Sometimes I read threads about people's horses and I go "man I wouldn't put up with that nasty beast, it would be on the first trailer to the salebarn"
Then I think of the horse I ride, and all the crap that I put up with/attempt to beat out of her. She's a difficult beast and maybe that's why I feel so strongly about other people's nasty horses!
You can catch her in a field of grass, load her onto any trainer, tie her to anything, brush her all day long, clip her ears, she NEVER stops at a fence. She will pack my sorry butt over fences all day long, find her own distances, and memorizes her courses.
At the same time she has a serious bolting vice which usually matches with the weather or the same freaking door in the arena that she has seen every single day for 10 years. At shows she is very hot and can spin and dump me because she wants to go back to the barn, she also hates dressage arenas, and crowded warmups. I made a deal last winter where I said that if we didn't get improvements with the shows and her bolting I would stop riding her, I got a new trainer and snorty pants has improved 10 fold. She isn't for everyone obviously.
What do you put up with your horse that others wouldn't and why. What do you see with other people's horses that you wouldn't deal with for a second?
I'm of the mind that the REALLY good horses are also the ones that are difficult to ride and have MAJOR personality (we like to call them "special"). These are also the ones that I loovvee! I can deal with wooha's and stuff under saddle and taking some time for them to get stuff, because at the end of the day most of them are really fun to ride.
It's the ones that are just plain NASTY/MEAN that I don't like. The ones that bite, pin their ears, and kick at your ALL THE TIME... that type of stuff. The ones who try to get you off just because... ugh I hate those.
Every now and again when shoeing a horse I'll make the comment "I'll bet he rides really good, huh?" (usually while the horse is trying to lay down on or kick me). The response is always either "Oh, yeah, he's amazing, never stops," etc etc. or "Nah, we can barely even get a halter on him".
I have a couple of naughty ones but they more than compensate. My little TB mare that went Intermediate will only crosstie in the wash stall, my Intermediate hanoverian mare was a DEVIL at shows until about her second year at Prelim when she suddenly realized dressage was okay (otherwise she's a dream to handle/ride). I rode one mare who was horrid in warmup (spooking at and bolting from oncoming horses) but an absolute dream in dressage and xc (so so stadium).
It's not just the difficult ones. My girl is soooo quiet. '1' quiet. And because I don't fear for my life, I am learning so much from just learning how to ask her properly for things, because when I do something right, she just gives and gives.
In a similar vein to the farrier story above - I was once shopping for bicycle racing gear with a friend of mine (her gear, that is.) It was hundreds of dollars, spent to engage in boyfriend's sport. In addition to all the $$ she was spending, she was telling me some stories about boyfriend being somewhat difficult. After a couple hours of that, while they were ringing up the cost of the bike gear at the register, I looked at her and said, "So, I'm hoping the sex is really good, yes?" (The clerk pretty much fell over laughing).
This was back before I rode, so I thought hundreds of dollars on a hobby was a lot of $$. :-)
I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09
I got my guy off the track from a bad situation 2.5 yrs ago. He didn't like to be groomed. He was very defensive. The first time I got in the stall with him and really tried to groom him, he cocked his back leg like he would kick and turned to give me a huge stink eye. But I looked at him and thought... if he really wanted to kick me, he would have.
So, he threatens to kick whenever he's uncomfortable or aggravated. He almost hit the chiro one time when she got a realllly good pop out of his back. But he's never actually kicked anyone.
I always feel like such a bonehead making excuses for him in front of people, and it's gotten miles better since he's gotten more comfortable about how nobody's about to be mean to him, but he's gotten in my heart and so I guess I will continue to make excuses
don't know much about her, as I arrived home from a day off in the city one evening, and went to do night check. I was counting various blazes, and socks, and came across one I didn't recognize.
it was DARK, and since everyone was calm and quiet, I left it til morning.
went out, and had a look at mystery horse. cute markings, had the weirdest movement I've ever seen, all of 15.1hh, and covered with ringworm.
which of course, was spread to ALL the other horses she had come in contact with.
called everyone I could think of, including the OPP, township office, humane society, just in case she was lost and someone just put her in my paddock for convenience.
I've never found out much about her, except she's an OTTB, is tattoed except you can't make most of it out, and I THINK she's around ten or eleven now.
she bites. she strikes. she kicks. she cow-kicks. I did chiropractic work on her, massage, had the vet out etc etc etc.
oh, and she weaves, too.
and yet, now that she is sound and moves like a normal horse, I absolutely adore her. she's a lovely ride, likes to jump, and is fun to be with, as long as you're on her back, and not on the ground beside her.
you can even put beginners on her. just don't let them groom her.
LESS HARD WORK, MORE FINE DINING!™
complicate, obfuscate, prevaricate.
I love this! My horse can untie every knot under the sun, was funny at first but became down right frustrating. Temporarily boarded at a barn with no cross ties so tied to the stall. He would throw his saddle pads off the blanket bar, untie himself and then go fetch the saddle pads and try to escape out of the barn with his stolen goods. Was funny until I found myself re-tying him 3 times before I could get tacked up. I nearly fainted when he grabbed my brand new T-boot...Thank goodness for cross ties! He will also sniff your crotch. I'm pretty sure he's a dog stuck in a horse's body. Did I mention he mounts any mare that will stand still long enough? Aside from that I swear he's a perfect gentleman!
Past horse had huge issues from being hit in the face/head and would spook huge, buck, couldn't be tied and wouldn't let you get behind him. I was young and crazy and I just kept at him. I realized that he responded really well to gentleness and quiet, easy cues. After about a year he was the horse that would do anything I asked of him. I owned him for about 15 years until he turned 30 and was pts.
I had another horse who at the age of eight had only been halter broke. She was sold as a yearling to a non-horsey family where she quickly learned to intimidate them. She'd rush at you, run you over, bite, kick, etc. She wasn't afraid of anything. With her the trick was to be firm, and not let her get away with anything. She didn't respond to gentle and quiet (at first) because she felt she was lead mare, and humans weren't. I remember one day I was grooming her and standing at her rear quarter, she gave me the snarkiest look (ears flat back, teeth bared) and cocked her leg up, getting ready to boot me one. So I made made a snarky look at her, and cocked my leg up and gave her a little knee in the ribs. The look on her face was priceless! She was completely taken off-guard, and you know what? She never tried to kick me ever again. It wasn't that I kneed her hard, just that she was so surprised by my reaction. It took me about a month after that to go from just halter-broke to carrying saddle, walking, trotting, cantering, etc on command. She always had an attitude, but instead of it being a deal breaker (and being a bully), it softened and she became endearing and entertaining. She turned her energy that she used to expend to mess with us into learning things and fooling around in her stall and paddock.
Current horse is quite hot and spooky. However, he's fast, surefooted and can jump like a pro. It's funny because of all my horses, he's the least textbook handsome, but he's got heart like nothing else. I look forward to the lessons that our partnership will teach me.
Skipchange, mine's the same! I will bring out all the tack and brushes and turn my back and it will all be spread everywhere. He pulls blankets off the rack and flutters them into the ailse, turns on and off lights, splashes his water everywhere and has been known to take one of the dog's toys and run off with it.
Mine is also mouthy like that... but not with knots. There's a faucet at the bottom of his pasture that he can reach. There is no trough there. It took the BO about a month to realize that she wasn't crazy; my horse was turning it on to drink when he was thirsty at the bottom of the field rather than walking to the top of the field. Of course, he never turned it off!
Well I bred my mare so I feel responsible for her. She has a wicked buck and spook, which having seen the behaviour of some of her relatives, I'm sure she was born to do. And she can be an awful witch to other horses. Hated/terrified of other horses in her "personal space" which was, for several years, the size of a football field. She is not an honest jumper (I'm not with the program, she's not going), nor generous when it comes to work ethic and she is a spaz about things that make noise. Like clippers and boxes of treats. Drama queen all the way.
However, she's an easy keeper. And I have learned more from training her than I might have with 5 other horses combined. She doesn't bite or kick people.
She self-loads and did the Training 3-day last weekend. She has amazing movement in the dressage ring when she puts her little black wench self into it. And she can jump about anything from any spot. Again, when she gets on the same page with me.
I think some of the reason we put up with it is because we know we're stuck with them until we get them to stop doing that crap!! My new horse has been bad for the farrier, bad to load, and took a while for me not to feel suicidal by putting a foot in the stirrup.
I couldn't have sold the beast if I'd wanted to. Or given him away. If there hadn't been redeeming qualities I don't know what I would have done. But when these things happen, I go through my list of horses with crap, whose riders worked through or put up or whatever, and ended up at the Olympics - always makes me feel better.
Meanwhile, I'm paying my farrier a $15 "stupid horse surcharge" - next month I'm baking him cookies.
You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng
pull back from the trailer if something bothered her enough and break free and run around.
Had to be drugged for the farrier
thought any jump that did not consist of two standards and a pole were out to get her
Did not like ANY changes
Did not like people
She has not pulled back from the trailer in a few years (knock wood)
She jumps like a pro (now I need to catch up!)
still does not like change that much but at least does not plant her feet, bug her eyes and start going backwards (when people started renting the house next to her field, they put a wind chime right next to a gate that I use and she actually just looked at it sideways and walked through as quickly as she could without running me over!)
Thinks some people are ok.
Still basically needs her happy juice for the farrier but...he got one nail in her the other day and the worst she did was take her foot away a few times (still used the juice because taking the foot away and putting it down did damage the nail, so after that, we gave her juice and did a good job on the shoe - then made a plan to 'wean' her!).
Overall, she is a very unique horse with very amusing stories....like her first show when she picked up a fallen branch then freaked out because this three foot branch with dead leave on it was chasing her. She started running backwards very quickly with eyes bugged out and my trainer and I laughed at her. Eventually, by accident, she opened her mouth and the branch dropped and all was yet again right with the world.
But yeah, aside from her issues, she is great and it has been a great learning experience. Even just the transition she made from total distrust to actually lifting her head and sometimes walking up when she hears me has been a rewarding experience. I actually bought her to resell her and in the first few months ended up falling in love with her, she will be with me until the end.
There used to be a horse at our barn who was just nasty on the ground. He had to be tied for anyone to groom him or else he'd spin and try to kick you. He'd chase people out in the field when they tried to get their horse--like, ears pinned racing towards you. I had an audience the first time I groomed him because I picked his back feet (not kidding). However, he'd jump anything you pointed him at (as long as he liked you--didn't matter what level rider you were, he had to approve of you) and was a cute little mover. Generally pinned well at shows. Everyone thought I was nuts for voluntarily riding him, but he was a great ride, honest!
My beloved easy peasy to ride, stands like a brick for the farrier, put a kid on her for a walk trot lesson Monday, do 3'3" to 3'6" schooling Tuesday, go out for a Western schooling on Wednesday, cross country Thursday, put the SO on for a trail ride Friday and go to an event and be competitive Saturday mare is EVIL for the vet. Started right from tiny foalhood. When she had her first shots she was so angry once we turned her loose she threw herself on the ground. The vet panicked, thinking she was colicking from the stress. Now that she's 16 hands and 1350 lbs, her hatred of the vet is legendary. *Nothing* bad has ever happened other than routine work ups, but she pins her ears the minute the vet sets foot in drive.
She was on antibiotics once for a bad kick wound when she was three. I had several friends come over so I would have help the first time I gave her antibiotic shots, since she had always been SO horrid for all vaccinations. She could have cared less. I ended up giving her all the rest of her shots ground tied in the aisle!
At 10, she still hates the vet but has gotten a bit easier. It's embarrassing, really. She's the only horse I've ever had on the property like this. Heck, we took my TB mare's Caslick out before foaling with only a local! We twitched her for the shots, but she never even swished her tail or lifted a hoof. The vet had a student along for the ride, as well as her tech, and said, "This is NOT how we normally do this! I do not normally stand behind a mare and poke needles into her hoohoo without a standing tranq, but this mare is always superb to work with."
THAT is what my normal standard is!
As for things I won't tolerate, it all ends up with bad ground manners. Marching into my space, yanking on a lead rope or pulling the handler, not tying well, etc. My TB mare was sold to me with the caveat that she could never be tied no matter what, and I went straight to work on that. She's sat back twice since I've had her, didn't get far with it, and has been tying in her stall and on cross ties in the aisle for over a year now. I do a lot of my horse stuff alone, and I expect my horses to self-load and tie to the trailer and be manageable.
My guy is not nearly as bad as all the others but just plain hard to ride!!!!
When i first got him (1yr ago) i could not canter him, no joke. because he would get so strung out and his hind end would trail out behind him like a slinky dog. This wasnt just a poor rider fault it was a lack of muscle(i think) and his transitions would be canter to EXTENDED TROT flipping out his legs like he was trying to kick something in front of him and like you couldnt even post because you would just get popped back up. It was also lack of training. But now thankfully over a year i have worked on strengthening and keeping that poor slinky dog engaged!! Boy has he sure taught me a lot, and he sure is a puppy dog!!
What do you put up with your horse that others wouldn't and why. What do you see with other people's horses that you wouldn't deal with for a second?
Back in the day, during my youthful riding/showing years, a school horse had a habit I swore that above all things I would never, ever have in a horse: he was a pullback, a halter-breaker, whatever you call it, he would not tie. Not even safe to tie him.
So now ... I own a pullback.
Also he spooks. Sometimes, if the alignment of stars and the barometric pressure are affecting his fragile mental-electrical brain grid.
But otherwise he's sweet, usually cooperative and trainable, willing, capable, athletic and fun to be around. Athletically it seems there is nothing he can't do, although he only does it if he gets a very good ride. But he does return a good ride with a good performance, and he has a great fun attitude when he does. He is lovingly attentive to people, his ears are usually pricked in reflection of his upbeat personality. He gets along with other horses in pasture and while traveling. And he's a great companion at a horse show, usually calm, cheerful and interactive.
To make up for unreliability while tied he agreed to learn to ground tie, and he's pretty good about standing where he's supposed to while tacking up. If reminded and not too distracted. At shows he either stays in the trailer behaving pleasantly (it's cooler in there than out in the sun,) or else he's on a long lead following me around with great interest in everything I do. Although he does take every opportunity to poke his nose in where it doesn't belong.
He can deliver a very pleasant dressage test ... if he's not over-anxious about the cobras and wolves hidden around in the bushes and decor around the arena. When I tell him NO SPOOKING he insists he's saving both our butts from these terrors. Funniest comment on a canter depart in front of the judge - "running." From the judge!
Skipchange, mine's the same! I will bring out all the tack and brushes and turn my back and it will all be spread everywhere.
I once owned a horse that, every time I went into the tack room, I came out to find everything in the tack box thrown in all directions, scattered a long way from the tack box. The horse, a dark brown ottb, would be standing quietly with his ears pricked in my direction and an expectant look on his face. I never saw him do it, he would only toss things when no humans were looking.