I'm 48 and am a bit more cautious about what I'll ride. I used to get on anything but now I'm not ashamed to say no thanks, get someone else. The ground is a lot harder now and injuries take longer to heal.
Like the poster, i'm pushing fifty (mainly away!) I let my 16 yr old assistant back most of the horses first (unless they are really really sweet). I don't like re-starting messed up horses anymore; I've found it easier and safer to start my own.
I call it good risk management.
Ask yourself if you can afford to be out of work for 6 weeks or more if you get injured. If you have enough money squirrelled away and if your clients will stick with you if you aren't there for that long. If you can't, I'd skip the crazy ones. You can still fall and get hurt on a good one, but why increase your risk.
I still like problem horses...although I'm only 40 now. But the real basket cases I'd start turning down.
It's mostly a reality thing for me...when I was young I was the "first up" on all the worst ones. (I think our BO ans coaches were trying to thin out us younger riders, LOL) But now although I'm not afraid of the actual coming off/getting flung as I am afraid of the "What happens to everything if I'm laid up????" *That* thought makes me all:
Who's going to take care of the barn, the horses, the rest of the animals, the house, the snow plowing or fence repair or seeding or pot hole filling or tractor maintenance or even the errands or cooking or billion other things I do???? Ack!
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
I am nearly 53 and have just given up riding the problems this year. I am not afraid of the buckers, balkers, stoppers, rearers, etc.
But I slipped in the mud earlier this year, tore all the major ligaments in my knee. The knee is OK- no pain-I can walk fine and my muscles are strong enough to keep it aligned during ordinary activity... but doing an emergency dismount from a horse, I discovered that knee no longer has any lateral stability- jumping down and landing on 2 legs made the joint dislocate, again, and that is pretty damn painful when it happens. An hour later, I can ride again, but I cannot jump off with abandon like I used to...
"The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF
Now.. define nutjob. I think that most horses, if you ride them forward and then actually LET THEM GO won't do whatever nasty stunt they have been doing. So far it's been a 99% successful strategy. 1% of them still toss me
I never rode horses who truly reared and I still won't. A horse w/a bucking problem.. I will IF I can take the horse in full training. I no longer will get on someone's problem for one ride, I know that I cannot fix it that quickly.. and am more likely to get hurt if I have not had time to do ground work and get to know the horse (and vice versa). It's just really not productive in the long run to put in that single ride. I also have less tolerance for those really spoiled rotten horses.. I used to think I could retrain *their owners* but I know now that I cannot the horses are the easy ones...
So I guess other than that, I really haven't changed all that much. I still like to get on babies and I love green horses. I love the big lightbulb moments for them. Perfecting a half pass is not nearly as exciting as the first time they reach on to the end of the rein and go "Oohhhhhhh that is nice, I like it!"
"Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
--- The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.
I'm 46 and I am starting babies mostly now. I love working with the youngsters and don't think of them as difficult at all if you take your time and put in the groundwork...on the contrary most youngsters are clean slates and very easy. I do not take on 30 day wonders and refuse to rush if it's someone else's horse.
No, I have no interest in riding badly spoiled and dangerous horses. I never have liked that and the last few years I've totally lost my taste for thrill seeking. My hats off to those that do though.
ok, I am not "old" yet, and not a real pro, but I used to ride and work with a lot of "problem" horses. I was paid for my time, but not enough to leave my 9 - 5, so I could not afford to get really injured!
I turned down two.. one was a saddlebred who liked to rear and go over backward.. nope, NOT worth it! I passed that one down the line.
The other, a 18+ hand percheron who was just SPOILED. I had success on her back, but the day she tried to cow kick me while tacking up (almost getting my head!!!) I packed up my stuff right then and there! Just so not worth it. Called the owner and said sorry, but I don't want to get killed by this horse. I didn't create the monster, and I wasn't going to lose my health or life over it!
I love love love starting the babies, and find them much "safer" then a really spoiled horse.
Last edited by Appsolute; Dec. 19, 2009 at 12:35 PM.
I'm only 25, so take it for what it's worth. I start plenty of babies, though somewhat more cautiously than before. I will not, however, get on any known crazy horses. I ride plenty of hot/sensitive/etc, but horses that are known to buck/rear/bolt/etc, forget about it. It's not worth it. I can't get insurance, and we sure as hell can't afford major medical bills.
I had to quit, for the most part, several years ago. I'm on the far side of 50. I don't do problem horses at all. Haven't been on a youngster in quite a while. I would rather start them myself as I like to know what has happened to them as opposed to trying to straighten them out after they're scr*wed up. It's easier if you start them.
As long as Aleve, or similar product is made, I'm good to go for a good, long time.