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  1. #1
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    Default What's your definition of a "hot" horse?

    I have a horse who is young and very exuberant, but I've never considered him a "hot" horse. He isn't flighty or easily emotionally hijacked, but he is by no means a quiet horse. He's best described as exaggerated or excessive or flamboyant.

    Someone inquired about him the other day and then replied back that he sounded too "hot" for this particular person. Which got me to thinking, what is "hot"?

    For me, this horse is not "hot" as I understand the definition. I have one who I consider "hot" and to me that means a horse who once he gets revved up is very unlikely to become calm again during that ride.

    So, what's your definition?


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  2. #2
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    I would tend to go with your definition...a horse that is easily undone mentally, although another word I would add is over-reactive, which may be how you are getting "hot" as a descriptor for your guy. Excessive would be a word I used to describe a hot horse in certain circumstances.

    Some people define hot as forward and sensitive to the aids. IMO, that's not it. That can be a part of a hot horse, but it doesn't fully define it. And you can have a forward and sensitive horse that is not hot. The hot horse for me is one that worries a lot, over-reacts, gets excited easily and is hard to settle. They tend to require a very specific, very quiet ride to stay in a good mental place and a lot of people don't like that.

    I would not describe a horse that is exuberant or is opinionated as hot depending on how it manifests. I might describe them as something I do not want to own as I prefer quiet and let's face, easier rides, but not hot.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
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  3. #3
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    I agree with your definition. My mare was super hot, one simple thing and she was crazy for the rest of the ride-day really. I also rode a horse who spooked all the time but I began to understand that he just wanted a constant communication stream from his rider. He wasn't spooking just kinda asking if he was OK since you had been ignoring him.


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  4. #4
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    To me, 'hot' means a horse that blows through the aids and just pulls and is GO GO GO.



  5. #5
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    I think the definition of "hot" totally depends on the rider. I had a horse that I would call "hot". She was the type that got hot and bothered and became very tough to settle after that. She was also the type that would hold a grudge, and one that you never knew what you would be sitting on. Some days, she would be kick along quiet (mostly on the flat, but once in a blue moon, over fences), some days she would be little more fiery, but manageable, and some days she would be a hot mess. I had a lot of bad falls when I was learning to jump thanks so a rather unforgiving horse, so in many ways this mare terrified me. I never knew if she was going to act up, and if I would be able to ride it out. So now, I much prefer a quiet "kick" ride. I think it all depends on the horse though. If I get on a horse that's maybe not "hot" as in flighty, or spooky, but maybe a little more on the bold and exuberant side, I instantly go into instinct panic mode. However, if I get on a horse that's maybe a little more forward, but known to be safe, I'm not nearly as tense.

    There are some riders that just do great with more hot horses, and they don't ride as hot just because of the way that they are ridden, while there are some riders that just automatically hit the trigger and don't tend to get along with those kind of horses.

    In short, I personally define a hot horse as one that is forward beyond what is asked of them, and tends to be more flighty or unpredictable. Ones that are just more exuberant and have a lot of "oomph" I call a little spicy



  6. #6
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    TR I like you definition of Hot and the description of your young horse.

    But remember 2 things:

    1. Most people don't have many words for this. They won't split hairs about hot vs. flamboyant vs. joie de vivre or whatever.

    2. And they really won't do this about a horse that's not theirs.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  7. #7
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    To me a hot horse is one that is very sensitive to pretty much everything. This could present as spookiness, oversensitivity to the aids, running through the aids, minor or major "disobediences". Basically a horse that is very opinionated and easily offended. This is also usually coupled with an overabundance of energy! They need more careful riding and handling to adapt to their "special needs" not because they are dangerous, but because they just need more sensitive handling.

    I mostly ride horses that are sensitive. I prefer them that way. They like a running conversation throughout the course of the ride, with quiet aids. All the horses I ride have at some point or another been described as "hot". One because he is spooky and very sensitive to leg, one because she is pushy and sensitive and requires a real rider, and one because she is very emotional and opinionated and sensitive to everything (redhead, how'd you guess?). The last horse is the only one I would describe as hot. Other people tend to think of hot horses as horses that require more support than the average - in other words, not everyone with basic knowledge and skill can ride them. Horses most people around here think of as hot I find sensitive, and the horses other people find REALLY hot I think of as hot, lol.

    I think it also varies by region - most people around here have quarter horses, gaited horses, or similar types, and most are used to quiet, simple horses. A hot horse around here is one that is not completely quiet!


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  8. #8
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    Agree with RugBug. To me, "hot" is quirky and unpredictable--the ones who scoot out from under you or come undone at the sight of the mounting block, despite the fact that it hasn't moved for a year. I found these horses entertaining when I was young and pliable. Now that I'm older and have had a few significant falls, they just make me tense because I'm worried about what's going to happen next. Just being forward and happy isn't a problem.
    Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


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  9. #9
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    Overly sensitive and tense. Spooking at everything. Boinging instead of walking.

    To me it has to do with the tension. A horse that feels and reacts like a coiled spring is "hot".


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  10. #10
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    One kid I know of thinks of hot as being a little looky on a hot day or new place. My mare, as she has been called by my boyfriend, hot. Once she gets set off it takes a lot of work if she settles, if at all. For example, this past weekend at a horse show something set her off and she was a bouncing, firey mess.. If I tried to soften my hands to get her to stretch and relax and take a breath, she would bolt. In my experience, a hot horse needs a lot more leg, (in a softly wrap around their sides supportive type of way). Also with "hot" horses, finesse seems to be the key. It's not about attacking or forcing them. It is about tactfully finding a way to ride what is underneath you.


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  11. #11
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    I definitely use hot differently, and hot alone is not a negative when I use it.

    Simply, to me hot equates to a whole lot of energy. A horse who would be happy as an endurance horse or galloping multiple cross country courses a day to use some of the energy.

    I've worked with overreactive, spooky horses who I wouldn't call hot, as they were incredibly lazy. I've owned forward, sensitive, and a tendency to build up tension like a coiled spring with massive power yet never do anything wrong and lack any kind of spook which I wouldn't call hot.


    I own un-spooky and fairly mellow but wants to go, go, GO as long as I'll let him and overdoes everything he gets to try to direct his energy into his work and please. He runs a TON on his own and without a rider acts like a total spook stink monster just to have excuses to use his energy. I call him hot because of his absurd amounts of energy - but as long as he gets turnout that only shows up as willing to work HARD under saddle, and a happier demeanor the more he's worked.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sing Mia Song View Post
    Agree with RugBug. To me, "hot" is quirky and unpredictable--the ones who scoot out from under you or come undone at the sight of the mounting block, despite the fact that it hasn't moved for a year. I found these horses entertaining when I was young and pliable. Now that I'm older and have had a few significant falls, they just make me tense because I'm worried about what's going to happen next. Just being forward and happy isn't a problem.
    Yes, now my mind runs through the mortgage, who will drive my kids to and from school, how much vacation time do I have , and who will steal my clients from me, before I pick a fight with a horse. And no more hot/crazy horses for me until I win lotto !



  13. #13
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    "Hot" definitely means different things to different people. I tend to think of hot horses as more "emotional" or "opinionated" as opposed to less hot horses that take more things in stride and without much opinion.

    But the horse you described in your first post could easily be described as "hot" by many people, and I don't think it's especially inaccurate depending on who the rider is. The "exaggerated" behavior you speak of could easily become "emotional" and thus "hot" behavior if he were with a different, less tactful rider. Some horses are hot with some people and not others.

    I guess I would say that my horse is "hot" because he is excessively emotional and easily offended. If things go his way and nothing happens to upset him, he is smooth sailing and a child could easily ride and handle him. If something happens to upset him (and it could be anything, really...or nothing at all), then he quickly becomes nearly unmanageable and is quite difficult to get back under control.



  14. #14
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    Interesting discussion! I agree w/ TR for the most part.

    What I always have considered to be a 'hot" horse is one who is still tense even when you get them tired, the kind you can ride for 2 hours and they are still wicked tense and snorting fire. Despite proper training.

    By contrast, I own a "good feeling" reactive horse with a huge ego and a lot of presence. He's not a hot ride, even though he's spooky and unpredictable.

    Has anyone ended up with the kind of horse I call "hot" that they broke themselves? Just wondering because everyone I have had has done something before I got it (raced/ years of bad training).


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  15. #15
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    A hot horse is one that wants to go faster than I do. :-)



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by snaffle635 View Post
    A hot horse is one that wants to go faster than I do. :-)

    That's so broad. My new girl wants to go faster than I want to, but she is by no means hot. In fact, so far she is less hot than my other horse who rarely wants to go as fast as I want him to go.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RugBug View Post
    That's so broad. My new girl wants to go faster than I want to, but she is by no means hot. In fact, so far she is less hot than my other horse who rarely wants to go as fast as I want him to go.
    Are you calling me a broad????? (hee hee, just kidding RugBug!)

    I'm a scaredy cat, so my definition of 'hot' would be most people's definition of 'alive'. :-)

    Years ago, I would say hot = crazy. Today my 'hot' is other people's 'room temperature'.


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  18. #18
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    Whoa. I've never really thought about this. A lot of people would consider my horse "hot". And there are certainly plenty of people I would not let sit on him because, while I don't think he's hot, he IS super sensitive, a bit spooky sometimes, and just kind of a goon. I am so comfortable with him, though, know him so well, and can read him like a book, that I just don't really know anything else. I would call him exuberant, silly, wicked....but not hot.

    TR, he does not fit your description of hot (which I think is fair and accurate). He rarely, RARELY is wound up to the point of never coming back down. And while he has been known to try and bowl for spectators (that would be the above "wicked" label), once he starts working, he is actually extremely workmanlike and professional. So, definitely not hot by that standard!


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  19. #19
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    To me a hot horse is one that has a lot of go. It can manifest a lot of things that have been mentioned: spooky, sensitive, strong, exuberant, overreactive, wild, nuts, fussy etc. Some of the other attributes make the hot horse less attractive like a hot sensitive horse rather than one who's hot and pulls like a freight train and impossible to stop or hot with a little bit of spook vs hot and spooks at a pole on the ground.


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  20. #20
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    To me a "hot" horse is one I need to cool out.

    I prefer to use different vocabulary: sensitive, spooky, flighty, anxious, forward-thinking, reactive, has a lot of go, batsh!t crazy. Pick your adjective.

    In all seriousness, I can't say that I've either used "hot" to describe a horse's temperament, or heard it used, recently enough that I'd remember the context. If I heard it now, I think I would ask the speaker to clarify what he or she meant. For instance, TR, I'd call your second horse- the one you called "hot"- "anxious" or "easily overwhelmed."
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
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