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Silly question

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Hey!
This is a dumb question, but, well, I am insecure so I ask dumb questions a lot! Would you say I still count as a good horse rider even if I can't/don't want to ever gallop? Lol I just feel like an inadequate rider just for that reason. I just do Western riding so no jumping or anything :) And have 4 anxiety disorders so that doesn't help with my thinking patterns xD
Thanks!
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Certainly not a dumb question. If you enjoy riding and do not want to gallop that is just fine. Ride the way you like and don't worry about it.
I don't want to gallop either and I have been riding for 63 years and just don't think it's fun. I do a lot of trotting when out on trail and rarely ever even canter as you just don't know what could be up ahead so better not to be going so fast as you could end up in a mess.
Be aware when you are choosing your riding companions that you don't ride with people who will want to gallop, pick riders that will ride the way you like.
Happy riding
 

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I’m in a city area and though I might like to gallop it’s just not practical here as we ride on multi use trails. And no idea why people decide to pick mushrooms, play in the trees or stop on the trails just near the good canter stretches. Anyway I’m working on improving through lessons etc and I see some progesss, but I am not measuring progress against galloping because that’s pretty much irrelevant. So I would say yes, you can be a good rider without galloping - maybe even a good very safety conscious rider.

Anything that can go wrong on horseback would be more likely to cause injury if it happened at higher speed. I came off a horse that tripped at a canter and just did a sweet somersault, touched on my knee and stood holding the reins. If I’d been galloping, it would have turned out worse no doubt.

That said I have galloped a bit when circumstances allow but it’s rare and I think overall that’s for the best.
 

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Started riding in my mid-fifties (am now 69) and I don't even canter anymore (and never did much). To me riding is not about showing off how much risk you are willing to take, it's about creating a partnership with your horse and the two of you enjoying riding together. As the others have said, if you are having fun and keeping your horse and others safe then yes, you are a good rider.
 

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Please, no question asked is ever dumb!
If we learn by asking then to me you are a achiever of wanting knowledge...that's a good thing.

Personally, I've been riding since I was single digits in age....today well into double digit age.
I can gallop, don't need to and don't often. Bet so could you, but you don't need, want to and not need to prove it to anyone either. Truth.
If you enjoy doing what you are doing at gaits of your choosing....you are riding far better than some who can't ask and tell their mount to do such a thing...they just hang on and allow the animal to do what it wants, go where it wants and hope they not fall off or get hurt in the process.
Being a good rider is a lot more than just going fast....

Don't sweat the little stuff.
Enjoy your horse{s} and the time spent together.
Smile 😁, now go have a great ride together!
🐴...
 

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Hey!
This is a dumb question, but, well, I am insecure so I ask dumb questions a lot! Would you say I still count as a good horse rider even if I can't/don't want to ever gallop? Lol I just feel like an inadequate rider just for that reason. I just do Western riding so no jumping or anything :) And have 4 anxiety disorders so that doesn't help with my thinking patterns xD
Thanks!
Some people where I live consider a "bad horse" if they don't get to gallop on command/when asked. I think it's important that your horse has the trust, technique and physical condition to gallop (besides being important that if they suddently start to gallop, we have to be able to react and know how to stay put!), but not at all if you don't enjoy it!

I had my first gallop with my mare some days ago and it was the best feeling ever (she's so soft and feels like we are floating haha), but the only reason I'm making her gallop is just to train me, my balance and for her to so some exercise (she's really lazy at times haha). After both getting better at it, it's likely I won't gallop her again unless truely necessary, what I enjoy the most is just walking around and enjoying the view and the time with my horse :).

For me, a good rider is the one that cares for the horse and not only put their needs or wants above the animal, but also takes into account what the horse really wants. I have known some horses that LOVE to gallop or go faster during rides and I would consider a """bad rider""" if you just hold the horse back all the time because you want to go slower. I see this from dog training that some people just want their working dog breed to be a couch potatoe, and that's when problems comes; the dog is not happy, they become stressed, etc.

I don't know if it works with horses the same way since I started owning and training them just a couple months ago, but learned they work much much better when all their needs are covered :)
 

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As long as it's an honest question, there is no such thing as a "silly question", or a "dumb question". Questions show a desire to learn!
Its your horse, and your riding. If you don't want to lope, that's no one else's business but yours.

You may, in time, change your mind, but again, that's totally up to you.
 

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Plenty good riders don’t gallop. As above - you don’t fall off (a lot) and your horse is comfortable - you are a good rider in my books. But again, judges at the Olympics have a much different set of criteria. Enjoy your hobby and care for you horse - that’s all there is to it. What other people think is none of your business. I personally don’t like how some of the top professionals ride - but do you think they care? Nor should they.
 

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I don't think a good rider is determined by "skill level". A good rider is one who takes the time to ride correctly, respectful of both the horse and the surroundings, regardless of their particular aptitude or desire to do or not do certain things.

For example, I would say certain Olympic-level riders are not good riders. No, I'm not naming names (mostly for the reason that I don't actually know any, as I don't keep up with celebrity riders). The ones you see abusing their horse (punching, whipping severely for no reason, etc) are not good riders, however excellent their scores or ribbons or trophies claim they are.

A good rider is one who treats horses, equipment, and other riders respectfully. They don't abuse horses, though they might punish a horse for bad behavior when needed. Whether a good rider can successfully ride all gaits, jump, and barrel race is not the point. Those are skillful riders, and skillful riders can be good or bad.

You shouldn't feel like an inadequate rider either! There's no such thing. For some, riding is a lifestyle (Olympians, for example). For others, riding is a hobby. In either case, there's no such thing as inadequate. Perhaps you are less experienced, but that doesn't equate to inadequate or lacking.

It's a bit like comparing a show jumper to a barrel racer. They are gifted, experienced, or motivated in different areas from each other. It doesn't mean one is any less awesome than the other. It doesn't mean the barrel racer should quit because they aren't a good rider, since they don't jump 4-foot fences (and vice-versa).

Therefore, don't feel like you're lacking. You aren't. People make different decisions all the time, and it's your decision not to gallop. So, don't gallop. And don't feel like you're less of a rider because you don't want to, because everybody has something they don't want to do on a horse, and that's okay. Like me: I'm not getting on a bucking bronc, and that doesn't make me a "bad rider".
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Aw I love you all!!!! Thanks for making me feel so much better; I read all your comments and appreciate them so much! I need to stop comparing myself to others, that's for sure! I work at a barn so I don't have my own horse but I spend a lot of time with them on the ground, building our relationships and giving them all the love. I love them sweeties so much! <3 <3 I don't want to be biased but I dooo have a favorite at the barn whom I hope to work with ;) Don't tell the other horses! xD
 

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Aw I love you all!!!! Thanks for making me feel so much better; I read all your comments and appreciate them so much! I need to stop comparing myself to others, that's for sure! I work at a barn so I don't have my own horse but I spend a lot of time with them on the ground, building our relationships and giving them all the love. I love them sweeties so much! <3 <3 I don't want to be biased but I dooo have a favorite at the barn whom I hope to work with ;) Don't tell the other horses! xD
Oh please do stop comparing yourself to others, not just for riding purposes. You may not be as good as some but I know you're better than others. I'll bet there are others who just wish they could ride, never mind if they could ride well. As for whether or not you want to gallop, that's totally up to you. I used to love to take my OTTB out in the desert and race against all comers. That was over 50 years ago. I wouldn't do it today for all the tea in China, it just hurts way too much if I get tossed, and I like to think I'm a pretty good rider, but there's a lot of things I don't do anymore today that I used to love to do when I was a kid. So don't worry about it, you're doing just fine and dandy as long as you're having fun and not putting yourself or anyone else in danger.

And I won't tell if you don't! ;)
 

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However - you say you are working at a barn. Are planning a career as professional equestrian? If so, the bar is different. Not to say every single professional gallops but an equestrian professional must know how to do it and be comfortable doing it. Not because they need to gallop but because they can’t really do their job if they impose such limitations on themselves for whatever reason. Especially a young professional.
 

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I never have liked going really fast. And I was an exercise rider at TB tracks! I was rarely one to do the speed workouts, and never volunteered for those.

I've met several polo grooms who don't do the speed work. They condition and the players do the "short work." Much of polo is played at a gallop.

I worked on a ranch for 14 months whose cattle handled really easy. I realized I never rode beyond a trot the whole time I was there. Sure, the horses loped and galloped in their huge pastures, but they weren't asked to during work. There was no need.

Do what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh please do stop comparing yourself to others, not just for riding purposes. You may not be as good as some but I know you're better than others. I'll bet there are others who just wish they could ride, never mind if they could ride well. As for whether or not you want to gallop, that's totally up to you. I used to love to take my OTTB out in the desert and race against all comers. That was over 50 years ago. I wouldn't do it today for all the tea in China, it just hurts way too much if I get tossed, and I like to think I'm a pretty good rider, but there's a lot of things I don't do anymore today that I used to love to do when I was a kid. So don't worry about it, you're doing just fine and dandy as long as you're having fun and not putting yourself or anyone else in danger.

And I won't tell if you don't! ;)
Aw thank you I really appreciate your message!! :D Wow, that's awesome!! I'm glad you are putting your safety first! :)
And thank you, I won't tell the other horses, now I just hope the horse doesn't tell them 😂
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
However - you say you are working at a barn. Are planning a career as professional equestrian? If so, the bar is different. Not to say every single professional gallops but an equestrian professional must know how to do it and be comfortable doing it. Not because they need to gallop but because they can’t really do their job if they impose such limitations on themselves for whatever reason. Especially a young professional.
Hello! No, I'm not planning on being a professional equestrian :) If anything, I want in the future to have the privilege to live on a small homestead with maybe some goats and chickens and a couple horses :) That's my dream but for now the barn is my favorite place to be! Definitely not planning on being a professional, I'm not competitive enough lol! ;) But I do love to watch the competitions on YT!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I never have liked going really fast. And I was an exercise rider at TB tracks! I was rarely one to do the speed workouts, and never volunteered for those.

I've met several polo grooms who don't do the speed work. They condition and the players do the "short work." Much of polo is played at a gallop.

I worked on a ranch for 14 months whose cattle handled really easy. I realized I never rode beyond a trot the whole time I was there. Sure, the horses loped and galloped in their huge pastures, but they weren't asked to during work. There was no need.

Do what you want.
Thank so much! Oh wow that's interesting that the tracks have exercisers! I wouldn't want to do the speed on that either, especially on, well, a TB! ;) I've always wondered if racehorses ever get to bond with people or other horses since it seems like their jockeys and owners don't do much with them other than at races (that I know of, I'm definitely not an expert!). I would love to hear more about that if you're willing to share! :)

Dang I didn't know polo was played at a gallop! I just imagine it like really chill golf but on horses lol. I need to watch a game on YT apparently!

Yeah, from observance as far as I've seen, I've noticed that cattle and working horses never have a need to gallop. I live in Kansas so the majority of the horses here are cattle/working horses. Even some of the ones at the lesson barns are ex working horses, though there are some cool jumpers! Most of the ranchers here probably never gallop. I've seen several working (just by driving by) and it was interesting how it worked. They mostly just walked lol, looked pretty chill. I guess you don't need to go fast when you are chasing a big fat cow! ;)

Oh and for the others asking, my friends have never pushed me to gallop if I don't want to! They haven't galloped around me either haha, I don't think it's something they do often and some of them not at all. :) They're awesome, especially since one is an instructor at my barn and she can't help but yell out pointers if I'm struggling ;) The horses get a little fast and excited being ridden in the field since they're used to being ridden in the barn, even though they have a giant pasture, it's so funny!
 
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