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That time your horse embarrassed you (or you embarrassed your horse)

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  • That time your horse embarrassed you (or you embarrassed your horse)

    While waiting at the doc's this morning, I was reminiscing with my mother about the times my horses, despite best efforts and intentions, have managed to embarrass me/make me look like I am a terrible horse person.

    Story 1)
    When I got my first ever hony (the original pony+ an inch), she was the epitome of the smart, stubborn, rather passive aggressive, blue ribbon winning Quarter Horse. I vividly remember my small 8 year old self desperately trying to get her a** in gear and make it to the ring in time for lessons. We would make it maybe half way to the ring (where the mounting block was for me to get on her), and she'd just stop. She wouldn't eat, she wouldn't turn around. She'd just stop and not move--and I am convinced she gloated as well. Trainer said if you weren't in the ring in time for lesson, tough luck, go hack elsewhere. I was mortified at that age that I couldn't get my pony to the ring when everyone else was already trotting. Finally one day, the other trainer, saw me desperately trying to pull her along and whack her (to no avail) with the crop. He picked up the largest tree branch ever and starting waving it around his head and started walking towards us. It was record breaking time for us to get to the ring! And I never again had an issue getting her to the ring on time.

    Story 2) my last horse I leased, and she was so perfect in every way, that honestly I embarrassed her more than anything else--such as dressing her up for the holidays, or the time my barnmate and I were bored and decided to start balancing things on her head while she snoozed at the ingate. We succeeded with the water bottle! http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos..._5672718_a.jpg

    How about y'all's stories? Surely a pony or two has gotten the better of you. ;-)

  • #2
    Oh Oh, I want to play!

    Story 1) I was at a schooling show with my new appendix mare on which we had cleaned up all day, my last class in the division was hunter hack. Everyone is lined up in the ring waiting for their turn, my turn comes.... do you think I could get that snoozing mare to move, I kicked, I squeezed.... someone beside me gave me their crop, I wacked with all my might, (14 y/o at the time), Nothing! I swear the mare sat there thinking, "quarter's up, get off kid".

    Story 2) I took my winter greenie project to his first show, AA rated, entered the Children's hunter Div 3', we bombed the flat class, which is to be expected since it was his first class and he was distracted, but we won our first o/f class.

    Second o/f class came around and my coach was yabbering about what I should do better next time while I studied the course. And I am one of those people who have to drill the course and run it in my head over and over to get it.
    I go into my class all confident, completed "my course" which I had thought ended in a weird spot but meh, completed my finishing circle and exited the ring with a big smile.... my coach comes running at me, "you forgot the last ***damn jump"..... me = Mortified!
    Last edited by pryme_thyme; Nov. 14, 2011, 04:08 PM. Reason: typo


    • #3
      I was in a w/t canter one at a time class on my first horse. Well my time came to canter and my horses wouldn't pick up the correct lead. I think I finally got it in the last corner. I was already embarrassed that I blew my lead and when we get back to line up my horse proceeds to stretch out and pee right there. I felt relieved thinking oh so thats why he wouldn't listen when some on lookers where saying OMG look at that horse peeing. I was 10 and embarrassed.

      I am sure there are other times, but I still remember that one and I am almost 27 yrs old.
      I love cats, I love every single cat....
      So anyway I am a cat lover
      And I love to run.


      • #4
        I'll play.

        So I'm a trainer with my own barn and students. For a fun learning experience, I had my old trainer come to my barn to give my students a one day clinic.

        All week we painted jumps and spruced up the barn. The morning of the clinic, I replaced all of the jump flowers with new ones.

        I decided that I would ride my pre green horse in the first slot as a private. So my students gathered around to listen to her put us through our paces. He hacked beautifully.

        When it was time to jump, I trotted him over a cross rail a few times and then she had me canter up to a 2'6 vertical. Canter was lovely, great pace, rhythmical, the distance was right there... and he sees the new flowers and slams on the brakes at the last minute. I go flying over his head and into the dirt.

        This was the first time I'd come off of him and it was in front of my old trainer and ALL of my students. They LOVED it.

        I was fine, just sore and my pride was a bit wounded.


        • #5
          My embarrassing (and traumatizing) moment came during my first official H/J show. I was 12 years old and had been riding someone's private pony to get it in better shape. I had finally gotten to the point where we were both show ready. The show was outdoors and it was roughly 35 degrees out. We were schooling in a side ring. As we walked along the rail, we passed a cooler with a blanket over it. At that moment, someone decides to open the cooler and flap the blanket. Next thing I knew, I was on the ground and the pony was booking it out of the schooling arena! The most embarassing part was hearing "There is a loose horse" over the show PA system. After about 10 minutes, someone was finally able to catch him.


          • #6
            You mean....like every day?

            This summer I had my horse (The Thoroughbred) at opening weekend at the horse show formerly known as Merrill Lynch, showing in the Low Adult hunters. He's always a moron about Life In General when things get scary, but he'd hacked around just fine that morning and jumped over everything the night before and I wasn't expecting too much drama.

            Haha. Ha. Walk in for schooling course, and I noticed that the sun/shadow line from the trees was falling on the first line in a funny way. Duly noted. Pick up lovely opening circle, canter up to first fence (a nice easy line going away from the gate), pop over, prepare to launch for 2nd fence of line and The Thoroughbred decided OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD and flipped his lid. Put his feet down to take off and suddenly changed his mind, and lord can that horse spin. I landed right on my ass. At the 2nd fence. Oh, and it's not like there were TONS of people watching.

            At least after that he was a perfect gentleman (and you can see in the photos me hoisting his rear end over some of the scarier jumps that day), and he was a SUPERSTAR the 2nd day, managing to pull a ribbon in the Classic.

            Dear thoroughbreds, you have to love them.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by pryme_thyme View Post
              Oh Oh, I want to play!

              Story 1) I was at a schooling show with my new appendix mare on which we had cleaned up all day, my last class in the division was hunter hack. Everyone is lined up in the ring waiting for their turn, my turn comes.... do you think I could get that snoozing mare to move, I kicked, I squeezed.... someone beside me gave me their crop, I wacked with all my might, (14 y/o at the time), Nothing! I swear the mare sat there thinking, "quarter's up, get off kid".
              LOL I love this! Yeah boy that sounds exactly how my QH mare was.

              I have one more to contribute--I had almost blocked it out entirely had my dad, who made a rare appearance at a show, reminded me of.

              My (future) junior horse was a pushy, very grabby green bean, but in a couple years, I had worked with him to be "mom-proof/kid proof/monkey proof" on the ground, and he was a gentleman for everyone--except me. It was like he had a rotation of obnoxious habits with which to annoy me once every few weeks (and he succeeded admirably). At one local show where we posed for an award, and they were presenting a shiny plate and bunch of carrots. Well I was holding him with his bridle on and, since he was standing with his eyes half-closed, I was not paying much attention except smiling at the camera. All of a sudden when the camera clicks, whack, and I find myself assaulted by a large head and CLANK goes the sound of horse teeth against plate. However that didn't matter because .007 seconds later he found the carrots and it was over. It all happened so fast that two carrots were gone by the time I'd whacked him on the chest and stood him back up again, but at that point he had absolutely no other purpose in life than to get at the plate and remainder of carrots. Truly, never have I felt so incompetent--and they never got a good shot of us because in every pic there was a large bay horse head completely blocking me as I tried to keep the carrots/plate I was holding out of the way.

              Of course, a couple days later, a friend of mine holds him for me while I wash his tail, and she's eating an apple--pays her nor her apple no mind whatsoever.

              There was another time during the first few months I owned him BEFORE I discovered the wonders of a chain lead shank where he popped my right shoulder so hard because he yanked me off our path over to some barn's display and knocked over the scarecrow and took chunks out of the haybales. That was also incredibly embarrassing because I was still tiny at that point, so all you could see was this tiny 14 y/o girl hitting this bad horse and trying to drag him away from a display that looked like it'd been attacked by... well... a horse. Chain leadropes. Truly recommended.


              • #8
                I was walking Wondermare down by the ring at either Saugerties or Vermont and hooked my spurs together, resulting in a face plant. I thought it was hilarious. [anthropomorphizing] WM was mortified! I'm pretty sure I embarrass her almost every time we're out in public.
                Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!


                • #9
                  I bought my "manly" jumper pink unicorn polo wraps this week. His friends made fun of him

                  I know there's hundreds of other stories, but I'm too tired right now
                  "Many are riders; many are craftsmen; but few are artists on horseback."
                  ~George Morris


                  • #10
                    As a junior, I had a lovely but neurotic TB gelding. Truly had a screw loose. So we are in the ring at a big A show in our area. Nutty horse is going PERFECT until...

                    Little butterfly flutters in front of him.

                    Big crazy horse looses his mind. He ended up throwing me into a real brick wall bordering the ring. I end up with a broken nose and cracked orbit. Now, with my nose pouring blood all over me I jump up to go grab crazy horse.

                    It took almost 45 mins... In the middle of the show... Infront of everyone, just to catch him so I could get him out of the ring. On the way to the ER, I swore I would never ever show my face again. To make it even worse, rolling into the er in tall boots and ratcatcher, always humiliating.

                    And that is one of my less embarrassing tales


                    • #11
                      My little darling threw a pissfit as a kid was getting put up on her for a leadline class. It was horrifying. I don't think I'll ever let myself live that one down - I still just shake my head and cringe when I think about it. Kid was OK but I don't think she'll ever want to ride again!

                      I embarass said horse frequently. Halloween costumes, Santa hats, putting her on the jogger (she sat down.)
                      It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


                      • #12
                        Green pony's first show, I went off course.. in a crossrails class. To my defense, there were no flowers to help me realize I was going the wrong way!!

                        Oh, then there was that time I was showing (the same) green pony in a 2'6" hunter class.. went COMPLETELY off course. I was completely frazzled, jumped the second oxer of a diagonal line as a single.. I was completely mortified..

                        my first 1.10 with my new horse I ALMOST went off course.. was looking for my next jump, realized it was 3/4 strides away but off to the right (single oxer on the short side of the arena, right on the rail).. I was determined to make it over. So I pointed him at it, looked at the sky and dug my spurs in. Made it out unscathed, and went double clear to boot! It was on such an angle I'm surprised he didn't bounce right out of the ring

                        was at a show 4ish years ago on my old horse in a 2'9" jumper class. It was a smaller show and complete carnage all day, footing wasn't good.. I went ridiculously slow and was saying "good girl, gooood giiiirl" all the way around the ring. Trainer made fun of me for that one; and I did hunters in the nicer ring the rest of the week.

                        last summer I was grooming for a GP rider.. put the wrong bridle on a horse and walked him up to the ring. I didn't know she had put his stuff on a tack hook right outside the groom stall and there was a bit of a time crunch. Horse walked very slow to the ring with the weird leverage bit with 2 bitt burs and a rope noseband vs. his snaffle and drop! That was probably the most embarrassing, but horse and rider were very good about it and I think I redeemed myself.

                        I probably have more embarrassing stories than most....


                        • #13
                          I bought a large Hanoverian years ago--he was "old fashioned" as they put it. 17 hands, 1350 lbs. (on a scale!) and a bit like riding the Titanic when it came to whoa and go--the message took awhile to reach the engine room if you get my drift.

                          I was showing at a very nice outdoor A show. As we cantered to the single oxer, I gave Mr. Big a half-halt in the corner. We approached the fence, he lifted those over-sized hoofs and...then...the...engine...room...received the message!! Half-halt! Now!

                          He stopped half over the fence. And stood there, quietly. I wanted to DIE! The judge was laughing so hard in her little brown booth, I thought she'd fall off her chair. The jump crew had to unbuild the fence so he could hop out of the mess.

                          I thought my trainer would expire of embarrassment along with me. I was beet red...for the rest of the day.

                          He enjoyed a lovely dressage career, winning many year end awards--just not with me!!
                          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                          • #14
                            My old A/O hunter picked up a potted tree on the way out of the hack at Grand Nationals... wouldn't have been so bad except Rob Gage yells out from the stands, "You know they have a crew for that!"


                            • #15
                              Where to start?

                              1) I was young and found out the art of riding bareback. Well it was a nice day so I decided to ride outside. The outside mounting block was a flimsy little stool. I was used to the nice wood three-step block inside. Well, my guy is 16.2 and when I jumped the stool flipped, I slipped and ended up looking up at his belly. Lucky for me, he just looked back at me like 'how'd you get down there'?

                              2) I was learning to jump and fell in LOVE with this local TB Mare. Fortunately for me the owner needed some help and let me work with her. Well she was a hot little thing and not a beginner's horse. I loved the heck out of her and wanted to show. I took her down to a local show and entered in the cross-rail division. During line-up I realized everyone was about 4 years younger than me and on ponies half the TB's size.

                              3) I was riding a horse for a backyard trainer. She asked me to take him to his first show with her. It was a tiny schooling show and I was game! Little did I know that he was an abused gaming horse for a few years and was terrified of shows/new arenas. He would NOT go in the arena. The first few classes I had to be led in. about three or so classes in there was no one around to take me so I went for it. I focused on the arena, relaxed my body and tried to ooze confidence. He was a horse you had to ride on a loose rein, from past experiences. We got half way to the arena and he spun. There were two horses following us in so he reared up (his go to when he is afraid). I didn't have any reins or any notice so I kicked out of my stirrups and slipped off the side onto my back. That's ok. The horrible part was in my next few classes when I heard whispering from on lookers. "That's the horse that tried to kill her!" "I'm surprised she didn't DIE!" Oh Geeze.


                              • #16
                                I'll play!!

                                And keep in mind... My horse is a VERY LOUD!!!! very very spotted Appy. So.. it's not like I can't pretend it wasn't us... Nope.. not one bit!
                                We're always embarassing each other....

                                Warming up at an event... in the big busy warm up ring. Fleck trots by a trainer just as she holds out her hand demonstrating an "opening rein". Fleck doesn't think she's demonstrating an opening rein.. he just assumes that naturally, she's feeding him a cookie! Like he expects from everyone. So he is trotting, and suddenly slams on the breaks and sticks his big ol' schnozz in her hand. Doh... I'm kicking and kicking and he's like "hey, where's the cookie?!". Doh...

                                And.. he's a clutz! It's surprising he can jump around considering how many times he's faceplanted at the walk. Which of course...happened in the warm up ring ... at National championships... Doh. Why yes.. we did EARN our way here I promise!

                                But then I do mean things to him like make him cart around my two nephews... or make him dress up for Halloween... Or stuff like this..


                                ha ha.... but how could you not love this face?


                                • #17
                                  Hysterical stories! FleckenAwesome- he is super cute!

                                  Calvincrowe reminded me of a time that my green mare stopped in mid jump- yes in a class at a show. There we are standing still, front feet over the jump, back feet still behind the jump. My mind racing- um how best to handle this situation. Jump was only 2'6" and mare is big, so I finally pushed her forward and the hind end then came over the fence. I dont know how long we stood there, but it felt like eternity.

                                  For the most part she is pretty good, but she does have a "quarters up, you off now!" manuever- pulled it right in front of the judges stand once.

                                  I grew up riding ponies, school horses, anything I could ride, so I'm sure there are some good stories I've forgotten. I do remember having to jump a single haybale on a stubborn little pony (figure like Thellwell) who could scoot left or right at the very last second to avoid jumping it. Im sure it was hysterical to watch.
                                  Rule 1- Keep the horse between you and the ground.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Riding is Fundamental--

                                    Firstly, I agree--these stories are hilarious! I had some good laughs this morning after reading the news (which seems to always be depressing these days). I feel like if my horses saw Fleckin Awesome's pics, they'd be way less embarrassed and know they're in good company when styling the bunny ears at Easter, the moose antlers at Christmas, the four leaf clovers for St. Patrick's Day--etc. etc..

                                    Secondly, I love your user name! My sorority does a ton for RIF, and boy I'd love to do a reading and riding combo for kids! Best two things in the world.


                                    • #19
                                      I'll play as well.. Oh my beloved wench mare... how I miss her antics sometimes BUT with out her I wouldnt have a glued to saddle butt...

                                      1) We were at a place in Eastlake that in those days were known for pony riders. Wench schooled perfectly even if I had a few brain farts.. She did everything asked of her.. It had been a long time since we had a good schooling session where she did not test every.step. of.the.way... I go in for the local medal class. Jump one perfect,2,3,4.. all peferct perfect for equatating with nice flat et al.. However just as we were approcahing #5 leather broke, balance for a second was off.. But that was enough for wench to take advantage.. Slam on breaks just as she was at the begining of take off. I go heads over teakettles ovr the jump onto the ground.. Wench then comes around the jump at a walk and looks down at me as though to say " Mmmm What are you doing down there ? You should have known better than to think I would go when you were not right.there.every.step.of.the.way..." Oh yeah at end of show judge walked up to me and said " You were winning until you came off quite spictacterally I might add. If this were a falling off show you would have won that hands down."

                                      2) A few months after that but before the Merryl Linch... Diffrent Judge but one we knew well enough to know what she looked for.. Wonderful schooling a bit sticky but good for her... One jumpe she always stuck going ingto sticky.. Go in for first over fences class.. Would have needed an electric cattle prod to get her over jump. Class 2 first jump perfect jump 2 cattle prod session needed.. class 3 made it to 3rd jump.. Flat class doing ok after turn around at the canter she somehow to this day not sure how and when asking people who saw this they also have no clue how ( including the judge what a memory) she fell to both knees got up and did not miss a beat..

                                      I have so many with her but as I said she taught me how to ride and stay on with out it looking like it was a problem.. bucking,slaming on breaks, rearing, breaking of land speed records...I can ride with out looking horrified.
                                      Friend of bar .ka


                                      • #20
                                        My boy is usually really good about loading and unloading. That being said he is a TB.
                                        My friends and I decided to do a hunter pace. She picked my boy up the night before to make it easier for them in the am. he spent the night at their barn. Got there in the morning and he is his happy self, great got him and everyone else loaded and off we went.
                                        Well we get there and parked, opened the ramp unloaded everyone else ( slant load he was first loaded) he decided to unload himself!!
                                        He proceded to race around the parking lot like it was a racetrack with his shipping boots still on!!!!

                                        I just stood in the middle of the parking lot with my lead rope watching him run like it was the Kentucky Derby, thinking I can't believe this is my horse

                                        Then this lovely lady with her gypsy vanner says to me and I quote " don't worry hun he will get tired and stop"

                                        Are you kidding me???? He is a very fit TB he will not get tired!!!!!!!!!