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LauraKY
Apr. 16, 2011, 03:45 PM
Just got a phone call from someone wanted to lease our hunter/ex-chaser. He's advertised for an advanced rider for hunting or show jumping.

She's says she's advanced, but a little rusty. I asked her if she hunted. "Oh, yes", she says. I asked her what height fence she was comfortable with, she says "fence"? Jumping height, I say. She says that, no she doesn't jump, just wants to ride "English".

I tell her about the horse, that he's a point and shoot jumper, not a flat equitation horse and that he's an ex-steeple chaser. She says, "Oh, then he's an OTTB"? My mother used to ride OTTBs, they can't turn to the right, they only want to go left! Experienced, my butt.

:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

Sure, this is the horse for you. I was nice; I sent her off to call a trainer who works with beginners (and NOT with my horse)!

Mrs.ChickenBritches
Apr. 16, 2011, 05:57 PM
It's a mystery as to why people place themselvs the way they do on the old experience scale. I've ridden for quite a while, done some jumping, a lot of dressage, trails, and I still call myself an advanced beginner.;)

It would be easier if there were good definitions of the levels of riding. Obviously a beginner is just that but how many hours/experience do you need to be an intermediate or advanced rider? Does it require showing? Clinic time? Just saddle time? It's so ambiguous.

She is funny about the ottbs not turning right, :lol: where do people get their ideas?

Cruiser12
Apr. 16, 2011, 06:56 PM
I hear you! I have ridden since I was 2 (ok -sat in a saddle) and I'm in my mid 40's, have ridden throughout most of my life, done hunters/fox hunting/trail riding out the ying yang, and have started eventing over the last 5 years or so, and I STILL say, "I'm a beginner/intermediate rider" and I feel like I'm overstating it just a little with the "intermediate" part. LOL

Drive NJ
Apr. 16, 2011, 07:18 PM
Same reason they overestimate their ability to drive a car well.

Me... I tend to underestimate cause I'd rather enjoy my ride on a been there done that horse

CobJockey
Apr. 16, 2011, 07:18 PM
I always, always, always understate my level, and I let my riding speak for itself for others to judge. It's kept me out of some hairy situations and also some embarrassing situations before. There's no point attaining a momentary ego boost with it, because at some point the cards will come crashing down around you when you're asked to prove it.

MistyBlue
Apr. 16, 2011, 07:25 PM
If you think selling/leasing a horse is bad for overstating abilities...try working for a trail riding facility. :lol:

People came there to pay for guided rides by the hour. I was a trail guide as one of my barn jobs when I was young. They had to sign a release (even back then) and check a box stating their riding experience. This was so we could determine which horse to put them on.

Without fail if it was a couple on a date or a few couples...the guys almost *all* checked #1; very experienced. (2 was some experience and 3 was little to no experience) Now we never expected a #1 to have pro experience...it was outlined that they'd ridden on a regular basis at all 3 gaits. Not that they could navigate a speed round in a jump off or anything.

But the guys never wanted to admit they had maybe had a pony ride when they were little and that was it. We usually just ignored that and put them on the quieter horses...unless the guy was obnoxious. Then he got one of the "speshul" horses. :D The ones where steering might be optional...or more likely the ones who would try to scrape the rider off in the woods. (woods were called The Knee Trees for a reason, LOL)

And if he looked like he wanted to cowboy it up and run the legs off of a horse showing off, we gave him Shelley the pinto mare or Dusty the giant pally gelding. Both had 2 speeds: nap and amble. The rider could flap their feet and bounce around like a spider monkey on crack and neither of those two would do more than a few strides of spine-cracking trot and then take a nap. :cool:

But back then, if someone overstated thier abilites and did get scraped off on a tree or their horse just wandered back to the barn with them, ignoring the attempts at steering...nobody got sue-happy. Or if we gave them Jessie and she broke the land-speed record with the person and made them wet themselves a little bit...or Mocha who would pop a little rear to remind the rider who was boss....we didn't worry too much about getting sued.

Those were the good ol' days. :winkgrin: :cool: :lol:

CosMonster
Apr. 16, 2011, 07:34 PM
I think most of the time in a case like the OP's they honestly don't know how much they don't know. I've seen it tons of times and they really do believe they know a lot--after all, it's just riding a horse, how much could there be to it! :lol:

Also that OTTBs-not-turning-right thing is pretty common even with experienced horse people IME. It's very confusing. I've had good riders be flat out shocked seeing a recently of the track horse who could canter on the right lead/turn right. :confused:

foggybok
Apr. 16, 2011, 07:36 PM
If you think selling/leasing a horse is bad for overstating abilities...try working for a trail riding facility. :lol:

People came there to pay for guided rides by the hour. I was a trail guide as one of my barn jobs when I was young. They had to sign a release (even back then) and check a box stating their riding experience. This was so we could determine which horse to put them on.

Without fail if it was a couple on a date or a few couples...the guys almost *all* checked #1; very experienced. (2 was some experience and 3 was little to no experience) Now we never expected a #1 to have pro experience...it was outlined that they'd ridden on a regular basis at all 3 gaits. Not that they could navigate a speed round in a jump off or anything.

But the guys never wanted to admit they had maybe had a pony ride when they were little and that was it. We usually just ignored that and put them on the quieter horses...unless the guy was obnoxious. Then he got one of the "speshul" horses. :D The ones where steering might be optional...or more likely the ones who would try to scrape the rider off in the woods. (woods were called The Knee Trees for a reason, LOL)

And if he looked like he wanted to cowboy it up and run the legs off of a horse showing off, we gave him Shelley the pinto mare or Dusty the giant pally gelding. Both had 2 speeds: nap and amble. The rider could flap their feet and bounce around like a spider monkey on crack and neither of those two would do more than a few strides of spine-cracking trot and then take a nap. :cool:

But back then, if someone overstated thier abilites and did get scraped off on a tree or their horse just wandered back to the barn with them, ignoring the attempts at steering...nobody got sue-happy. Or if we gave them Jessie and she broke the land-speed record with the person and made them wet themselves a little bit...or Mocha who would pop a little rear to remind the rider who was boss....we didn't worry too much about getting sued.

Those were the good ol' days. :winkgrin: :cool: :lol:

Sounds familar...... We'd put those guys on Dock. And yes that is Dock, not Doc.....He was named Dock for a reason....probably Barge or Pier would have done too :) You could light dynamite under him and he wasn't going anywhere faster than a walk...and not a fast walk..... Then there was Blondie. Blondie liked to eat the tall grass in the swamp. If the rider was not a good rider, he would make a bee-line for the swamp.....that humbled a few of the braggarts as they stood in the swamp, unable to get off and lead the horse out and unable to make him move...Blondie just stood there munching....

Our horses knew their jobs well, so all the cowboy riding in the world wouldn't make them veer from the line, which was a good thing.... Plus, if they did manage to do something like that, they got kicked off the horse and had to walk back......

ah, the good ole days.....

And what a fabulous job for a teenage girl...started at 9:00 am and rode til sundown..... :)

deltawave
Apr. 16, 2011, 07:59 PM
IME using the term "advanced" to describe riding ability (or "intermediate") is fraught with problems because that may mean HUGELY different things to different people.

Some lesson barns consider an "advanced" rider to be one who can canter in two point and trot a crossrail. It really depends on what each party has in mind when they say "advanced".

Might be better to specify the requisite skill level more: "a rider who has ridden in the hunt field or competed in at least Training level eventing", for instance, or "proficient at third level dressage" or "experience galloping horses on the track", etc.

MistyBlue
Apr. 16, 2011, 08:01 PM
LOL Foggy...we also made them take the Walk Of Shame back if they acted like morons. :D

sid
Apr. 16, 2011, 08:06 PM
This is why, when we held lessons here with my horses, we ignored the "level" the person thought they were riding and assessed them on a good horse.

I've been riding for 30+ years and I would never call myself advanced. Yet, on the resumes of a few 19 year old barn help, they say they ride and TEACH advanced. Holy Mother of God...(grin).

I've learned to ignore self-diagnosed expertise in riding, handling, training. The proof is in the pudding.

CosMonster
Apr. 16, 2011, 09:18 PM
IME using the term "advanced" to describe riding ability (or "intermediate") is fraught with problems because that may mean HUGELY different things to different people.

Some lesson barns consider an "advanced" rider to be one who can canter in two point and trot a crossrail. It really depends on what each party has in mind when they say "advanced".

Might be better to specify the requisite skill level more: "a rider who has ridden in the hunt field or competed in at least Training level eventing", for instance, or "proficient at third level dressage" or "experience galloping horses on the track", etc.

I totally agree with this. I mean, it also kind of blows my mind to hear someone like sid say that she's been riding for 30+ years and doesn't consider herself advanced, but it's a really common sentiment. I think it comes from realizing how much more there is to learn, comparing oneself to the masters, etc. but at the same time, "intermediate" isn't really an appropriate descriptor for someone with that kind of experience IMO. I think those terms are pretty pointless and it's better to describe certain activities.

foggybok
Apr. 16, 2011, 09:30 PM
I totally agree with this. I mean, it also kind of blows my mind to hear someone like sid say that she's been riding for 30+ years and doesn't consider herself advanced, but it's a really common sentiment. I think it comes from realizing how much more there is to learn, comparing oneself to the masters, etc. but at the same time, "intermediate" isn't really an appropriate descriptor for someone with that kind of experience IMO. I think those terms are pretty pointless and it's better to describe certain activities.

I've been riding for >40 years and 20 years ago I would have said I was advanced, but these days I'd have to dial it back to intermediate...age, fitness level and balance have taken their toll...... :)

But I'd agree with you, while I have advanced skills in certain areas of riding, I'd probably fall off a good cutting horse :eek:and I

I keep hoping I can get back into shape and regain some of those lost skills, but it just isn't happening.... Maybe gravity is just getting stronger these days.....

asterix
Apr. 16, 2011, 09:34 PM
When I was in college I went backpacking through England with my (horsey) boyfriend. we signed up to go out hacking over the moors from a livery in Dartmoor, and told the guy when we called that we were reasonably competent ( bf played polo and jumped 3'6", I was comfy more like 3' but had been hunter pacing that year).

After we arrived and asked for polo wraps to wrap our calves in lieu of half chaps (we were backpacking, after all), he watched us wrap for a minute, and said "I'll be back, I've got to get new horses for you."

We had an awesome and fast paced ride over the moors after he fetched upgraded horses for us...he was an ex steeplechase jockey and told us 90% of the folks who came overestimated their abilities, so he just ignored what they said mostly...

He said a woman once called and told him she had "a little experience" ... And when she arrived, he recognized her from his steeplechasing days...

But mostly, it's the other way around...

Bogie
Apr. 16, 2011, 09:53 PM
People just don't know what they don't know. It's a fact.

But your horse sounds like a blast. If you want to send him to Massachusetts, our hunt season starts Tuesday!

Phaxxton
Apr. 16, 2011, 10:09 PM
I think most of the time in a case like the OP's they honestly don't know how much they don't know.

Agreed. And this is scariest when these people decide they are "trainers" and ruin horses for clueless clients. :no:

billiebob
Apr. 16, 2011, 10:18 PM
This is why, when we held lessons here with my horses, we ignored the "level" the person thought they were riding and assessed them on a good horse.

I've been riding for 30+ years and I would never call myself advanced. Yet, on the resumes of a few 19 year old barn help, they say they ride and TEACH advanced. Holy Mother of God...(grin).

I've learned to ignore self-diagnosed expertise in riding, handling, training. The proof is in the pudding.

Yup. There are a few schoolies at my barn who will happily pack a beginner around but aren't a complete deadhead for a more advanced rider. I like the lesson people who underestimate their ability--it's a nice change from the parents who think little Suzie is the next great Olympian.

This chart was in PH a few years ago. I thought it was really good.
http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/eventing/rate_your_riding_031108

NeedsAdvil
Apr. 16, 2011, 11:18 PM
I agree, people (especially those between beginner/intermediate) do not realize how much more there is to learn. After all, they have mastered posting and most of the time they know what lead they are on!

I've been riding a long time, and try to be as vague as possible so not to sound like I am more experienced than I am. When I was trying horses, a friend went with me and inevitably was told "wow, she's a very good rider". (I'm not, but I bet in relation to most of the yahoos they got responding to ads, I looked like the second coming of George Morris). I'd rather undersell myself and overdeliver. :)

mg
Apr. 16, 2011, 11:18 PM
It's for this reason that I'm tempted to ask potential buyers for riding videos before allowing them on my horse. I have one I may be interested in selling this summer, but he is VERY sensitive and one bad ride could really mess with him. He could also end up hurting someone who thinks they are more experienced than they really are. :no:

Big_Grey_hunter
Apr. 16, 2011, 11:30 PM
If you think selling/leasing a horse is bad for overstating abilities...try working for a trail riding facility. :lol:

People came there to pay for guided rides by the hour. I was a trail guide as one of my barn jobs when I was young. They had to sign a release (even back then) and check a box stating their riding experience. This was so we could determine which horse to put them on.

Without fail if it was a couple on a date or a few couples...the guys almost *all* checked #1; very experienced. (2 was some experience and 3 was little to no experience) Now we never expected a #1 to have pro experience...it was outlined that they'd ridden on a regular basis at all 3 gaits. Not that they could navigate a speed round in a jump off or anything.

But the guys never wanted to admit they had maybe had a pony ride when they were little and that was it. We usually just ignored that and put them on the quieter horses...unless the guy was obnoxious. Then he got one of the "speshul" horses. :D The ones where steering might be optional...or more likely the ones who would try to scrape the rider off in the woods. (woods were called The Knee Trees for a reason, LOL)

And if he looked like he wanted to cowboy it up and run the legs off of a horse showing off, we gave him Shelley the pinto mare or Dusty the giant pally gelding. Both had 2 speeds: nap and amble. The rider could flap their feet and bounce around like a spider monkey on crack and neither of those two would do more than a few strides of spine-cracking trot and then take a nap. :cool:

But back then, if someone overstated thier abilites and did get scraped off on a tree or their horse just wandered back to the barn with them, ignoring the attempts at steering...nobody got sue-happy. Or if we gave them Jessie and she broke the land-speed record with the person and made them wet themselves a little bit...or Mocha who would pop a little rear to remind the rider who was boss....we didn't worry too much about getting sued.

Those were the good ol' days. :winkgrin: :cool: :lol:

My dad and I used to do a annual trip to the Adirondaks. The 3rd day we would go for a 4 hour WTC. The first year, they tried to talk us out of it and put us on two deadheads. The next year, they REMEMBERED us, fought over who got to go, and put us on two guide horses instead of guest horses. Apparently, in the 4 years we went we were the only ones to do the 4 hour wtc.

nightsong
Apr. 17, 2011, 02:17 AM
While a lot of peoople don't know enough about riding to know how inexperienced they are (don't know the knowledge even EXISTS), there are also victims of the "self-esteem" movement that has poisoned our schools for YEARS. This tells people they are wonderful and magnificent when the exact OPPOSITE is true, and that just by being "themselves" they can do ANYTHING, no "experience" involved.

BeaSting
Apr. 17, 2011, 06:12 AM
And if he looked like he wanted to cowboy it up and run the legs off of a horse showing off, we gave him Shelley the pinto mare or Dusty the giant pally gelding. Both had 2 speeds: nap and amble. The rider could flap their feet and bounce around like a spider monkey on crack and neither of those two would do more than a few strides of spine-cracking trot and then take a nap.

We had one like that - a big ugly gray mare called Countess. She got all the beginners and "cowboys" because as far as we knew, she didn't even know how to canter, let alone get enough steam up to trot. Until the day a Cowboy came out to ride. He stepped up on her, and though I did not see him do anything, she just came alive - attentive, ears pricked forward - she trotted and cantered - it was as if she were sleeping beauty waiting for a prince's kiss. We took her off the hackline after that, and I started riding her, because I figured if I could learn to get that sort of reaction from her, then I would have learned something about riding.

gully's pilot
Apr. 17, 2011, 07:26 AM
My daughter and I have been to Ireland a few times, and we love to go pony trekking. When we show up at a barn with our own helmets, wearing broken-in paddock boots, they always ask, "So, you ride?" The correct answer is (I event at training level) "a little." Do not brag to the Irish! Humility gets you great horses; bragging gets you impossible ones.

In Scotland a barn had a little checklist of your riding ability. One line said, "Can ride any horse over a three-foot course." The woman who took us out said later (after a wonderful WTC ride through the grounds of a castle) that that line was just to catch out idiots; anytime anyone checked it they assumed that person didn't know what they were talking about.

spacytracy
Apr. 17, 2011, 07:40 AM
OMG Gully, you are 100% right on that. We just came back from Ireland and a friend and I did a trek.

I really undersold myself, and thank goodness I did. She claimed she took us on the "slow" ride and even that had us galloping so fast that I couldn't see because my eyes were watering so badly.

I said to her "what the heck is the fast and furious ride then???" I didn't want to know. I told her I wanted to return in one piece.

At one point I asked "how long til we get back?" (we had a train to catch) and she said 45 min but if needed we could be back in 15. I said, "no thanks, 45 is fine".

The nice thing about this place was, she asked us our riding ability. That was smart because any idiot can check off something on a list, its far harder to actually explain your riding ability. She also had us ride in the ring first to test us out. Again, very smart, and she explained that she had so many people come with lots of "experience" and end up on their ass.

NJRider
Apr. 17, 2011, 08:15 AM
It's for this reason that I'm tempted to ask potential buyers for riding videos before allowing them on my horse. I have one I may be interested in selling this summer, but he is VERY sensitive and one bad ride could really mess with him. He could also end up hurting someone who thinks they are more experienced than they really are. :no:

I agree 100%. I have sold some dressage horses, and I think in dressage this is worse. I guess because they don't jump and dressage attracts more fearful riders. In my case the horrible beginners riders who tried my saint of a horse had pushy trainers who I think were riding their gravy train, so the poor riders did not KNOW they could not really ride. One could not post, one SCREAMED and clung to the mane when the horse took one step of trot. The other day I had a lady try a different horse that is young and still green, what level of a rider is one who cannot use the outside rein and could not ride a circle? Maybe an advanced beginner. Again, not what I advertised for this horse...

LauraKY
Apr. 17, 2011, 09:40 AM
We have two horses listed. One is very experienced fox hunter, is being sold as a fox hunter and his listing says he is appropriate for a very experienced rider due to his big jump although he does got quietly in a snaffle.

The other, listed for lease, states that he is an ex-chaser, needs a confident and experienced rider, able to jump 4 to 5 ft courses, best suited for foxhunting or show jumping, very forward and very brave, loves to jump.

So, why someone who wanted a horse to ride on the flat was looking at jumpers, I dont' know. You know there's going to be a problem when the conversation starts out with, I've riding since I was 4. In my experience, that's a red flag right off the bat. It finally turned out that she wanted one lesson a week. I don't think she realized what a full lease was. I'm very pleasant and helpful to anyone who calls, I sent her off to call a few trainers with beginner horses.

A very good friend of mine sells quite a few horses on consignment. She has one horse that she puts everyone on to evaulate their riding level. If you don't know what you're doing, she just won't move.

We had a green 4 year old listed a couple of years ago. The ad was very explicit, he had 30 days under saddle and needed a very experienced rider to bring him along. He did have Grand Prix potential (evaulated by a BNT show jumper). I can't tell you how many parents called looking for a horse for little Suzie with 6 months or less of riding experience. And then, they would argue with me that he was an appropriate horse. Mind you he was a Dutch Warmblood, 17.1hh and still growing. Right! I told every parent to have their trainer call me....didn't receive one call from a child's trainer. At least the trainers have sense.

JackandMo
Apr. 17, 2011, 09:51 AM
How about middle aged, novice horse people who decide to buy a 2 and 4 year old, and get all their information about training from Google?

Or the older lady who came out to check out my dead broke QH (to lease) who will do anything, and says "he will make me go back into bad habits...I really need a spirited TB to help me." Um, lady, you haven't ridden since the 1970s, are about 100 lbs overweight, and look like a rag doll when you ride. Really? The dead broke, forgiving QH won't help you be a better rider, but a young, "spirited" TB will? Okie dokie then!

anchodavis
Apr. 17, 2011, 09:51 AM
I think people don't know what they don't know till they know it, if that makes sense. I've been riding for 30 years (minus 8 or so off during/after college) and I've gone from being an "intermediate/advanced" - or so I thought - to being a rusty beginner! I thought I was hot stuff when I was a teen because I had an easy point and shoot hunter jumper and was jumping big stuff, could post around all day with no stirrups and do everything with an automatic release. Now I'm older, wiser, have a greater sense of my own mortality, and I've been on a lot of different horses with different problems and different levels of training, including starting my own project that I bought as a yearling. I know enough to keep out of trouble, and that's all I can honestly cop to! :D
But seriously, I think a lot of people think they're better than they are just because they don't know a thing. Probably true with everything.

sid
Apr. 17, 2011, 10:05 AM
I agree...like the old saying goes, "ignorance is bliss".:winkgrin:

mswillie
Apr. 17, 2011, 10:07 AM
I think people don't know what they don't know till they know it, if that makes sense. I've been riding for 30 years (minus 8 or so off during/after college) and I've gone from being an "intermediate/advanced" - or so I thought - to being a rusty beginner!

But seriously, I think a lot of people think they're better than they are just because they don't know a thing. Probably true with everything.

I find, that when it comes to horses and riding, that the more I learn,
the less I know. :)

And at my age, my nice, kind, grade QH (I think) gelding is just the horse I need. :yes:

cbv
Apr. 17, 2011, 10:12 AM
you don't know have it right in most instances -- just remember that in most 'learning curves' the steepest, hardest slog is on the up side. Combine that with being excited about learning something new and probably knowing twice as much as you did when you began, just not realizing that isn't but a very small percent of what is left to go.

I don't think it has anything to do with pervasive anything. It is just human nature.

And I think real humility is being kind and remembering we have all been there and doing what we can to push folks further up the curve, as well as accepting we often don't know as much as we think we do, and appreciating when someone that knows more is in turn kind to us.

It is also worth remembering if you are going to advertise horses retail (rather than just through professionals) you are going to run the gamut of people inquiring. Either it is worth it to deal with a greater cross section of the public and all the customer relations that entails in order to get the word out or it is not.

CosMonster
Apr. 17, 2011, 11:10 AM
you don't know have it right in most instances -- just remember that in most 'learning curves' the steepest, hardest slog is on the up side. Combine that with being excited about learning something new and probably knowing twice as much as you did when you began, just not realizing that isn't but a very small percent of what is left to go.

I don't think it has anything to do with pervasive anything. It is just human nature.

And I think real humility is being kind and remembering we have all been there and doing what we can to push folks further up the curve, as well as accepting we often don't know as much as we think we do, and appreciating when someone that knows more is in turn kind to us.

It is also worth remembering if you are going to advertise horses retail (rather than just through professionals) you are going to run the gamut of people inquiring. Either it is worth it to deal with a greater cross section of the public and all the customer relations that entails in order to get the word out or it is not.

Amen to this. :) That's pretty much how I feel to a T, but you said it a lot better than I could.

Renn/aissance
Apr. 17, 2011, 12:17 PM
The scary thing is when a rider tells you she's done X, Y, and Z- and she has, but she'd had no business doing it! :eek:

Since my school's IHSA team expanded its interest and try-out forms to ask people to describe their experience both in riding and in competition in their own words, we've had far more of the above and far fewer of the "I'm going to say I jump around a 4' course because I want the cachet of saying I ride with the advanced group." And that's why we have the try-outs in the first place... they also serve as a level evaluation so that everyone can be properly sorted.

foggybok
Apr. 17, 2011, 01:49 PM
And if he looked like he wanted to cowboy it up and run the legs off of a horse showing off, we gave him Shelley the pinto mare or Dusty the giant pally gelding. Both had 2 speeds: nap and amble. The rider could flap their feet and bounce around like a spider monkey on crack and neither of those two would do more than a few strides of spine-cracking trot and then take a nap.

We had one like that - a big ugly gray mare called Countess. She got all the beginners and "cowboys" because as far as we knew, she didn't even know how to canter, let alone get enough steam up to trot. Until the day a Cowboy came out to ride. He stepped up on her, and though I did not see him do anything, she just came alive - attentive, ears pricked forward - she trotted and cantered - it was as if she were sleeping beauty waiting for a prince's kiss. We took her off the hackline after that, and I started riding her, because I figured if I could learn to get that sort of reaction from her, then I would have learned something about riding.

ha ha. Yup, Dock (the previously mentioned horse was like that). Nobody could get him to move out except one of the other guides....When Tim rode the horse, he would canter over hill and dale....Tim was not a horse whisperer or a particularily good rider.....All we knew is he always took Dock with him when he would sneak out behind the barn for a "smoke"..... And Dock always had the munchies.....

MistyBlue
Apr. 17, 2011, 02:23 PM
Tim was not a horse whisperer or a particularily good rider.....All we knew is he always took Dock with him when he would sneak out behind the barn for a "smoke"..... And Dock always had the munchies.....

LMAO, you mean like this?

http://www.cinemaisdope.com/news/films/catballou/cat_ballou.jpg

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

oldpony66
Apr. 17, 2011, 02:32 PM
I can't tell you how many parents called looking for a horse for little Suzie with 6 months or less of riding experience. And then, they would argue with me that he was an appropriate horse. Mind you he was a Dutch Warmblood, 17.1hh and still growing. Right! I told every parent to have their trainer call me....didn't receive one call from a child's trainer. At least the trainers have sense.

:lol::lol::lol: Cute. You thought they actually had trainers :lol::lol::lol:

chai
Apr. 17, 2011, 04:20 PM
I think it's because there are some very overinflated egos in the horse world.

Misty, that story about the livery barn is hilarious. I remember being on a livery trail ride on Martha's Vineyard with a trail guide who treated us 'tourists' as if we were barely a step up from pond scum. She was riding bareback, ignoring us completley while concentrating on her cigarette. Clearly, this young woman had no use for off islanders. I just smiled my best 'bless your heart' smile and concentrated on the beautiful scenery and the cute little pinto I was riding.

Miss 'I'm such a cool expert' was singing a very different tune about twenty minutes later when her horse dumped her into a prickly crabapple bush and I had to get off, fish her out, catch her horse and give her a leg up because she couldn't mount from the ground. Sometimes there is cosmic payback for rude, super-ego behavior.

winfieldfarm
Apr. 17, 2011, 04:54 PM
The number one thing that turns me off is when someone tells me how long they have been in horses. So friggin' what!!! I've owned a radio my whole life, doesn't make me rock star!!

And at our barn, the definition of rider competence is directly related to your ability to handle a horse behaving badly. Anyone can ride a horse behaving well. But throw in a temper tantrum or two, stir in a healthy spook, and pepper lightly with a grab or two of the bit and then we'll seperate the wheat from the chaff....

sketcher
Apr. 17, 2011, 07:19 PM
Sounds familar...... We'd put those guys on Dock. And yes that is Dock, not Doc.....He was named Dock for a reason....probably Barge or Pier would have done too :) You could light dynamite under him and he wasn't going anywhere faster than a walk...and not a fast walk..... Then there was Blondie. Blondie liked to eat the tall grass in the swamp. If the rider was not a good rider, he would make a bee-line for the swamp.....that humbled a few of the braggarts as they stood in the swamp, unable to get off and lead the horse out and unable to make him move...Blondie just stood there munching....

Our horses knew their jobs well, so all the cowboy riding in the world wouldn't make them veer from the line, which was a good thing.... Plus, if they did manage to do something like that, they got kicked off the horse and had to walk back......

ah, the good ole days.....

And what a fabulous job for a teenage girl...started at 9:00 am and rode til sundown..... :)

I had the same job! Back in the 70's when there was very little regard for the horses, every ride these horses went out on, they got to gallop (and yes, I do mean gallop) down an aqueduct. Picture up to 30 customers with little to no riding experience, galloping in a herd...dependent on the ability of the teenage trail guides to stop their own horses so that all the others would stop.

Let's see. We had Bubbles for the macho men. If you didn't now how to ride, he would turn around and bite you on the leg if you kicked him. He would buck if you smacked him on the butt. So, the macho guys got him with instructions to kick him and if swat him on the butt (with the twig we provided, of course) if Bubbles didn't listen to them. Bubbles could also remove his bridle in one fell swoop if you walked past a tree.

But the best part about Bubbles, (and the reason for his name) was that he liked to roll in the water. With a rider on. He would settle for mud if he had too. Which reminds me of the woman who came riding on a Sunday. Straight from church. In her canary yellow suit. During mud season. :D:D

Oh, we were evil teenagers!!! And bubbles was one of the best horses if you knew how to ride. I loved him. Fast, responsive, could stop on a dime...

sid
Apr. 17, 2011, 08:19 PM
This thread is getting hilarious.

I think too many of us have "been there, seen that"...and as I've aged with my life in horses, more often than not....:lol::no: (Notice the laughing/frowning icons simultaneously.

Honestly, sometimes I don't whether to laugh or to cry.:confused:

Not much one can do about this, I've learned.

The School of Hard Knocks is the best teacher -- though I do my best to protect horses that do not deserve ego over those who prefer education and appreciate the humility horses can offer to those who might need it most (and try to keep those who don't seem to understand the risk safe as well).;)

I've closed my farm down to outsiders, so this is not longer a personal thing, but of course it is still quite bothersome when it is brought up.

Very good thread. This issue is probably the #1 problem for most instructors, horse trainers, sellers -- and even breeders -- in the horse world.

This topic is where the Serenity Prayer can come in really handy.:lol::lol:

piaffequeen
Apr. 17, 2011, 08:35 PM
If you think selling/leasing a horse is bad for overstating abilities...try working for a trail riding facility. :lol:

People came there to pay for guided rides by the hour. I was a trail guide as one of my barn jobs when I was young. They had to sign a release (even back then) and check a box stating their riding experience. This was so we could determine which horse to put them on.

Without fail if it was a couple on a date or a few couples...the guys almost *all* checked #1; very experienced. (2 was some experience and 3 was little to no experience) Now we never expected a #1 to have pro experience...it was outlined that they'd ridden on a regular basis at all 3 gaits. Not that they could navigate a speed round in a jump off or anything.

But the guys never wanted to admit they had maybe had a pony ride when they were little and that was it. We usually just ignored that and put them on the quieter horses...unless the guy was obnoxious. Then he got one of the "speshul" horses. :D The ones where steering might be optional...or more likely the ones who would try to scrape the rider off in the woods. (woods were called The Knee Trees for a reason, LOL)

And if he looked like he wanted to cowboy it up and run the legs off of a horse showing off, we gave him Shelley the pinto mare or Dusty the giant pally gelding. Both had 2 speeds: nap and amble. The rider could flap their feet and bounce around like a spider monkey on crack and neither of those two would do more than a few strides of spine-cracking trot and then take a nap. :cool:

But back then, if someone overstated thier abilites and did get scraped off on a tree or their horse just wandered back to the barn with them, ignoring the attempts at steering...nobody got sue-happy. Or if we gave them Jessie and she broke the land-speed record with the person and made them wet themselves a little bit...or Mocha who would pop a little rear to remind the rider who was boss....we didn't worry too much about getting sued.

Those were the good ol' days. :winkgrin: :cool: :lol:

I also worked at as a trail guide in the Poconos-it was amazing with the idiots I had to deal with. They were told at the sign up that it was a WALK only trail ride-it was on the release too. We got the morons who wanted to "run" but would scream if the horse took a step forward at the WALK! If I had a cowboy or some one who was an idiot- I gave them ONE warning and then put them on a lead rope and lead them for the rest of the trail ride. I occasionally took off the horse's bridle if I thought they were exceptionally stupid.

kdow
Apr. 17, 2011, 09:05 PM
Without fail if it was a couple on a date or a few couples...the guys almost *all* checked #1; very experienced. (2 was some experience and 3 was little to no experience) Now we never expected a #1 to have pro experience...it was outlined that they'd ridden on a regular basis at all 3 gaits. Not that they could navigate a speed round in a jump off or anything.

I would have just added my own box titled "just give me the one who really is a good horse but has some 'tude from all the idiots" because that is, invariably, who I end up on after any trail ride type person has actually observed me riding.

I have no idea why this is - on a skill set I'd probably stick myself somewhere around beginner or advanced beginner because I'm good with walk-trot but it's been a while since I cantered regularly, never mind two-point, and I never jumped (dressage lessons) so I figure I'm out of shape for extensive cantering.

But the first time I take whatever they give me, and generally we have a nice pleasant amble along, and then the next time it's one of the horses they maybe haven't been using, or have kept for guides only, who might try to pull the 'knee-tree' trick or something to that effect, and as soon as you go 'um, no, you are not pulling that with me or intimidating me with your ridiculous being pushy-on-the-ground-and-yes-I-did-notice-that' they're like 'oh, OKAY!' and you have a very nice ride on a responsive horse who, admittedly, is mostly still walking along (because it is a trail ride) but it's a nice free walk and if anything exciting happens, the horse looks to you rather than going 'omg!' or 'hey, lunchtime!'

This happens Every. Time. Ex-trail people, what is it about me? That I just sit happily on the ambler and don't fuss but will object to blatant bad behavior (like stopping to eat) and that's it? Do I have some sort of sign on my back that says 'hey, you can put this one on THAT horse!'?

(I honestly don't mind - I don't get much riding in lessons right now, and mostly where I go trail riding I've ridden there a lot so it's not like I need a lot of time to appreciate the scenery - I just want to know what it is about me.

Last summer, at the end of a week of this, I got put on the 'bossy pissy boss mare' who, if at the head of the line, would charge along to get home as fast as possible, and who, if anywhere else, would try to speed-walk up on the horse in front, pass, and try to get to the head of the line to charge home. Only we got put at the end of the line. Our ride went like this: walk-walk-speedwal-stop. Wait until she'd settled - you know that feeling when a horse is actually resigned to being stopped? - then walk on. Repeat. Multiple times. We did a lot of stopping. I told her if she was bored with it, it was her own darn fault. By the end, she was just walking along nicely keeping a sensible distance from the next horse. Success!) (Temporarily, at least. :) )

sketcher
Apr. 17, 2011, 10:15 PM
This happens Every. Time. Ex-trail people, what is it about me? That I just sit happily on the ambler and don't fuss but will object to blatant bad behavior (like stopping to eat) and that's it? Do I have some sort of sign on my back that says 'hey, you can put this one on THAT horse!'?


When you're a trail guide,the first thing you have to do is assess the riders, usually in less that 5 minutes if it is a one hour ride,and then match them with the known personalities and potential issues of each horse. And then everyone has to return in one piece.

The stable I worked at, there were30-35 horses. Often they were coming and going from auction so on any given week we could have 3-4 unknowns. Some of those unkowns were nice,quiet horses and you could tell right away, some were nice and quiet until the meds wore off, some were a bit tricky for one reason or another (head tossers, buckers, kickers, sensitive, greenbroke but generally willing to follow along...),some were downright dangerous.

Since the trailrides were often sold out and the *ss of a stable owner had no regard for the teenagers doing all his work, we typically had us ride the dangerous ones until they could be shipped off back to the auction. And Idomean dangerous-serious rearers, hard mouthed bolters, hot TB's with one speed...

So, back in the day,when you had a group of people, any person who seems to have a modicum of horse sense got one of the aforementioned 'tricky' horses because that is one less rider I probably have to worry about.

Also, those people are often, unbeknowst to them, placed in a certain part of the line and due to even a minimal amount of skill, help keep the whole house of a cards together.

So yes,they are probably giving you horses because they have an idea you can deal with them.

MistyBlue
Apr. 17, 2011, 11:06 PM
This happens Every. Time. Ex-trail people, what is it about me? That I just sit happily on the ambler and don't fuss but will object to blatant bad behavior (like stopping to eat) and that's it? Do I have some sort of sign on my back that says 'hey, you can put this one on THAT horse!'?


Agree with Sketcher on this one.

Also:
You could be the only one who doesn't seem as if they'll purposely annoy the horse

You could be the person the guide assumes won't try to gallop all over the place

In some places the guides also aren't overly experienced in anything but guiding walk/trot trails. So to them you may seen a lot more experienced than they think you're telling them.

They've seen you ride there before and know you'll stay on and not try anything funny, so you get the "leftover" pissy horse as one less person to worry about.

Try mentioning to them that while you may be/seem more experienced...that you're there for a really relaxing, enjoyable and worry-free ride and could you please have a quieter mount?

And I just *loved* the trail horse names. We also got ours almost all from auctions. And kept between 25-35 or so at a time. And over time you ran out of decent names. Or else the BO (who drank) named them. I almost shot the BO when he named a newer grey (white) gelding Silver. He stayed on the hack line for a couple years or so before a buyer bought him...and I had countless trails where I had to listen to somebody hollering "Hi Yo Silver!" every 5 minutes.

We had a liver chestnut with a bald face and blue eyes...BO used to call those "devil eyes" so named him Diablo. He was the calmest, smoothest dude...very laid back and safe, safe, safe. But every time a rider asked what his name was, they went really pale hearing they were sitting on a horse named Diablo.

But they *really* freaked out when they found out the horse they were sitting on was named Bucky. (almost shot the BO for that name too) I had to explain a million times it was because he was buckskin...not for any extracurricular activies he enjoyed. :lol:

kdow
Apr. 17, 2011, 11:56 PM
The stable I worked at, there were30-35 horses. Often they were coming and going from auction so on any given week we could have 3-4 unknowns.

Also, those people are often, unbeknowst to them, placed in a certain part of the line and due to even a minimal amount of skill, help keep the whole house of a cards together.

So yes,they are probably giving you horses because they have an idea you can deal with them.

So yup, I do have some kind of sign on my back. ;)

The place I ride most often is a camp, so they have more or less the same horses all summer, but some of them are clearly recent auction purchases - might as well have hip tags on still. So that has made for some fun and games in the past. (I'm running a long-term plan to get the camp folks to improve their horse source - it's not a horse camp, so there's a fine line between 'spend a bit more for better educated horses' and 'horses are too expensive, the heck with it' - they do take good care of them once they're THERE, it's just the dude who rents them out for the summer is clearly taking the cheapest route possible...)

Interesting comment about line placement - I'm pretty sure a couple of times I've been put in the middle just because I am perfectly happy and confident at a walk, and if there's a bit of a nervous nelly kid I won't hesitate to say something, or if the line gets split a bit - as happens sometimes - I pay enough attention to know the lead group went that way and will make sure we follow along until we catch up. (The area they ride isn't HUGE, either, so I kind of know the trails; enough to get back to the stable, at least, even if not by the route they necessarily went. So if we got completely split up, whoever was with me would still get 'home'.)

Also, with the boss mare I mentioned - technically the trail guides are supposed to be at the front and back of the whole line, but by that point, the back guide took one look at me and just skipped to the next horse up. I guess she figured there wasn't much point staying with me just to be at the end when I was just fine and we kept stopping intentionally.

(Not to give an excuse to trot, which I have seen some people do - like I said in my original post, it was basically a psychological game of who had more patience. If you want to speed walk and run people over and be a twit, we're going to stop and stand politely. Then we will resume walking when I say so. The mare could easily catch up just at a nice free walk and then slow down a bit to stay at a good distance, without trotting or that 'I'm not actually trotting but I'm walking as fast as I possibly can' business. :) ) (If she had decided to trot, we probably would've stopped AGAIN. Hah.)



You could be the only one who doesn't seem as if they'll purposely annoy the horse

You could be the person the guide assumes won't try to gallop all over the place

In some places the guides also aren't overly experienced in anything but guiding walk/trot trails. So to them you may seen a lot more experienced than they think you're telling them.

... It boggles my mind that someone would try to purposely annoy something considerably larger than they are. Even been-there-done-that trail horses will eventually say ENOUGH. :eek:

I wouldn't mind a nice trot or canter occasionally, I admit, but I get having insurance rules, and their insurance says walk only on the trails, so that's that. (Hmm. I wonder if I had my own horse if they'd let me bring it in sometime when camp wasn't in session and ride it - it's actually a very nice area for trails, a protected wildlife preserve, no ATVs or anything allowed.) (Hah, actually, that reminds me, one time the only horse left was one they said had the Slowest Walk Ever. So I was allowed to trot on her if necessary. Only I guess she liked my seat or something, because she just kept up a nice walk the whole time and didn't need to trot once to keep up.)

Anyway, one of the reasons I was asking is that I don't really volunteer any information about riding skills, and yet somehow after one ride, they KNOW. (Well, now it's been the same few people for a couple of years, so they do legitimately know me, but even with new people.)

I suppose the closest I've gotten is sometimes if there's a horse being an idiot on the ground (as they do occasionally, being horses) and they'll ask who wants to ride him/her (the kids tend to have favorites) and when there's that lovely period of 'I'm not riding that crazy thing' silence, I'll step up, but that's about it. (Not if it's being really nutty, of course, even I'm not going to get on something that's really upset, but when one is being a twit about leaving his stall, that sort of thing. That stuff has very little to do with how it'll be once you're riding, particularly if you're a relatively confident rider.)

I honestly don't mind in this particular situation, since it gives me something to do since I'm familiar with the scenery. If I was going on a trail ride somewhere new I'd quite possibly be all 'I know NOTHING! NOTHING!' just so I'd get the easy horse and could just look around. But there's satisfaction in getting a horse to behave, too, without using stupid tricks or gimmicks, so generally I find it enjoyable one way or another. :)

(I know it's pretty frustrating for the camp horse folks - they don't have enough time to ride themselves to sort out issues like the bossy mare I mentioned, and yet most of the issues they end up with are things like that where you just need time and more patience than the horse.)

In fact, my biggest complaint is that they use western tack (pretty common for trail rides) and western fenders and my ankles Do Not get along. (Fenders want to twist back flat, the twist stresses the arthritis in my ankles, makes 'em sore.) Mostly I just take my feet out of the stirrups entirely and that's the end of it, but it'd be nice to be able to use the stirrups if I wanted to. :)

Anyway - it's quite interesting to hear from folks who've done the job, and how decisions are made. I have a friend who did it for a while, also, and she mostly has great stories about people turning up in ridiculous things expecting to ride, like girls in string bikinis and a mini-skirt and flip flops. :rolleyes:

foggybok
Apr. 18, 2011, 12:24 AM
LMAO, you mean like this?

http://www.cinemaisdope.com/news/films/catballou/cat_ballou.jpg

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

perfect! :):lol::lol::lol:

foggybok
Apr. 18, 2011, 12:53 AM
I had the same job! Back in the 70's when there was very little regard for the horses, every ride these horses went out on, they got to gallop (and yes, I do mean gallop) down an aqueduct. Picture up to 30 customers with little to no riding experience, galloping in a herd...dependent on the ability of the teenage trail guides to stop their own horses so that all the others would stop.

Let's see. We had Bubbles for the macho men. If you didn't now how to ride, he would turn around and bite you on the leg if you kicked him. He would buck if you smacked him on the butt. So, the macho guys got him with instructions to kick him and if swat him on the butt (with the twig we provided, of course) if Bubbles didn't listen to them. Bubbles could also remove his bridle in one fell swoop if you walked past a tree.

But the best part about Bubbles, (and the reason for his name) was that he liked to roll in the water. With a rider on. He would settle for mud if he had too. Which reminds me of the woman who came riding on a Sunday. Straight from church. In her canary yellow suit. During mud season. :D:D

Oh, we were evil teenagers!!! And bubbles was one of the best horses if you knew how to ride. I loved him. Fast, responsive, could stop on a dime...

Oh we had the gallop stretches too....but they were wide, well defined and well groomed. We also only allowed 4-5 horses at a time to go, each sub-group had at least one guide (sometimes two, one in front to help stop and one behind to watch). The guides would just go abck and forth shuttling people across....

The horses were stratified as slow, med, fast and super-fast. The slow ones just trotted in a line over the "runs". The mediums had a nice easy canter...That group was generally the draft horses that pulled hay rides in the winter, big and slow... The fast group would gallop a little and the super fast were hot and fast, and you could only ride them if you were known and had worked your way up the line.... Often the guides had to pony them up to the start and let them go becasue they wanted to take off early. I remember as a kid, before I worked there, I was so proud the day I was told I could ride Ringo, the fastest of the super-fast!

The horses all knew the routine and were easy to stop at the end, the kind of did it on their own... I remember the day one hot shot woman showed up and wanted a spirited horse. It was very busy that day, so the owner decided to let her ride Sundance, a horse that was normally reserved for the guides... I wasn't working that ride, but sitting on a hill watching them go across the first run. Miss hot shot rider took off, went to the end of the run, around the corner, diappeared down into the valley, crested the next hill, disappeared again, then showed up headed for the barn at a dead run, out of control.....She had no clue how to stop him. The owner pulled her off the horse and told her she could not ride that horse, if she wanted to go back, she would have to take another..... I got to take her back to meet up with the ride, me on Sundance and she was riding Dock :)

MB, yes we had some fun names too.... and funny how they fooled people. We also had a Buckskin named Buck...very sweet, not a buck in him.... A guide horse named 9cents...(spin on a dime and give you...). Our group tended to be stable, the owner kept them year after year and many were in their 20s, rare for back then....

And for stupid people, the one comment I'll never forget is the hot shot complaining loudy and saying "hey, can I take me feet out of the reins?"

foggybok
Apr. 18, 2011, 12:58 AM
So yup, I do have some kind of sign on my back. ;)

Anyway - it's quite interesting to hear from folks who've done the job, and how decisions are made. I have a friend who did it for a while, also, and she mostly has great stories about people turning up in ridiculous things expecting to ride, like girls in string bikinis and a mini-skirt and flip flops. :rolleyes:

Oh yes....I remember the well endowed woman in a halter top riding the big draft horse as they cantered up the final "run". All the male guides at complete attention.....

nightsong
Apr. 18, 2011, 03:37 AM
I think people don't know what they don't know till they know it, if that makes sense.

I think people honestly don't know there IS anything beyond what they know.

Or think a horse is like a scooter; accelerator, brakes and steering are it.

CosMonster
Apr. 18, 2011, 10:56 AM
I've been thinking about this a bit and I think another factor is the availability of horses in the US but not of proper instruction. As in, at least out west where I live, it seems like most everyone had cousins or grandparents or friends who had horses, and they would go over on the occasional weekend or for a week or two during summer vacation when they were kids and run around like idiots on horseback. You know how it is with kids, most are fearless and tend to stick on pretty well.

So then fast forward a few decades and you have an adult who remembers just getting on and riding. Of course they probably also remember it as being better than it was, as everyone tends to. That colors their perception by both making riding seem easier than it is, and making them feel more experienced than they are. I think that's where a lot of the flat out cockiness I see a lot comes from.

mares tails
Apr. 18, 2011, 11:05 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect
:)

merrygoround
Apr. 18, 2011, 11:26 AM
Summed up as: "You don't know what you don't know, 'til you know it. ;)

It goes for teaching, and training as well. Sadly.

leilatigress
Apr. 18, 2011, 12:03 PM
Try selling children ponies... Nothing like dealing with a worried mom who's convinced 12h saint of a welch is going to kill her 12 y/o nearly 6ft tall child. I would pick up a string of ponies at the auction and then spend various amounts of time turning them into solid citizens to teach the youth of the area. If your laughing at that line you get it, if your not keep reading. Then I would list them in the paper and the various calls would begin. I got really good at telling people about how tall 12h-14h was compared to cars, dogs, any object I could think of and they would still bring out a teen for the little bitty ponies and be shocked when I declined. I had a saint of a pony that stood exactly 14h barefoot and she was the tester. Trained to do just about anything she would put the kid through the paces and I would match child to what I had or tell the parents hell no and send them packing. Boys between the ages of 8 and 10 should not have access to ponies, they need TBs and race cars preferably together. Girls in that same age range came in two varieties. Can it go faster (They needed TBs and race cars too) or Pretty princess and those I made sure got the saintly ponies that wouldn't take advantage of the kid until it was old enough to handle it.

asb_own_me
Apr. 18, 2011, 12:35 PM
We had a green 4 year old listed a couple of years ago. The ad was very explicit, he had 30 days under saddle and needed a very experienced rider to bring him along. He did have Grand Prix potential (evaulated by a BNT show jumper). I can't tell you how many parents called looking for a horse for little Suzie with 6 months or less of riding experience. And then, they would argue with me that he was an appropriate horse. Mind you he was a Dutch Warmblood, 17.1hh and still growing. Right! I told every parent to have their trainer call me....didn't receive one call from a child's trainer. At least the trainers have sense.

That's because little Suzie didn't NEED a trainer. DUH! See explanation below:


While a lot of peoople don't know enough about riding to know how inexperienced they are (don't know the knowledge even EXISTS), there are also victims of the "self-esteem" movement that has poisoned our schools for YEARS. This tells people they are wonderful and magnificent when the exact OPPOSITE is true, and that just by being "themselves" they can do ANYTHING, no "experience" involved.

Sad but true.

You see, little Suzie doesn't need a trainer because little Suzie is perfect and wonderful and she's a horse whisperer and your 17hh+ warmblood will be like The Pie and only love her and they will win the Olympics.

So there.
:lol:

katarine
Apr. 18, 2011, 12:37 PM
I had a gal come out to try a QH I was selling. She talked a good game of having done some endurance rides, some CTRs, etc...I didn't have a great vibe off of her but didn't want to say no just based on a gut reaction to her super redneck accent and know it all tone. Maybe she's ok in person.



Well, she was a sure nuff super redneck.
From me having to ask her to put her cigarette out please and NOT leave the butt in the yard to her child running amok like a monkey to her saddling my sainted horse with a decent enough saddle with two very different stirrup lengths (like, 4" different and no she wasn't crooked to look at on the ground)....anywho I opted to take her on a trail ride with me on Jake in the lead, her on JJ behind. We got to a sandy creek crossing and STILL she's bragging on how experienced, how seasoned, etc etc Jake and I step into the creek and it's about 3' deep and 6' wide then up a nice sandy bank: EASY. She can SEE all this but when JJ stepped into that water and she finally looked at it and the water's about to his elbows she screams like a girl, grabs the horn w/ both hands, drops her cigarette (ROLL EYES) and hollers (really, there's no better word) WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME IT WAS SO DEEP???? JESUS CHRIST THAT'S DEEP!!!' By this time I'm stopped and watching. I just replied " you said you had a lot of experience on the trail, I assumed you knew to watch my horse cross it for clues. Sorry 'bout that"

I hate selling horses.

Arizona DQ
Apr. 18, 2011, 12:48 PM
Me... I tend to underestimate cause I'd rather enjoy my ride on a been there done that horse

My thoughts exactly! I portray myself as "little old lady"...:winkgrin: I want a quiet, quiet, quiet horse......

Ozone
Apr. 18, 2011, 12:59 PM
If you think selling/leasing a horse is bad for overstating abilities...try working for a trail riding facility. :lol:

Without fail if it was a couple on a date or a few couples...the guys almost *all* checked #1; very experienced. (2 was some experience and 3 was little to no experience) Now we never expected a #1 to have pro experience...it was outlined that they'd ridden on a regular basis at all 3 gaits. Not that they could navigate a speed round in a jump off or anything.


Those were the good ol' days. :winkgrin: :cool: :lol:

I feel like I was at the same ol' trail barn - hack barn style situation of a trail riding barn. There were those horses that you knew were not going to get much faster than a fast walk (those were the ones that we put the men who thought they were #1's on :) - just to show em' how scared they really were! ;) Other horses that were steady eddy's out there doing thier jobs. Good times for sure.

2DogsFarm
Apr. 18, 2011, 02:39 PM
We had a liver chestnut with a bald face and blue eyes...BO used to call those "devil eyes" so named him Diablo. He was the calmest, smoothest dude...very laid back and safe, safe, safe. But every time a rider asked what his name was, they went really pale hearing they were sitting on a horse named Diablo.

But they *really* freaked out when they found out the horse they were sitting on was named Bucky. (almost shot the BO for that name too) I had to explain a million times it was because he was buckskin...not for any extracurricular activies he enjoyed. :lol:

As a barnrat teen I helped out occasionally on livery rides from my lesson barn.
We always told the livery customers - if they asked - that their horse was named Demon, Satan, Widowmaker or some such not-nice sounding name.

As adults on vacation, DH & I booked a ride in the Molero Ntl Forest in N CA.
We took along our paddock boots & chaps, and seeing us gear up, the guides gave us 2 very nice horses.

When we got back from a ride that included a canter on the beach at sunset & coming this close! to a bobcat, I asked how long those two had been in the livery string.

"Oh, about a week" we were told.
They figured from the look (worn) of our gear we knew what we were doing.

Equine Studies
Apr. 18, 2011, 06:30 PM
I teach a high school Equine Studies course-hence my name on here. I'm not that much of an expert but have had horses all my life and know far more than the average teenager. Many of them think they know everything and some even think they are "trainers" because they got something started and both are still alive.

Like the one that tried to jump the ramped oxer backwards at the local fair last fall. It didn't go well. Poor honest little horse tried to jump but crashed through it. Hard to jump anything I suppose when you're thin, wormy and barely loping (I say loping as he is an "all around QH").

Alagirl
Apr. 18, 2011, 07:31 PM
Ignorance is bliss, I suppose. Because when you are a bad/novice rider, you don't know what all you just don't know, thus, you think you are all that and then some. :lol:

vacation1
Apr. 18, 2011, 10:46 PM
I think most of the time in a case like the OP's they honestly don't know how much they don't know.

This. And, to be a little defensive for all of us who didn't grow up riding or owning horses, it is very hard to know anything about a farm animal whose primary use to the suburban majority went out the window over 100 years ago. When I started riding lessons as a 20-something, I was very clear to the instructor that my only experience was as a kid on pony rides so I was honest and realistic out loud, but I was secretly stunned by how surreal it was to get on a horse. It's not that I assumed a horse was like a bike or a car, just that I didn't know anything real about horses because I'd never actually been around them. The physical reality of horses is overwhelming to newbies, which I think experienced horsepeople tend to forget. Personally, my reaction to fear is to yelp and throw myself on the mercy of those nearby (not always a survival strategy) but a lot of people, particularly men, react to fear by becoming belligerent and aggressive. Which might explain the macho guys claiming horse expertise.

HenryisBlaisin'
Apr. 18, 2011, 11:19 PM
I also worked many happy summers at a trail barn and yep, people usually overstimated badly. Or if they didn't, but came in full riding gear, we had fun with that too. (Full eventing gear including body protector for a WT trail ride? Really?)

Anyone who we suspected of being a cowboy we put on Joe. If you knew what you were doing, Joe was a joy to ride. I loved him. If you didn't, he would eat until he felt like stopping, walk under low tree branches, and our personal favorite: back up to a tree (he has one he really liked) and scratch his butt. And he wasn't leaving until he was good and ready, no matter what the rider did. So there rider would sit swaying gently as Joe rocked back and forth against that tree, blissfully scratching his butt.

If you were the type to hang back and trot, we'd warn you with a "I'm sorry you're having so much trouble with (fill in the horse). If it happens again, I'll put the lead rope on you for the rest of the ride." That usually stopped them. And if it didn't, being ponied did.

Molasses
Apr. 19, 2011, 05:31 AM
Love all the trail guide stories.
I worked as a guide in NZ so had the daily interesting task of deciphering what people said their experience level was and what they really could really handle. After a while I developed a pet theory on how it related to nationality. Fun times looking back, but for such a cool job, it can be very stressful getting a group of numptie riders up and back a trail all in one piece.

New Zealand gets all sorts of travellers and explorers. But rarely do experienced riders show up for a trail ride. True horsey folk just think “ergh no thanks I don’t want to sit on an unpleasant horse and be told what to do, I’ll wait till I get home and ride my own horses thanks”.
So usually we got people who’d watched Lord of the Rings too many times and thought they were up for high speed chases across mountainous terrain. My pet theory is Americans on the whole are a confident bunch. They have sat in a western saddle once or twice and thought they were hot stuff and have no doubt in themselves. Americans always got put on the ‘dead’ horses no matter what they said. After that you had to deal with Europeans, German backpacker types would never stop pestering you ‘how to make him turn’ ‘now we take a picture’ ‘how to make him run’. English girls would show up a timid cup-of-tea boyfriend and while she maybe rode at home the wild terrain and trail horse attitude would not work out for her while the boyfriend would cling on weepie-eyed in agony for an hour or two. The French were the best, they’d never touch the reins, just sit back casual style and want to stop for a smoke, a French group always meant happy horses, they just don’t give a hoot. And the worst? Terrible to say it but usually anybody Asian. I think they just genuinely have no interactions with big animals in their lives so are almost in a permanent state of fear when they come up against a moving, leaving, breathing highly opinionated animal they can’t control. Japanese men would always wind up the trail horses with their screaming and flapping. Often if I ended up with a group with Japanese people in it I’d have up to 5 or 6 horses on ropes with me sitting in the middle of horses on the verge of temper tantrums. There are always exceptions, but when I’d have a big group of back-packer types turn up for a trail ride I used to end up assigning horses by nationality. The only time someone stumped me was a Canadian guy who seemed the urban type and never sat on a horse in his life. But he was a champion wind-surfer. Well that guy just had such natural balance and sensitivity and within an hour I got him from lead-rope to trotting to a gallop along a trail. He never saw what the fuss was about. If only they were all like him :D

What I found interesting too is how peoples confidence levels would rise as the trail went on. So say you have a group of timid flapping numpties at the start with me shouting ‘everyone ok’ ‘hold tight while we cross this stream’ but after an hour they’d loose a bit of fear, start thinking “hey this isn’t so bad, maybe I can get the horse to run a bit” But now we’re turning for home and all the trial horses are pricking their ears thinking about fields and rolling and peace from their torturous riders. So all it would take is an arrogant guy who thinks he can ride to kick for a bit to set the horses off. It’s really hard to be one small girl at the front of a ride of 20 horses trying to keep them all behind you. Hey it taught me to leg yield though ;)

Auburn
Apr. 19, 2011, 10:27 AM
My DH and I took a trip to Ireland a couple of years ago. I had already signed up for a beach ride on the Dingle Peninnsula. When we arrived, a storm had blown in and my ride was cancelled.

We got the name of another place and made arrangements to go there the next day. The wind was blowing and it was freezing cold.

When we arrived, another group of folks drove up. The head guide put me on a large Cobh and had me ride in the arena. He mounted another Cobh and off we went. The other group went on the "easy" ride, with another guide. My guide told me that most folks will not get the actual beach ride, because they would not be able to handle the return "gallop". After we went, I understood what he meant. WhooHoo!! What a ride!

Check another thing off of my "bucket list". :D

All of the places who have the amazing horse who will go brilliantly with a knowledgeable rider and stand like a statue for the "advanced in their mind" riders, are lucky to have those horses. The Potomac Horse Center had one. That mare could do 2nd level dressage, but would not trot if you did not know what you were doing. We got a lot of laughs watching "advanced" riders trying to get her to go. :yes:

cheektwocheek
Apr. 19, 2011, 11:08 AM
That mare could do 2nd level dressage, but would not trot if you did not know what you were doing. We got a lot of laughs watching "advanced" riders trying to get her to go. :yes:

:winkgrin::winkgrin::winkgrin::winkgrin::winkgrin:

AnotherRound
Apr. 19, 2011, 11:17 AM
Check another thing off of my "bucket list". :D

Dang. THAT's what I should have named my horse. :cool:

OveroHunter
Apr. 20, 2011, 05:53 PM
I live and work on a guest ranch and over the years there has been a tie for my two favorite quotes from guests regarding their riding experience...

First: Two men with their families - "Do you have any white stallions? You see my brother and me only ride white stallions..."

And the second: Me - "How much experience do you have?" Her - "I used to be a trainer." Me - "Oh really, what kind of horses did you train?" Her - "Yellow ones..."

hundredacres
Apr. 20, 2011, 06:22 PM
Last week a guy at work told me he was experienced when was talking about a new horse we're getting. He proceeded to tell me how he was "thrown" when he and his friends were galloping down a road (but of course he was "thrown", and as always, from a full gallop). I asked him how he asked the horse to gallop and he said "I didn't" and then how
he asked the horse to slow down and he said "I yanked on the ropes that I steered him with" - spoken like an experienced rider for sure.

hundredacres
Apr. 20, 2011, 06:30 PM
Oh, and I wanted to add that I was a MUCH more experienced rider before I started taking lessons as an adult re-rider ;). I've gone backwards in experience level as my knowledge base has moved forward!

Gloria
Apr. 20, 2011, 06:53 PM
Geesh. you guys just taught me a big lesson... Next time when I go on a guided trail ride, I'm going to tell them "My riding experience? Zip! Nada! Never seen a horse other on the movies. -oh and I did ride, you know, rocking horse." Oh and by and by all horses are gonna to be brown, yellow (for the stained white ones), or orange.

Then maybe, just maybe, I will get one that knows how to stick his nose to the butt of the horse in front of me. :)

Alagirl
Apr. 20, 2011, 07:22 PM
Geesh. you guys just taught me a big lesson... Next time when I go on a guided trail ride, I'm going to tell them "My riding experience? Zip! Nada! Never seen a horse other on the movies. -oh and I did ride, you know, rocking horse." Oh and by and by all horses are gonna to be brown, yellow (for the stained white ones), or orange.

Then maybe, just maybe, I will get one that knows how to stick his nose to the butt of the horse in front of me. :)



good luck with that! :lol:

katie+tru
Apr. 20, 2011, 07:26 PM
This. And, to be a little defensive for all of us who didn't grow up riding or owning horses, it is very hard to know anything about a farm animal whose primary use to the suburban majority went out the window over 100 years ago. When I started riding lessons as a 20-something, I was very clear to the instructor that my only experience was as a kid on pony rides so I was honest and realistic out loud, but I was secretly stunned by how surreal it was to get on a horse. It's not that I assumed a horse was like a bike or a car, just that I didn't know anything real about horses because I'd never actually been around them. The physical reality of horses is overwhelming to newbies, which I think experienced horsepeople tend to forget. Personally, my reaction to fear is to yelp and throw myself on the mercy of those nearby (not always a survival strategy) but a lot of people, particularly men, react to fear by becoming belligerent and aggressive. Which might explain the macho guys claiming horse expertise.



Agreed. Many people are just honestly uninformed of the range of ability and specific types of riding. I've seen adult riders come to my barn to start lessons having ridden as a kid. They say they can WTC, the basic stuff, whatever. They are very confident and not stuck up at all. As soon as they get on it's appareny they ride no better than young kids that have been taking lessons with us for only a couple years. I feel bad for them because I think sometimes they get disheartened when my trainer tries to actually, you know, teach them how to rider properly/better. Even worse is when they see one of us young folks ride and realize that they look nothing like us.

I rode infront of a woman last summer who started coming for lessons to get back into riding. She had just told me how she wanted to buy a horse because she wanted to start riding a bunch again. She was a total novice though and didn't seem to realize any of her major faults until my trainer pointed them out. Then she watched me rider and was like "Oh wow... she can actually put her (the mare) in a frame". I had contact with her mouth and was attempting to flex her in correctly. I actually felt really awkward riding in front of her.

Needless to say, I am sympathetic towards clueless individuals who are genuinely kind, caring people who just honestly don't know their abilities. I've met many parents of kids taking lessons who thought they knew about horseback riding but are absolutely astonished at the various disciplines and levels of competition. They have no clue that there is a world beyond W/T/C and jumping 2'. But that's okay... it's not their fault.

Cruisesmom
Apr. 21, 2011, 01:16 PM
The number one thing that turns me off is when someone tells me how long they have been in horses. So friggin' what!!! I've owned a radio my whole life, doesn't make me rock star!!

And at our barn, the definition of rider competence is directly related to your ability to handle a horse behaving badly. Anyone can ride a horse behaving well. But throw in a temper tantrum or two, stir in a healthy spook, and pepper lightly with a grab or two of the bit and then we'll seperate the wheat from the chaff....

Love You!

scubed
Apr. 22, 2011, 07:51 AM
I did the hunting in Ireland thing and because of work missed the evaluation ride day. I told Willie Leahy that I rode "a bit", but hadn't done any hunting since I was a kid on a total packer pony. Most excellent, I get the super duper pack your butt over the 4' stone walls Connemara pony Lucy for the first day hunting, then the probably 13.2 hand super Figgity for xc schooling (ended up jumping most of the preliminary course on him), then the delightful Sean-Boy for more xc schooling and rounding up the cows. I said I wanted to take him on the second hunt and Willie said he wasn't clipped and didn't have shoes so he couldn't go hunting. I said, "ok, all your horses are so great" The next day Sean-Boy comes out all ready to hunt with his trace clip and new shoes. We had a blast. Meanwhile, there are a group of young, very wealthy Americans who have said they are super experienced riders (and were decent riders, one played polo and hunted, the others had done some eventing) and want to buy horses. They ended up riding all of these less sane than I would have expected horses with pretty looks and inflated price tags.

Heliodoro
Apr. 22, 2011, 08:27 AM
This is why I love my fiance! He really has no ego issues when it comes to riding. And I quote "I want a half dead, one foot in the grave, follower" horse. I think on one of our trail rides they asked us to rate our level 1-10, he put "0"... :D

I tend to go on the more humble, the better when going for a trail ride at a new place, I want to enjoy the ride, NOT train their horses! I will say I kinda broke this rule on a trail ride in Yosemite. It was a walk only and I went with my mother, brother and sister's very good friend. Mom and friend were very green, but friend told them she had "more than 10 hours in the saddle" as that was their measure for experience (wtf??! 10 HOURS?!?). She was convinced if she stuck next to me, she would be fine and I'm sure she would have, of course that didn't happen!

Anyway, they basically assigned mounts (horses and mules) by weight, not "skill," so the bigger riders got situated first including friend and my brother. My name gets called and I've been eyeballing the string, watching this one rangy looking gelding who keeps untying himself from the hitching post. Not moving, just bored and untying himself, in other words not completely dead to the world. I ask the wrangler if I could request a horse. She gives me the eyeroll, "You can request, but I can't make guarantees!" she looks in the direction of a pretty grey she thinks I want. Mom of course pipes up "She's an excellent rider. She owns a TB!" Gah! I point out said gelding, she smirks "well alright then! He supposedly bucked some hotshot off this am, but I think the guy just wasn't paying attention to the hill we went down."

My ride was awesome! I ended up rearguard, I almost always do I don't know why! By the end of the ride I had trained the horse to go through the puddles and not around, scraping me off onto trees/rocks/cliff sides even though the wrangler behind me swore he wouldn't! The friend ended up somewhere near the middle with my know-it-all-I-rode-my-aunt's-pony-when-I-was-10- mother and near by brother, who was taking lessons.

When we headed back to the "ranch," the line flipped and I was basically leading. We got to within sight of the paddocks when we hear a shout from behind. Friend's mule decides it doesn't want to go any further and lays down in the sand! Just curls legs and down, no rolling. Friend is terrified, hanging onto horn and reins. I'm screaming "Get off!", guides are yelling "Get off!" Mule gets up! Friend stays in the saddle the whole time, I don't know how her leg wasn't crushed!! Poor girl was petrified, I felt awful for not staying near her, but who thinks a trail horse/mule is going to lay down during the ride?!?

sketcher
Apr. 22, 2011, 04:32 PM
Anyway, one of the reasons I was asking is that I don't really volunteer any information about riding skills, and yet somehow after one ride, they KNOW.



When you have to size people up based on a question or two, you learn very quickly how to tell who can ride who can't, who's full of themselves, who is scared..and I by the time someone has picked up the reins and put their foot in the stirrup I have a damn good idea what they are all about. In fact, most often you can fairly accurately tell by observing just a few seconds of interaction when the horses come in from the previous ride or when you lead a new group to the area where the horses are tied and waiting - before people even touch a horse.

After one ride, they have all the information they need to know which horses they can comfortably place you on.

Auburn
Apr. 24, 2011, 11:40 AM
scubed,

I rode with Willie Leahy, too. He was a riot. He put me on a 14.2h Connemara named Robin and had me help Pat (a fellow fox hunter friend and all around nice fellow) and him herd 5 pastures of sheep into a large pen. All of this had to be done before we went on his cross country course at Dartfield.

Willie started the day by trying to get his sheep dog out of his truck to help us herd the sheep. Since it was very windy and flurrying snow, his dog wanted to stay in the warm truck. "Laddie, get over here". Repeat, louder. Repeat, louder. "Laddie, you Fookin Bas##rd, GET OVER HERE!" :lol: My eyes just about popped out of my head. Oh boy! I thought, this ride is going to be a doosey.

It was. :D

Were you riding at Dartfield? You must have gone through his "water complex"? The water came up to my knees. Willie's horses thought nothing of jumping right into it. It was amazing.

Sorry OP, this was a bit off topic. I believe that the herding sheep exercise was to test my riding ability, before we headed out to the cross country course.

Eye in the Sky
Apr. 24, 2011, 12:02 PM
I have learned to tell people I have experience, but I then ask them to watch me ride and asses me for themselves, as everyone's definition of "good", "decent" or "advanced" varies quite differently. I sometimes joke and say "I have two legs and two arms that function reasonably well together on the back of an equine".;)

My last trainer intended to put me on his most quite mount for our first lesson, however, we had a sudden storm, and that "quiet mount" lost his marbles, and I had an opportunity to display skills quicker than I expected! We both had a good laugh, and my trainer expressed relief that I had "seriously down-played" my abilities. The next week, I was given a really hot ride and the following week, I was given permission to hack when trainer was not there. :)

I think when I was younger, I told people what level I was at based on what my trainer at the time told me I was, and this got me into some bad situations I was not prepared for! I was well-meaning, but "advanced" for one trainer means "intermediate" for another!:eek: