Monday, December 8, 2014

Things I will NOT do with my horse…

I think this is the first blog hop I’ve ever done, although there are others waiting in my drafts folder to be finished off!

Equestrian Journey asks “We all like to share on our blogs what we do with our horses and what we would like to do, but I want to know what you will NOT do.”

I was immediately intrigued to find out what is on other people’s lists of “Won’t do in a million years” with their respective horsey partners.

Will do this - loads of this! - A Riding Habit   - Will do this; loads and loads of this! -

Mine’s a fairly short list I think, and the absolute top, number one thing is that I will. not. teach my horse to rear.


Because he is never going to need to know how to do that. He is not in the Spanish Riding School, a circus or the movies. I basically hold the belief that teaching your horse that trick without a solid reason to do so is just asking for trouble…

Yes, it’s an impressive trick, but not that impressive when 14 year old girls are teaching their horses to rear while unbalanced and wildly flailing about with their rider on board. And all the yanking backwards on the reins… *covers eyes* 

Just no.

Yes, you can train your horse to rear in a controlled manner with good balance, and yes, you may have the kind of horse that would never turn dirty and use the trick against you, but not everyone can 100% for certain guarantee that your horse is always going to be with you.

Things happen that are out of your control – it’s called life. So what if your horse ends up in a home that is less knowledgeable and their new owner accidently triggers a rear command?

How is that ever going to end well for your horse? Why teach them such a dangerous trick that will only hurt the horse or the handler if not used wisely and carefully?

*sigh* It just seems like a really bad idea to me, although I know that there other equestrians and horse trainers out there that I really respect that don’t think so. And in that case, I want to agree to disagree. :)

If you want to really want to show off your training skills, however, why not teach your horse to kneel to be mounted or something along those lines? That’s far more impressive if you ask me, and it’s very useful skill for your horse to have that would improve his value. 

Nuzzles - A Riding Habit
-  *nuzzle nuzzle* -

Other than that, I won’t:

- Ride without a helmet.
(Maybe I’d take photos without a helmet on, but only because there’s no speed, just the height to deal with.)

- Encourage my horse to play with me like I’m a horse too.
(Buck at my head? Uh-uh – Don’t you dare!)

- Allow bad ground manners – no kicking, biting, rearing or threatening to do so.
(It all stems from one of my favourite philosophies that if you have the feet, you have the horse’s mind.
If you have respect on the ground, chances are higher that you’ll have it under saddle. However, you can’t really have true respect under saddle if you don’t have it on the ground.

- Feed treats without a reason to do so.
(I’ve seen too many horses develop begging or nipping habits from random treat feeding to want to do so without the horse knowing there’s a reason for the reward.) 

- Keep my horse in a stall 24/7.
(I personally don’t think it’s healthy for a horse to live like that, however I do know that some horses cope just fine with living in a stall permanently. And obviously, that doesn’t include medical reasons.)

- Ride/handle a psycho horse.
(What I call psycho, and what others call psycho may differ, but as far as I’m concerned, when a horse has no regard for your person, or it’s own personal safety, it’s a dangerous animal and I will never ride it. 
I think the kindest thing to do for a horse like that is to put it out of it’s misery so it doesn’t have any more chances to hurt itself or others.

- Medicate to show or compete.
(Yeah, I think that’s pretty self explanatory.)

- Buy all the fancy gadgets just to be trendy or in fashion.
(If I think it’s legitimately useful to my horse or myself, I will try it out, but I have to believe it will be worth the money!) 

So, what do you think? Agree, disagree, have more to say?  Chime in if you want to – it’s a fun hop!

See ya,


P.S. - I did have a ride on Copper yesterday and while it was good fun, there isn’t much to talk about. We did some great trotting, went to cool down, he thought 30mins of work meant he was done (shows you how frequently we’ve been having short rides!), I said “Nah, let’s do a trail ride now” so we went walking around the loop with J and her horse Rhythm, and that was it! 

I rode for longer than I have in ages – 1 hour and 30 minutes, and have nothing to say for it. Hah!


  1. Hey sometimes having nothing to say about a ride is a good thing!! 😁 thanks for joining the hop. I love all of your answers, especially the point you made about teaching horses to rear. I won't teach mine to do it because he loves doing his tricks and offers them when I don't ask (I don't have proper stimulus control) and rearing is not something I want him offering enthusiastically!! That's a good point though if we have to sell our horse how he could be punished or deemed dangerous or even put to sleep because of a trick that we thought would be fun to teach!

    1. Lol, yup! Although it makes for boring blogging. ; )

      It's a topic I feel rather strongly about for those very reasons... It's the worst vice a horse can have as far as I'm concerned, and it's also a very difficult one to retrain. So deliberately teaching your horse this bad vice seems so senseless to me. But hey, I've already pretty much said that!

      Thanks for the doing the hop - it's been very interesting! :)


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