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rennyben
Jan. 4, 2012, 05:11 PM
I'm just now getting back into riding/eventing after taking 9 years off. I have 2 children under 7. I work. My husband travels a LOT. I thought riding was lost to me and I gave up. I had neither the time nor money to do it. Or that's what I thought.

Then my friend and my mom kicked me in the butt. They said, so maybe you can't afford a nice horse, lessons, shows, clinics and maybe you don't have the time to do it "right". But don't quit. You can still ride. With their encouragement I bought a super laid-back but very brave and willing appaloosa. He may not have much of a tail but he never says No. He may have speckled eyes but he can stand in the field when my kids are sick or life gets too busy.

Today I had one heck of a great ride and have been floating on air. He makes riding fun. He fits into my life.

The only reason I post this - is because so many times I see posts about people riding horses they don't enjoy or worrying about how they're going to fit it all in. I post this to say don't give up. How about the posts about conformation critiques for lower level horses? I get that it's educational - I like them - but what I appreciate most (for me) is a brain. So I post this to say look for horses that fit your lifestyle. Because it sure is nice to have a worry-free, fun horse. And that's something I didn't even know I needed.

--- I don't think I need to say that NONE of this applies to serious competitors. This is for the person who is on a budget, is over-worked and is trying their hardest and it's still not enough: There is a way. :)

horsetales
Jan. 4, 2012, 05:30 PM
I have my Irish Draught mare back from training and she has been giving me confidence as I try to get back in shape and I get off smiling every ride. Shes not an UL horse but shes safe and willing

Caballista
Jan. 4, 2012, 06:03 PM
I couldn't agree more with the OP. My "Christmas Pony" is a 7-year-old, 16'2" Andalusian/TB cross. We are just getting to know one another, but my coach and the UL rider who helped me find him agree that he's the perfect pony for a very intense professional who has limited time to ride and wants to have fun and be competitive at the lower levels. Will we ever go prelim? Maybe. But that's not my focus at this point. I'm looking forward to bringing him out at BN in a couple of months. And I'm extremely pleased he isn't a nut when I'm forced to be a weekend warrior because of my work schedule.

kb
Jan. 4, 2012, 07:30 PM
I have one - a little Appaloosa mare! She is just a blast to ride and such a good girl too! Not fancy but sane, safe and a ton of fun. She is worth her weight in gold! Gotta love the fun ones!

sophie
Jan. 4, 2012, 07:35 PM
OP, I love your post. We seem to share the same philosophy.

Years ago I decided to quit showing/eventing for various reasons (money, too much time away from my family, money, etc). And I couldn't be happier. My little, bay, non-descript, conformationally-challenged Ottb mare is FUN to ride, and we do all sorts of things that we both enjoy, such as competing in Hunter paces, riding on the beach, taking flat/jumping lessons or clinics...etc. etc. She totally fits into my lifestyle. She *could* be eventing at least at Training with the right rider, but who cares if she's not. We're having fun all the same!
I do need a horse that has a bit of a quirky side, or I get bored, and she totally fits my bill!

eventerchick517
Jan. 4, 2012, 07:37 PM
I've got one too! Wonderful pony who is a saint. Gives me 100% every ride, which may have been yesterday or two weeks ago! I've got limited time to ride him due to my school schedule and the young mare I'm bringing along. But it keeps me sane to be able to get on something and just go. If he doesn't sell I plan to take him Training in the spring and bop around over some prelim stuff. But until then I'm just going to enjoy him. :) Cheer to the fun ones!

RunForIt
Jan. 4, 2012, 08:16 PM
A good friend of mine has MY very talented, OTTB at her place getting ready for the next event season...me? I just want to ride, learn, hang out with friends, go trail riding, ...compete? Yeah, maybe, if I can fit it all in with working full time, working 2 extra gigs (writing units for the state dept of ed for mathematics and tutoring in our after-school program) to pay for it all. The MOST wonderful mare - my twin in age, personality, attitude, and willingness has miraculously fallen into my life (thanks to friend who is happily jockeying around very talented OTTB this spring :D )...I'll have to add that for our advanced age, Perfect Pony and I are sorta cute (:lol:) in an advanced age sorta way :lol: :lol: :lol: . The bottom line is YES, I'm at long last having fun...me and PP bonded in a nanosecond, sized each other up, grinned and life looks fantastic.

Thanks for starting this thread - let's keep each other posted on our FUN - that may include ribbons, it may include long trail rides, amazing or sucky lessons, nights in the barn just hanging out listening to music and enjoying that great smell of a pony's neck and the sound of hay getting crunched, and in my case, may include chopping ice in the mornings (hey, GA has it's "moments" of winter! :winkgrin: )

FUN ROCKS!!!!! :D :cool:

bizbachfan
Jan. 4, 2012, 08:20 PM
My fun is a 13.2 mutt pony who loves to jump and does whatever I ask on the trail. She is bratty and stubborn otherwise but what fun!!! And she gives me confidence as a re rider (44) I love her!!

monstrpony
Jan. 4, 2012, 08:23 PM
I'm all for it! Lucky enough to have two of them in my backyard, one is semi-retired; the other, after some rough spots, is stepping right up to take up the mantle of all-around fun fellow.

secretariat
Jan. 4, 2012, 09:36 PM
Bravo!!! This is what horses are all about.

slp2
Jan. 4, 2012, 10:03 PM
Yay! Good for you getting an appropriate and fun horse to enjoy. While I am someone who does a lot of competing (during our fairly short season up North) I appreciate the value of FUN horses. I have 2. I can trail ride them (WTC, alone or with others) jump them, gallop around x-c, do dressage, throw them in the trailer and go somewhere with them. Both are very sensible mares with a great work ethic. I bought them because of their temperament. I think they are both lovely but they are far from well-bred. One is an OTTB cheapee and the other is what I call my "Wal-Mart Warmblood" heh, heh, (an unregistered Trak stallion x Tb mare)

I have seen numerous riders get something fancier then their previous horse, only to end up being too intimidated to ride the horse. In fact, there is a horseless college student that rides about 4-6 horses at our barn because the owners aren't riding them. Good for her--but kind of weird for so many people to pay board on horses they don't enjoy or aren't capable of riding.

dr j
Jan. 4, 2012, 10:04 PM
I am at a similar place in life.... although much of life revolves around horses, very little of that involves riding ( I am a vet, we breed). We ( meaning DH and I) have been discussing making some changes as we are not getting any younger- and our children are getting more self-sufficient. More time in the saddle for Mama is about to become a priority ( and less work!) My fun partner though is a broodmare- and needs to focus on that as she is one of the best of her breed around ( yep prejudiced- rightfully so) - so I have been looking - and think I have found a new "fun" partner. A BIG goal for me would be a BN horse trial! A hunter pace, a fun show, a trail ride, a clinic etc. are my goals. I used to show very competitively - and now I just want to maybe jump around an unrated show or do a combined test. We raise Connemaras and travel quite far to go to our breed shows when we can- they are few and far between and FUN! Nothing better than watching a bunch of people who have driven 5-10 hours to show compete to the bitter end for the egg and spoon challenge trophy!!

yellowbritches
Jan. 4, 2012, 10:34 PM
Why can't having a fun horse to ride apply to "serious competitors?" If we're serious, are we not allowed to have fun and enjoy our riding and the horses with which we do it? Why can't we celebrate ALL fun horses?

I consider myself a "serious competitor" (or at least I try to be...usually fall short), but I also consider my horse an epic BLAST to ride. He's probably not everyone's cup of tea (definitely not one you'd let sit in the field...there was a reason I was told "he's not really an amateur's horse" when I tried him!), but he suits me, my life, and my outlook on life. Is he not worthy of a mention in a thread about fun horses?! :yes: Just because I don't work a "real" job, have a husband and kids to juggle (just 16 other horses and all the humans that go with them), does that mean he's less fun, less worthy of the s**t eating grin I have on my face after a great jump school, or the fact that he cracks my ass up as he ping-pongs down the road on a hack? He's fun. He deserves at least an honorable mention. :D

All that being said, I give a hearty HERE HERE to the OP!!! I wish more of the people I run across in this sport who DO have to make giant sacrifices and balance their time very carefully would look for horses they can truly, completely, and totally enjoy and actually DO things with! I feel sad for people who end up with too much horse or too green a horse and they never seem to get anywhere or do anything fun with them. Find someone you can truly, totally enjoy. That's why we do this, after all! Even us "serious competitors." :yes:

yellowbritches
Jan. 4, 2012, 10:35 PM
PS- There is a very big spot in my heart for appies. :D

dr j
Jan. 4, 2012, 10:38 PM
PS- There is a very big spot in my heart for appies. :D

No pun intended?! LOL

rennyben
Jan. 4, 2012, 10:40 PM
I keep thanking God that my horse has the spots and is missing a tail -- because if he was solid bay and a smidge taller I couldn't have afforded him. Above all else, he's taught me that a WILLING, BRAVE horse is worth their weight in gold no matter how dinky their trot.

WILLING -- it had been 8 years since I last jumped and on a whim, I decided to pop around a course that was set up. The jumps were only 2'3" but I buried him at some, totally missed my lines at other times and was laughing so hard at myself I could hardly see. He just kept on trucking with his ears pricked looking for the next jump. Cheerfully trying whatever I ask = priceless.

BRAVE - the other day an up-down group lesson was in the indoor ring -- all boys -- playing follow-the-leader on ponies. Very cute, but fairly loud as little boys can be. Two women at the barn chose not to ride that day -- afraid of what might their fancy horses might do. Not only was I able to ride - I joined in the lesson to teach them some new "figures". I had a blast. The women kept saying, "What a great horse you have!" :) I thought yes he is - because when I DO get a chance to come out to the barn - I can count on a fun ride - no matter I choose to do. Dressage=fun, jumping=fun, trail rides (75% of our rides)=FUN!!!! And I've had horses in the past that I couldn't have said that about -- horses that were spooky, lazy horses, hot, tense OTTBS, and even a horse that would decide he was done and stop dead then rear up and buck on the way down if you touched his side or mouth.

so yes! HOORAY FOR FUN HORSES!!!

quietann
Jan. 4, 2012, 10:48 PM
My mare was a hosebeast tonight... (forward? what's that, Stupid Monkey?) but really, most of the time she's awesome. And letting her canter over a pole fixed the forward problem :lol:

Thanks, OP, for reminding us what it's really about.

Mukluk
Jan. 4, 2012, 10:53 PM
I LOVE my OTTB I think she is fun personified!!! She puts a smile on my face and makes my spirit soar.

clm08
Jan. 4, 2012, 11:07 PM
I have one of the super fun horses! We have evented, tried a competitive trail ride (and won!), open show, games, trail rides, costume class, barrel racing, pole bending, he did a polocrosse clinic with my daughter and was her PC mount. He is safe, fun, learns quickly, and always tries to please. He was also used as a conformation demo horse at PC camp to teach the kids all the conformation faults, my poor pony!:lol:
But his mind is what attracted me when I bought him and I love him to pieces. Oh yeah, he's an Ay-rab!

rennyben
Jan. 4, 2012, 11:08 PM
I love hearing about all these other FUN horses! Especially the ones in unique wrappers.

I love how the fun horses fit our lifestyles. YB - I think your horse totally qualifies bc he fits your lifestyle! I guess originally I was just thinking of the people like me, who thought they could only be happy if they were riding a "real" horse at real competitions. You know - the tall, dark bay, fancy horse that will take you to the upper levels. I'll be honest, it was hard to swallow my pride and say, THIS is the horse for me. THIS horse - being marketed to 4H, is the one I need in my life. I'm not going to Rolex on this one. I will not inspire others with our brilliance and garner attention from famous trainers. But it doesn't mean I've failed. It just means that I know who I am - right now at this moment and that feels good.

I may not be the same competitive, serious-minded rider I once was - but I feel like a kid again whenever I swing my leg over - each and every ride.

slp2
Jan. 4, 2012, 11:44 PM
Oh--I forgot to mention that one of my fun horses, the OTTB (that got me to the AEC's twice) is such a good egg, that she is now teaching my hubby to ride. She has carted around several pony clubbers on x-c and several timid older ladies on the trails. I swear she just rolls her eyes when someone new plops on her back. Then she shrugs and goes to work. I have seen her dial back her big trot for beginners, but still gives me the big, floaty trot that makes me grin from ear to ear. Fun, fun horse. She's 18 this year and owes me nothing. :)

outside__line
Jan. 5, 2012, 12:28 AM
My OTTB is a delight and a super, super fun horse to have and to ride. We have lovely conversations, and he saves my bacon time after time. He was fairly untrained when I bought him a year ago - but he has a GREAT brain and has become the most awesome partner I could ever ask for.

I knew when I was shopping that I wanted a horse I could bring along myself, that I could do without paying for pro rides/tune ups every week (I have a wonderful trainer 'just in case' but I wanted to do as much of the actual riding as possible), that wouldn't flip out if my work schedule dictated a few days of not riding, etc.

I don't know how I got lucky enough to find the horse I did, but he has been the perfect mix of challenge/confidence builder. I'm absolutely in love with him and he makes me smile, laugh, and CHEER pretty much every ride.

Fun horses are the best!

Simbalism
Jan. 5, 2012, 12:45 AM
I have one of the fun horses too. I bought my (chestnut)TB mare as a long yearling from my trainer. Originally the thought was once trained if she didn't suit, she would be sold and I woud get a made horse. Guess what? I still have her at age 17. We did some hunter shows(local and A's) , but now mostly dabble. In the last few years, we have done a few CT's(1st place in both)l, foxhunted, hunter paced, camped, swam and rode on the beach, team penned,paraded, and trail ridden a ton. She is game for whatever I want to try and even self loads, an added plus is she is nice looking and a good mover. In my book, can't get any more fun...hehe.

JER
Jan. 5, 2012, 01:33 AM
My 'fun' horse is a 14hh short-legged, round-barreled pony with a mane like a mad scientist. He came to me as a freebie with a bucking problem.

I'm taking it slow with him because what he needs to learn is to relax. He lives in a perpetual state of OMG!, including when he's alone in his stall. I've seen him lie down twice in the six months or so he's been here.

I take him across the river for a lesson once a week. We work entirely on relaxation, which is difficult because whenever he gets even slightly confused or worried, he starts bucking and hopping around. It's your basic distraction mini-trantrum: funny to watch, not so fun to ride. He expects you to yank on the reins or do something to join him in his freak-out but you have to stay loose and keep asking for forward.

So today, after a few OMG! moments and a healthy dose of tension, bucks, and hops, we got a relaxed, stretching trot in both directions, all the way around the indoor. We quit on that. It was big progress for him. And me? I couldn't stop smiling.

Riding is supposed to be fun. We put so much pressure on ourselves to improve or to improve our horses or to get to X level by X date. But horses don't always conform to our timeframes, and, at this point in my life, there's no greater satisfaction than these small victories. They're what make you look forward to seeing your horse's face over the stall door tomorrow.

:)

ChelsaeJo
Jan. 5, 2012, 01:57 AM
I feel so lucky to say I've owned 3 and trained on one other FUN horse.
First there was Justice, my flighty, slightly air-headed Arab paint cross that my dad bought for me at the age of 10. (From my aunt). She was opinionated, hot headed, and feisty - and I wouldn't trade that for the world. Because of her, I learned how to ride bareback, with two lead ropes attached to her halter, and how to stay balanced through the bolting, the shying, the rearing, the stomping and turning, and sitting and spinning, and all the other neurotic things she did. :) But then I developed a friendship, a partnership with her and now she's the easiest, most earnest horse I've ever met. <3 She's 18 now (wow) and she's still my favorite to go out and jump on for some fun times. She's my steady eddy with just enough spunk to make it interesting.

Then there's Murphy, my OTTB who is the biggest cuddle bug in the world. He challenges me in a great way, but is super dependable. He's so much fun to ride because he gives me (or tries) what I ask of him, no matter what it is.

And finally there's Heather. She was my trainers Grand Prix (retired) Holsteiner (of the older, thicker style) mare. She was a BLAST to ride, I smiled the whole time. She was old and mare-ish, but was a good girl. She knew how to make me look stupid and OBVIOUS when I did something wrong. Most people didn't like that because they like a horse that "fakes" it. Not me, I LOVED when she would do it, because then I learned CORRECTLY.

With my mare, I have my own "style" and cues to ride her; so having a horse that made me ride correctly was awesome! :)

Thanks OP for posting this! YAY FOR FUN HORSES! :)

scubed
Jan. 5, 2012, 09:46 AM
My two that aren't fun (as eventers) are for sale. As an adult with a busy day job, if it isn't fun, I don't get the point. Of course, Keebler is off having fun in Michigan and the working student is having fun with Cole, but I'm looking forward to lots of fun with Keegan this year and the most fun ever, Gizmo! Who is 20 this year and still eyeing up the big jumps :D

Donkerbruin
Jan. 5, 2012, 10:32 AM
This is such a great thread! I never imagined that on a recent college grad (in this economy budget) I could ever afford horses. But, lo and behold, I'm getting a new one! She's a small, inexpensive paint but she's so smart and brave. She will do anything, and is SO much fun.
Cheers to everyone having fun on their furry loves!

Heinz 57
Jan. 5, 2012, 01:52 PM
You know - the tall, dark bay, fancy horse that will take you to the upper levels.

I may not be the same competitive, serious-minded rider I once was - but I feel like a kid again whenever I swing my leg over - each and every ride.

Any time you'd like to come ride a tall, dark bay, fancy horse, I've got one (though he probably won't take you, or me, to the UL!). And he's absolutely the funnest thing on four legs. I feel like a little kid, literally and figuratively; he's ginormous, hardly fits into a 56" girth, and is like driving a Cadillac (instead of a bus, as with many big horses). He's goofy, laid back, and half the time he makes me feel like I can't ride. The other half of the time, I'm hanging off the side for all the giggling I'm doing. It's been a LONG time since I've ridden a horse that slapped an uncontrollable grin on my face, and he's the one.

We're hoping to make it out a few times for the 2012 season, but my wallet can't afford to be all that "competitive" or "serious minded" right now. :lol:

JP60
Jan. 5, 2012, 04:43 PM
Well I have two FUN horses, but now they fit in different slots and though I feel I don't get the time I want to ride, they are both (relatively) ready to go when I bring out the saddle.

My Trakehner mare is just a joy to ride. Trained to 3rd level, I have no clue sometimes how I ask for something that she just gives me and when we get the energy rolling I feel like I am riding an ocean wave. Go is her middle name for Hunter Pace and the trails and when we have moments to "open her up", its is like flying. I just love this horse. All but tossed out by people who did not see her heart, rescued; she's been the rock I built my horse life on.

Last year I got a Lippizaner, Anadalusian, or Conammara, he switches stories on me each week, but this guy is smart, quick, powerful and just that little more I needed to help become better in my seat. Jumping with him is a blast and as we get to know each other, there is a calmness and confidence growing in both of us. To borrow a line from a friend, he's 11 going on 4 at times, but learning fast. We did our first show last fall and I could not stop grinning going home. Heck I'm smiling when we hack about the pasture, finish lessons from hell, and take a simple walk on the lead.

No matter what we do, I think fun is only limited by how we feel at the end of the ride. Overall, horses are just plain FUN no matter what (ignoring all the health issues that are never easy).

SouthernSon
Jan. 5, 2012, 05:49 PM
Thanks for posting this, OP! I am still grinning from another fantastic ride on my OTTB today! Sometimes exactly what we need is not exactly what we set out to find. Congrats for finding the right horse for you and on being able to enjoy it! Cheers!

RunForIt
Jan. 5, 2012, 06:04 PM
No matter what we do, I think fun is only limited by how we feel at the end of the ride.

I hope you don't mind, but this is my new signature line...speaks volumes! :cool:

FLeckenAwesome
Jan. 5, 2012, 08:19 PM
LOVE this post... and also love that many of them are spotted :)

I too have a FUN FUN FUN horsey, who awesomely enough, is also fairly competitive. Flecky, who is spotted too!, has the best brain. And yep.. brain will beat out fancy schmancy if the fancy schmancy doesn't want to cooperate. He does whatever I ask and does it with a smile!

We compete at eventing and dressage, we trail ride, we gallop, we now foxhunt!!!!!, and he packs around my nephews and friends without skipping a beat. Always with a smile on his face.

He makes me giggle.. he's my golden retriever in a 1400 lb spotted suit. He's my best friend... he's simply awesome.

And yep.. if it's not fun... what's the point?!

Rock on everyone... go have fun and enjoy those ponies... and kick some butt while we're at it! for those of us that enjoy that too ;)

DevilsAdvocate
Jan. 5, 2012, 08:33 PM
I love this thread topic also! I had a 15.3 morgan who was SUCH a doll. He was hell in a handbasket when I first got him, about 4 years later eventually just decided he was over fighting and became an incredible horse. My true heart horse. I lost him in September and will always be changed from him. He was such a dream to be on and around. Smart, personable, a true "in your pocket" horse. He was a fun challenge XC but then would happily take a 12 year old around a 2ft stadium course and give her her first champion ribbons at a local show. He was always fun to be on and around.

http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g342/ooktdoo/XC.jpg

a picture of us from 2008^

When I lost DA I wasnt sure I would even want to be around horses again, I couldnt stand to be at the barn. I didnt think it'd ever be fun again after losing him. He gave me this sunset 2 days after his death and I knew it would be ok.

http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g342/ooktdoo/DASunset.jpg

My new little guy is a 14.3 morgan/hafflinger (yes im destined to always have morgans after my first!) named Harpo (after Harpo Marx). I got him the beginning of October(yay for COTH Giveaways!!) and am continuing to fall in love with him every day. Thanks to COTH he recently got a show name too! :) O Sole Mio (oh my sun, a nice nod to the sunset I was given, and Harpo Marx played this song on harp in one of his films). Harpo is allowing my heart to heal and understand its ok to love again. He is extremely intelligent, and willing. He hasnt a batted an eye lash at anything I've asked of him. Not to mention close enough is never close enough for him. Such a cuddle bug! When I am on him and something clicks, I feel like I can feel DA's spirit in him and my heart feels whole again.


http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g342/ooktdoo/Harpowalk.jpg
http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g342/ooktdoo/harpobody.jpg

*tearing up* sighh....I love horses. Arent they incredible?

Charlie&Me
Jan. 5, 2012, 09:36 PM
Great post! My guy definitely puts a smile on my face whether I'm riding him or just sitting in the field with him while he eats his hay. He's a 2005 OTTB who is happy hacking on the buckle or carting me around a course. He's quiet enough that I feel safe putting my 60+ yr old mother on him but has enough spunk to tell me when I'm doing something incorrectly. Quite simply, he makes me joyful - not a word I commonly associate with myself!

leahandpie
Jan. 6, 2012, 09:25 AM
This is SUCH a great thread... because FUN is what it's all about!!!

The past few years have been a big transition for me and I'm finally figuring that out again... I lost my 'forever horse' in a tragic pasture accident and it turned my life upside down. I had a young OTTB project horse at the time, and I was just so frustrated with him... 'why couldn't it have been you instead??' was all I could think. It was just a horrible thought... but I truly wished that it would of been him that night instead of my beloved girl. My attitude towards Chance bled through everything- from grooming, to riding.... he was this big, calm, sweet boy and I just couldn't see it. I was so mad at him, and nothing was his fault. I put him for sale and sold him to a great home... I was horse-less for a while... which gave me time to reflect. I was so focused on my 'goals' that I had completely lost sight of the entire reason I ride and own horses... and I took it out on poor Chance.

I found Mr. Pie in a craigslist ad several months later... and now a year later... I feel like myself again. He's shown me how to be, and I'm so thankful to him. Now every ride is FUN, every trip to the barn is rewarding, and I can't wait for our next adventure. He doesn't make everything easy, but he is so smart, so willing, and he has so much personality that working with him is a joy.

He's teaching me to be a better version of myself. All horses have something to teach us, I think... it is just a matter of how much we are willing to learn.

sophie
Jan. 6, 2012, 10:03 AM
Reading this post also reminded me that what is "fun" for me (aka, my quirky, squeal-y, somewhat "bouncy" and VERY athletic small Ottb mare) might not be what is considered as "fun" to other people!

As my vet put it, after seeing her airs-above-ground while being led in-hand..."You're riding THAT?"

Hehehe.

Then again...I don't mind the occasional "opinionated" or "feelin' goood" moment, either, and I know her so well, it doesn't bother me at all.

Fancy That
Jan. 6, 2012, 04:14 PM
I hear ya, OP! :)

I've been riding for over 30 years, but with my career and commute in High Tech, I don't have much time for riding. Thankfully we keep the horses at home, so even if I don't train/ride/school as much as I should, I interact with the horses all the time.

That said, I'm lucky to ride on weekends only :) AND my 15.3 hand Morgan mare, Fancy, is the EASIEST MOST FUN horse I've ever had. She is virtually maintainance free (no shoes, never lame, sits in pasture and can be pulled out and dusted off after MONTHS, to go off onto a trail ride, hunter pace, or schooling HT, clinic etc) She also only eats GRASS HAY with no grain :)

She's a point and shoot type when it comes to jumping/XC and she is just easy easy easy to handle, manage and ride. Seh goes in a simple snaffle with no cavesson needed at all and I ride her on the trails bareback in a halter.

These photos show her VERSATILITY and EASINESS (warning- photo brag below!)

Out on the trail (bareback w/ halter) (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/E_F_on_trail_2.jpg)
Schooling XC (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Windance_26_crop.jpg)

XC during an Eventing Derby (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Fancy%20Family/Fancyjumppipes_small.jpg)

In the Morgan Breed Demo (Hunter Pleasure) (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/F_trot_best_right_small.jpg)at the Western States Horse Expo

Horsecamping (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/SEhillview.jpg) ( we do lots of trails)

Showing (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/IMG_0782_big_fronjump.jpg)

A fun hand-gallop during Hunter Pace (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/HunterPace_082507.jpg)

Showing Again (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Fancy%20Family/F_canter_huntseat.jpg)

SJ during an Eventing Derby (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Fancy%20Family/F_sj_HD07.jpg)

Flat schooling at home (friend up) (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Twin%20Oaks%20Ranch/June%203%20Fancy%20and%20Nikki%20with%20Christine% 20and%20Jessica/DSC01589.jpg)

Jump Schooling at home (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Fancy%20Family/Jumpingcropsmallest.jpg)

And just me SMILING/BEING HAPPY riding her :)
- New Years Day ride in my neighborhood (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/Trail/NYD2012_EF_cropsmall.jpg)

- Happy face whilst schooling during Hunter Pace (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/IMG_5813.jpg)
- Happy face over teensy tiny XC log (http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk150/elaineshickman/298432316_f43e092d1c.jpg)

Fancy That
Jan. 6, 2012, 04:41 PM
DA - wow!!!! Love your 15.3 hand Morgan. That XC jump shot is amazing. REally shows how he's a lovely jumper and has athleticism and great style (plus looks easy) I love seeing non-traditional breeds do well......and your Hafflie/Morgan is no exception!!!!

You can see my own 15. 3 hand Morgan mare in the thread I just posted. Gotta love these FUN EASY HORSES!!!!!


I love this thread topic also! I had a 15.3 morgan who was SUCH a doll. He was hell in a handbasket when I first got him, about 4 years later eventually just decided he was over fighting and became an incredible horse. My true heart horse. I lost him in September and will always be changed from him. He was such a dream to be on and around. Smart, personable, a true "in your pocket" horse. He was a fun challenge XC but then would happily take a 12 year old around a 2ft stadium course and give her her first champion ribbons at a local show. He was always fun to be on and around.

http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g342/ooktdoo/XC.jpg

a picture of us from 2008^

When I lost DA I wasnt sure I would even want to be around horses again, I couldnt stand to be at the barn. I didnt think it'd ever be fun again after losing him. He gave me this sunset 2 days after his death and I knew it would be ok.

http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g342/ooktdoo/DASunset.jpg

My new little guy is a 14.3 morgan/hafflinger (yes im destined to always have morgans after my first!) named Harpo (after Harpo Marx). I got him the beginning of October(yay for COTH Giveaways!!) and am continuing to fall in love with him every day. Thanks to COTH he recently got a show name too! :) O Sole Mio (oh my sun, a nice nod to the sunset I was given, and Harpo Marx played this song on harp in one of his films). Harpo is allowing my heart to heal and understand its ok to love again. He is extremely intelligent, and willing. He hasnt a batted an eye lash at anything I've asked of him. Not to mention close enough is never close enough for him. Such a cuddle bug! When I am on him and something clicks, I feel like I can feel DA's spirit in him and my heart feels whole again.


http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g342/ooktdoo/Harpowalk.jpg
http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g342/ooktdoo/harpobody.jpg

*tearing up* sighh....I love horses. Arent they incredible?

annikak
Jan. 6, 2012, 06:42 PM
I couldn't stop smiling.

Riding is supposed to be fun. We put so much pressure on ourselves to improve or to improve our horses or to get to X level by X date. But horses don't always conform to our timeframes, and, at this point in my life, there's no greater satisfaction than these small victories. They're what make you look forward to seeing your horse's face over the stall door tomorrow.

:)

I wish I could have articulated this. Perfect JER. Exactly how I feel!

RedRyderKy
Jan. 6, 2012, 10:18 PM
After spending the first 11 years of horse ownership with horses who were either good minded but not sound enough to event or sound with shitty attitudes and dangerous behaviors that were displayed with many others besides myself, I was about done with horses. I was/am a stay-at-home mom with small kids and limited riding time. Then in August of 2010, I hit the horse lottery. I was sold for $1 a 11 yr old TB gelding named Better. When Better's race owner realized he was no longer interested in racing, they put him in training with the O'Connors and he was competed by Hannah Sue Burnett up to training level. Being that this kind of training cost lots of $$$$, Better went to live with the owners friend and spent the next two years being a trail horse and lawn ornament. A change in circumstances sent Better to my trainer's barn and into my life. To say I adore this horse is a major understatement. Better has a super personality, always tries hard, LOVES to go places on the trailer, grins like a Cheshire cat at shows, no hidden demons, nice mover and is very sound. My only struggle is learning to ride a
horse that expects a perfect, professional ride. He will go or do anything I tell him to. I always have enjoy when I ride him.
Oh yeah, my one complaint is that he wallers in the dirt/mud like a
pig. ;) This horse will never leave my barn ever and will be the
standard in which to compare my future horses.

Win1
Jan. 6, 2012, 10:49 PM
Love it! I learned this lesson the hard way, by chosing the wrong horse. I finally opened my eyes and realized what I needed in my new life as a mother.... a vertically challenged saint of a horse. I actually had a blast hacking down the road the other day, not even one tense moment!! Why don't more riders chose this route?

DevilsAdvocate
Jan. 7, 2012, 04:00 PM
Ry is this your horse?

http://useventing.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/hannahsueburnett-betterthanexpected.jpg

RedRyderKy
Jan. 7, 2012, 06:58 PM
DA - yep! That's my boy! ;)

Vesper Sparrow
Jan. 7, 2012, 08:59 PM
My old mare (euthanized this year) was my first horse and defintely a fun horse. Ex-eventer, got her when she was 22, BTDT but still with lots of spirit and enthusiasm. She turned out to be a real partner.

I got some hints today that the mare I'm half leasing may turn out to be one, too... today, I got the idea that she was disappointed that we weren't doing more than just hacking around on a loose rein and that she actually wanted to do some dressage. That's the kind of attitude my old mare had... she wanted to DO things.

My gelding is more difficult, smart as a whip, a bit naughty, takes advantage of my weaknesses, on the lazy and opinionated side. However, I'm enjoying riding him more and more as I get used to his quirks. He may turn out to be my fun horse in the future when I'm a more confident rider. In the meantime, he certainly is a blast on the ground, he is a HUGE personality.

Nomini
Jan. 8, 2012, 09:28 PM
I feel like I have my cake and eat it too because my fun horse is my UL event horse. We've competed through intermediate but I've been playing with her since the day she was born. I took her for a hack today down the farm roads in a halter. She has jousted, skijored (pulled my brother around in the snow on skis), pulled 2 people at a time on saucer sleds, been ridden western, bareback, barrel raced, played polocrosse, done games, done jumpers.... She has also carted me around a few CCI* and some intermediate. And she's a 14.2 1/2 Morgan 1/4 Welsh 1/4 Arab. I can have her fit enough to ride everyday and event or I can (most recently) jump on her bareback and do lateral work in a halter. I can't imagine trying to ride (or compete!) a horse that wasn't fun every time I got on.

DevilsAdvocate
Jan. 8, 2012, 09:33 PM
DA - yep! That's my boy! ;)

Man I am JEALOUS!!! He is niccccccccccccce!

ddashaq
Jan. 9, 2012, 01:57 PM
I absolutely ADORE my horse who is the most fun (for me!) ever. After 6 years of a horse with a huge heart but bad hocks followed by a sound jerkface, I was both losing the joy and out of confidence. Enter, Chacao. 5 year old TB, a bit smaller than is fashionable, but holy cow the heart and brain on this horse! He can have a 3 month break and is quite rideable right out of the field. I just love him. He is very quirky, but he makes me smile every time I am at the barn.:winkgrin:

pegasusmom
Jan. 9, 2012, 02:20 PM
Our FUN horse isn't mine, it's my husband's horse.

We got talked into buying him, sight unseen, just before his last race. I will admit it didn't take much pressure, but the first time I saw him, about a week later, an ulcer on four legs, I was pretty horrified. Brought him home, discovered he cribbed like a fiend and was such a gastrointestinal nightmare I didn't think we'd ever get him sorted out.

He chilled out for ten months, went on little hacks with my husband, and last summer we sent him up to the gentleman who rides for us so he could learn his craft while husband was out of the country. Took to eventing like nobody's business, went from BN to Training in about four months, usually placed quite well, and in November we pried him out of our rider's hands :lol::lol: and brought him home.

Husband started taking dressage lessons, first in 18 years. They went to their first show together yesterday, won a class and place in second behind professionals and Mr. PM is having a blast. This guy has such a great mind, great work ethic and is incredibly talented and tolerant. Husband hasn't come down off the ceiling, plans are being made and it's great to see the two of them working together. So often this is a struggle and it's great when that rare one comes along!

He's on the eventing page of our website, in case you want to look at the ultimate husband's horse (who may end up being so much more).

Beau's mom
Jan. 9, 2012, 06:49 PM
Love this thread! Got me a 15'3" Splash Paint (see profile pic) who had "too much engine" for a lesson program. Took us a bit to get really broke on the flat, now going get really broke over fences. May take a year or two, but that's the deal. Love him as a whip horse for our little hunt. Really willing and happy to see me 3-4 times a week. What more could you ask for...ok, I'll shut up-going to a jump clinic on Sunday and may be embarrassed for the rest of my life.

lv4running
Jan. 9, 2012, 11:19 PM
What makes a horse "fun" will vary from owner to owner. My toughest OTTB is still my facorite because I LOVE his personality. He is just like me so I respect that. We both show up for training knowing that we have to give 100% to this lesson. If not he'll know and he'll make up the rules of his own. My brain works several issues at one time so this horse is on my level and I enjoy it! He'd drive other people crazy!

Fun horse is so dependent upon your life situations. There is nothing wrong with making that decision if it is right for you. Maybe you have yound kids at home and you need a dependable horse to enjoy. Maybe your kids are young teens and you are ready for more of a challenge. Our perfect horse can vary from life stage to life stage, and there is nothing wrong wth that. Enjoy the horse, share that love with your kids, and do what you can.

Horses are in our lives for enjoyment. If we don't enjoy it why are we doing it?

LookinSouth
Jan. 10, 2012, 11:33 AM
As someone who works full time and is a mother to a 15 month old I can totally relate to the OP.
I certainly appreciate the laidback and fun mount that you can do anything with! I have had my gelding for over seven years now and we have had a blast together. We did some eventing at BN a few years back but now with time at a premium I am more about riding for the enjoyment of it rather than adding something else to my juggling act lol! Showing stresses me out more than it's worth.
I love my gelding because he can be a fancy, big moving dressage horse if I ask him to be or he can plod around at the lope on a loose rein in the field if that's what I would like to do that given day. He is brave, forward and really likes his job. We do TONS of trail riding both on and off property, have fun playing on all the xc jumps we have at home, hunter pace, ride in clinics etc.. He is also fantastic around my young daughter which is a major plus. I feel safe leading him to the barn to be groomed while also pushing my daughter in a stroller. Not too many horses I know that I could trust with that. I also rode till 2 weeks before my due date, again, not something I could safely do with most horses.

Some of our adventures...

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2251392310101555132SxKbQs

XC clinic. I was 5 months preggers here :)

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2710782800101555132UcijHn

beach day this summer

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2733479360101555132IUGRyn

snowy trail ride

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2764537430101555132SDvQaA
occasionally we do more serious work too

Heinz 57
Jan. 13, 2012, 03:39 PM
Just a-bumping this thread with a fun time from last night :)

I rode the big horse and did quite a bit of bodybuilding work - enough so, that he needed a bit of walking to cool down. So what did I do? Why, I pulled out my cowpony (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/erin7264/036.jpg)-jumper (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/erin7264/47-l.jpg)-dressage (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/erin7264/DSC_0890-1.jpg)-event (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/erin7264/47.jpg)-pleasure horse (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/erin7264/Red/DSC_8467.jpg), threw on the bareback pad and ponied the monster at a walk and trot for about half an hour. Half the time, giggling my socks off and scolding my cowpony for making the odd naughty face when I wasn't looking. Not that he's that small at 16.1, but he has a bit of a Napoleon complex, and I think he was enjoying having a 'real job' instead of the boring circles he's used to.

*Disclaimer: I'm an adult, with plenty of experience ponying horses, in an indoor arena, with the gates closed, using two horses that have lived together for the last year. AND I was wearing a helmet. :lol:

archieflies
Jan. 13, 2012, 05:49 PM
9 weeks ago today I had a baby (who is currently sleeping in my arms because she refuses to take a real nap today). I quit riding at 8 weeks pregnant and sent my eventer to stay with my trainer as a broodmare. I knew that meant my baby would be a year old before I got my mare back, but I figured if I ever had time to ride I'd play with the pony... the pony who had done a few schooling trials for kicks, and made up for her lack of manners or brains by having gopod looks and some very deeply hidden talent. The pony who has gotten 50s from very generous dressage judges, is too round for any saddle to stay put, and can jump novice and some training cross country but can't figure out what to do with BN stadium jumps... poor thing is a bit of a joke around the barn, but she's gorgeous out in my field, so she stuck around during my pregnancy. She even spent two weeks as a lesson pony for our barn summer camp and taught the kids a thing or two about jumping ahead! When I started getting bigger and my feet started swelling, I knew I needed to go for long walks every day, but I didn't want to be alone and my dogs aren't leash trained. But the pony is! So every morning, I lunged the pony, did some ground work, then took her for a long walk in the woods. She was a perfect companion as long as I kept the peppermints coming.

Then I had the baby. Emergency c section and all the crap that comes with that... plus I had a baby to take care of. I still couldn't wait for 6 weeks to pass so I could ride. The first ride I went out on some trails on a lesson horse, but a week later I climbed on that pony... and the beast was amazing! Suddenly she was perfectly willing to get on the bit, she was willing to leg yield, and the saddle even fit! Last week, after I'd taken her for just three short rides, my cousin's kid got on her. The kid has limited experience, but was able to pop the pony over a few tiny jumps. Then, Saturday, I decided it was time for me to jump again. I hauled out for a lesson with my trainer, not expecting much... after all, the pony hates stadium jumps, had only been ridden a few times in 9 months, and had ME on her back!

The stinking pony cantered around BN courses without a hiccup, as if she'd been doing it every day!!! Swapped leads, found every distance, nd smiled doing it!! I even ran her through a BN dressage test for kicks, and she was a perfect little princess, as if she actually linked dressage! What an impostor!! I do believe I could run an event right now and win!

So I guess 9 months off did the trick. That goofy pony, 13 hands under my 5'8" is exactly what I need right now!

HUSGal
Jan. 14, 2012, 01:32 AM
That is a fantastic post, very refreshing! I have a 2 year old daughter and sometimes it's everything i've got to just get out there for a couple hours and ride. I try to almost daily, life's changes do make things difficult, glad you got back into it!!