Sunday, May 11, 2008

Peer Pressure: Not Just for 13 Year Olds!

There's a very popular horse message board that I frequently read. Whenever the topic of injuries comes up, I am stunned at how many people have been to the E.R. twice, three, even four times in the past year or so thanks to the same horse. It's usually their own horse.

Good grief. I have not been to the E.R. due to a horse since 1987 (knocks wood violently) and in that time period, I have jumped and played polo and ridden plenty of greenies and horses that came from dealers and auctions with no history available. It is not that I am rider of the year, but I use a lot of injury avoidance tactics (i.e. giving them a chance to blow off steam before mounting, riding anything iffy in the indoor arena) and I will not ride a horse if it doesn't feel right. You know what I am talking about. Sometimes you get on, and you can just feel the hump in the back or every muscle coiled, looking for a reason to explode. If that happens to me, I get off. Usually very quickly. Then we longe/turn out and reevaluate whether or not the issue has passed after doing so. Oh, and I BAIL if they rear. I am not fixing rearing. Somebody else can fix rearing. I do not want a broken pelvis and massive internal injuries. I have great respect for those of you who can pull 'em sideways and down and fix it (see halfpassgal on Youtube) but I know my own limitations.

(And sometimes I accept that the brain has left the building and we're just not going to ride today. We will longe or do ground work or get ponied. If this is happening 2 days a year, I don't think it's a problem. If it's happening 2 days a week, yeah, the horse has you cowed.)

Injury avoidance is not always easy, depending upon who is around. I used to have to work this polo pony who was known for blowing up bucking when you mounted. Everybody thought I was a freak when I longed this horse before getting on him to warm him up - but you know what, that made him not buck. He was just a typical cold-backed horse who needed to adjust to the saddle and girth and loosen up before you got on. I'd rather bear the disparaging looks than go flying - but when I see these people getting hurt again and again and again, I wonder if part of the issue is that they're making the other choice.

Have you chosen to do something you knew was not a good idea with a horse for fear of the barn bitches or a strict trainer giving you hell/embarrassing you/comparing you to others? Have you pushed yourself to jump fences you're not comfortable with, to ride at speeds you're not comfortable with, to drop stirrups when you knew you weren't ready, etc. - just to avoid the scorn of others? Are you, even now, keeping a horse you know you are never going to feel comfortable on because of peer pressure?

Here's something I think happens a lot: Trainer sees gorgeous horse. Trainer wants gorgeous horse. Trainer convinces ammie to buy gorgeous horse. Gorgeous horse is perfect for trainer - will NEVER be the right horse for ammie. Ammie would be WAY HAPPIER with a 15 year old TB with floppy ears that has auto changes and never overjumps. But that isn't what Pushy Trainer wants decorating his/her barn...and Pushy Trainer wins. Ammie with broken arm watches from sidelines all year and writes checks with good hand...

So let's talk. How has peer pressure affected your riding? For those of you who have learned to ignore it, how did you come to that point? Or conversely, do you think peer pressure can be a good thing sometimes in pushing you a little bit out of your comfort zone? I do think the right kind of peer pressure is good (hence my posting of my riding goals for the VLC this year) but there's a wrong kind of peer pressure that gets people hurt. To borrow a cheesy phrase, sometimes we all need to learn to just say no!

71 comments:

PlaysWithPonies said...

I once got on a peruvian paso gelding that was shaking. His owner was there, and I had been exercising horses at the barn. It was going to be our first ride, and I did not know the horse at all. He was skittish on the ground. I kept saying well, I don't know the horse. Maybe he is just jumpy. Anyway, I can sit a spook / bolt / whatever. And he hasn't killed his owner, who can't ride worth a damn; I've seen that.

The owner said, he's less nervous in the dressage arena (which is large and not enclosed). The -only- intelligent thing I did that day was to say, I'd be more comfortable riding him somewhere enclosed for the first time, just in case.

We got into the arena, and the horse was trembling. I conferred with the owner, who suggested that we attach a leader to his bridle so that he could just get used to me sitting up there (stupid, stupid, stupid). I agreed. I got on the horse while the horse was shaking. He bolted forward a few times, and I managed to turn him out of it, but I was realizing that in order to do so, I was having difficulty not running over his owner, and I was about to ask her to take off the leadrope when the poor horse truly lost it, tore the leadrope out of his owner's hands, and would not stop.

He was not just scared; he had not just been scared. He was in a panic, and he tore around the arena with very little regard for his balance, the fence, or the trailing leadrope. It is different to ride that than just a plain bolt. I could feel how terrified and how mindless he was. Eventually, I did some measure of slowing him down with the fence, talking, and turning, and got him stopped long enough to get off.

Poor horse. He had been through some abuse - I don't know the nature of it - but apparently after that incident, his owner retired him as a pasture pet, and good for her on that account.

As for me, I don't get on anything which feels off anymore. I was not a bit hurt, and I have learned my lesson!

a beautiful disaster said...

yay! i'm first!

too bad i got way too little sleep last night to have anything of real value to share...

i personally think that for the most part the older trainers at my barn never really got over high school and are extremely close-minded (head trainer has NEVER ridden at another barn and is now in her late 40s) about training, and i will do whatever i think is best/necessary to have the safe/happy ride. i also am completely, blindly in love with a 10 y/o tb cross with a huge attitude...the only comments i usually get about my riding is when he has a particularly foul day and i don't fall off, or that rare time someone notices him behaving. but i'm in it for the horses, not the people, so at the end of the day its only the beasties that mattered - if i wanted the clique-y gossip i would be a cheerleader :D

a beautiful disaster said...

oh bummer i typed too slow :(

PlaysWithPonies said...

ABD:

Maybe you can get Fugly to make another post so you can first-post there?

Latigo Liz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sagebrusheq said...

Thinking hard but I'll have to sit this one out and wait for the thread on stupid things done on ones own volition.

S

Latigo Liz said...

One piece of advice I give to folks I meet who have lost their confidence. Try to find a group of friends who are supportive and looking out for your best interests. Don't ride with anyone who isn't of the same mindset. If a person in your circle of friends gets annoyed by you or your horse, don't ride with them. If they are oblivious to what you are going through, don't ride with them. Spend time with the people that will help you without being condescending. Spend time with the people that will help you try some different things. Spend time with the people that will not get you into trouble in the first place. Spend time with the people that will know when to push the limits of your comfort zone in a safe environment. I took that to heart a few years ago after I met some great gals that were on a similar path of horsemanship. Once we all got on the same page, we advanced quickly when we followed some of those recommendations above. It seemed like there was a time line of about 5 years where we all struggled and flailed, but the a ton of light bulbs went on and we all seemed to flourish. The gals that started later seemed to still have to struggle for those first 5 years, but then they made great strides after that. It is pure joy now when we have larger group rides. No one freaks out, and for the most part no one has gotten hurt, horse or human. There is a lot of experience in our group and we all seem to head off things before they get ugly.

Karen V said...

I've got one. I traded a three yr old NICE fill for a "dead broke" older gelding, 14.2 (MAYBE!). Seemed totally solid, no problems on the ground, saddling, etc. I rode him out with a friend and he seemed totally content to plod along with a buddy. One week later, I was going to ride him in the arena and when I went to mount, he kicked at his belly and pinned his ears. Like a dumbass, I got on him anyway. He stood there quietly while I gathered the reins and adjusted my seat. I lifted the reins and bumped him forward and he launched straight into NFR mode! He bucked my ass OFF! (E.R., broken fingers (don't remember how that part happened), torn butt muscle, nerve damage in my lower pelvis, shattered confidence.)

Here's the deal - the gal I got him from will take him back and let me choose a different horse. She also stated that because he's "dangerous and unpredictable", he'll go straight to the kill buyer.

This horse (who now has an abcess) came to me back sore, and with an injured rib from being kicked. I truely believe that it's not his fault.

I took him to Bill Basham, who told me he probably wouldn't ever be reliable.

So what do I do? I'm not a trainer. I'm not really interested in investing a buttload of money to send him to a trainer once he's sound. I'm out about $3500 on the sale/trade of my filly, and the gal doesn't want to do anything with cash unless I'm the one giving it.

So...if I keep him, he's just an expensive pasture pet. If I take him back, I've doomed him.

icepony said...

Oh YEAH I can identify with this! My first, last and only event...I just thank the equine gods that we got DQ'd in the show jumping portion, 'cuz I preferred the concussion I got being thrown headfirst into the jump standard to what probably would have happened on the cross country course. No, I was nowhere near ready for something like this. Yes, I knew it. Yes, I got pushed into by my trainer, and yes, I was afraid of "chickening out" in front of my barn buddies. Classic case. I learned my lesson. 'Nuff said.

Sagebrusheq said...

Sorry to hear that Karen. Take him back. Get your filly back if you can. Pitch a fit if necessary. You haven't doomed him, that was accomplished before he came into your hands. Sad, but better him than you.

Sagebrush

RobynB said...

I'm right there with you. I let peer pressure "force" me into bad situations a few times, years ago, and finally swore never again. So I have put up with the exasperated or shitty remarks from others quite a few times when I got off because I felt it was the correct thing to do, but I remain firm in my resolution, and coincidentally, unhurt.

Being a 42 year old and a chicken, I am pretty sure that a bad wreck will take away what little nerve I have left for riding, so I am really glad I have learned to listen to the voices in my head.

Sagebrusheq said...

PS: This is a soundness issue. Every state has laws regarding that (correct me if I'm in error on this one Fugly). Don't let them buffalo you. From what you say, you should not be stuck with this horse nor feel guilty about his welfare. If he ends up hurting you he'll be on his way to the knackers anyway. I know this is a controversial theme at this forum but this crosses the line.

S.

Skye said...

I don't think peer pressure has affected me much, in my riding. I create more pressure for myself than anyone else probably ever will.
I'll give any decently athletic, pretty horse a go. I've been dissapointed quite a bit, but all learning experiences, I suppose.

I'm also just naturally the type of person that will try to sit anything a horse can offer(within reason, of course), and if unsuccessful, will jump right back on, as long as I can walk.
Haha.

That being said, I'm my own worst enemy. I always want the pretty, difficult ones, even though I know I'd get more enjoyment out of a mellower ride.
ohhwell.

Justaplainsam said...

Jumped off a horse last weekend. I hadn't ridden in a while she hadn't been ridden in 6 months....lol both of us due to 'lameness' I got on, she rounded her back and I got off. I then threw on my lesson student and had her just jog her around. I was scared she was getting scared I removed myself from the situation and everything was fine.

I rode a super quiet hose yesterday and got a bunch of confidence back. So im going to try the original horse again next week.

I often wonder about the people who show up at shows with a horse that doesnt even know its leads, and then try to jump a corse with it.... Where are their trainers? I know alot of trainers who just load up there trailer, no matter if the cilents are ready or not.... Makes me wonder how these people survive the horse owning experence.

Justaplainsam said...

... wont let me edit.... I was also told by a trainer that I 'think' too much. And that Im thinking myself into problems before they even happen.

loneplainsman said...

Oh, yeah, I let myself get into HUGE trouble because I didn't say no fast enough.

I had this really nice OTTB gelding and had been working with him for the past two years or so. I had a really nice trainer who was schooling me in dressage (training/first level) and jumping (I wanted to event). I'd been working with this trainer for about a year and really liked her - she knew her stuff and was always around to help when things went wrong (my TB was constantly getting injured in pasture and she helped me patch him up). Being a first time horse owner, that was great.

Well, after a year of dressage, my horse started bucking violently. We couldn't figure it out. At first it was mild so we thought it was a cold back and started lunging before I rode. That stopped working after a while and things just got worse. Several months passed and we had tried nearly everthing - feed, turnout, shoing, &c - but nothing had worked. Then she realized it was the saddle. We changed it out, but my TB had already gotten the habit ingrained into his system and wouldn't stop.

Now I should mention that this was one athletic horse, and these weren't little kiddy bucks. He was getting his hind end 4-5' in the air with each buck!

This is three or four months in and I'm loosing confidence every day. I now stop coming to the barn unless I have a lesson and am getting more and more afraid of my horse. Meanwhile, my normally excellent trainer is going through a personal crisis and is not as attentive or helpful as she used to be. She doesn't notice or care that I'm becoming terrified and tells me constantly that "You just need to fall off". Yeah - that's it.

Contrary to everything my mind and body told me to do, I continued riding out these bucks until the fateful day when I came off. Hard. I got back on immediately - the adrenaline kicked in - but I never rode that horse again, and sold him not long afterwards. I was terrified, and came -this- close to getting out of horses entirely.

The only way for me to solve it was to go to the dark side - PNH - but even then it took almost TWO YEARS before I got enough confidence back to ride again. That's how terrified I was.

I wonder how my life would have changed if I had refused to listen to my trainer and took things slower.. would it have been any better? Who knows.

What I do know is that I've got all my confidence back! I just returned from a 2 day clinic where I spent over 6 hours in the saddle... I'm sore as can be but so glad to not be afraid of riding anymore!!

Kathryn Loch said...

Hi everyone! I've posted only once or twice on FHOTD but this is my first one here - so HI!

I am just getting back into riding after 20 years without horses. I'm leasing right now to make sure my old bod will hold up before I take the plunge and commit to ownership. I found a great dressage barn nearby that I absolutely love.

When I was a kid I was working combined training and had a great trainer. My 15.2 running style QH had taken me as far as he could, so it was time to move up. And move up I did - to a 17h T-Bred. Well, despite my best efforts with my trainer, this horse could pretty much dump me whenever he wanted to although fortunately I was never seriously injured.

Looking back, I don't think my trainer ever bullied me or pushed me beyond what I was capable of, she did encourage me, honestly believing we could get to where we needed to be. Part of it was my own stubborn personality that I wasn't going to let this horse get my goat. Unfortunately, I began to grow more and more intimidated the more and more I came off. Then my parents divorced and I had to sell him. He was the last horse I owned.

Now, I'm leasing a 25 year old Hanoverian schoolmaster who was a rescue (he was so bad, he could have been featured on your blog Fugly). It was a shame what these people did to this beautiful, beautiful boy. But now my barn has him and he is rapidly returning to his spry, healthy self. I love riding him but at first I was scared to death! He's 17h and all I could think of was that it was a LONG way down if I came off of him and I was remembering what I went through as a kid. I can't bounce like that any more.

But my trainer at this barn was so wonderful. While she encouraged me to lease this guy, whatever I decided to do was fine by her and she really supported me, she also gently encouraged me and is currently helping me regain faith in my abilities - no matter how rusty they are. I may be out of shape but there is a lot to be said for knowledge.

So now I am enjoying my big ole boy and we are working gradually to get back into shape together.

There is a fine line between encouragement and peer pressure - I've been really lucky to have found the barn I have with this trainer.

BuckdOff said...

While at my first lesson barn,I had been riding the same horse for about 5 months and was fine with it. i showed up for my lesson one day, I was told another instructor was working with me that day, asked where my regular one was, no one would tell me, but this is a high drama barn and they all exchanged glances. this instructor dragged my horse in, all tacked, he had his ears pinned and she kept dragging him into the indoor. I asked her to lunge him, she refused, like a complete moron i got on him, I explained to this trainer that he liked to walk a bit before beginning to work, she ignored me, grabbed my reins, he whinnied, and reared 3 times, I went flying on 3. She asked if I was o.k. and then started screeching at me. This is your fault, you scared him, I was appalled and just stood there shaking my head, She started to lunge the horse and brought him back over, I refused to get on, left, and called the BO the next day, she wouldn't listen to me, I never went back there, and the next morning my husband told me my car had been egged. Was I pissed? WICKED PISSED!! I learned a valuable lesson, even if you are inexperienced or rusty, listen to that voice in your head, and take note of pinned ears and swishing tails.

BuckdOff said...

Karen V. I'm so sorry for your dillema, did she warn you of any problems before you took him home? Your injuries were serious, I can not even imagine.

Jackie said...

My last (and final) lesson with the "trainer" next door (the icing on the cake of many little things and some big) - I decided to ride my mare in my English saddle, and (as some of you may know by now) she's prone to buck when she's not happy...well, I'm not yet comfortable in the saddle (I had been learning in a Western, and it had been 18 or so years in an English), we walked, trotted fine...but when I asked her to canter, she humped her back and kicked out. So I stopped, and found the saddle had slipped down and was hitting her withers. Well, the "trainer" told me that I needed to insist she canter, no matter what, or she'd never learn to listen to me. Sigh. I told her no, and that was the last time I went over there for lessons. BTW, I got a riser, fixed the problem and now canter her in that saddle...I really believe my mare trusts me more because I did stop and not hurt/force her.

mulelisa said...

"Have you chosen to do something you knew was not a good idea with a horse .... when you knew you weren't ready, etc. - just to avoid the scorn of others? Are you, even now, keeping a horse you know you are never going to feel comfortable on because of peer pressure?"

OMG, YES!
I was riding my "sweet, little baby" I'd had since she was 5 months old, green-as-hell, mare and planning to do some simple stuff in the round pen (we don't have an arena). My husband and daughter were also going riding but he wanted to go out along our dirt road because riding on our property was boring and rather than deal with a PMS (pissy man snit), I went out also. Mare freaked over a piece of trash, bucked a fit, and I spent the next three days in the hospital with a chest tube because of a partially collapsed lung (plus six broken ribs and broken collarbone).

And yes, I still have the mare three years later. She's had a little more time under saddle thanks to some enterprising 4H kids and a friend, and I have ridden her but I will NEVER be comfortable on her and it is unlikely that she will ever be the sane, sensible trail mount I want. If I could find her a GOOD home, a safe-forever home, then I'd let her go (and not worry about the screen door hitting her on the way out!).

ellen said...

I am lucky enough to have arrived at the point in life in which I don't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks of me -- and have always seen riding as a transaction between myself and the horse, so third party input is only as useful as it is useful...

As for doing things my gut says are dangerous -- nope. After all, it's ME going to the ER if things go south, not the fool on the ground egging me on. I am lucky enough to have my own place and ride alone. I can be as cowardly as I want to with my own greenies (and always was methodical and conservative with the outside horses I had in for training). I do suffer some from lack of motivation, which y'all are helping me with nicely. That's where I could use some of that positive peer pressure.

As a general rule, if I don't have some vague idea what I'm doing and why, I don't do it - and if I DO have such vague notion, I am happy to explain why I'm doing it my ass-backwards idiosyncratic way if someone is willing to listen, and equally willing to totally blow them off if they aren't.

I have been in clinic situations where I have been pushed beyond my comfort zone -- once I withdrew from a lesson with a clinician I totally trust and respect, who was urging me to push through a problem, as my mare's behavior was uncharacteristic for her -- and sure enough, when I got her back to the barn, she had a huge muscle spasm in her hamstring. I told the clinician what had happened and he wholeheartedly supported my decision to withdraw.

In another situation, however, I am still dealing with the fallout from a clinic lesson in which I DIDN'T trust my gut -- the clinician was drilling us on canter transitions past what I knew to be my hot tamale mare's boiling point, and she STILL blows up every so often when asked to canter a year later --again, just reinforcing my belief in trusting my own judgment.

I did, however, allow the NEXT clinician that got hold of Miss Hot Tamale I-won't-canter- without-tantrums-and-huge-leaping-bucks to push through the problem -- on the ground, at clinician's own suggestion -- with very satisfactory results and my gut was wholeheartedly in agreement with that decision.

ellen said...

Karen, re your situation --

You are being blackmailed. You had your lovely filly snatched away from you in exchange for a horse the seller KNEW had problems and was more than willing to foist off on you. I would send him back in a heartbeat -- the threat of sending him to auction is designed to guilt trip you into taking care of the SELLER'S responsibility to either fix this horse or dispose of him. She was probably laughing up her sleeve when she loaded him out.

Hard as it is not to go into hyperresponsible mode, unless you are equipped and funded to take care of every un-useful problem horse that comes your way, you are being manipulated, and you don't owe this person or this gelding a thing.

Skye said...

Kathryn Loch - I find it interesting that ill fitting tack wasn't the first thing suspected, when your horse began showing signs of discomfort.
Instead of wondering how things may have been, if you'd ignored your trainer - I would think of what may have been, if only his saddle had been altered immediately after he started wanting to buck.
I'm not trying to say you or your trainer handled the situation particularly poorly, but it does seem odd to me that several months could pass w/o the fit of tack being suspected as a cause of the issue.

Skye said...

SORRY!
Comment above was directed toward loneplainsman, not Kathryn Loch.

I'm losing my mind!
Sorry about that.

Karen V said...

The "word" I got was that this "little guy is dead broke and a nice solid trail horse. He's never offered to do anything bad ever."

I am SO disappointed on so many levels.

(1) He's a cute, fugly little sorrel gelding and I really wanted him to be a good boy.

(2) This happened the night before a big barrel race that I was looking forward to going to. I had no expectations of doing REALLY well, but I was still looking forward to it.

(3) I can't ride ANYTHING yet. (Happened April 10 - pelvis still not "back together" and my finger is still "f'd" up.) I've got three other horses that I WANT to ride, but I'm not ready physically. Every time I think "OK, I can ride now." something happen, or I move a certain way and it still hurts like hell.

(4) Mostly, I'm disappointed in the fact that she probably knew about this horse and didn't have enough concern for my welfare to warn me about it. I know there are horrible people out there, but I have trouble wrapping my brain around the fact that she KNOWINGLY put me in danger.

ellen said...

sorry to be ms. multiple posts, but...in a lesson situation, as a teacher I never push a student past her comfort zone. Encourage, demonstrate, simulate, walk through, and do successive approximations, yes, but never force, and I try to be positive and encouraging while gradually upping the ante.

As a lesson rider, I don't pay trainers to be abusive or high handed with me -- I am the client, and they are working for me. I actually heard a Big Deal Dressage trainer call a rider a b*tch in a lesson -- sorry, but no amount of money buys the right to be ugly to me. I will happily accept constructive criticism all day long, including suggestions that I take up needlepoint, but insults and verbal abuse are beyond the pale.

feltlikesound said...

I think another example of this, that I have personally experience, is being pushed on completely dysfunctional matches when it comes to lesson horses.

I have COUNTLESS times seen nervous people combined with nervous horses, beginners sitting on horses who won't stand still/stop taking off with them, etc, and while I understand that a certain level of challenge (and just plain chance) is necessary, I think the line is crossed many times.

When I started re-riding after...5+ years out of the saddle, I was terrified. I had no idea how it would feel, had not so much as SAT on a horse, touched one, anything, while I was pursuing education and family. I went to a lesson barn, and they were running behind schedule so rather then re-assigning horses to the lesson level I was in (with my never-touched-a-horse-in-his-life-but-sweet-for-coming-with-me hubby), we were popped on the same horses which had just finished a lesson, where upper level english students had been jumping. I immediately felt a lot more tense. These horses had been going a lot faster than I wanted to go on my first lesson, were jumping, and transfer trucks were pulling through the parking lot.

I was assigned to a ...MAYBE 4 year old 16+hh paint, and as I was mounting and putting my weight on the far stirrup, it threw itself out from under me before I settled and I bit the dust.

Needless to say, my re-riding was greatly discouraged and my fear increased exponentially. This could have been avoided, point blank, by someone actually competently assessing the situation, and OF COURSE, by my own choice to speak up rather than being pressured by trainers and stable-regulars who you think should know better than you.

loneplainsman said...

Kathryn Loch - I find it interesting that ill fitting tack wasn't the first thing suspected, when your horse began showing signs of discomfort.
Instead of wondering how things may have been, if you'd ignored your trainer - I would think of what may have been, if only his saddle had been altered immediately after he started wanting to buck.
I'm not trying to say you or your trainer handled the situation particularly poorly, but it does seem odd to me that several months could pass w/o the fit of tack being suspected as a cause of the issue.


I agree completely. And looking back on it I feel the same way.

At the time, I was very young (15) and green and had never owned my own horse before so I relied (far too heavily) on my trainer for advice. So when she didn't mention it, it certainly didn't occur to me. Had it been my second horse, had I been older and done more reading and learning, I wouldn't have let him go a day without checking his tack out. But as it was...

I do wonder sometimes how my life would be different had we not had this become such a large issue. Maybe doing novice event courses.. maybe in the hospital somewhere for some OTHER problem. Hard to say - but I will say that I love where I am today and don't regret it at all!

feltlikesound said...

Whoops, just noticed many people have touched on the same issues, oh well, always worth sharing a story either way :)

gillian said...

The thing I really worried about was people making fun of me/thinking less of me when I fell off. It made me tense, I had trouble having fun, and I almost never tried anything new. With one exception I finally realized this wasn't going to happen. (The exception is a guy at our barn, gods gift to horses and riders type guy, I'm sure you know the kind I mean.) Between that and buying myself a body protector so I dont worry so much about falling its really gotten better. I have fun now.

smith5213 said...

my trainer is difficult to say no too, but while we were shopping for a move up horse for me (I was coming off the worlds CUTEST large pony I was doing jumpers with, I am a 5'2 21 year old lol) to do the 3'6-4' jumpers with (insert squeals of disbelief here). this one horse we got in on trial from a very reputable A circuit trainer (David Wright from tennessee) was cute and could jump a jump but it was ALL SORTS of bad chemistry with me. My trainer put a couple days into him and I could barely get a comfortable posting trot on him, and I could not imagine having to ride his sorry butt on a daily basis. After that lesson she asked what I thought and my immediate response was "send him back". lol she liked him but I put my foot down. which was definately the right choice the horse we finally found is a way better match.

also once we were at a local show we do every month through the main show season and it had rained all week before it (of course) and the jumper ring was a mess and since it was a local show they WOULDN'T DRAG THE RING (snarl). so the ring stayed a royal mess. they were getting close to my class in the ring and I looked at the footing and thought of my poor ponies legs (I still showed the pony at this time) and thought about her suspensories and turned to my trainer and said not today. So I didn't ride. I watched other kids ride in it and several of them, who aren't skilled jumper riders as it is (faster, faster! yells the trainer. bend, steer, balance! would be better) almost eat it all day long. One girls horse hit his knees and slid like 5 feet in the muck.

kids do some dumb stuff just to get a ribbon.

which_chick said...

I've gotten on horses that I knew I should not be getting on, horses that the little voice in my head told me were not horses I wanted to be riding, horses that other people assured me "would be fine" or "were no trouble" or "didn't have a mean bone in their body". I believed the other people against my own judgment, wanted to not seem chickenshit, whatever. Dirt surfing, every time.

I listen to the little voice now where twenty years ago I would cheerfully ignore it or tell it to shut up. My alleged wisdom on this front might just be that I'm now old enough to not care what other people think. If they want to think I'm chickenshit, that's fine. They're probably right.

Princess Jess said...

The ONLY time Jack has ever launched me into the rafters (when he does buck, the motto is apparently "go big or go home") was when I could just *sense* that something wasn't quite right. Trainer looked at him and told me he was fine and to get on, he'd been doing so well lately.

I, of course, did. Not because it was peer pressure, but because I assumed (again) that because she is BNT and has been training horses for over 30 years that she knew more than I did about my own horse (I need to quit doing this).

Yes, she's a good trainer. Yes, she knows her stuff. Does she know how to best train my horse? Nope. Not at all. He's so NOT a "textbook" horse.

I've been timing my rides when Trainer isn't around so that I can work my horse alone without her interfering. I know that me insisting on schooling my greenie alone without anyone's help (and I actually don't even like having ANY other people around when I do it- he stresses about what the other scary humans are doing too much to really focus on me) goes against common sense and every piece of advice I've ever heard, but in this case, I really, really, really STRONGLY feel like I need to start him on my own, without anyone's "help." He's a quirky horse and I have yet to meet any trainer who "gets" him.

After I'm riding him EVERYWHERE, can do w/t/c beautifully, trail rides, etc, THEN I will go back to lesons with the trainer to pursue our dressage career. But not before that.

irisheyes999 said...

One of my biggest horsey mistakes was being pressured into buying my current horse:

My story is the exact same story illustrated in the post. Big moving 6 year old TB that looked darn purty under my old trainer. Me: a gangly 13 year old (had no no no balance) with non horsey parents and a desire to please my trainer who I adored.

It was a lethal combination. He scared the hell out of me, I could barely ride him, I fell off more than I stayed on, he totally knew all my buttons, and the only person who could ride him was my trainer(and even she rode him with some hesitation). Well, after my poor parents poured an unforgivable amount of money into a horse I wasn't riding, they cut me off (with good reason), and I was left with a big, overfit horse that I couldn't ride and couldn't sell.

Long story short, I had to completely change the path of my riding career. I ended up hating riding and worked two jobs to support a glorified dog who hated me.

Five years, and a good long pasture rest later, I have a horse that I can kinda sorta ride.

We're not soul mates, but we respect each other. The Beast is a good horse, and I don't trust his quirks with anyone else. We have a working relationship and he's healthy and happy, so everything turned out all right in the end.

Still, I often wonder how things would have worked out if I had the cajones to tell my old trainer, "no."

mugwump said...

Ai yi yi. Did you hit a raw nerve. I came (escaped) from a vipers pit of a training situation 2 years ago.
I was mentored for several years by one of the up and coming cowhorse trainers in the country.
I was extremely excited and flattered by an offer from him and his wife to combine my small training barn with theirs. I would earn my stall space by riding for him, and make my own money by continuing my business.
I try to start colts in a timely manner. I start with ground work, manners, saddling, then get on, walk trot, canter...the usual.
He takes an unstarted horse, saddles them, they stand tied for a few days, (not continuously, just 3 or 4 hours a day at the tie rail)then he bridles them, takes them into the indoor, and GETS ON.
He bends them first, gets them to tolerate his weight and them up he goes.Usually within five minutes of deciding to get on.They would skitter off, he would shove them around, and get them loping immediately. They would lope both leads, he'd pull them down, and that was day one.
It was soon made clear I was expected to do the same. I knew better, I did, but I was so enamored of my posistion, and so sure he had to be right, I did as I was told.
I scared myself to death, undermined my confidence, and saw the ruin of some really sharp colts. I'm ashamed to say I was riding some of them.
It goes on and on. I'm out on my own now, sad and much wiser.

Alyssa said...

Hahaha... gillian, who on earth are you talking about?

I'm the kind of person who's scared to do everything, and then once I start never want to stop. I had an off period of about a year (I'm only 19) and that's when the fear came into play.

Like a year ago, I'd ridden bareback exactly twice, and would barely jog on this western boy with a wide back, in an indoor arena. Yesterday I was practicing trot-canter transitions outside and bareback.

...then I got bucked off for trying to gallop him. BUT, it's my first fall since September, when I broke my pelvis. I'm happy to have that first "after" fall over with.

brat_and_a_half said...

There is a barn in town BUILT on peer pressure and bitchy, gossipy women and girls. Most kids are jumping within 2 weeks of starting riding, and are too afraid to say anything or know any better. Parents too, are of course drinking whatever the instructor there gives them.

Last summer I attended an eventing camp there with some friends. We were in 2, 1 hour lessons a day, a flat and a jumping (either stadium or cross country). Well that's ok for the little kids trotting around their flat lessons and going over trotting poles and Xs in the jumping. But not for us who were doing 3 footish jumping, and being round the whole time on the flat (with the coach yelling "MORE UPHILL!!" the entire lesson. You can't BE "more uphill" for the whole lesson, the only time she was happy was when we were sitting right up, almost collected). Anyways, out of the whole week I was the only one to skip a lesson. I mean come on. The horses are tierd after one lesson. Exausted after two. So I skipped the flat which my mare finds more difficult, and did some cross country which is a harder work out, but is more fun foor both of us. And I was the only to have conditioned my horse for cross country, doing long trots through the trails for a month before the camp.
I know ive given into other peer pressure things, but none of which have turned out dangerous, and I'm more so the peer pressure-er :P than the one being pressured.

robyn said...

Hmmm...I'm quite cautious and haven't had an accident w/ a horse serious enough to warrant the ER. But then again, the little peer pressure I get, I don't cave into. Reading the comments on the Friday FHOTD post, I'm shocked at the kind of crapola that happens (apparently regularly) at boarding barns, and I'm very glad that I keep mine at home.
The horses I tend to choose are on the cool side, and thus don't get too crazy. I've worked hard on having a deep seat, which gets deeper if a horse pulls some stunts--little rears, a crowhop, a spook. I just sit down, and make sure I'm not tensing up. With my green Icey, this works very well. I'm grateful for the energy that he has, so I have something to work with! (This after having a pokey TWH who would really rather walk slow/stand still than do anything else). My Arab/Trakh cross will likely NEVER be taken outside the arena, as I don't have a death wish. I don't know him well enough from the saddle yet, but on the ground, what scares him really depends on the day, whether it's windy, if he doesn't like the jacket I'm wearing, whatever. I don't have the experience nor the desire to trail ride a horse that hot. But if he gets worried while I'm riding, I'll get off, sure. I don't need to prove anything, except that I'm not stupid.

Kathryn Loch said...

>>>Skye said...

SORRY!
Comment above was directed toward loneplainsman, not Kathryn Loch.

I'm losing my mind!
Sorry about that.<<<

LOL! No worries. Although for a sec I thought I was losing my mind. I just came in from riding...I couldn't be that tired could I? hehe

I had a fantastic ride today! Salem was feeling good, even a bit snarky. I got a bit nervous because the owners watched my lesson (they are very protective of Salem and understandably so considering what he's been through) but I had my best lesson yet and I'm slowly pulling my seat and position back together. Yay!

mulesrule said...

Worked with a VERY flashy, fancy, young, idiotic grade hunter prospect last summer. It was my decision; as soon as I saw him move and jump I was hooked. Trouble was, I spent the entire summer fighting with him. Very highly strung gelding; constantly hollowing out his back, grinding his teeth on the bit, jumping forward at the slightest THOUGHT of leg pressure -- you know the type I'm talking about. Obviously, I took him back to flatwork for three months with my trainer. I grew to hate riding and dislike the horse, but my trainer urged me to stick with it just a little bit longer, just one more week. She was only trying to help me, because the gelding had tremendous potential and she didn't want me to be a quitter. I can't really blame her. But he didn't improve, and I got more and more nervous and every lesson was worse and worse. After working with all manner of green horses and mules, this one mount really shook me. I sold him to an excellent home at the end of the summer, but I never regained my confidence and still to this day fear cantering and jumping, even after a decade in the saddle. He broke my confidence and I wouldn't stick up for myself and just say, "NO. I don't want to work with this horse anymore." My trainer was just trying to be encouraging, but, hey, I'm a big girl, I should've put my foot down. I still regret it. It wasn't the horse's fault, my trainer's fault, his previous owner's fault ... it was MY fault.

icepony said...

I RODE TODAY!!!!! Okay, I'll admit that it was 1) a ride of approximately 2 whopping minutes, 2) it took me almost 2 hours of futzing around to work up the nerve, and 3) my gelding was practically BEGGING me, jeez Lady, just get ON me already!

First ride since I bought him 6 weeks ago. My knees were literally shaking. All we did was walk little figure eights, and I'm sure my poor boy was wondering when the heck he'd signed on to be babysitter to such a chickenshit, but....I RODE MY HORSE TODAY!!

Maybe I'll be able to wipe the grin off my face by bedtime...and maybe not. :)

verylargecolt said...

WOO HOO ICEPONY!!!

Hey, I was shaking like that rides #1 and #2 and then it was just over. It will be for you too. May happen faster, may not happen that fast but it will happen. I highly recommend having someone with you who will just talk your ear off. It really does work!

I had a great ride tonight. Will post when the pics show up - got the roomies to take some more riding pics. Of course when I was dressed like a homeless person, but you know that's Murphy's Law...

"I don't need to prove anything, except that I'm not stupid."

I may have to put that on the top of this blog! LOVE IT!

verylargecolt said...

Mugwump - I am saving a space at home for a now 21 year old AQHA mare that I started. I started her too early (beginning of her two year old year) and I rode her too hard (we jumped at three) just because everybody else I knew back then did the same things - especially the BNT's.

*sigh*

I can't go back and fix what I did, either, but the mare will retire out here with me. She's arthritic but still being used for therapeutic riding - when she worsens, she will sit here and eat grass as long as she is comfortable.

QueenSkankarella said...

I ignored that nagging little thought in the back of my mind a week ago, and it got me bucked right off, with a mild concussion and a sore ass.

I make a point of longeing her before riding now, however, the crazy woman who runs the stable I'm at doesn't allow longeing. Anywhere. Ever. This means that I'm basically only riding/exercising my horse before lessons where I can use the longeing ring at my coach's stable down the road.

Of course, yesterday she decided that it was ok to longe in one of the paddocks, but she'll likely change her mind later this week and forgot about it. I can't wait to move stables.

OutRiding01 said...

I've done some fairly crazy things and (knocking on wood as well) have not paid for it yet. It doesn't take much pressuring for me to do something, I'll try just about anything.

My last trainer was in a car accident when she was 17 and it apparently caused some brain damage because she ceased to mature after that. I was the only rider who hadn't started or done most of my riding with her and I was the "star" rider. So i.e., I got put on everything stupid, crazy, stubborn, etc. I rode everything new first as well. Asshat trainer wasn't too fond of me after the first year though for some reason, I think she felt threatened by me or something stupid and petty. One day we got this really cute 15.3hh, 5 year old Hanoverian mare in. I got on her and was schooling her over a couple jumps. We were doing a diagonal line, probably only 2'6, and she was talented, but very green and wiggly. Very slow too. Then Asshat trainer told me to do the outside oxer. I look over and it's set at about 4'6 and 4'+ wide. I asked if she was serious and she smirked and said yes, it would be really easy. So of course I couldn't back down. I picked up a canter and as we crawl towards the oxer (squeezing her forward as much as humanly possible) I picture us crashing thorugh the jump and breaking our necks. But I continue to sit back and just squeeze her forward, and when we get to the oxer she sails over it beautifully. I did it one more time and then Asshat trainer tells me to put her up because she's tried and stomps off.

But it gets better. Several days later I was out schooling with a few friends and Asshat trainer comes out on the mare. We are all having fun and jumping around and I tell Asshat trainer to try the mare over the oxer, which is still set up. She says no, the mare is tired. I say she hasn't been ridden in two days and it's really easy, so off she goes.... and can't get the mare over it to save her life. Needless to say, she never really spoke to me again.

bigpainthorse said...

2313I'm pleased to say I left my days of giving in to peer pressure behind as a kid. I've managed to develop a pretty thick skin when it comes to the barn jerks who don't understand why I'm not them.

I have been the recipient of some really great support at my current barn, though; my first "no trainer there to hold my hand" ride on my girl came when a friend of mine just made it a point one day to follow me around the barn and badger me until I got on and rode her. And it was fine and I didn't die, so I did it again!

crazychickmia said...

Our novice neighbour with a completely non-horsey family was leasing a 13hh 16yo schoolmaster and looking to buy her own horse.

Her uncle rang up to say that there was a horse for sale next door to him.

She had a look at the horse and met the lady that was selling it for the owner. We knew the lady and said yes, nice lass.

Then she tells us she'd bought the horse and shows us the video...ohmigosh, it's a HOT HOT HOT 4yo TB....

We're wondering what the nice lady was thinking?!

Anyway, it's gone downhill from there. Nice lady promised to help train the neighbour and help her become a star. Neighbour was very excited to have this help.

3 horses later the neighbour has lost her confidence and has real nervousness issues now...but the nice lady is still pushing her to be jumping because, because "she and the current horse can do it."

Neighbour has stated a couple of times to us now she WANTS to jump lower and regain her confidence. But the know-all nice lady trainer is still push push.

We and others are doing out best to politely wean the attachment. Hopefully neighbour grows up enough soon to realise the relationship is only detrimental to her.

Shorse88 said...

Interesting topic. In re: the trainer comment, to be fair, it can work the other way too. I know of several headstrong amateurs who have (for a variety of reasons from impulse buying to being schnookered when too proud to ask for help) who have purchased way less than suitable horses on their own. They then deliver said horse to trainer and tell trainer it is going to be 'X' (whatever the amateur wants), when in fact it is WAY more suited to be 'Y' or usually isn't even an amateur minded horse. I have seen this happen on multiple occasions and it is bad for everyone involved, the amateur owner, the trainer and most importantly, the horse.

mugwump said...

VLC- The best thing that came from leaving the mess I had indentured myself to is...when I left I brought a pretty large chunk of his business with me. All of his non-pros but one as a matter of fact. I never said a negative word about him, at least in public.
If I did, my career would be smashed.
I did, very clearly, quit doing everything I hated about the place. I also kept using the tons of valuable, incredibly good training I did learn from him.
One by one his non pros floated over to me.
It makes the shows a little awkward, but I still don't badmouth the guy. Except to my own immediate posse. And you guys. Hee hee. I also insist on a no talking crap policy with everyone that rides with me.

SolitaireMare said...

"Here's something I think happens a lot: Trainer sees gorgeous horse. Trainer wants gorgeous horse. Trainer convinces ammie to buy gorgeous horse. Gorgeous horse is perfect for trainer - will NEVER be the right horse for ammie. Ammie would be WAY HAPPIER with a 15 year old TB with floppy ears that has auto changes and never overjumps. But that isn't what Pushy Trainer wants decorating his/her barn...and Pushy Trainer wins. Ammie with broken arm watches from sidelines all year and writes checks with good hand..."

OMG Fugs, you know your stuff, I have seen that one happen. That's how I got the horse I have now. He was brought in for an ammie with a thing for gray horses. However, my trainer was considerate enough to notice this critter was too green for this woman. He begged me to buy this horse. I had to do some financial gymnastics to do it and I bought him. I could tell the ammie was kind of peeved though, that she was told she was not right for this horse. Sometimes it's not a case of Pushy Trainer but Overzealous Ametuer.

Back in my horse show days, I was one of two students who used to be put on those "Fancy" horses to "tune them up" before the ammie owner got on. I even showed some of these horses in morning classes so the owners could get on and win in the lower level classes later on in the day. And yes, I've seen these people get hurt because horse was either too green or well trained but to where they figured out very quickly how to avoid work by scaring their owners.

TBsplease said...

I fell in love with a local half Arab , young and not handled a lot. About 4 years old and had been left in the pasture a lot. He was very spooky. At this time I felt I could ride anything ANYTHING. I would tame friends' horses, etc, and I had the balance of a circus rider. So the minute I see this creature, I fall head over heels. I have to admit it was mostly his colour - blue blue grey with black points, yum. Got on him and WHOA no steering, no mind, all spook. But it didn't feel like a normal horse to me. He felt vaguely insane, as if he had figured out that if he acted nuts, he wouldn't have to be ridden. (No wonder he was going to auction which, at the time, I thought was ok, not knowing about slaughter and never having heard of it.) I went home to think about it and my mother came over and said, "You're in love with that horse. I can see it in your eyes." Yes I was, but something deep inside said, "Buy that horse and he will kill you." So I swallowed my pride. That's when I realised that even with a lot of experience, confidence and skill, there are horses that you really should NOT take home. I had a big premonition on that one which I have not regretted listening to. He sure was beautiful though...

Tara said...

Okay, that halfpassgirl video was remarkable. Good for her. I hope that never happens to me, and I hope that if it does I will have enough wits about me to respond as she did.

Shadow Rider said...

I don't think or it so much as peer pressure in my case, I just think I was stupid, LOL!
I was sharing a dressage lesson with a less experienced friend. The instructor asked us to switch horses, as my friend was having difficulty with the pony she was riding. This pony was here on trial for a pony clubber, and the instructor was working him to see how he did.
We were schooling in a pasture, about 100 yards from the barn in a marked dressage area. I hopped on the pony, and could tell he was wired and jumpy. I rode him for a few minutes, then we were instructed to canter. Got about 2 canter strides then the pony bolted for the barn. No worries, I used rein, leg to try to circle him, no effect. Tried all my tricks, ended up pulling that pony's head to my knee, nothing slowed him down until a stride from the gate (with a gaggle of pony clubbers watching open mouthed) where he finally put on the breaks, followed his nose (still cranked to my knee)and slam dunked me on the gravel.
This was a 13.2h welsh/tb cross pony. Needless to say, they didn't buy him. He was the second black welsh cross pony to dump me, the other broke my tail bone on hard GA clay.
But it took my leg being shattered by a TB before I stopped being quite so stupid. Of course I do have a daily reminder with my jigsaw puzzle leg, and partial knee.
I never did care what other people think, but now I do think about 'will this horse slam dunk me if I do this?' before I do anything now.

hjv said...

I don't ride horses that rear either! When I was 19 a mare flipped over and knocked me out. I had post-concussion syndrome for a few weeks and basically my summer sucked! I agree, someone else can fix those dingbats!

Multiple ER trips should NOT be the norm in your riding program. If that is the case, you need to change your riding program right NOW!

A little fear is healthy, and yes, sometimes you need someone to push you past your comfort zone. However, you must also recognize your limitations and those of your horse.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>I know of several headstrong amateurs who have (for a variety of reasons from impulse buying to being schnookered when too proud to ask for help) who have purchased way less than suitable horses on their own. They then deliver said horse to trainer and tell trainer it is going to be 'X' (whatever the amateur wants), when in fact it is WAY more suited to be 'Y' or usually isn't even an amateur minded horse. <<

OH ABSOLUTELY!

I shudder to think of some of the stuff I have seen people drag home "because it's PRETTY!" and then expect the trainer to make into something it isn't and can never be.

It definitely works both ways. You DO see a lot of newbie riders get obsessed with looks and forget about things like behavior and suitability!

Latigo Liz said...

TBsplease said...
I fell in love with a local half Arab , young and not handled a lot. About 4 years old and had been left in the pasture a lot. He was very spooky. At this time I felt I could ride anything ANYTHING. I would tame friends' horses, etc, and I had the balance of a circus rider. So the minute I see this creature, I fall head over heels. I have to admit it was mostly his colour - blue blue grey with black points, yum. Got on him and WHOA no steering, no mind, all spook. But it didn't feel like a normal horse to me. He felt vaguely insane, as if he had figured out that if he acted nuts, he wouldn't have to be ridden. (No wonder he was going to auction which, at the time, I thought was ok, not knowing about slaughter and never having heard of it.) I went home to think about it and my mother came over and said, "You're in love with that horse. I can see it in your eyes." Yes I was, but something deep inside said, "Buy that horse and he will kill you." So I swallowed my pride. That's when I realised that even with a lot of experience, confidence and skill, there are horses that you really should NOT take home. I had a big premonition on that one which I have not regretted listening to. He sure was beautiful though...


Please read my blog post today:
Just When Plans Were Falling Into Place

I ended up buying the one that I fell in love with...

melanie said...

I never had the money to be pressured into the big fancy horse. I rescued several horses over the years and leased several others. My trainers never pressured you to do ANYTHING, usually I had to pressure them!

I had a friend who was forced into importing a German Warmblood filly. The filly was 3 with little to no training. The costs of importing, purchasing, etc. ended up being $90,000. The filly was nice but not THAT nice. She was too much for most of the people who rode her. The trainer showed her as a hunter and she did really well but my friend never enjoyed her.

robyn said...

"I don't need to prove anything, except that I'm not stupid."

I may have to put that on the top of this blog! LOVE IT!
~~~~~~

Heh heh...glad you liked that. Once in a great while I come up w/ something good. ;)

JamiJo said...

Yep...

I took a lesson from a friend back in college (about 10 years ago) - it was my first time riding in an English saddle, first time even on a horse in a LONG time, in a saddle too small for my butt and on a 12-yr-old mare that hadn't been ridden in several months (daily turn-out, but no work).

She had the horse on a longe line and just had me and Aly (the mare) walking circles around the arena, first one way and then the other. And much like the horse and me, the arena hadn't seen much riding in a long time and wasn't very well groomed. After about 20 mins of walking round in circles, she took the longe line off and told me to take Aly around the arena at a walk. I really wasn't happy about having sole control of the horse, but... she insisted. Going one way around was fine, but when she had us reverse and go the other, Aly hit a deep patch of sand, and stumbled.

My reaction was to grab hold because I thought she was going to fall over with me - and she took me grabbing on as an excuse to take off like a bat outta hell across the arena. I tried everything I could to get her to slow down (and knowing what I know now, probably wrenched the hell outta her mouth, poor girl), but we ran straight at the other end of the arena - and then she turned to the left and off I went INTO the fence. Eight weeks of PT and quite a lot of shoulder pain still in the joint from knocking the boards out of the fence when I hit it. I was wearing a helmet at the time, and probably a good thing or I'd have had more than just a shoulder injury. In any case... after that, I went up to the barn with my friend just to help groom and do chores as opposed to going riding!

I have been on horseback a few times since then, but I now have severe anxiety at any pace faster than a brisk walk. At some point, I'll take lessons from a good trainer at a good barn with a saddle that fits me and the horse much better, but I'm not worrying about it any time soon.

Taliana said...

My sister and I went to an horse auction "to look" after about 10 or more years of not riding. All of our elderly horses had passed away and our pasture was empty.

Well we went home with a tall skinny "quarter horse" and a greenbroke mule.

I was dreadfully out of riding shape, way out of riding practice, and this big skinny horse had more bad habits than you can shake a stick at.

He gained weight fast, and with it, he gained energy. Everytime I got up on him I had to work on a different issue. Rearing, bucking, not standing still, backing to get out of going forward.

I live in a small community and I swear our neighbors watch us for entertainment. (Ok, you should have seen us trying to figure out how to put up fence and build the barn, it was GOOD entertainment).

I felt very pressured by everyone watching not to give up or lose my cool. I had to work through the horses issues without punking out.

In retrospect, I'm lucky I didn't break anything. But I got a quick track refresher to horseback riding and training and I'm happy to say that today he's a good trail horse with a healthy respect (usually!).

rescueweary said...

I'm a pretty meek, non-assertive person who is just as happy to let
the naturally bossy take charge. But if I think something's hazardous to my health, I have never had any problem saying no. I don't mind being pushed a little out of my comfort zone, but I won't get bullied into doing something iffy just to please someone else. I've been lucky in that my lesson barn is very pleasant and almost everyone I've met has been civilized, if not always enthusiastic, about my position that I can and will say "No, I'm not going to do that."

Sarah said...

I know what peer pressure is certainly like. When I was looking for horses, my trainer finally brought me to the horse I have now -- who used to NUTS. She was green and hadn't been handled for a few years. But she has great bloodlines, perfect conformation, and she had a showing background, so of course, Trainer wants. I didn't. But eventually I said yes, because I wanted a horse.

katertott said...

I just recently bought my own horse and she seems to be the laid back trail horse I was looking for so hopefully there are no surprises, luckily there is a trainer nearby who knows TWHs and I'll be getting weekend lessons starting next month so I'm very excited.

On the topic of being peer pressured, it seems that when I was younger and had took lessons that whenever I had gotten a horse that I had a good vibe with and did great with the instructor wanted to switch it up and stick me with the bad attitude horse. One horse in particular I remember never having a good feeling for but sure enough the instructor wanted me to ride her and I always thought this horse was a bitch (her name was Madonna if that tells you anything) even though my friend rode her and loved her, sure enough when we're about to go over the first jump she decides at the last second that she isn't going to and I go sailing over. I can say (knocking on wood) that I've never been thrown from a horse I had a good feeling about, it's when I knew I didn't like the horse or they were acting up earlier that I've had problems. I think there is a lot to be said for listening to your gut feelings.

Karen V said...

Update on my bronc - I loaded him and took him back to the gal I got him from. I was there for two hours talking to her. I played stupid and asked if he'd be going to the auction or did she plan to sell him? She told me that she probably have a guy ride him for her. (This guy is early 20s and really quite a hand) She turned him out with the yearling geldings that she had so he wouldn't get beat up on.

She promised me a blue eyed sorrel overo mare in exchange for my filly. I told her I didn't really NEED another horse, that I'd be happy to take cash. She told me that if this mare didn't work out, she'd take her back and we'd do the cash. I can try her for a month.

So... I know I shouldn't but I still feel guilty.

rickiesmom1 said...

ummm got tricked into an absolutely beautiful morgan mare who is 5 years away from being quiet enough for me. I looked at her, decided to wait for something broke and quiet, the lady I boarded with at the time decided to have her delivered for me and then proceeded to tell me all about how she was going to train her....this girl is not a trainer and regularly puts totally green riders on totally green horses and I have taken more lessons in my 3 years of horses then she has in her life. Needless to say I paid for her rather than be embarassed in front of the breeder but am still looking for the right trainer and an experienced person to put miles on. Now I am attached to her :( Hopefully I will be able to pay someone to show her for me :S ok ... I am a sucker. < hides in shame>

rickiesmom1 said...

ummm got tricked into an absolutely beautiful morgan mare who is 5 years away from being quiet enough for me. I looked at her, decided to wait for something broke and quiet, the lady I boarded with at the time decided to have her delivered for me and then proceeded to tell me all about how she was going to train her....this girl is not a trainer and regularly puts totally green riders on totally green horses and I have taken more lessons in my 3 years of horses then she has in her life. Needless to say I paid for her rather than be embarassed in front of the breeder but am still looking for the right trainer and an experienced person to put miles on. Now I am attached to her :( Hopefully I will be able to pay someone to show her for me :S ok ... I am a sucker. < hides in shame>

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

Jamijo - That was NOT, NOT, NOT a lesson horse! I'm sorry that happened to you, but it's all the trainer's fault - you simply do not use horses for lessons that have that kind of reaction to someone grabbing them with hands and legs.

I hope you can find a better barn, and have a better experience. My friend's daughter had the same thing happen. Some dimwit girl was teaching her (small, not very coordinated 10 year old) on her REINER. Yeah, that was smart. Yeah, kid got run off with and dumped. I got the kid back on a horse but it wasn't easy. Basically talked her into getting on a practically catatonic old very pregnant broodmare and led her at a walk, talking her ear off and asking her questions to distract her (she was shaking and on the verge of tears). I am pleased to say it worked and she is riding and showing now, but the whole accident didn't have to happen in the first place - it was all about bad, bad, bad judgment.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

rickiesmom - do not feel ashamed. Look, most of us have done this. Where are you? There may be someone local who can help.

Fran said...

haha i am the total opposite of this, at least for now...my trainer wants me to sell my boy REALLY BAD becuase he's "not pretty enough" but oh well, i love horse...i wouldn't give him up for the world!

rickiesmom1 said...

I am in Canada, Saskatchewan. It totally isn't that I am not willing to put the time or money into her. I am more than aware I am out horsed :S There is a guy close to where we are moving who has offered to break her to drive in exchange for some help with chores. We shall see :) I have also put the word out with the older 4h groups that once she is well started she will be available if any of the older more experienced teens is willing to put miles on her. Oh well, I did manage to teach her not to run over to people and teach her about MY space and MY hay lol. I also have her able to be groomed and hopefully she will be better for the farrier. She is fine with me standing there all day holding her foot, it is just once a tool enters the equation she gets all "western", so I have been picking her feet everyday :) gently of course.