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Best Horse You Ever Got to Ride?

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  • Best Horse You Ever Got to Ride?

    Kinda like that TV show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, what is the best horse you ever got the chance to ride?

    Personally, 10 years ago I got the chance to ride an ex Grand Prix horse that was still solid over 4'6. My friend and I went to take a lesson with a certain drug addicted trainer (prior to him being shipped off to rehab) and he actually let us ride the two nicest horses in his barn! Post rehab I wonder if he would have done it again... Anyway prior to that lesson I had jumped 4' only a few times and it had been a couple of years prior. He jacked all the jumps up to 4'-4'6 and it's definitely a lesson I'll never forget

  • #2
    I got to gallop a former World Champion QH racehorse once. And I got to warm up my former trainers upper level event horses, one that he got long listed for the Olympic team on. But the funnest was riding a former World Champion speed TWH...vrooooooom!


    • #3
      Tempi the PSG schoolmaster (dressage). It was AWESOME. I couldn't ride him for weeks -I mean, my balance was hunter, my aids were hunter so I was just too loud, too confusing. I swear if he could speak he'd have said something like, "Okay, I have no idea what you want so let's do this alphabetically. Canter? No? Passage? No? Piaffe? No? Okay, I got nothing."

      But then under the tutelage of my (for the summer) BNT I finally got it. It was amazing. He was so athletic and forward and balanced and smart and steady and sane. It was outstanding. He made me a much better rider!

      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


      • #4
        The yard I was at as a working student used retired upper level horses as lesson horses so I also rode several retired GP jumpers and Intermediate/Advanced eventers. Those were a BLAST! My absolute favorite was a former Intermediate horse that I got to jump-- he was so much fun and had the best brain for teaching people. We all adored him. I also rode a few PSG-GP level dressage horses and found them very challenging. I had a hard time finding the right buttons, not helped by my complete lack of interest in dressage.


        • #5
          He was no Worldbeater, but I have to vote for my own Vernon.

          OTTB who never got to race at a paramutual track, but he never refused to try anything I asked in the 20+ years I had him.

          Started when I got him as a 6yo very green Hunter.
          Racked up the Champion rosettes for the next 4 years, then we switched to dressage where we were schooling 3rd Level when I quit training with any serious dedication.
          He probably would have topped out there anyhow, but he sure had Try!

          On to Eventing where we showed BNH but schooled to Training.
          At a Ralph Hill clinic, Ralph compared him to a Ferrari

          In between we rode trails, played with barrels (Vern loffed that final race for Home) & pole-bending & loafed around bareback.
          He gave ponyrides to my wannabe rider friends, shared me with DH until he got his own horse & just generally proved he was worth his weight in gold.

          I knew I had a gem early on when local BN(H/J)T offered me $45K - this back in the early 90s.
          But I made the right choice and enjoyed him for many more years.

          RIP, Vern - you set the bar pretty high
          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


          • #6
            I got to sit on my coach's **** eventer Anthony Patch That was SUPER cool. He trotted me out of the tack initially because he has so much push from behind.

            I've also ridden several of her Intermediate and Prelim horses. It's so much fun sitting on a really educated horse!


            • #7
              Heh - you guys have all of these fantastic show horses and such, but the best horse I ever rode was a simple twelve year old Morgan (Lippitt) gelding who helped me overcome my severe fear of riding after a particularly awful riding accident. He was kind, intelligent, patient, and smooth.
              If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
              DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
              Originally posted by talkofthetown
              As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.


              • #8
                My little grade mare. Best. horse. ever. dosn't do much of anything special but I like her more than any fancy horse I have ever ridden!


                • #9
                  I got to ride a couple of really nice 5-gaited and 3-gaited show horses at trainers barn while in grad school in KY. Yeah...was nearly trotted out of the tack at first also (and this is when I was young and more fit!)...had to have guidance to find the right 'buttons' too. But good gosh was it a RUSH! So much Power! I think the big difference with higher level horses of almost any discipline is the POWER combined with the fine-tuned controls... fun, Fun, FUN!
                  "A good horse is worth more than riches."
                  - Spanish Proverb


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
                    RIP, Vern - you set the bar pretty high

                    Mine's no worldbeater, either. In fact, he's just a used up, neglected, aging track horse that didn't have a home. He's got that big, powerful trot followed by an easy, lofty canter and one heck of a gallop (and a jump, it turns out). Years later and I still can't wipe that big, cheesy grin off my face every time I climb aboard.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post

                      Mine's no worldbeater, either. In fact, he's just a used up, neglected, aging track horse that didn't have a home. He's got that big, powerful trot followed by an easy, lofty canter and one heck of a gallop (and a jump, it turns out). Years later and I still can't wipe that big, cheesy grin off my face every time I climb aboard.
                      Good on ya for loving him!


                      • #12
                        I got to ride Peppy San when he was an old man. He was standing at Carol and Matlock Rose's ranch and my parents had a couple of horses in training. I was in my early 20s and thought I was pretty hot stuff. I managed to hang on fairly well through the first couple of turns, but was on a pretty quick cow. This old man turned back to the left so damn fast that he left me in the dirt. Totally humiliating in front of Matlock and a whole host of turnback people and customers that were there that day to watch their horses go.

                        I always thought it was Matlock's way of showing me that my being a great rider was entirely in my head. Hard lesson, but one I've kept with me my entire riding career. Old cowboys don't think much of anyone who gets a bit too big for their britches!


                        • #13
                          Go Fish - that is just the best post. We used to see Peppy San quite frequently
                          up here - I'd never seen cutting before and he blew my socks off. We knew his owners and did meet Matlock Rose. I, for sure, would never ride that horse or I would be in the dirt, too.

                          Dynasty was another one who we'll never forget - he did a demo with Cindy at the International lhorse Show in Vancouver. The black horse, under a spotlight, with the music was magical. As we were leaving this old cowboy dude said, "Gee, I've never seen a horse that well broke before!" Guess he did not know dressage!

                          I guess riding my own horses are the best horses - we just know each other's zigs and zags and are comfortable with each other.
                          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                          • #14
                            When I was horse shopping I went to a Big Fancy Dressage Barn to try a little bay mare. She didn't suit, but since I was there they brought out another sale horse who was way beyond my budget. I told them that, but I guess the trainer figured it never hurts to try. I forget what level he was trained to, but I got to attempt some tempi changes across the diagonal, which was FUN! I haven't sat on anything with that much power before or since.

                            I did make a note of the saddle I was using and promptly bought one when I finally found a horse to buy. Patrick and the Albion are still here.
                            ... and Patrick


                            • #15
                              I never knew his registered name, but my then trainer's stallion QH "Diablo" is definitely my answer. That horse was reining bred and trained to the hilt, and boy could he move. He was pure beauty just standing around with his nose down and one hind leg cocked. My trainer was always on a horse in our group lessons and would often trade horses with us. That day he was on Diablo and rode up beside me, and said "switch."

                              Man, what an awesome horse!

                              But...to be honest, while it was a great day and an unforgettable ride, I'd hands down choose my mare over any other horse. Sure, she's not perfect, but she's perfect for me!
                              “Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.” ~Emerson


                              • #16
                                The best horse I ever rode was an old friend's TWH gelding. After a long break from riding due to having a child and 5 surgeries, I discovered I lost confidence. That feeling killed me.

                                I met this friend on a local internet horse message board, discovered we lived only 10 minutes apart, and we grew a friendship. She had two amazing TWHs. I will NEVER forget the day she had me get a babysitter and said we were going riding. We went to this local horse park full of beautiful trails, and we rode all day. I was so sore when I was done....but no one could take that smile off my face. Her gelding and I just clicked. I trusted him with everything. I later free-boarded him just to get to ride him. I love that old man with everything I have. She moved away and I haven't seen him in years. But I still think about him. Often daily. Several months after he left, I found a horseshoe in the barn...it was one of his old shoes. I've saved it, to remember him by, and all the smiles he put on my face. I rode him often. He was my soulmate. And he woke up a spark in me that had died. I have not ridden another horse since...and this was probably 4 years ago. I need to find that soulmate of my own someday, and when I do, I'm sure it will be a walker.

                                Angie from Verona, Wisconsin www.glacierridge.com

                                Owned by a grulla QH, 2 Fjords, and two mini geldings. RIP Kissy. Friend for 26 years...


                                • #17
                                  The first awesome horse I ever rode was my first employers psg horse. I would take him out for light hacks and he was just awesome. He really taught me what seat bones should be where for what to happen. Also taught me what real contact felt like. I loved doing tempis and passage on him!

                                  Next two best horses were my old ancient polo ponies. I played polocrosse and bought each of them for next to nothing. They weren't good enough for high goal polo anymore. They were the best trained horses I have had. It was fun to put people that knew how to ride on them and see how long they could stay on when asked to stop and turn. They also had power steering - they just followed the ball!
                                  Last edited by jconnors; Jul. 27, 2012, 03:30 PM. Reason: spelling


                                  • #18
                                    I'm afraid some may cry corny but it was my 2 horses. My first because he was big and gorgeous and an amazing mover-the kind others coveted and made offers for-and I got him for cheeep.
                                    My second horse was a kind, sane, sound, GP horse. He didn't float like no.1, but you could hack him to a show, earn your silver and gold scores, and hack home. Bareback.


                                    • #19
                                      "Best" horse I've had the fortune to ride was a Hano gelding that had taken his riders to USEF medal finals, Devon, etc. I was very surprised to find that he wasn't nearly as complicated as I anticipated him to be - the biggest difficulty was him cracking his back over jumps (he'd break at the poll without lifting his back - too much time spent in draw reins, according to BNT).

                                      My all-time favourite horse, though, was a Spotted Saddle Horse that had been donated to the local university. I trained him for a class and he was a total wack-job. He had been trained using NH, and you couldn't lift your hand without him flipping out - he obviously had trust issues, and wouldn't let anyone catch him in the field. One of my friends joked that every time she came out to watch, my horse and I were just standing at opposite ends of the lead rope lol!

                                      By the end of the semester, I was opening umbrellas on his back. He was incredibly intelligent, and even memorized our demo that we had to perform. He was bought by a man who sold him a year later after the horse apparently spooked and broke the man's leg. Now he belongs to a student of my former instructor, and I hear they are a match made in heaven.


                                      • #20
                                        I was very fortunate to be a working student for a event trainer growing up. She was out of a facility that had top barns for not just eventing, but dressage and jumpers as well. I was lucky to be asked to hack some of the amazing imported dressage horses for the neighboring trainer (oh to be able to ride a horse with THAT movement – swoon). And gallop sets on some of the fantastic GP jumpers for the other neighbor.

                                        I was also allowed to ride my trainer’s advanced horses – in lessons, including jumping – that was great!

                                        But the best – was a semi retired advanced level eventer (he had done the Pan Am games) that came to live with me. I was able to call him my own for a few years – he taught me a ton. What a GREAT jump feels like. How to get there just right (he didn’t put up with bad riding – but when you rode well – wowza!)
                                        APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman