Early Days

Equestrian Journey Blog Hop: What will you NOT do?

From Equestrian Journey:

We all like to share on our blogs what we do with our horses and what we would like to do, but I want to know what you will NOT do. For example I will not carry a bag of feed into the middle of a herd of horses, especially if I don’t know some of them. I will not teach my horse to rear on purpose. I will not ride my horse into a field full of loose horses that could kick me in the leg and break it. Things like that. I look forward to hearing what you have to share!

This is one of the interesting, rare instances where I’m sure I’ll be going against the grain. I have and will do things that I know other horse people choose not to.

First – what I will NOT do.

I will not ride unbroke horses. Been there, done that. At this point in my life I prefer horses with at least a modicum of foundation.

Levi’s 1st ride.
I’m okay with not being the “crash test dummy!”

I will not tolerate bad ground manners. It’s dangerous and simply unacceptable.

I will not buy the latest trendy horse item. I’m too stingy and I don’t like fads.

I will not be closed-minded to others’ suggestions or approaches. I’ll listen to my gut above all else, but there’s a lot to learn from others if you take the time to sift for the gold nuggets of wisdom.

I will not ride without a helmet.

Helmet? Check!

I will not mount from the ground, unless there truly is no other option.

I will not give up or bow out when I’m at a competition. With the singular exception of concern for my horse’s safety, I’ll press through any obstacle or bad day.

Now – what I WILL do that others don’t (and why).

I will (try) to teach my horse to rear on command. I’ve been working on it a bit lately, in fact. I believe that training is a way to safely address and control a behavior that could be dangerous.

I have ridden horses among herds of loose horses. I have walked among herds of horses while holding feed. I am confident in my ability to be a “lead mare” and use body language to protect my space and safely be among them, whether on the ground or mounted.  In fact, one of the most exhilarating moments of my life was riding a horse and galloping with the herd at night along trails lit only by moonlight! Bareback in a halter, in fact! I felt like I was one with the herd.

Riding Miss Paint with the herd.
Her boyfriends Reno (left) and Snow (right)
liked to come with us on ocean-view trail rides.

I will mount and dismount from the wrong side occasionally. I will tack up from the wrong side. I’ll pick hooves in the wrong order. I think horses need to be okay with all this.

I insist that my english horse know how to neck rein, open gates, do trail class obstacles, carry packs, etc. All these make for a well-rounded horse and a confident horse-person.

I will canter my horse when headed home on trails. I have enough confidence in my riding skills and my horse’s training that I will not have a runaway horse situation.

Cantering home on trail!

I will ride through problems that others would avoid. I rode a horse that reared when passing by a tractor headed towards the arena. One person suggested that I lead the horse to the arena and mount there – but that was not addressing the issue, that was avoiding it. So with a trainer’s help, we overcame that problem where it was happening.

Join the Blog Hop!  Head to Equestrian Journey and click “Add Your Link’ at the bottom!

9 comments on “Equestrian Journey Blog Hop: What will you NOT do?

  1. Ooo, good hop! I will not teach my horse to rear. I agree with a lot of your 'will not's!

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  2. I like this hop! I agree with a lot of your will nots. :) I don't like running them home, but I've done it a few times and I feel like, if I had a situation occur that I had to ride fast back home during an emergency or something, I could do it without worrying. It's nice to know that your horse is level-headed enough!

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  3. nice! i agree with quite a few of your points! the best trails and hills we have for cantering/galloping head straight for the barn and i just love it :) and i honestly did not know there was a correct order to picking feet. (however, i can't claim to not buy trendy faddish items… lol)

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  4. Fun hop! Horses need to be okay with people doing things “wrong.” Also teaching them the western things that you mentioned are great especially because western horses become more steady that way. Not that all western horses are completely steady, or that all English horse aren't, but I've noticed that western horses seem not to freak out at a lot of things. It's so cool you rode bareback and in a halter in the middle of the night with a bunch of horses around.

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  5. I think I'd have to disagree about the whole rearing thing… My mare came from a situation where she reared to get out of work and I don't think that teaching her to rear would have solved the problem or controlled it. She's a sassy, opinionated red-head and nothing will change her mind when she WANTS to rear, it's more about redirecting the “energy”.

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  6. Thanks for joining the hop! I really enjoyed reading your answers. :D I had to giggle about your crash test dummy one because I'm feeling that way too lately!! Chrome has been an angel to start under saddle, but it is a little stressful. Also that sounds so cool galloping in a herd of horses. I probably wouldn't have had a second thought about it years ago, but now I'm just too cautious (maybe overly cautious) and all I would be able to think about is if one of the horses decided to kick playfully at my horse I could end up with a broken leg. I don't like pain, so it makes me a bit of a chicken. That sounds like a lot of fun though. :D Oh and I totally agree with the doing everything from the wrong side and wrong order thing too. I think that's a great thing to do with horses. I also love that you teach yours to neck rein!! My dressage friends have told me not to teach Chrome to neck rein, but I will because it can be so useful in so many situations (like when I carry huge boxes up from the mail box while riding hehe, not easy when both hands have to be on the reins). :)

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  7. There's not much that I WON'T do. I want my horses to be pretty desensitized to weird stuff. I regularly tack, untack, mount, and dismount from the “wrong” side. I ride on pavement, I gallop in open fields … towards home. Endurance riding teaches you a lot about turning “won't”s into “have to”s.

    My “won't”s involve stuff that is definitely dangerous: riding without a helmet, stabling my horse with broken boards/dangerous objects, or taking a lame or sick horse to a show/clinic.

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  8. Amen to the ground manners!

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