Sunday, June 15, 2008

Scary Places to Ride?

A new post is coming soon about the VLC with pictures and maybe even video, but in the meantime, here's a good thread for us...

What are the scariest places to ride? You know what I mean - not necessary a cliff with a drop off, but barns and show arenas that just seem designed to create accidents, with a million skeery things to spook and way too damn much going on?

I'm going to vote for the L.A. Equestrian Center. I used to work polo ponies for a guy who lived adjacent to LAEC and paid for riding privileges on the property. LAEC has, I don't know, probably six arenas and a track that goes all the way around the property, but the track isn't really soft enough to work horses on. You can walk on it, maybe trot a bit after a rain. We had to take horses all the way around to the back of the property on the track - which is adjacent the freeway, that was fun - then you pass around the back of the property where the horses can hear the other horses inside but not see them through the hedges and stuff. Oh, and you know what comes down the track every five seconds? Trail strings with out of control trail riders running up your horse's butt. And joggers with off-leash yappy little dogs running under your horses.

You enter through a narrow archway which has paddocks used for turnout lining the left side of it, so usually you enter with some stallkept psycho horse blasting around like he's on crack back and forth in a small paddock on your left. Usually more than one.

You then get to proceed to an arena to ride, and the place is Grand Central Station. Actually, Grand Central is probably quieter. Different things going on in every ring or - better yet - some organized event like the gay rodeo. You think I'm making this up? Ha. Either you've got cowboys in purple flounces or minis with carts or saddlebreds - you just never have a clue what you will encounter. It is like an equine Halloween House of Horrors, with weird shit everywhere, just waiting to jump out at you. And then they drag and water the rings every three seconds which is fine after your horse has adjusted to the idea of tractors spewing water fountains coming by without warning. So I am gonna vote for LAEC as my all time Least Favorite Place to Ride (particularly if you're a chickenshit re-rider!)

What's yours?

52 comments:

Mary said...

First! YAHOO!

Actually, since the majority of my outside-world-riding has been on Tango, there isn't a thing that would be "scary" with him. This horse is amazing. He's never said NO, he's never spooked more then a quick shake of his body and feet planting. I'm going to count myself lucky!

I might have to think about this because nothing jumps out at me.

barngal said...

Years ago I used to show at a county fairgroung that always had a fun show. It was held on the track in front of the grandstand so you actually had a nice audience. One year though, they decided to place some large wild cats, lions and tigers, at the end of the arena. It freaked out many of the horses. Also, all the rides were just behind the grandstand.

Another time a friend and I went riding on the back roads and didn't realize we had to cross one of those old metal open grate, see to the river, type bridge. We both dismounted and carefully walked our horses across with no problem. One QH and one TB.

Barb said...

Parades!

Our city hosts a few parades each year, and I'm amazed that GDM (Gigantic Draft Mare) survives it. It's a never-ending barrage of sensory overload, and the stop-start-stop-start-no-wait-stop isn't one bit helpful

Add to that the camels, llamas, bulls being ridden, kids that run out for candy while their parents chat, geez!!!

Though they are fun, and I can't wait for the next one!

OutRiding01 said...

Bob Thomas EC in Tampa, FL. The indoor ring is the most poorly lit arena I've ever been in. You can hardly see the jumps. The ring is also pretty small so you don't have a lot of room to make mistakes.
Also, the covered ring at the Clay County Ag Center in Jacksonville, FL is scary as heck. NFHJA is held there and they only use that ring for ponies because the ceiling is so low. It can still be a little unnerving if you're riding something really scopey. It's adjacent to one of the semi-permanent tents so stall walls actually make up one side of the arena. You never know what's going to be going on in the stall right next to the judge's stand that's going to make you look like an idiot right in front of the judge.

Dirty Harlot said...

Wow, that sounds like you'd have one bomb proof horse after that experience! Um, never really been around such a barn ... the scariest thing I can imagine is riding close to a road. My ultimate riding nightmare is having a horse run away with me in front of oncoming traffic ... *shudder*.

-Olesja

cdncowgirl said...

Barngal: Now that just sounds like really stupid planning by the fairgrounds people!

cdncowgirl said...

My "scary place" is where I do the majority of my riding (doesn't that just figure!)
Where I board there aren't a lot of places to ride. It's a private home (acreage) that is located between a highway, a busy blacktop, and a service road (that used to be the highway). So my choices to ride are 1)in the ditches along any of these lovely roads or 2) on the back road (hard gravel grid road, not 'back country lane' type roads)
Oh, and the back road is no prize because its the road that leads to the water station for those acreage owners that have to haul water!
Better still, when the province put in the "new" highway, it went through the middle of the BO's land! So we have the house/barn/shop/small pastures on one side of the highway and the "big" pasture on the other side. I HATE when the horses have to be moved to the big pasture. To ride I have to lead my horse(s) back and forth across the friggin highway!!!
And of course my horses, the ones ridden regularly, are the first ones moved to the big pasture. The BO's horses, who are basically pasture ornaments, stay on the side with the house! (they get ridden maybe 5-10 times a YEAR)

Thank God my husband and I are looking for land of our own!

bluedude5 said...

my horse and i dont really have a scary place, its more like an omg we are heading for home time to scare the shit out of my mother phase
she is the most awsome treking horse PROVIDED that she does not think that we have turned for home, once that happens its refusing to walk in a straight line and jogging the entire way with the occasional rear thrown in, great fun...

SOSHorses said...

WOW!! I thought that rideing with Saddlebreds and Hackneys was bad. Honey I got nothing on that crazy shit. Good lord it is a wonder someone hasn't gotten killed.

SammieRockes said...

BBG isn't scared of much, he is a true trail riding horse thank god. But its just plain dangerous to ride down the road where I live, and the wood trails are to buggy this time of year. But In Pungo man, the best and worse place to ride is the roads. Its great because they go on for miles and very limiting bugs, but BBG is scared of motorcycles and bikes make him a little nervous(Those dang two-wheels-its unnatural cuz a 4-wheeler doesn't bother him.haha) But if he seriously were to spook, We'd be screwed because there are deep ditches on both sides of the road in most places, I have taught him how to jump ditches, but heck that would be into a crop field this time a year and there would probably be a farmer waiting to shoot us for screwing up his crops.

SammieRockes said...

Oh Parades were fun for us. I did the biggest one here (Neptune Fest) with my OTTB when he was only 6 mos. off track. Everyone thought hew was a dressage horse cause he half-passed the whole way. This year I am nevous though cuz I signed up to take my BBG, Im hoping he'll do fine. LAst year thoug man, the way they had it run was just very un organized, we parked at thirth st, walked 15 blocks down to where we needed to start, and then had to wait a couple of hours to go forthe order or something...Im just hoping they don't have us near motorcycles.

jill said...

showgrounds where they have 4 in hand coaches and big heavy horse trade turn outs. Those clanking, jangling, squeaking monstrosities use to give my welsh cob every excuse to act the fool when we encountered them. eyes popping, snorting, dancing, the lot. oh, and pig huts. used to be a field of them down the road and he'd prance along the length of it.

Natrlhorse said...

It is all about cliffs for me, I don't like the sheer drop offs. There is one particular spot in the Sierras called Angel's Flight above June Lake which is a steep switchback on a near vertical face that goes up about 400'
Scary as heck with horses above and below and some forest service person with a string of mules riding up your butt. A fellow I know had an accident there, dropped a mule off the edge (3 but the other two survived) and nearly had his saddle horse pulled over in the process. Luckily there was nobody below him on the trail or they probably would have been wiped out too

A Bay Horse said...

Not so much a place but I hate riding on our back roads here when people speed by you, especially if they are driving something that has no business speeding, like a construction truck, an oil delivery truck, or a pickup trailering 4 wheelers. Some times I think it's just innocent ignorance of how horses react. But the worst was a construction truck that buzzed his engine while speeding up to us, and then honked when my horse started spooking. Ya good idea moron, honking will really help. We and he and the company's owner were lucky we didn't end up getting hurt.

Maybe Mae said...

I used to ride at a barn that also was a dog rescue (hey, better than a breeder!). There were ALWAYS dogs running around, barking, yipping, chasing the horses, clogging up the ring, the empty stalls, etc. It was nice nuts. Just the barking alone drove me insane. Don't know how the horses put up with it.

colorisnteverything said...

The LaPorte County Fairgrounds, which *was* where I competed when I still did 4-H. There was a road on the right side of the arena where people would fly by and honk, a harness track at the top, where there was a 10 foot fence, so you could not SEE the horses go by except through the small holes between the fence, and your horse could hear them. There were also overgrown hostas on one side that would go into where your horse had to ride. It was really bad because they would tickle your horse's feet as they came by. What no one thought was scary was the fact that metal (steel) barriers lined the road and if your horse broke through the flimsy wood (now PVC) fence, they would be skinned alive and you would wind up on a major road.

People hated our arena because of the many issues it caused. To show here, you did need a pretty good horse.

Heat Stroke in FL said...

I have to vote fot the Clay County AG Center in Green Cove Springs, FL. They have one arena that is freaky. It has round pen panels for the walls AND the stables are built around the arena. This means that when you ride in the arena, your horse can see all of the kids running through the stables, all of the horses freaking in the stables, etc. EVERY green horse I have ever taken there freaks for the first half dozen times they show there.

Heat Stroke in FL said...

Outriding01 - WOW, just saw your comment after I made mine. That makes 2 votes against the Clay County grounds, LOL! What a small world!

sidoney said...

In some ways I prefer a place where a LOT goes on than one where it's pretty quiet but sometimes something scary happens.

With my horses and the horses I've worked with, I've found that sensory overload, like at shows and parades, tends to decrease reaction to individual things, so it takes something REALLY big to get a reaction.

In a quiet place though, a bird flying up or a bit of plastic hung up on a fence can cause feet planting. Depending on the horse of course.

In all cases, an environment that is safe is my preference ... and one that is not safe worries me. I have a high awareness of sharp bits of metal (as in road barriers), tops of metal stakes, and so on.

icepony said...

Pierce College outdoor arena (Woodland Hills, CA) in October: right next to the Halloween corn maze! Yup, think rustling stalks, shrieking teenagers, howling children, etc...and absolutely nothing to be SEEN, just HEARD! That's how I got to ride one of the most amazing "lesson horses" - a young mustang who just lost it one day over the goings-on in the maze and dumped his beginner. No one else would get on him after that...so I slapped a hunt saddle on him and thoroughly enjoyed the next two semesters, lol!

Fleeting said...

Edmonton Northlands puts on a hunter/jumper show every June... it is super awesome as you get to walk your OTTBs across the race track to get to the infield - they love that. You can see the mental flashbacks going on.

Plus they invite the entire city of Edmonton to wander around the showgrounds aimlessly... at one point the recently gelded, nippy green 5 year old was waiting to go into the hunter ring and we discovered a 6 year old standing DIRECTLY behind him, pulling on his tail. Awesome. One of my barn-mates tackled the kid, who started to cry, and my coach gave the parents an earful for not watching the kid. Very scary.

The Royal Brandon Winter Fair is pretty scary too... tiny warm up ring with posts in the middle, grand prix jumps, cement flooring, clueless public wandering around, AND the heavy teams being harnessed up, jingling like crazy. Plus there is the scary ramp of doom down to the show ring, which is actually a hockey rink with sand on it, and if you go after the superdogs, all the kids are down at the boards, screaming and pounding on them...

crazyhorse said...

The duck pond at the Tampa State Fairgrounds between Barn E and Barn B...a woman was killed there a few years back when some ducks flew up and spooked the 2 yr old she was riding. It fell backwards and she hit her head on a cement parking block, one of those big ones you need a tractor to move. She died after being airlifted out.

mugwump said...

Maybe not so much a place, but a situation...
I was at a cutting. I had just sorted my cow, my yellow mare was on it, we got one good turn in, and somebody raises up the big, roller, clanky metal door directly behind the herd.
Cattle were scattering every where, my little three year old was blowing and skittering, tail tucked flat, and my turn back is yelling, "Keep your eye on it! Keep your eye on your cow!"
Sigh. No money that day.

BuckdOff said...

Yikes, my scary spots are nothing compared to any of the ones here! My last stable had a scary indoor, the snow would crash down off the roof, and the floor tilted like a fun house for some reason, it was dark and dank. So when you'd trot you were at a weird angle, ditto any kind of figure eight. Oh, and small dogs running around the indoor while I was trying to ride and avoid my ADD kicking in. But that's nothing compared to cliffs and stuff, wild cats,Holy Crap.....

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>My last stable had a scary indoor, the snow would crash down off the roof<<

I forgot about that! I grew up in the Midwest and few things make a greenie come unglued worse than the melting snow deciding to slither off the roof mid-ride.

Mary said...

~continues counting her blessing...aka...tango~

I thought of something! Now, keep in mind in my stupid/fearless teenage years when I didn't know better neither did anyone around me to tell me so, I would jump off cliffs into the Mississippi with Tango. We did more parades then I can count, I hunted off of him (he isn't thrilled to have a dressed out deer dragging behind him, be he handles it), you name it. Well, at the Itasca County Fair in northern MN they thought it was a good idea to keep oodles of trash cans along the outside of the arena. Anyone know what creatures LOVE trash? Hornets! One flew up Tangos nose and ~poof~ off I went. In the middle of a WP class. Poor guy hung his so low the entire day! They have since moved the cans.

Ah, yes, snow sliding off the roof is fun! So is riding and all of the suddon hearing the creaking and cracking of the ice on the very near-by lake dropping into the water in the spring.

Grouse shooting out of the tall grass and thwapping your horse in the chest while going down the trail tends to un-nerve a horse or two. Nike's dam, a pure blood arab, was the best for that type of thing. The worst I got was a slight head toss. Damn flighty ay-rabs ~snort~

serensk said...

I've not been riding long enough (and definitely not enough places) to really say about scary places to ride. I've heard it said many times though that the arena that I ride in routinely is the scariest in the province. This wouldn't take much doing, as there isn't much competition -- there's not that many arenas.

What makes it scary is apparently: wide size, with scary things hiding behind the rails, like jumps and trail gates and christmas trees; and zomg mirrors, and side doors, and side aisles, and also aisles you can't see but you can hear when a horse kicks their back wall; and a lobby with kids running and bopping around; and a back door that opens up to the big blue yonder and rattles in the winter wind; and beams of sunlight that turn into snakes in the footing; and ice slides off the metal roof; and bats fly out of the high rafters; and the heaters fire up with a clang...

It's probably nothing on other big arenas, but it's pretty scary.

In our latest news, we went for our first ever hack off the property today, because there was a big reining competition going on and all the barn, arena, and front arenas and tracks were in use. We rode on out through the hordes of spinning horses waiting for their turn in the pen, and past some terrifying big trailers and strange people! Out the back gate -- which had to be opened and closed, squeaking on rusty hinges -- and alongside some fields, past herds of stampeding horses (OK, three horses), past birds and jackrabbits, across a paved road, almost to the river... which is also an off-leash dog park and so we called it quits there. Another day we will face the scary dogs.

On the way back we encountered the polo ponies being ponied around the back track, and that got my young mare a little fired up... so I let her rip. Our first gallop!

I cheated. Everything but the galloping at the end was done in the company of Big Brother Moose, broker than broke, and finally not-lame... who demonstrated his lack of lameness by breaking into a perfect WP jog during the ride without any urging (the DH always rode English and hasn't learned how to ask for a jog yet). Apparently, his WP jog is super comfy when ridden in a Passier AP.

Absolutely brilliant ride. :) It's so AWESOME when you tackle scary stuff together and it WORKS.

serensk said...

OH! The Horse Palace in Toronto! Reading about the Brandon Fair made me think of it. I've never ridden there, but I go at least once a year for at least the Royal Winter Fair. The Horse Palace in the middle of any big horse show is TERRIFYING.

It's two stories. There's ramps, tunnels, horses of all sizes and types, carriages under wraps near the warmup ring, and thousands of city people tromping through. And the Horse Palace ring has spectators above as well. I can't imagine what it's like there with a horse.

barngal said...

The ice sliding off the roof made me remember the many times that happened in my old barn. (Age tends to make you forget!) I had an old dairy barn with the high roof. Snow and ice would often slide and land on a lean to with a thud. Animals and people in the barn just seemed to hold their breath with the sound, then continue on. But one day the sound came with a crash at the end when all the sliding ice/snow came crashing through the roof of the lean to right next to the horses. That actually caused some freaking out.

Also, how many out there have ridden in an indoor that pops and cracks with the warming of the sun. I used to leg up TBs in an indoor that had no roof insulation and with the changing weather you could have the sound of popping firecrackers. That was always an interesting ride.

SammieRockes said...

Oh another scary place I rode when I was younger on my Sneaky Chestnut Brat, Graves Mountain. Yes that was the name of the Mountain Trail. Real cheery huh? Its in VA, and there were bears, pigs, crazy horses, some of those inclines were so muddy and steep, and then at one point we were walking on the ledge, one wrong step and down we would of gone. thank god SCB was pretty queit.

amarygma said...

According to me- where there's traffic and coyotes and hunters and and blind turn in the road.

According to him- where his friends aren't close enough.

readytoride said...

The scariest place to ride for me is not an arena with lots of excitement and goings on- kids screaming, dogs barking people grilling next to their trailers with horses tied everywhere, or a trail ride next to a 40 ft cliff (which I do have on my property) or with cows and deer and barbed wire and dump trucks etc

No, the scariest place to ride is at a hyper anal dressage test. Where every spectator is highly judgmental and every one is so quiet and serious, as though important brain surgery is taking place. The indignation that any disturbance causes just freaks me out.

fssunnysd said...

For me: trail rides leaving from home. Mentally, I know Sunny knows the way home and is is perfectly capable of bolting off if spooked. Has he done so? Nope. Could he? Absolutely. Trailering somewhere & riding, even somewhere really new, doesn't have the same stress factor.

For Sunny: haven't yet found an atmosphere he's really freaked out by. Occasionally the eyes get really big, but nothing seems to really flip him out. Now, touch wood, I haven't just jinxed us!

Josie said...

I have never ridden at a crowded ANYTHING really, so perhaps I have many scary venues ahead of me, or that I will never experience! The scariest place I've ridden is the indoor arena at the barn where I boarded my first horse (for 12 YEARS!). It was under the barn. It couldn't have been bigger than 40x80 with low ceilings, stone walls, and two support pillars. It took me YEARS to be able to canter in there. I actually had to visualize a white rail fence in an open field to replace the mossy stone wall. Yet in Massachusetts, you NEED an indoor, and you make do. We sometimes had 8 people in a lesson in that arena! It was like drill practice, keeping even distances and making sure our circles (at either end) were the same size so you met your "partner" in the middle... it was actually a lot of fun!

equus said...

lake county, il, fairgrounds arena was always flanked on one side with the pig building. the squealing pigs would always bring up the ears on every horse showing. but, that wasn't the bad part. the bad part was the 10 ft tall blow-up ice cream cone that was deflated every night and then blown up during the morning classes of the fair. nothing like watching this monstrousity, which was on top of a concession stand right next to the pig building, being slowly inflated and having the horse under you getting as big as the cone! too funny. i showed there for years and it never failed to amaze me that no one ever said anything to the fair folks about inflating that damn cone while the horses were in the arena.

another scary place: we have alot of sandhill cranes by us in the summer. these huge beauties have at least six foot wing spans and there is nothing like walking along the state park's trails dreamily enjoying your ride, when a few sandhill's decide you are way too scary and take off from the tall grass they were resting in. talk about yahoo!!

the above sure doesn't hold a candle to fug's place though.

fssunnysd said...

Equus, your blow-up ice cream cone reminded me of showing at the Schoolcraft County 4-H show in Upper Michigan when I was growing up. They always located the carnival right next the the horse arena, and one year the ferris wheel was particularly close and particularly loud. Oddly, none of the horses really seemed to mind after getting a good look, but the management did get a complaint from a woman who swore that her horse was thrown off his times in the speed events and placed badly because of it. She wanted the carnival shut down for her goes! (Same horse was an absolute rock during all of the earlier classes, so you figure it out....)

kellysreward said...

Hey, you forgot the SWINGING BRIDGE!!

LAEC is right by it. I am still amazed that horses(my OTTB)would willingly go over a swinging suspension bridge over water. Even better, when the crazed string rental horses would RUN over the bridge and cause it to bounce erratically. Damn,my OTTB handled that like a champ!

June Evers said...

Fugly said: "...some organized event like the gay rodeo."

Not that there's anything wrong with it...

(Do you ever watch Seinfeld? :)

Redsmom said...

That LAEC sounds like a doozy!!

I hated riding at Red Oak, in the sand arena because there were jumps, parts of jumps, jump standards, ground poles, benches, all over the place. There was about a 3 foot wide path around that rail and I was always afraid of getting sideswiped on a jump. I saw one of the teen riders get swiped off at a canter - she and the horse were slightly bloody - luckily nothing serious. Even trusty old Matty would get wonky and head straight for a stand-alone jump standard sometimes - I think he didn't see it (dirty white pole in dirty white sand arena).

Redsmom said...

Oh, and add to that - to access the trails, you have to ride over an Interstate overpass on a 2 lane road. Fine for the school horses who have been doing it for 10 years, but I was on a rusty Halflinger one day who startled to the side and I almost needed Depends!!

Joy said...

Slurry seal. Any place with slurry seal. I hate hate hate it. I would rather go under the 5 freeway 15 times in a row than ride on fresh slurry seal. UGH!

Laura said...

My scariest place to ride closed last year, but I taught lessons there in college: Claremont Riding Academy in New York City. They rented horses to barely competent riders with no guide or supervision to ride in Central Park. But to GET to Central Park you had to ride through Manhattan traffic for three very long blocks.

Instructors had the unique pleasure of taking horses who had arrived to join the hack string for their first jaunts into the Park. Most of them came from a dealer who bought them out of fields in PA, green broke at best. Most had never seen cars let alone yellow cabs and bike messengers and crazy pedestrians with strollers or dog walkers with 10 mutts on leashes.

It was insane, and I am amazed to this day that any of us, much less the horses, lived through it. Convinced me that horses are the most adaptable animals on earth, and humans the craziest. But those of us stuck in NYC for years with no money would do anything to be around horses...

Fleeting said...

I have been TOLD that the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto has the WORST warm-up ring in the history of man kind. Apparently the beams for the ceiling are so low you're ducking over the fences so you don't take your head off. I know a few people who competed in the CET finals (national equitation championships in Canada) and they said they would never go back to that warm up ring by choice. And these are the equitation kids, not scared re-riders!

FuglyAtHeart said...

OOH! I vote for the Tacoma Unit #1 in Spanaway, WA. I HATE that facility. The arena has weird entrances and exits and windows. The footing sucks. The metal rope and concrete rail (that is only about 3.5" high and which would take virtually nothing at all to get a horse to come over), the horribly cramped covered warm up. The outdoor trail/warmup arena with no gates to close and only a chain link fence between the busy highway with cars who honk and boys who yell at you only 3' from the edge, the dastardly dark stalls that are 2' lower than the aisleway, and which somehow always entice a young/spooky horse to try to jump out of, and the sound system which seems to like to spook even the most campaigned show horse you own. Yeah. I HATE IT THERE!

OutRiding01 said...

Heat stroke- Lol, too funny. You're horse looks "westerny" so I'm guessing you don't do NFHJA huh? Like I said, we only put ponies in the ring and it's still scary. It's ironic though, because my absolute favorite ring to ride in is also there. I love the huge covered arena, and since my own horse is a jumper, that's where I do the majority of my showing. I always make my family go sit up in the grandstands and cheer for me :)

OutRiding01 said...

Forgot to add that I absoluetly hate the tiny warm up area for the covered arena though. You can't even fit 10 horses in it comfortably (more like 5), and since it's the grand prix ring, all the horses are usually varying degrees of crazy anyways. Like Chris Hannaran, who always brings his psycho stallion.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

You are right about the warm-up at Tacoma Unit. We took some of the rescue horses to a schooling show there this spring and, boy, horses going everywhere (and nobody looking where they were going at all!) Fortunately the one I was on was a good girl about it as she has drill experience. Probably should be a pre-requisite for showing there!

I'd take the VLC out there because they have the perfect green horse class, walk only pleasure (yeah, hilarious, I know, but they actually have it) but I am not sure if he could handle the crowding. He is doing well working with other horses in the arena so far, though!

Caught Caring said...

Mmh. In South Africa there were some scary, scary places that we had to compete.

One was a high school campus. Yes, they took their small soccer field, next to the basketball courts and sidewalk and buildings, and stuck a bunch of poles in the ground for gaming. It was scary as hell. The ground was hard and torn up from soccer shoes. The weather was awful so the umbrellas they stuck around kept getting uprooted and flying across the showgrounds. And English gamers... well you know they're nucking futs. I took my calm OTTB aiming for sainthood and he flipped an absolute shit, got my dumb teenage ass concussed. I don't blame him at all.

Then the actual showgrounds... hmm. There's one with gigantic - and I mean absolutely monsterous - holes between the warm up and show arenas. Like, your horse spooks into one of those things and he's not coming out until he's lifted out. Right in the middle of the damn path. And they have my favorite, 20m x 20m warm-up arenas! Those are awesome. Fantastic for causing horrific accidents at the show for teenage riders with 90+ people in most classes.

Oh, I loved learning to compete in the third world. It was lovely. Frankly, I'm surprised I don't know more people in wheelchairs at 18 due to horse injures from that experience (as it is, I know two - two too many, as I see it).

Sandy M said...

Three words: Golden Gate Park.

I boarded there for a while (no boarding available at present, but they are eventually going to re-open, supposedly).

After six months in GGP, your horse will either be bombproof or insane.

doitright said...

Ya gotta love the LAEC.
Things you see on a daily basis:
Horses dragging their handler around by the lead rope.
People waving their arms and yelling while chasing their horses around in the turnouts to get them to run.
A lady sitting on her horse reading the newspaper with a flashlight while the horse has it's head completely inside a trash can eating whatever is in it.
People riding their horses into the stall to dismount.

Luckily we no longer have the gay or Will Pickett rodeos held here.

We still suffer from large numbers of lookie-loos who think it is their duty to touch and pet every horse in every barn. The worst are the ones who hold their baby or toddler up and tell them to pet the pretty horsie.

The LAEC has a large number of horse owners while having a small number of horse people.

ORSunshine said...

Mine was James Gang Ranch down in Lacey. The original barn burned to the ground in the late 80s and was never explained. Only one horse survived that night and only because he was forgot out in pasture. The new barn was built on top of the sight about 10' with a charred 20' post left outside the back of the arena.

As teenagers, my friend and I would once in a while catch a whiff of smoke, or hear horses running up and down pasture fences, but there weren't any horses out. We rode mainly late at night after we were done cleaning stalls. So, we sometimes had probably psyched ourselves out a bit.

Besides the weird "memories" the place had, we also had peacocks, guinea hens, chickens, ducks and turkeys to deal with. The white turkeys were the worst! I can't tell you how many times I'd get cornered into a stall with a mean mare by one of those turkeys! And the owner loved them so much we weren't really allowed to defend ourselves. Arrgh! I still hate white turkeys to this day!

jennybean79 said...

I can't say that I've ever ridden anywhere as scary as some of the experiences on this blog. However, in the late 90's, I was a junior exhibitor and our biggest show (for Morgans) in Michigan at the time was the "Michigan All Morgan" horse show in Detroit. Yes, Detroit! It's actually kind of a cool place, it's a very old colliseum and it's gated and though kind of worn out these days, it was always fun to show there. Anyway, I believe it was in 1997 and for some reason, Dodge sponsered the show. This was the year that the Durango first came out, so Dodge, or the horse show committee - I dunno', decided that it would be a great idea to park a BIG FAT SHINY RED Suv halfway into the show arena (in the colliseum) and place baskets of flowers all around it with a big ole' white sign stuck to the suv. Needless to say, I saw alot of snorty snort Morgans acting alot snortier at that show. :)