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Discussion Starter #1
A lot of girls at my barn act silly around the horses. For example, they'll take blankets ( like actual blankets) and put them on the horse to keep them "warm" while getting tack ect. But then they will start throwing the blanket on the horses head, and laugh at the reaction. Or if were going on a trail ride the girls on the really small ponies will " accidentally fall off" like 5 times. Then they just jump right back on their backs :/.

Idk, it just bothers me sometimes that they can't have respect around the horse. Their not a toy, their an animal. I think fun and games with a horse come to a certain extent. What do you think?
 

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there is an extent but i do act goofy and "play" with my horses bc they usually start it lol. for instance Swoop loves playing tag, he'll come up to me behind my back and nudge me, once i look at him he'll take off down the field.. if i dont run after him he runs back and does the same thing. once i chase him back he'll run, stop and rear then run again.. but he never does it close to me. i do all kinds of fun silly stuff w my boys but they love the interaction.
 

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I think to some extent it's good. But throwing blankets on their heads is honestly stupid, pretending to fall off.... why? it seems ridiculous =/
 

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Discussion Starter #4
there is an extent but i do act goofy and "play" with my horses bc they usually start it lol. for instance Swoop loves playing tag, he'll come up to me behind my back and nudge me, once i look at him he'll take off down the field.. if i dont run after him he runs back and does the same thing. once i chase him back he'll run, stop and rear then run again.. but he never does it close to me. i do all kinds of fun silly stuff w my boys but they love the interaction.
Awwwwww that's cute:) and I agree, their is fun stuff. But it's not like you are scaring, or hurting the horse
 

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They will figure out how stupid they are when somebody gets a broken arm or a runaway horse.

I don't mind playing with horses, but sometimes you gotta use your brain.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If there was a "like" button on here. I would of liked that:)
 

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The whole concept of them doing this is mind boggling. And like another said, when there is a broken arm, or a horse that gets hurt because of this?

Won't be so funny then.

Plus, this type of thing can end up getting someone else hurt too, that wasn't in the "aren't we cute and stupid" party.
 

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It depends on the extent of it.

When I tack up, I just toss the pad on, and I'm not exactly careful with the saddle (I obviously make sure not to cause injury, but it isn't always just gently set on there!). I set tack on top of the horse I'm not using, so I can get it when I need it, let the stirups slap their bellies, etc. It isn't hurting them, and it in my oppinion, gets them used to that sort of thing.

What they're doing though, is just stupid.
 

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I goofed off around horses when I was younger....fake fall off...canter around the field with no tack, run and vault onto my pony's back, try standing on my pony's back while he was trotting around, then fall off, things that when I think about it now, are dumb. But I was a kid having fun. If I got hurt I laughed about it, and did it again.
 

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I honestly don't think a blanket will hurt a horse... Don't we put tarps on our horses sometimes? If they get scared of the blanket, they will toss it off themselves. Blankets don't contain mental spikes and won't hurt a horse if it steps on one. I don't think these girls are committing a terrible sin by laying a blanket across their horses, as long as common sense is used. If the horse is acting crazy at the mere sight of the blanket, don't put it on. Very simple.


Fake falling off... Whatever. As long as the girls don't hurt themselves. Personally, I don't like when a horse goes crazy when I fall off and don't see a huge problem with getting them use to it.

I do "stupid" stuff with my horse sometimes. I'll run around bareback, let her carry my jacket for me when we walk... I'll vault off on her bareback from the ground, lay on her like a couch, sit backwards in the saddles... All kinds of crazy crap. If I get hurt, it's my fault. It adds a lot to the horse experience to be able to act the fool sometimes.

Just being the annoying person with the differing opinion here. :wink:
 

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I agree with Brighteyes.

I do a lot of silly things (that could be super dangerous with a lesser horse) with Lacey because I know how she'll react and I know that she'll take whatever I do in stride. I think of it as "confidence building" for her since the silly things I do to her prepare for the silly things kids do daily (she's also my lesson horse) and they help her take strange, scary situations in stride.

However, I never let her get panicked. I only take her to a point where she's a little worried, then let her work it out and learn that she's really fine. It teaches her that I am in control of the situation and that she needs to be calm about stuff so I can "save" her. And, it's really helpful for times when crazy, out of my control, junk happens in life.
Like, last summer, at camp, there was a popped, super shiny, foil balloon that ended up on the trail (in the middle of a deep forest, who knows how it got there). We were leading a ride of 8 other horses with very barely beginning riders on board and I knew that the horse behind Lacey, and I, would go bonkers if he saw the balloon and cause the rest of the line to panic. So I had to figure out how to carry the popped balloon, out of sight of the horse directly behind us, while still controlling Lacey (which is a 2 hand job, at times). So, since the balloon had a hole directly through the middle of it, I put it over Lacey's head and had it around her neck for the rest of the ride like a necklace. She wasn't thrilled, but she's used to crazy stuff so she was just like "whatever" instead of freaking out.
There have been other times like that, and they've all ended well since she knows that I might do anything but that no matter what I do, she'll be safe.

I do think there's a level of "crazy" that shouldn't be crossed (ie, putting the horse in danger, causing the horse to truly panic and pull back/freak out) but I think little scares that are recovered from relatively quickly, are just fine.
The falling off thing seems a little silly, but if they enjoy that, that's their prerogative. Personally, I like it that Lacey takes it as a personal affront when someone falls off since she's only been fallen off of a few times, I feel that she works harder to keep me on that way, but if those girls want to fall off all the time...Whatever floats their boat...
 

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^
My thoughts as well. :)

As long as they own the horses and are staying within the barn rules (behaving in a manner that will not harm themselves or their horses), they can do whatever silly things young girls can come up with.

When I was younger and my friends and I would go riding, we would close our eyes, drop the reins, and see where our horses would take us! (I was the one who was always peeking!) Not to mention that I would (at age 19) ride my horse out to her pasture bareback in her halter sitting backwards.

Blanket on the head? Great desensitizing, in my mind, as long as the horses aren't flipping out and flopping all over the place, which I doubt anyone would laugh at.

Falling off on purpose? Great way to learn how to fall safely. =P

I'm sure there are enough of us to be serious about our horses that there have to be some who like doing silly things. And personally, I don't think horses care whether they are treated regally or with silliness, as long as they are fed, feel secure/safe, and are healthy.

OP, I do get where you're coming from though. Try not to let it bother you and just enjoy being at the barn and riding! There's nothing better than that.
 

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I honestly don't think a blanket will hurt a horse... Don't we put tarps on our horses sometimes? If they get scared of the blanket, they will toss it off themselves. Blankets don't contain mental spikes and won't hurt a horse if it steps on one. I don't think these girls are committing a terrible sin by laying a blanket across their horses, as long as common sense is used. If the horse is acting crazy at the mere sight of the blanket, don't put it on. Very simple.
I see your point here, Brighteyes, but I think these horses are tied up while they are doing this.
Usually when poeple tack up, their horses are tied. While yes, a horse should get used to a blanket being around it head, the desensitizing should not happen while the horse is tied. If the horse becomes panicked, they could pull back and hurt themselves or others. I actually have seen horses freak out while tied and cross tied, and it isn't pretty.
 

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I agree with Brighteyes. I have 2 friends I ride with all the time. We do some silly stuff on the trail like ride up on each other, turn around in the saddle, jump off without warning, etc. One because its fun, and two because I believe it is good for the rider and horse. I know how these girls ride, and I know their horses. I try to be respectful of other riders though, and if someone tells me they or their horse has a problem with the antics I quit. I also wouldn't do that with people or horses I don't know.
 

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^ Ah yes, that's another good point. They should not interfere with other horses/riders, especially if anyone's safety is involved.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I see your point here, Brighteyes, but I think these horses are tied up while they are doing this.
Usually when poeple tack up, their horses are tied. While yes, a horse should get used to a blanket being around it head, the desensitizing should not happen while the horse is tied. If the horse becomes panicked, they could pull back and hurt themselves or others. I actually have seen horses freak out while tied and cross tied, and it isn't pretty.
They were tied
 

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I do silly stuff with Buzz all the time, hes no worse off for it.

Practing falling off is actually really good, I don't do it but I see why you would, you want kids to be confident to get back on after a fall by practicing falling off they will know what to do when the actually need to fall off and will most probably get back on.

I ca hang my bridle from Buzz ears, when ever I put combo blankets on him I usually put it over his ear, it gets him used to stuff around his ears, if he doesn't like it he can easily get it off.

I can chase him around in the paddock, I can do what ever I please with him, I could probably go under his belly if I wanted to.

There horses would be used to all this stuff, ponies are very tolarable and can put up with heaps, saying that Buzz is a Tb and he still puts up with me :p
 

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I think the girls are just having simple fun. No harm done to the horse. If they break an arm they break an arm and they'll move on and they won't do it again, just as long as it's not their neck. We all do silly things. I never did this but a friend of mine would get on a barrel and try to jump on the horses back like cowboys and take off.
 

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There is nothing wrong with those kids havin fun.

I sometimes get annoyed by immaturity as well, but then again I am told I take horses TOO seriously, so each to their own ;)
 

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There is a line between acting "goofy" as desensitization and just being plain stupid.

If they are doing this, and the horse is reacting badly and the sit there in cackle as the horse actually believes something bad is happening, then there is no use to that. My suggestion would probably result in being sued in some sort, but it's just mean to be stupid like that.

But if it's reinforcing that a blanket is okay, which doesn't really sound like what they are doing from how you explain it.
 
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