). Obviously, a fall or slip is a scary thing and we automatically tense to stabilize ourselves. That's normal. I think for myself, if I realise that at some point I probably will fall, I don't worry as much about it. My horse has more feet on the ground than me - and his own brain. Talk to your instructor about what you might do, and practice good balance. (On the very rare chance of a major trauma, it's not bad to find out if the barn has an emergency plan. I don't think anybody would be put out to discuss safety with you.)
redbadger is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My yard sale score...and a couple of questions DraftyAiresMum Horse Tack and Equipment 9 04-28-2012 05:01 PM
First western show-couple questions. franknbeans Western Pleasure 3 10-04-2010 12:45 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome