Riding an equine that hasn't been ridden in a while? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 05-01-2016, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Iowa, USA
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Originally Posted by berrypippin View Post
Hypothetically, why would happen if someone tried to ride a pony, horse or mule that hasn't been ridden in a while? The equine would have been used to farm work (pulling carts, plowing), so it's used to harnesses (or whatever you call that... I'm not a horse person).
The character in question (since this is for a story I'm writing) buys the equine off a farmer because he has to leave quickly. Would it be different for mules, ponies or horses?
The character hasn't ridden in quite some time either. On a scale from 1-10, how much disaster would this be?

On a similar note, what would the effects be for the rider? If he does manage to ride the horse, will he experience back pains or leg pains or butt pains or anything else by the end of the day?
Can't speak to other equines but I came back to my horse after 10 years of not riding her and it went fairly well. She was a tad nervous but no major episodes (I'm a decent rider though, not a beginner, so I don't push her past what we can handle). Horses don't really forget their training, they may be rusty or testy but it's a bit like riding a bike for both parties.

However, a horse being used to farm work and harnesses doesn't mean it's been trained under saddle and can just be tacked up and ridden off into the sunset.

Also, the amount of soreness depends on the physical fitness of the rider. I'm still getting back into things now and I've ridden my horse for up to an hour with absolutely no physical effects the next day (which surprised me). When I was younger and out of shape, I'd feel it, but now that I'm in the military and running/exercising regularly, I don't.

That being said, a several hours long ride would probably make me sore for the next day..
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-07-2016, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
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As everyone says it depends on the horse. I have 3 horses. I don't ride all winter and in the spring one horse I can just get on and he behaves as if he has been ridden every day. The 2nd horse (my new one I bought in October) he crow hopped all across the yard then grew roots and wouldn't move lol. It took about an hour to get him to walk down the driveway then he was fine and every ride after that was fine. The third horse I am going to get a much younger rider to tune up for a few rides before I get on him. I am older and don't bounce well. As for soreness I find I am a little sore on the inner thighs if I haven't ridden in a few months but I never experience the soreness of a person who hasn't ridden before. Good luck with your writing.
post #13 of 16 Old 05-08-2016, 01:12 AM
Join Date: Apr 2016
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It would depend on the horse. When I was just a beginner the only horse we could afford was a 21 year old tb who hadn't been ridden in 2 years! After a couple of weeks she was working well and a couple of months later she is now incredible and I'm working towards a few dressage tests. Also if you noticed how I said beginner and then a couple of months later bla bla bla, no I'm not advanced but I have improved tremendously with this horse! I've certainly learnt a lot! I'm not sure if it would be different between mules horses and ponies though. And for the scale from 1-10 I would say 1 IF the person stuck with it and had a trainer because it would teach the person to ride much quicker than a school horse can! Just my opinion.
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post #14 of 16 Old 05-08-2016, 09:21 AM
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Location: Idaho
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I just make sure the animal has brakes and go. No brakes = no go.

Was once given a sweet ol mule. After I got him back into good health I decided to ride him. Really nice riding mule. Eventually ran into somebody that had once owned him. Found out he was a pack mule only has he bucked off his riders. OOps. Confidence is a good thing, I just knew I was going for a nice ride and the mule agreed.
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-08-2016, 11:16 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Getting horse facts correct is a very good plan when writing. Many years ago I read a novel by a very well known author. Her character was galloping and pressing her knees into the horse's flank. Now, that would be a very exciting trick! Obviously, her proofreaders had no clue about riding or anatomy either.
Good for you for asking for info.
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If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #16 of 16 Old 05-19-2016, 08:29 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Colorado
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I think it depends on how well-trained the horse is, and what the temperament is. I have ridden several horses that can go a year off of work and still be 100% obedient to the rider and not need any preparation.

In other cases, some horses need to be lunged (not to tire the horse out, but to gain focus and attention on the handler), flexed side to side, and backed up (to make sure they respond to pressure). I'd also lunge the horse in a saddle before getting on as well. If there will be any bucking, you'll see it before you get on. Some horses think the saddle feels funny after some time off from riding, and will buck once or twice before going back to lunging calmly. It's better to have this happen on the ground, than on top of the horse.
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