Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: I'm an American girl living in southwest France
My girl is one I would consider "safe" at 12 years old, but she will still spook and throw her legs out or dance sideways when something freaky passes by. She's never bucked, reared, or done anything to hurt me (bite, strike, etc). She's half draft and half arabian, so I guess you could call her "room-temperature-blooded". :) I happily put kids on her after I've gotten her tired. I wouldn't put an inexperienced person on her without her being tired first because when she trots she takes off very fast and she's very sensitive to leg pressure. These were things I noticed during my test ride of her, but I knew it was something I could handle, so I bought her. Now she's learning "trot" doesn't meant "trot like a bat out of hell".
To me, horseback riding means always being prepared for the unexpected. You can never be lazy-minded when on or around a horse, or that's the time you'll get stomped on or fall off. Even with an easy-does-it horse, they never lose that vision of themselves as prey and they are wired to survive.
I have NEVER seen a horse-for-sale ad that said any of the following things, even though obviously there are plenty of horses for sale that these phrases would describe:
1. Is almost impossible to catch.
2. Will rear whenever you ask him to do something he doesn't want.
3. Tends to bite anyone who gets close enough.
4. Bucks like a bronco even with a perfectly fit saddle.
5. Never met a human he didn't feel like kicking.
6. Will bolt for no reason whatsoever and be impossible to stop.
7. Best for a rider who can dive headfirst out of the saddle and roll.
8. Is pushy, aggressive, and disrespectful of all humans.
9. Harasses all other animals who he comes into contact with.
10. Will purposely step on your foot any chance it gets.
This is why at least one test-ride visit (not on a longe line) and a thorough vet check are musts when horse shopping. If you're not an experienced rider, bring one with you. That's what I did. We both rode the horse, and asked the owner to ride her. When the owner won't get on, that's a big danger signal!
“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare