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What exactly is a "hot" horse?

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  • Groom&Taxi
    replied
    I like @beau159's description of "hot" best (so far). To me, it's a horse that while doing fairly normal horse jobs has the tendency to get worked up to the point that the line between safe and dangerous behavior is more likely to be crossed.

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  • beau159
    replied
    To me, a "hot" horse is one that will get "worked up" when doing certain things. In general, they tend to have more energy as well.

    For example, a jumping horse that really gets prancy before a course.
    Or a barrel racing horse that really gets on the muscle before a run.
    Or a reining horse that needs to be "ridden down" before they go in the show pen.

    To me, "hot" has nothing to do with being spooky. Or being sane.

    You can certainly blow up a hot horse (and make them not sane) if you overwork or overdo it with them, but of course that's the fault of the rider and not the horse.

    One horse I have now (Dexter), I could consider him "hot" at times. He is very sensitive and very light and can get prancy (but still listens). For example, some days he will just not walk home nicely. He'll do more of a jog/jig. While I could force him to walk, sometimes it's a matter of picking your battles because I know that's just his temperment. However, most of the time he will walk along fine on a loose rein.

    He's the type of horse that would probably loose him mind if someone whipped/spurred him a lot, and would certainly lose his mind if he were over-run numerous times on speed events. He just mentally would not handle that. To me, that's what "hot" means.

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  • Sweetums Mom
    replied
    "Hot" means to me a horse that you just need to "think" and s/he does..... Love those!

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  • rockonxox
    replied
    Hot isn't necessarily spooky or nuts or anything like that. You CAN have a hot and spooky horse... but I think hot is its own individual descriptor. A hot horse, to me, is one that is always on and usually quite sensitive to their rider (for worse or for better). They have a lot of go go go to them and are absolutely not a kick ride. Hot also does not mean, necessarily, that they are strong. Many hot horses need a lighter vs heavier hand and/or seat. If you aren't a confident ride and aren't comfortable riding a horse with a good self propelled motor that can sometimes get a little strung out and needs a reminder to tone it down at times that will notice everything you do as a rider (from shifting the balance in your heels to sitting deeper with your seat etc) then don't buy a hot one!

    Honestly, if there is a particular horse you are interested in just ask the owner what their quirks are.

    Leave a comment:


  • beowulf
    replied
    It depends on who is using the term, IMHO.

    A "hot" Q/TB might not be the same as a "hot" WB.

    In my terms, I classify a hot horse as a horse that is very forward thinking and more of a mental ride.

    Too often "hot" can mean "difficult", which I think tends to have roots in physical discomfort.

    Generally, if I see "hot" in an advertisement I assume undiagnosed problem. This might not always be the case for all horses - some lines are genuinely a handful and some breeds have a bit more octane than others.. but I've looked at enough horses that had 'hot' in their advertisement to realize it's normally a key-word for something else besides basic temperament.

    But... to give you an example of how it's important to take "hot" with a grain of salt..
    I recently attempted to lease out my quiet/sane BN-N TB gelding during my surgery lay-up. I put an ad out that had 2 videos of him, both which accurately depicted how he is to ride: sensible, quiet, but needs a good and quiet hand *mentioned in the ad.

    I had a HJ trainer who wanted him for her lesson student and possible string. It sounded like the perfect match - I have always had people joke I am wasting his talent as an eventer and that he wants to be a hunter-jumper.. HJ trainer came out with her student, tried him, and he was not being his normal quiet self. I noticed she was being really handsy, and didn't love it but didn't say anything. He was tense and rushing through the aids. After a few laps where he was really tense and not settling, I notice she was riding him in long-neck spurs! I don't know how I didn't realize before, but I guess I was too preoccupied filling student in on what he was like.. anyway, she didn't even canter him. She pulled him up, got off, handed me the reins and said "this horse is way too hot to be a hunter"

    I found a 15 y/o HJer that is riding him now and doing a wonderful job with him.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scribbler
    replied
    Yes, I would also say that it is a very forward horse that wants to move, and may get snorty and prancy if denied that movement.

    But honestly like every descriptor in the horse world, "hot" can mean many things. I can see someone calling a horse "hot" as just forward and sensitive, and I can also see someone calling a horse hot that has some behavior problems as well. You honestly won't know until you go and watch the owner ride first, and then try the horse.

    Also a hot horse, especially a young one, ridden by a cautious or nervous or handsy rider, will absolutely develop behavior problems from frustration. If he can't go forward he may decide he needs to go sideways, or up in the air.

    Some riders have a calming effect on horses, but are still comfortable using minimal aids and allowing for a little zoom. Others have an exciting effect on horses (and may love to get hot horses very hot). Others may get anxious when they feel out of control and get heavy with the aids. This last category of rider should probably stay away from hot horses.

    That said, the Arabians I have seen are "hot" but they tend to express it as prancy and fancy, as opposed to the hot OTTB that want to express it by running a mile at top speed no matter what is in the way. The working QH I have seen get really hot doing their job, but then they can stand and wait for the next cue or cow, in a way that few hot Arabs or OTTB could manage. I think harness horses are bred to be hot in harness, meaning they want to do a big trot forward, but that doesn't necessarily mean spooky.

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  • 4LeafCloverFarm
    replied
    To me, "hot" is the exact opposite of a kick ride. Nothing to do with crazy or spooky.

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  • Bluey
    replied
    Originally posted by BunnyHugger View Post
    I've been doing some virtual horse shopping (I'm not in the position to get another one until late fall). I was researching Dutch Harness horses, being taken by their flashy movement in sales listings. Many people described them as very hot. That got me to thinking... what exactly is "hot"? Is it another word for "spooky"? Not sane?
    Often, ads will use "sensitive and forward" in conjunction with hot so it would seem those are two distinct characteristics. I'm interested in sensitive and forward, but not up for "crazy".
    I'm really interested in hearing others' interpretation of hot.
    A hot horse may be one with a fever, a temperature of over 102F.

    The "hot" horses I have known or ridden were considered hot because as the rider made more demands of them, they became more alert and reactive.
    Some times that is good, means a horse that will turn it on and have more energy as you go.
    Some times, when that means inconsistent performer by that extra energy being hard to channel or the horse becoming distracted or worried by the pressure, not so good.

    One example, a young reining horse just learning and as it catches on it starts anticipating and overworking, that tends to be considered a hot horse.
    In the hands of a pro, that horse really will shine, but it won't become easily an amateur or junior horse, not unless it changes as it matures and gains experience.
    Some never do, they stay very sharp, "hot" all their lives.

    Leave a comment:

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