Is There Any Such Thing As A Safe Horse? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 79 Old 06-12-2014, 07:39 AM
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I used to consider Breyer Horses 100%safe until I stepped on one in the middle of the night. No horse is 100% safe - not even therapy horses though they are chosen for attitude and acceptance of a wide range of disabilities. Horses are risky. Some horses and some situations are less risky than others.
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post #12 of 79 Old 06-12-2014, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Palomine View Post
Much of how safe a horse is, has to do not only with their temperament, but how they have been handled.
THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS

My filly was quite dangerous when I got her. Rearing and striking out at her handler sort of dangerous.

Now... well... you be the judge.

Yes, it was on lead, with me up behind, but I would trust this horse with that six-year-old without. The lead and my presence were literally only there to keep my cousin [child's mother] happy.
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post #13 of 79 Old 06-12-2014, 07:53 AM
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Yes, there are well trained, calm, safe horses out there. They are harder to find simply because they tend to be "keepers" and people don't sell them.
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post #14 of 79 Old 06-12-2014, 08:04 AM
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I think the idea of "safe" has been pretty well discussed, but I would like to approach your situation from another angle as well.

You mentioned that you have felt comfortable with the lesson horses you have ridden. You recognize the fact that this was in the controlled environment of an arena. Also realize that these horses have probably been ridden by many different people and under the guidance and support of an instructor.

You seem to comprehend things better than a lot of people. Many people take lessons and think they have learned how to handle horses. Then, they buy a horse of their own and never give a thought to asking assistance with this horse.

In group lessons, horses often do what they see the other horses doing. This is much easier for them than trying to figure out what the person on their back is trying to tell them. In private lessons, the horse is often responding to the voice or body language of the instructor they understand rather than the rider who is talking in a different language or at least a different dialect than they are use to. I speak of language figuratively to describe variances in cues due to the size and shape of the rider as well as balance and other factors.

While an instructor will not know a new horse you may buy as well as the lesson horses he or she knows well, an experienced instructor can be very helpful in getting you accustomed to any new horse you may purchase. Think of this as a language coach helping you and your horse learn to communicate.

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post #15 of 79 Old 06-12-2014, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TXhorseman View Post
I think the idea of "safe" has been pretty well discussed, but I would like to approach your situation from another angle as well.

You mentioned that you have felt comfortable with the lesson horses you have ridden. You recognize the fact that this was in the controlled environment of an arena. Also realize that these horses have probably been ridden by many different people and under the guidance and support of an instructor.

You seem to comprehend things better than a lot of people. Many people take lessons and think they have learned how to handle horses. Then, they buy a horse of their own and never give a thought to asking assistance with this horse.

In group lessons, horses often do what they see the other horses doing. This is much easier for them than trying to figure out what the person on their back is trying to tell them. In private lessons, the horse is often responding to the voice or body language of the instructor they understand rather than the rider who is talking in a different language or at least a different dialect than they are use to. I speak of language figuratively to describe variances in cues due to the size and shape of the rider as well as balance and other factors.

While an instructor will not know a new horse you may buy as well as the lesson horses he or she knows well, an experienced instructor can be very helpful in getting you accustomed to any new horse you may purchase. Think of this as a language coach helping you and your horse learn to communicate.
This is a fair point, and a really good one. I'm planning on keeping on getting lessons once I buy a horse, I've just been frankly shocked at how many people will declare a horse 'safe' even after it bucked them off and bolted (and not for any good reason, either, just because it didn't feel like being ridden). How on earth can you think your horse is safe if it just turfed you off and hightailed it?

I go with my gut when it comes to horses. I've refused to get on more than half the horses I've looked at, which doesn't always make you popular especially when the seller is insisting how wonderful their steed is. And the one I did get on against my better judgement was the one I fell off.

As for the lessons and language thereof, yes, I have ridden very well versed lesson horses, but only in private lessons and without many cues from the instructor. (My instructor likes to sit back and watch from the sidelines, so unless there's telepathy involved, the horses aren't getting too many cues aside from the odd 'hurry up'.) So I am hoping I know how to cue a horse properly by now, but I am also looking forward to learning to speak a common language with my own horse.
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post #16 of 79 Old 06-12-2014, 08:39 AM
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How on earth can you think your horse is safe if it just turfed you off and hightailed it?

I go with my gut when it comes to horses. I've refused to get on more than half the horses I've looked at, which doesn't always make you popular especially when the seller is insisting how wonderful their steed is.
You just said it. Because they want to sell.
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post #17 of 79 Old 06-12-2014, 08:40 AM
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Anyway, I wouldn't want to give my money to an instructor who sits on a chair all time.
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post #18 of 79 Old 06-12-2014, 08:41 AM
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It sounds as though you have had more experience than many in controlling your own lesson horse. Alois Podhajsky wrote that they even had trouble at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna with the horses responding to the voice of the instructor rather than waiting for the rider's cue. The instructor tried saying "Walk" for "Trot" and "Trot" for "Canter" to try to prevent this. The tactic worked for about a week until the horses figured it out.

I applaud your caution in refusing to ride some of the horses you have gone to see. I've had an owner ask me to ride a horse she was trying to sell to another individual, because she didn't trust the horse enough to ride it herself. I always prefer to see someone else ride a horse first. Even if I think I may be a better rider, I can learn a lot from seeing how the horse responds to the other rider.
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post #19 of 79 Old 06-12-2014, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Cielo Notturno View Post
Anyway, I wouldn't want to give my money to an instructor who sits on a chair all time.
Why not? The best instructor I ever had, top level rider, sits on a chair on the edge of his indoor arena and instructs from there. Or he instructs from the back of one of his own horses.
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post #20 of 79 Old 06-12-2014, 08:51 AM
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Sellers are trying to sell their horse so many will extend the truth or even outright lie trying to get a sale. Its a buyer be-ware world out there.

Could you ask your trainer if they know of anyone selling a good horse for you? They are usually a little more expensive because people know when they have a good one and usually don't want to let them go unless life circumstances force them to.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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