Tuesday 15 August 2017

$900 FB Pony Hop: Dealbreakers

Thank you, $900 Facebook Pony, for a topic that ties in nicely with yesterday's post about riding all the horses offered to me.

Her question:

Any dealbreakers that make you not even want to ride a particular kind of horse?

Shut your little ears, Midge. No ideas to get out of work here....none at all....

Yes! Rearing scares me. Not so much the -"I'm green and not sure where else to go" kind, but the kind that's learned and means business. Nope, no thanks, not getting on that.

Somewhere in this novel of a post from our last show, I mention helping out a rider on the XC field whose horse went over on her. What I'm not sure I conveyed well enough was the horse literally jumped up off the ground on her hind legs before slamming down on her back. Like when a person tries to do a backflip and doesn't quite pull it off. No idea if it was intentional, but it was fast and athletic and horsey didn't look overly concerned....so not something I'd ever be into riding.

Midge reared and fell on me once, I think last winter? She was being quite braced and fussy and running through my hand. I thought maybe incorporating some backing up might be useful. Midge thought maybe popping up a bit might be a good alternative, and...Midge being Midge, totally misjudged the footing/her athletic talents and kind of slipped and fell over on her side in slo mo. And, learned her lesson and never, ever thought about rearing again. I also learned mine, so if she's being really silly and tough, we just move into canter and incorporate some lateral work there to burn off steam and get her less heavy. 
Pic from around that time frame. Midge is often opinionated, but never mean. Sidenote: I see so much progress since then!

Another type of horse I'd never get on are the ones that are tricky and just beyond my abilities. There's one I know that I try to avoid even handling on the ground. He's very much into testing boundaries and will get very dangerous about it and really doesn't mind upping his game when you discipline him. I don't think he's inherently nasty, I think it all probably started as playful intelligent gelding games that scared someone and got him out of work.For whatever reason he now is who he is and I'm not interested in trying to play the game. He goes great for a couple of riders in the barn, but I've seen them have some pretty epic showdowns with him too, and yeah, the stuff he tries out is way above my abilities, not to mention could seriously hurt someone like me. 

Final category: Baby's first rides. Used to be OK with this, now if they're not mine I'm not going to. I like to know they've been productive members of equine society for at least a little while first.

And, in all honesty, I'm not very brave on new horses. Never have been. So, any time I'm on a horse that I don't know super well and they feel too fresh or like there's bit of a buck in there, I get off and lunge a bit. Obviously they don't fall into the 'never ride' category, but a 'don't ride sometimes' one for sure!



  1. I feel like you and I are similar in how we gauge which horses we'd ride or not ride.

  2. I do not like horses who do things 'on purpose' whether that's bucking, rearing or bolting. To me it's not worth it if a horse has learned such things- you can never trust them.

  3. agreed with a lot here - i'd add that esp as i get older i'm much more quick to draw the line on what i do or do not want to do. it's good for me to know my limits!

  4. Babies ugh/ i didnt like riding them when I was brave. LOL I will stick to my fat QH thank you very much. She looks adorable in that photo with her clip job :)