Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central Hill Country Texas
I'll give you my own example: I have one horse who was at pasture for a year and a half recuperating from an injury, got on him for an easy walk, he rode just fine. A bit rusty but no problems. He had contact with people every day throughout his convalescence.
My first horse was used as a brood mare and not ridden for 8 years with only sporatic human contact; I had not ridden in a year because I had my fifth child. Total disaster...head tossing etc, ending with a bucking fit.
A third horse (an old cow ranch horse) I had not ridden in 6 months, got on bareback with a rope halter, he rode like he would have if I had ridden him every day for those 6 months.
IMO it depends on the demeanor of the horse, how much prior training, and what kind of prior training (a horse trained to a harness is not necessarily broke to a rider on their back).
“You spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.” –quote from my very wizened trainer