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The kick ride versus a motor for non advanced riders

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  • The kick ride versus a motor for non advanced riders

    I am curious... I am not a particularly brave rider and now that I am older (60) I prefer a kick along ride. Well actually, one of mine is kick to the first single, then he takes over, which I like because I can get through three over fences trips!

    Anyway, I have a mare here for sale (not mine) who is wonderful. My trainer and I love her personality, she never puts a foot wrong, and she is a good mover and jumper. Nice ch/a hunter type. However, she does have a motor. She is not running or quick and she is not going to do anything bad. We ride her in a fat rubber D, but she goes best with a light leg and some contact. She is not really "green" because she is so smart and solid. Auto change R-L and almost auto L-R and getting better. She is showing well at 2'6" and schools 3' lovely at home.

    Is she suitable as a "first or second horse" type? Does a "first horse" need to be a kick along or do some kids/adults like to hang on a little?
    Last edited by ToTheNines; Dec. 1, 2012, 12:34 PM.
    Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

  • #2
    I think it entirely depends on the rider and their personal preference. I prefer a forward ride myself and my large pony and first horse were very much forward rides (but weren't well-schooled at first either). I think a first or second horse should know their job well, be confident, and be responsive but not over reactive. It will depend on the rider whether or not they want a kick-along or a sit quieter ride. I think horses with a motor (but not overly sensitive- just not kick kick kick rides), are good for those learning how to get around courses because you have to do less to get them to the fence (in general).


    • #3
      Depends on how "non advanced" the rider is but, generally, probably not suitable.

      If it is too much horse for them, they will start tensing up, changing the pace and getting into it's face in front of the jump and the horse will either a) remove the irritation i.e. buck them off after landing b) start stopping in disgust when they can't get clear signals or c) both of the above. Even seen some that won't even go to the fence because they have had a belly full of the picking and tension.

      If you got a novice who is solid and experienced at 2'6" and has been schooling 3' for some time at home, just lacks the horse to show 3'? That'll usually work.

      But if same novice is low mileage or brand new at 2'6", never jumped many (or any) real 3' courses wanting a horse to learn to jump higher on? No, not in the best interest of the HORSE.

      We need to think about them and their future a bit when we sell, particularly if your gut says it's not a good match.
      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


      • #4
        Totally depends on the rider's style and the horses personality, within reason, I think. I'm a novice who tends to be quiet, and I've found that I have a lot of problems with my kick-along lease horse because I have to focus so much on keeping him reasonably forward that I can't work on other things. He's figured out that he can get away with things, and I sometimes move too much trying to 'help' him get over a jump if he's under powered. I very much prefer a horse who's a bit eager and just needs me to ask for a bit of packaging - it just suits the way I ride better. I think the right people will find her as long as you're honest about her personality.


        • #5
          I agree that it depends a lot on how "non advanced" the rider is, but in my very non-expert opinion, I think forward vs. kick-along matters less than "can take a joke" vs. "can't take a joke".
          I don't mind if you call me a snowflake, 'cause baby, I know a blizzard is coming.


          • #6
            I think it depends on what you mean by motor.

            Is she inclined to pick up speed when cantered on a loose rein with a swinging or gripping leg? Not suitable for a novice with limited jumping experience. But you called her a Children's/Amateur type, and either in the 2'6" or 3' iterations of these divisions where the riders tend to be more stable in their positions, might do just fine if that's what the pilot likes.

            Or does she just not slow down on her own if you take the leg off? (Mine does not have a motor and needs leg, or he will immediately demonstrate the halt, and score a 10.) Probably very suitable for someone with limited experience. Better lazy than crazy.
            "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

            Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
            Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


            • #7
              Unless the horse is a saintly sort for a beginner, I'd avoid using terms like "first horse" or "beginner friendly." Those terms means different things to everyone and might turn off someone looking for a nice, forward, but uncomplicated horse. First horse doesn't always mean beginner. I friend just bought her first horse after 25 years in the saddle!

              I'm certain that a sweet, babysitter of a horse who just likes to go forward will find a home. The pony kid moving up might like that ride or theres always the adult who's tired of kicking away at a lethargic type.

              First timers are typically coming off schoolies, so try to get a handle on what type of horse the potential buyers have ridden. If they are doing 2'6 on the forward old jumper they might like her and they can progress upward. If they have ridden nothing but the "push" type horses, your mare may be too much for them.
              F O.B
              Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
              Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


              • #8
                I agree with Linny. Don't advertise her with a "label" as you may give people the wrong impression, but advertise her descriptively, and don't turn away interested parties solely on lack of experience. Focus on finding the right fit no matter what the rider level (within reason regarding safety for trials).

                I have definitely seen horses with a motor work out for the less seasoned rider (moving up the jumpers in these cases). For one, they can afford to take their leg off sometimes, without losing all impulsion heading to the fence. In addition some "motor" horses are also mildly tolerant of some "pulling"....i don't mean yanking on their face, but a rider locking up the elbows on the way to the jump isn't going to pull them to a stop. Now, for this to apply, the horses need to be completely stop free, and need to maintain a consistent forward pace (not building quicker around the course, or switching between stuck in place and blasting forward). The danger is the horses are generally so stalwart in their "goingness" (yeah I made up a word) that the riders may never learn to correct their mistakes, and are up for a surprise when they get on one that needs the leg!


                • #9
                  Depends what you mean by first horse. 90% of our lessons horses are kick along rides. Its much safer knowing horsey wouldn't run off with kid if you paid him to. If your'e talking about the first pony of a 4-6 year old, I'd be looking for a 'you could poke him with a stick and he'd just laugh' type.

                  That said, from the description of your horse this would be a giant waste of talent. So if by first horse you mean a good horse to introduce showing at 2' -2'6" then I think a motor is just fine!


                  • #10
                    Personally I bought I horse for a move up from 2'6" with the true ability to be doing junior hunters and I'm schooling him 3'3" and he can have a motor. I wouldn't call myself an advance rider, I just like a horse with a motor. I would rather steady in a line then push for it and would rather go in a little too fast than crawling. I had a whole year of experience on something that was a push to add in a stride in lines, and automatically knew that I wanted something with a bigger stride and more forward.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RockstarPony View Post
                      Totally depends on the rider's style and the horses personality, within reason, I think. I'm a novice who tends to be quiet, and I've found that I have a lot of problems with my kick-along lease horse because I have to focus so much on keeping him reasonably forward that I can't work on other things. He's figured out that he can get away with things, and I sometimes move too much trying to 'help' him get over a jump if he's under powered. I very much prefer a horse who's a bit eager and just needs me to ask for a bit of packaging - it just suits the way I ride better. I think the right people will find her as long as you're honest about her personality.
                      Yeah, this is me too - my issue is just getting my confidence to match how I ride! My brain prefers the slow kick along ones, but my riding style much more suits the ones with motors!


                      • #12
                        Definitely kick along for a non advanced rider. Not so dead that a weak rider literally can't get it to go, but a horse that is not sensitive. Missed distances, getting left, kicking too hard for a change, last minute changes to a fence....all those things can wind a horse up.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by findeight View Post
                          Depends on how "non advanced" the rider is but, generally, probably not suitable.

                          But if same novice is low mileage or brand new at 2'6", never jumped many (or any) real 3' courses wanting a horse to learn to jump higher on? No, not in the best interest of the HORSE.
                          I have to disagree. I think that it completely depends on the rider. My first 3ft horse was very forward and I had no experience at all at the 3ft before I got him. Cantering up to what felt like such an imposing fence on a kick ride made me nervous because I felt like I never had enough. I had no problem at all with "go" and on my forward guy I could relax with light contact and leg and feel like we were going to make it around okay. He was also an 18 year old saint who still just had a lot of motor.


                          • #14
                            When I hear that a horse "has a motor," especially in a sale ad, I would immediately think that she might get fast, quick, and tend to build on course. Probably a nervous type that needs a very soft rider or she will get tense and on the muscle.

                            In reality, even hunters (especially children's or adult hunters or any competing at 3' and above) aren't supposed to go slowly. You need a forward canter with a purpose to get around those courses properly. It is great if a horse maintains an appropriate speed on his/her own. What is not so great is when the horse prefers to go either too slowly (can't make it down the lines, left with fewer options distance wise) or too quickly (becomes intimidating, doesn't create a "huntery" picture, moves past distances). I believe that beginners generally do better on horses that are on the quieter side. These horses are usually far less intimidating and riders who are confident and comfortable are able to ride to the best of their abilities. When a rider gets into defense mode, things start to head south quickly. This can often happen when a rider isn't comfortable with the pace or feels the horse isn't responsive to their aids.

                            To sum it up, there is a big difference between a horse that carries a proper, consistent pace on its own and one who tends to run. Where your mare falls along the spectrum, only you can tell.


                            • #15
                              I survived a runaway as my first horse as a re-rider. But he pretty much never stopped at a jump. And he was a short fall. In my case, he got me over some fear issues, such as fear of falling off and fear of going too fast!! For all his speed, he did actually take care of me. And he eventually learned to slow down. Even picked me up before I fell a couple times.
                              My point? I think it's a combination of factors that makes the right horse for novice riders... Speed (yes, slower is generally better), power (will they jump you out of the tack?), honesty (bucking, rearing, ducking out), and the horse's general training level (do they require the rider to pick distances?), etc.
                              I wouldn't say my runaway was the ideal first horse. But we picked each other and somehow learned to make it work. I think his small size and compact build worked in my favor. A runaway that was more powerful would have been too dangerous.
                              Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                              • #16
                                I guess I would describe it differently. I want a horse to be in front of my leg, meaning, when I ask for an upward transition, or a lengthening, it happens immediately. But this doesn't mean the horse is zooming around ignoring my other aids. I like my horse to also carry himself in a consistent rhythm that I have asked for and to hold that rhythm until I ask for it to change. That's an adjustable horse and is a pleasure to ride. That horse has a motor yes, but also power steering and power brakes!


                                • #17
                                  My very forward ancient mare teaches beginner lessons. She's a contrast to the kick along QH who is the other beginner horse. She is very willing to pick up speed at the slightest cue. He's rather lazy. She's good for the beginners because she teaches them to be quiet about their aids without being scary to them. She'll jump anything put in her path with little input from her rider. She's very auto pilot in that regard. He's one you have to encourage the entire. way. to. the. jump.

                                  So I think forward can be good for beginners. It just depends on the horse. My mare is pretty good about not over facing people too. She'll go as much as they can handle.


                                  • #18
                                    I think this really depends on how much time the rider is willing to spend with the horse and what they're willing to work with. My first large pony was a very forward moving little guy, but he was a great learning experience for when I got my first horse. She is a non-raced TB and is quite forward and has a huge stride. She's very willing to fences and is completely auto. We're showing at the 2'6'' level at the moment, but she's fully capable of going to more advanced levels. Being a 16 year old, I have time to ride every day and I got her when I was about 15.

                                    I'd say she's been the best learning experience I could ask for! She's a really great horse and she's the same way, she needs no leg what-so-ever and she needs slight contact. I've had to figure her out and she's not overwhelming at all.
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