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It’s never the horse - Always the rider!

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  • It’s never the horse - Always the rider!

    A friend shared this

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    and was taking exception to the sentiment, her take is that it is ALWAYS the rider.

    Now coming fri the UK, where so much riding is done on the roads I am used to wearing a tabard, mine just read “please past wide and slow” which prompted my father to ask if that was an instruction or a description”

    My belief is that horses can indeed be twats, not always the rider, I mean after 15 minutes warming up in an arena I had no expectation that the mounting block, the one I had mounted from, and had stood perfectly still in the same place, would suddenly turn into a monster that could not be approached. That was red head mare, doing her thing...At the same time I admit that our continuing issues at the ‘scary’ end of the arena where to a large extent a rider issue....

    So is it ALWAYS the rider?

    "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

    "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig

  • #2
    Horses have personalities, quirks, and downright bad manners. A good rider will train the horse of course, and not allow them to get away with crap, but the horse will still never be an automaton.

    So it's both. I've seen riders make all kinds of excuses for their horses (ohhh she was rescued 67 yrs ago, I can't possibly raise my voice at her) to avoid training, but I've also seen difficult horses, and not for lack of competent training.
    Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia

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    • #3
      It is always the rider's responsibility to help the horse.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Huntin' Pony View Post
        It is always the rider's responsibility to help the horse.
        This.

        The most helpful, functional, and effective attitude/approach is that the rider always takes responsibility.
        No matter where you go, there you are

        Comment


        • #5
          No, it isn't always the rider. Sometimes the horse really is a twat.

          And I'm going to disagree with the statement that "it is always the rider's responsibility to help the horse." Learning how to "help the horse" is a skill that is developed over time. At time zero, with the beginner rider, in an ideal situation, you have the well-trained beginner-friendly not-a-twat horse helping the rider. Eventually, the rider may reach the point where she does indeed have the skill and experience to "help" the horse.

          I also disagree with the statement that "the rider always takes responsibility." Going back to those lower level riders, I feel pretty strongly that any responsibility falls on the instructor, not the rider. It's the instructor's responsibility to keep that beginner from being overfaced and making sure that the student is mounted on a horse that will not put its rider in a bad situation.
          "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
          that's even remotely true."

          Homer Simpson

          Comment


          • #6
            NoSuchPerson in both your examples though, if something goes wrong, is it the horse just because the rider is a beginner? I would think it is still the human in the equation that is the one to be held responsible (whether the coach or the rider).

            The reason I am reluctant to ever assign blame to the horse, is because it is used as a reason/excuse to punish the horse, or use stronger tack, rather than human taking accountability for reshaping the behaviour. Really, the horse would have chosen to stay in the paddock eating...the choice to be ridden or shown is not the horse's.

            That doesn't mean all horses are "faultless": obviously horses have very high fear responses, and inanimate objects can prompt true fear response, but that still doesn't mean the horse is to BLAME, it just means that the horse requires further training. However, we should take that innate fear response into account, and I think the above jacked is fair: this rider acknowledges her horse displays undesirable behaviour around other horses...but chose to write it in a humorous and concise way. This will likely help keep everyone safe, and help reduce her horse's anxiety in a group.

            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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            • #7
              Like all absolute statements it tends to be a presentation of a philosophy, not a rendition of observable and verifiable fact.

              Horses, even very well trained horses, occasionally forget their training. To a prey animal the world is a dangerous place and if they perceive a danger, even if that perception is wrong, instinct will take over from training and they will react. Is this "fault"? Or just being true to their nature? If you are laying, bleeding, by the side of the road do you care?

              Any horse, at any time, can have a "Monday." What we call it really isn't as important as remembering this unalterable truth.

              G.
              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

              Comment


              • #8
                Twat is a "nice" description for some of the horses I've known. Most recent example, my friends mid-level dressage horse who likes to bite and then goes bounding away like some sort of deer-princess thing when he manages to get you. His favorite "game" is to try to bite you in the ass while you try to mount him from the ground. He's only a little over 15 hands, so in theory it's perfectly doable but in practice, he'd keep stepping sideways while trying to nail you and you'd spend 20 minutes hopping around in a circle, one foot up in the stirrup with your bottom covered in bruises. He also likes to pester & bite his paddock mates and often finds himself on the receiving end of a double barrel when they can't take it anymore. He's a twat and, at 20+ years old, he's well set in his twat-ish ways.

                I think your friend has never owned a true Pony(tm).

                And to take this back to the jacket, I'd read that and assume it's a horse that's willing to kick someone/something passing too closely.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CHT View Post
                  NoSuchPerson in both your examples though, if something goes wrong, is it the horse just because the rider is a beginner? I would think it is still the human in the equation that is the one to be held responsible (whether the coach or the rider).

                  That's what I said - that in the case of beginner riders, the responsibility falls to the instructor

                  The reason I am reluctant to ever assign blame to the horse, is because it is used as a reason/excuse to punish the horse, or use stronger tack, rather than human taking accountability for reshaping the behaviour. Really, the horse would have chosen to stay in the paddock eating...the choice to be ridden or shown is not the horse's.

                  In general, I am also reluctant to blame the horse. My Mom still tells about how, as a teen, my first words to her when regaining consciousness after a fall from my mare were, "It wasn't her fault." BUT, I have encountered a few horses that were indeed "twats" and I hesitate to completely absolve them of blame. I mean, sure, you can say, "well,the rider is responsible for staying on their toes while riding a sneaky bastard who will spin out from under you the second your attention wanders," but personally, I think that's kind of unreasonable. I'm going to assign some blame to that horse for any sneak attacks.

                  That doesn't mean all horses are "faultless": obviously horses have very high fear responses, and inanimate objects can prompt true fear response, but that still doesn't mean the horse is to BLAME, it just means that the horse requires further training. However, we should take that innate fear response into account, and I think the above jacked is fair: this rider acknowledges her horse displays undesirable behaviour around other horses...but chose to write it in a humorous and concise way. This will likely help keep everyone safe, and help reduce her horse's anxiety in a group.
                  "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                  that's even remotely true."

                  Homer Simpson

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The horse may be a twat, but the rider that rides the horse it can't control, twat or not, is also a twat.

                    If you are riding a twat, don't also be a twat, train to avoid twattines.

                    Keep everyone safe, ride where two and four legged twats are not a problem for others.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think the statement is more for the non-horsey drivers than for horse people. It lends a little humor to something that otherwise may cause hard feelings or even accidents.

                      Rider) "Please pass wide and slow."

                      Driver) "I'VE GOT TO GET TO (WHEREVER)!" Then he/she thinks that just speeding past will be okay.

                      Rider) "Please pass wide and slow because my horse is a twat."

                      Driver) "Oh, your horse is like my sister's dog... Okay.."
                      Founding Member: Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                        The horse may be a twat, but the rider that rides the horse it can't control, twat or not, is also a twat.

                        If you are riding a twat, don't also be a twat, train to avoid twattines.

                        Keep everyone safe, ride where two and four legged twats are not a problem for others.
                        I'm going to have to take exception to that, Bluey.

                        I once broke 5 ribs coming off one of those "spin out from under you with no warning" horses. It was a lesson horse. One second the horse was trotting along, showing no signs of being worried about anything, nothing going on anywhere around us, the next second I was laying on the ground. I found out later that the horse had done the same thing to other people, leaving one with a broken wrist, one with a severely sprained ankle, and at least one who just never came back again for more lessons.

                        I refuse to accept that my "riding a horse I couldn't control" makes me a twat.
                        "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                        that's even remotely true."

                        Homer Simpson

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Even if it's "always the rider," the question is what rider. It's not necessarily the current rider, it may be all the other riders who encouraged the bad behavior by not disciplining the horse properly.

                          Only in films can some magical rider or trainer suddenly transform a rogue horse into a unicorn. Improve a horse's way of going over the course of a ride, sure, but not completely retrain the horse.

                          I don't see the vest as any different than a red ribbon on a horse's tail as a warning that he kicks, and thus not to get too close.
                          Check out my latest novel, Pride, Prejudice, and Personal Statements!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            .
                            Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post

                            I'm going to have to take exception to that, Bluey.

                            I once broke 5 ribs coming off one of those "spin out from under you with no warning" horses. It was a lesson horse. One second the horse was trotting along, showing no signs of being worried about anything, nothing going on anywhere around us, the next second I was laying on the ground. I found out later that the horse had done the same thing to other people, leaving one with a broken wrist, one with a severely sprained ankle, and at least one who just never came back again for more lessons.

                            I refuse to accept that my "riding a horse I couldn't control" makes me a twat.

                            I meant the post for those that do go out with unpredictable horses, not for those accidents that just happen.

                            No one would go out if we could not trust that the horses we are riding are most times dependable out there.

                            I think the wording was making light, not meant seriously, to get the attention and possibly good will of drivers passing by.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post

                              I'm going to have to take exception to that, Bluey.

                              I once broke 5 ribs coming off one of those "spin out from under you with no warning" horses. It was a lesson horse. One second the horse was trotting along, showing no signs of being worried about anything, nothing going on anywhere around us, the next second I was laying on the ground. I found out later that the horse had done the same thing to other people, leaving one with a broken wrist, one with a severely sprained ankle, and at least one who just never came back again for more lessons.

                              I refuse to accept that my "riding a horse I couldn't control" makes me a twat.
                              That comes down to the fault of the instructor putting you on the horse. Obviously this horse is in pain or overworked and had enough period. Who is listening?
                              It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                The horse may be a twat, but the rider that rides the horse it can't control, twat or not, is also a twat.

                                If you are riding a twat, don't also be a twat, train to avoid twattines.

                                Keep everyone safe, ride where two and four legged twats are not a problem for others.
                                No one ever said it better.
                                "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My trainer once said to me, after I expressed frustration with how my horse was going, "You know, only one of you can be rational."

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Huntin' Pony View Post
                                    It is always the rider's responsibility to help the horse.
                                    But there are always outside situations ….. hence the need for a sign on the back of my buggy that should say 'Dont' honk you a$$hole.'
                                    The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      #1 Couldn't you find an less obnoxious designation for your horses temperament?
                                      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I think that, legally, that is as much as admitting guilt for maybe causing an accident, if somehow the horse acts up and some of the public sharing that space gets hurt.
                                        Hard to insist, but judge, I was just teasing, what happened was an unavoidable accident, not an accident waiting to happen due to twat being involved.

                                        I would try to use some other wording, just in case there is a question if there is an accident.

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