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Do you ever trust your horse too much?

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  • #21
    I do my best to pay attention to what I'm doing, but I can definitely get overly trusting around horses I know well. I think the best (or worst? ) example is me moving around the horse when I've got one I trust crosstied....I should walk under the cross ties, around his face, and back under the other one...but it's so much simpler to just walk under his neck. I am also guilty of standing right behind the horse while cleaning/braiding/whatever a tail. I've also gotten down on my knees when trying to clean or identify a weird spot on a hoof/fetlock, but I do my best to catch myself before doing that now...I do value my life, believe it or not!

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    • #22
      I most definitely do this with my older two... It's been very interesting getting my yearling as a result. I haven't owned/worked around a super young horse in quite a long time and I really had to retrain my brain to be actively aware of every movement he makes. It's not that I am careless at all with the other two, I just don't have to be *as* on guard with them. I think it's been very good for me, I'm probably much safer all around now that I've been put back on my toes a bit!

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      • #23
        I was very trusting of my old mare. Once at a show the judge was trying to decide 'best adult riding club mount'. She asked us to sit under our horses, so me and a few others did I had no qualms about it at all... I'd done similar stupid stuff at home. Came away with a first
        I got out of the ring and told my kids that if a judge ever asked them to do that they were to decline

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        • #24
          My OTTB is used to picking up all four feet from his left side, which they do at the track. He also picks up his right feet from his right side like a normal horse. However. Sometimes mom is lazy and picks his feet from the left and then leans across to brush the mud off as well. There are several times I've thought, he could really get me here, but I still finish up.

          A couple weeks ago I was doing topline stretches where you poke their belly. He was not happy and I was standing in the kick zone. Luckily he didn't get me too bad but a couple inches south and he could have done damage to my knee. I owned up to being in the wrong place.

          I also am coming back from a month of no riding with a back injury. Well he also just had corrective shoes put on. After a quick free lunge to check his progress I hopped on bareback with a halter and lead. I figured that if he wanted me off a saddle wasn't going to make a difference. Luckily he was very well behaved but that was not a smart idea.

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          • #25
            Yes. I am extremely cautious about every other horse, but I do get a little lax with my own horse sometimes--walking him back to his stall without a lead rope is probably my worst offense, but he just plods along with his head at my shoulder and has such good manners that I sometimes don't bother. I still do try to not do anything particularly life-threatening, but I think everyone lets things slide sometimes with the horses they trust most.

            A friend of mine lost a friend of his after he was bridling his super-quiet, trustworthy, bombproof cow horse. He was standing in front of the horse, the horse got bit by a fly and popped his head up, and his nose hit the guy in the head hard enough that he had significant brain damage and died shortly after. So even though I may be overly trusting with my horse sometimes, there are certain things I still make myself be cautious about.
            "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

            Graphite/Pastel Portraits

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            • #26
              I trust Nanny Pony too much. Nothing else to do.
              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
              ---
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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              • Original Poster

                #27
                Originally posted by Dreamwalker View Post
                I was very trusting of my old mare. Once at a show the judge was trying to decide 'best adult riding club mount'. She asked us to sit under our horses, so me and a few others did I had no qualms about it at all... I'd done similar stupid stuff at home. Came away with a first
                I got out of the ring and told my kids that if a judge ever asked them to do that they were to decline


                See, that I would never be able to do! Maybe the judge was smoking a little something before the class??
                Barn rat for life

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Dreamwalker View Post
                  I was very trusting of my old mare. Once at a show the judge was trying to decide 'best adult riding club mount'. She asked us to sit under our horses, so me and a few others did I had no qualms about it at all... I'd done similar stupid stuff at home. Came away with a first
                  I've ended up under my mare by accident a couple of times, and she is just SO good about keeping still until I extricate myself. This has not happened in fly season, though.

                  I am sure I over-trust her, after almost 5 years, because I know her "buttons" and avoid them (e.g. do NOT get behind her when she's eating her grain, because she kicks like a MF), and she's well-behaved to start with. We didn't have a great start as she was way hotter than I was expecting, but her ground manners have always been good.

                  I *never* would have believed that I would end up trail riding her alone but now those are some of our best times together. She's still super vigilant and looky but I know her spook (violent, often involves spinning and getting airborne, but over with very quickly) well enough to sit it. And as long as I keep her nose pointed at whatever is bothering her, she will go over/through/past it eventually.
                  You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                  1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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                  • #29
                    I've done it. Have taken a knee to the face/temple several times as a result. Not because my horse is being mean, but sometimes he simply bends his knee a bit to shift his weight or has a fly on him, and I'm the idiot with my head where it should not be.

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                    • #30
                      Here's how I look at it. The horses I work with, whether personal, lesson or show horses, need to be tolerant and exhibit good manners. They won't always be handled perfectly or by the same person. So they need to be used to me or someone else standing above them, behind them, under them, between their legs, hanging off them, etc. while doing a multitude of tasks.

                      That is not to say that I am super trusting of every horse I handle. I need to know if the horse has any "hot buttons", their warning signs, and that I can reasonably control them with my voice or a lead rope before I start putting myself in compromising positions. Unless it is a horse I have worked with forever and a day and know them inside and out as extremely trustworthy, I don't let my guard down and am pretty in tune to their body language.

                      So, yes, I am guilty of trusting the horses I work with too much. and fortunately, I have had nothing more than a few bumps and maybe a poop ball or two along the way as a reminder to pay better attention.

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                      • #31
                        This is almost funny. I pawned my old, would-like-to-kill-you horse on my mother when they both retired. Nobody trusts her. Well, to put it correctly, we all trust the mare to do the most obnoxious, self-serving thing possible. Now Mom gets the nice horse & is half way freaked out by handling a horse with, gasp, manners.

                        All that said, the old man who breaks horses there, routinely does asinine things with the horses he breaks on purpose, especially his. I've seen him duck underneath 16-17h horses many times. Not so much with the smaller horses and ponies since there just isn't enough room. They are expected to stand there and they do. Stand means stand. He doesn't do it as much now since he isn't as flexible he used to be.

                        I think I hear Fine Already's eyes bleeding somewhere.
                        Visit my Spoonflower shop

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Dreamwalker View Post
                          I was very trusting of my old mare. Once at a show the judge was trying to decide 'best adult riding club mount'. She asked us to sit under our horses, so me and a few others did I had no qualms about it at all... I'd done similar stupid stuff at home. Came away with a first
                          I got out of the ring and told my kids that if a judge ever asked them to do that they were to decline
                          YIKES! Can't believe a judge would be stupid enough to ask that.

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                          • #33
                            I was thinking about this topic the other night- my horse's stall is right next to the arena in a closed area. As in, if he escaped from the arena, there's no other place he could go but his own stall. As such, I've gotten in the super-lazy habit of just opening the gate and walking him to his stall. So there's #1.
                            Well, on this particular night, I had thrown him his hay, so the doof half-way enters his stall, and starts munching on his hay with his butt hanging out in the aisleway. There's #2.
                            He's standing angled in the doorway of his stall, so I can't wiggle around him to pull him into the stall, so guess how I encouraged him to move forward. Just guess. #3-5.
                            Then, as he's standing there munching his hay, I pick his feet, despite the fact that he's not tied up, because he's better about me doing his feet when he's not paying attention to the fact that I'm doing his feet. Specifically when he's eating. #6.

                            So there's 6 transgressions against the code of safety in a single 5 minute period. I wouldn't say that I necessarily "trust" him too much- I'm definitely aware and cautious as I do these stupid things- but I also know what gets a reaction out of him.

                            So far, he's only gotten the best of me once- I was hunched over, removing bot eggs from his leg (and if anyone knows a position to do this that doesn't involve contortion and squinting, I'm happy to hear it), and he raised his leg to stomp at a fly. He got my chin in the process, and I fully admitted it was my fault!

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                            • #34
                              I know I did a LOT of stuff as a kid without even thinking about it being dangerous that today I wouldn't do.

                              I was putting hoof boots on my mare, first time. I was trying to adjust them and I had my face right in front of her knee. Well, she thought she'd be helpful and pick her foot up. LOL Ouch, got me right in the face.

                              She'll usually put up with a lot, but she's been on stall rest for two months and has a baaaad case of cabin fever, so I'm using kid gloves on her. Surgery is next week, thank goodness.

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                Sometimes I even tell my husband (who is a horse neophyte, but learning) "see what I'm doing right here? THIS IS STUPID. Don't do this."

                                I've said EXACTLY the same thing.

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                                • #36
                                  I've always had horses that I trusted since I was 10 yoa. Having tripped and fallen down under them, I have to have horses who take care of me.
                                  Now Cloudy is nippy and has some issues, mostly from his thinking he is still a stallion and my encouraging his belief in that, but he has literally thrown himself to the side multiple times to avoid stepping on me or running me down.
                                  I do have to be careful when handling other people's horses because I've always had horses who wouldn't hurt me.

                                  And my horses around kids, well......Cloudy has always let kids climb all over him, something which I don't encourage. And he's good with drunks and crazy adults(some certifiably crazy) and anyone with a handicap. He only nips "normal" women. One cother sent her sister with aspergers (did I spell that correctly?) out to play with Cloudy while she worked in the barn alone.

                                  Hattie is not as careful as Callie was, so I have to watch out that she doesn't hit me with her little pointy head. Otherwise, she is fine.

                                  My 2nd horse walked around with my hand in his mouth while he cracked my knuckles. All the others have spit out my fingers when I was feeding things to them. Thank God they don't eat meat!

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                                  • #37
                                    My horses have always been super careful around me on the ground (except for when I first got the mare and she spooked and jumped into me once). I do take some liberties (feed treats with my fingers, let my mare put her head on my shoulder while I scratch her face and ears) but I have to keep reminding myself that they are still horses and an accident could happen and they could whack me and kill me with that big head of theirs, never meaning to.

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                                    • #38
                                      Guilty. A lot of what was said I know I've done (or something similar). Most common fault: hugging my gelding's face (he likes to put his face in my chest) and letting him "hug" me while I scratch his withers and crest. It occurs to me that he can throw his head up at anytime and I realize I trust him too much. Would I go up to any other horse and do the same? No. But I do agree that there are many times where I realize I've given him more leeway than I should have.

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                                      • #39
                                        I've been riding my current horse for 8 years and have had him since he was born. He's a mouthy, busy little bee, so when I'm tacking him up and he's being really obnoxious, sometimes I grab his nose and blow raspberries on it just to mess with him. Would I EVER do that with another horse? Hell, no.

                                        I also reach under his belly and legs to do up his blanket, stand behind him to give him a good tail scratch and probably a hundred other things that aren't "safe." But then define what's 100% safe when handling a 1,000# beast with the flight tendencies of a rabbit.

                                        I do keep an eye out for the occasional wild hair. He gets 'em. But overall, I treat him like a broke horse that has a good dose of common sense. So, yes, I trust him "too much."
                                        __________________________
                                        "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                        the best day in ten years,
                                        you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

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                                        • #40
                                          The ones I trust would go out of their way NOT to run into me if something spooked them. The one I trust the most is kind of spooky (I think she LIKES to spook) but I have seen her accordion (can that be a verb?) into a reallycompacthorse when she realizes that I'm on the other side of the current spook. I have smaller and calmer horses that don't think of me as a deterrent -- I'm a soft squishy obstacle that can be overcome. I think it depends on where they are in the herd hierarchy. The ones I worry the most about are the ones that are low in the hierarchy. They are more worried about what their herdmate might do than about what *I* might do. Sadly, I am not seen as their alpha mare! But the ones higher up the chain of command know better and have less fear.

                                          That big spooky gem of a mare? I'd climb all over and under her (and in the past I have). I used to sit cross-legged in her stall when she was recovering from purpura and was otherwise isolated. One time I was reading and she wanted love'n'attention so she came over and put her hoof on my knee. With all the downward pressure of... a feather. She is half-draft and has feet the size of luncheon plates. It was a surprise!
                                          Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
                                          Starman

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