Shriest

A Broken Mare

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Since the only real stock and trade of HorseCity and this forum is opinion, I'm going to offer my own once again.

Everyone is rightfully caught up in the safety issues surrounding this horse. A sketchy deal, a rogue of a horse with unknown history, a green but big hearted new owner with a sense of responsibility that she should not feel compelled to own, and finally a physically healthy, reasonably young horse with little prospect. What to do now?

I know many of you rather well from what we offer to others in this forum. Most of us know what a train wreck is going to look like even before it happens, metaphorically speaking. I think we no longer need to explain to the OP that she got a raw deal. Could this naive, well meaning person get hurt by attempting to turn this horse from it's likely path toward an early demise? Sure. (Even again) But honestly, why do any of us get involved with the handling and working with thousand pound animals? Those of us with experience would like nothing better than to share and to help prevent many of the mistakes that got us here in the first place. Would you, as a very individual and practiced horseperson, be who you are without having made a few mistakes along your journey? I find absolutely no fault in anyone who has suggested that this poster is in danger. The writing on the wall has already been scribed. What I desire most of all is that everyone rock back on our heels just a bit now and pause.

Is there anything new or constructive that we can offer this person? The OP is in Maine. Anyone else? Many of us are secretly thinking that if this horse was in our pasture we could do X, or Y to make a difference. Now, the wise of those, know better than to try and cast precious pearls out over the internet for casual and impersonal scrutiny, keep quiet.

Let us simply pause now and let the record stand on this issue for others to hopefully learn from. If the Original Poster has any further information this remains her thread. I do fear she has permanently signed off from it. Somehow, that seems like a shame to me.

We are here to help remember.

William (historyrider)

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Historyrider, you are right, we are here to help. But sometimes help means "step away from the horse".

I mean, this isn't something like "my horse bucks when I ask for the canter" or some thing like that. Its "my horse tries to get me off her back and succeeds".... is giving advice on how to fix that, after seeing the photo and the OP describing the horse, morally right? Or is saying that its best not to touch this one better for the safety of both horse and rider?

I don't know. I'm not capable of fixing a horse like this, so I can't offer advice and shouldn't! I'm pretty sure I'm a more experienced person than she is, and if I can't offer help, she sure shouldn't try to help this horse. So my advice is, get professional help or get out!

But I do understand what you are trying to get across. I just fear that any advice given is false hope that some over-the-internet advice will cure said animal.

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I see someone whos heart is bigger than her brain.... I wish you luck and hopefully, you don't get injured much more with this horse... I don't understand why people do this to themselves? lol it just doesn't make any sence....

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I see someone whos heart is bigger than her brain.... I wish you luck and hopefully, you don't get injured much more with this horse... I don't understand why people do this to themselves? lol it just doesn't make any sence....

Because we were all young and dumb once and thought it was all butterfly farts in our horse world.

I've hesitated to post on this thread cause my first instinct is to tell the OP to sell the mare and get a well broke horse.

I've been there done that like the OP has. My first horse was NOT a first time horse owners horse. If that mare dumped me once in the first year I had her she dumped me at least 50 times. The seller saw me coming a mile away. Years later I found out this mare had been continually drugged for the month after I bought her and kept her at the sellers barn before bringing her home.

I ended up having this mare for 15 years and put her down last fall. She had been severely abused before I got her and it showed. She hated 99% of men till the day she died. I loved that mare and vowed the day I bought her I'd never let her got through what she had gone through ever again. To do it all over, If I got another horse now that acted like she did. It would be down the road. Had I had the money to send her to a qualified trainer she might have turned out different. But years of a greenie riding her in some ways made her worse and in others better. The kvect here, I was so new to horses, I wouldn't have known a qualified trainer if they walked up and smacked me.

I don't once regret keeping this mare and thank God the worst injury I ever got from here were bruises. But in the beginning I was bit, kicked, dumped and left where I was cause she was headed for home with out me. I learned a lot from that mare. I mean A LOT, and mostly what not to do. She did make me a better rider because it was either stick with her during her rearing bucking hissy fits or I was walking home. Didn't matter where we were either. She once dumped me in the middle of a state forest. Took us 20 minutes to find her and another half hour to catch her.

Would I do it all over again. H ELL NO.... I've learned how much I don't know over the years. Once I got a second horse that was easy to ride. I rarely rode her after that. I found it was nice to be on a horse that was not a ticking time bomb. This mare, anytime we went trail riding, as in we hauled somewhere to ride, I had to take colic drugs because she would get so worked up that she would colic the first day out EVERYTIME... I was even stupid enough to breed this mare. I got lucky and she didn't pass on her itiot-ness to her offspring. But I wouldn't recommend breeding her. My mare was very well bred and had awesome conformation.

I am going to agree with most here that you either need to find a reputable trainer and send her off for 30 - 60 days and be taking lessons on a well broke horse then her as they get her going. Or be resigned to have injuries and never really have fun while you are out riding. That, or you will have a pasture ornament for life. I know this sounds nasty, but if you can't afford a good trainer now, why do you want to throw away money every month on something you can't use with out a great increase on risking your life. Riding any horse is a risk, riding one like this is taking chances to meet your maker much quicker.

I would highly impress upon you to wear a helmet ALL THE TIME, EVERY TIME YOU RIDE this horse.

Good luck with your leg.

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William I think you (and Cheri) give hands down the BEST training advice on these boards, and I do see your point, however, this poster strikes me as the "I didn't get the answer I wanted so I am going to take my ball and go home" type. Full of excuses (horse was abused :rolleye0014: - always a favorite, it doesn't like men, it was MY fault, I don't have money for a trainer, and finally "no thanks anyway but I am SURE i can do this myself).

This type of owner is a REAL PROBLEM in the horse world, I think they are responsible for many, many rank, useless, unloved and abandonded horses - all because they refuse to admit they are in over their heads.

I see them as wanting to do things on the cheap, on their own and expecting a 'black stallion' moment, but what they will end up with - I guarantee you- is a neglected, unvaccinated, un-trimmed, wormy skinny abandoned "project". How many of us drive past these horses every day. After a while, well, it gets to you.

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I'm not arguing nor disagreeing with you one bit Sarah. I feel what you are saying and share it. I get very frustrated too when I just know that what I am suggesting is going in one ear and out the other.

When so many people keep repeating the same advice nearly verbatim and it is obviously what the original poster did not want to hear, they will completely shut down. We would like to think that with so many voices crying out in harmony, a person would feel the weight of that better. I fear that isn't usually the case.

What I try and remember is that for every person who actually posts a question here in this public forum, hundreds of others are reading it and may very well be in a similair situation. Now because all this advice was not directed at them particularly, they might be more inclined to accept the suggestions. Funny how the mind works sometimes.

No one is trying to be mean in here. But many of us, based on our experiences, are trying to help others to not repeat the mistakes of a thousand budding horsemen that have come before. What else can we do? There are better ways of actually saying things of course that are a bit easier to swallow when the suggestion might be hard to take but those that post bluntly are no less accurate in their opinions.

It certainly is not my place to try and moderate a public forum and I am not trying to single out or discount any individuals desire to speak their mind. It has been my experience with human nature that the louder the chorus the less potent the message. It seems pretty clear that the key points have been made and any further bush beating will just keep scaring off the game.

William (historyrider)

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I agree with History....Most of us here are convinced that our opinions, our advice, coming from our own past experiences is good and sound advice that should be followed. However when this poster gets all these posts at once, her first reaction is to go on the defense. This is human nature....the part of your brain that says 'you should listen to what they are saying' just shuts down and you immediately want to defend your motives even becoming a little offended and hurt. All of us have in us a sense that 'I am a good and right person so I do good and right things' So if something we have done doesnt fit that profile we kind of try and justify and rationalize it in order to reduce that uncomfortable feeling we get. This(as I have poorly explained) is known as cognitive dissonance. This dissonance can come in the form of anxiety, frustration, guilt or embarrassment. The anxiety of possibly having made a wrong or bad desicion can lead to us trying to rationalize or create addtional justifications(abused horse, I knew what I was getting into, dont want to give up on this horse, cant afford training) to support our choices.

So, though many of us here have put forth some very sound, eloquent arguments, they are just that..... arguments. In order to align someone with your way of thinking, you have to go at it a different way....I could go on for days and days. But instead of listening to my stumbling over the subject matter, I suggest you pick up and invaluable read 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' Its an oldie but I find it still very relevant.

Edited by LaFormaDelCaballo

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If she were in my area, I'd be more than happy to have her come ride with me. Ride MY horses with me. And I am NOT thinking of things I could do to help this horse. The only thing I think with a horse like this is "not on my property. not in my hands. never between my legs." Ask anyone. I never try to fix problems like this. I don't want to. I refuse to risk my own safety beyond what I already do with sane horses.

I used to train for a living. I used to ride rank stupid pieces of junk horses while my own lovely minded, easy to train animals stood rotting in pasture. After ulcers and growing to hate horses, I realized that if I was to have fun with them, then I was going to have fun with them. You rarely see me on someone else's horse anymore and garaunteed not to see me on something with any issues (rearing, bucking, bolting etc.).

The OP is exactly the type of person I love to have come ride with me. They want to learn, they obviously care about the horses, and I want them to have a chance to learn the truth about horses, not just what Uncle Joe told them to do.

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I personally think the main thing that got to her was the part of "send it down the road" OP is obviously against slaughter and I guess euthenasia. I think those are the main answers she doesn't want to hear so she's blocking out the rest.

I am kind of wondering what they did when they "checked" her for soreness. If she can't send this animal to a trainer, then I dout she had any one actually do a correct check on this mare. But then again, I could be wrong.

At this point, I only wish her luck on this journey, and quick healing...

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alright Historyrider, i will give it a go. i feel uncomfortable giving advise when im not @ hand, but i will try...

first off lets address saddle fit. a lot of problems with horses stem from that. to give you an idea what its like, go to town & buy yourself the cheapest pair of shoes you can buy, then to make it even better buy a cheap pair of socks, the kind that fall apart after one washing, you know the kind, nice & thin so to make sure you feel the crappy workmanship of the shoes. now, put them on & go for a mile walk. make sure you go long enough to get calluses. then walk everyday for a week in those shoes & socks. & in some cases you can get the shoes too small, that helps! get my point yet. if you cant afford proper tack dont ride. period. you can find some real nice saddles for good prices right now, i know, ive stocked up. second get a good pad to go with the saddle.

next, stainless steel bits SUCK. its cold cheap metal. invest in a good bit, some with copper inlay. i use mostly a california snaffle, its kinda in between a d-ring and an o-ring. but until your horse has your respect, FULLY, dont even think about riding. (& have a helmet) with this horse or any horse this bad your gonna have to go back to square one. the basics. even if you think or know the horse has the basics down, do them. you will need a round pen & a lounge line. the horse needs to learn YOU control his/her feet. what ever you ask of the horse they need to do it NOW, if they dont listen-turn them around, im talking using half of the round pen, as soon as they turn around turn them the other way again, quickly, until that horse gets that you own that pen & their feet. backing up is the next huge step, any dominate horse hates to back away from the "leader" so back em up, if they delay, more pressure, & expect a faster response each time. then they will need to learn to go between you and an object, start fairly far away from an object because this kind of horse is going to want to come back ontop of you. do that until they can do so calmly & within a few feet between you and object. i also personally on my back 40 have a approx. 13'x10' & 2 feet deep horse poo pile, (edited to add the pile is not very large because they are working half on pile half off) it works wonders for those come to jeezus moments. & its always renewable. i put them on a lounge line & their legs PROPERLY wrapped. they get to do all what i just mentioned on that pile, this is after about 15-25 days of work in the round pen, by then they have down the basics & are fit enough for harder work, these sessions are not as long as the round pen work. then they get a bath & some liniment. & conditioner in mane & tail. then they stay tied for several hours where i can watch them as i work others. after an hour or so they get alittle hay & if i feel its needed some supplements for joints & muscle. i have never had a problem with shin splints, lameness or bowed tendons. you do have to know the horses limits & push them only a little ways past that. they will tell you when their 'done' for the day. then after doing that for another 15-25 days do it all over again with the saddle on. then & only then we can start talking about riding in the round pen.

i hope this helps the OP or any lurkers as to what to or where to start with a rank horse. & i almost forgot, always carry a stick, or what some call a 'carrot stick' if that horse walks infront of you too close to you or too far behind thats a nice tool to always have @ hand. if i forgot anything please feel free to add!

Edited by fastfilly79

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I see this as a person who doesn't know what she doesn't know.

You can't learn until you totally realize that you actually know nothing about horses. When a horse owner is in the stage where they *think* they know horses, they are not trainable.

This one can't read a horse. Any advice given would not be applied properly.

You can't train one if you can't read one. She has too much confidence in her non-existent abilities and probably thinks that all she needs to do is show the horse she *loves* it and all will be well.

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Exactly right, Manes. Heck, even I knew everything about training horses... until I found HC & realized I don't know squat, other than I'm VERY freakin' lucky I haven't gotten myself or my kids killed yet. The whole Love of horses, & the want to understand them & learn how to communicate with them effectively enough to get what you want them to do, & make it look pretty, is a whole 'nother Education that you don't get in Grammar School or reading Black Stallion books.

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Nice post Fastfilly and that is quite a regiment. If this horse would have somehow landed at your facility and you started work in earnest I'm quite sure there would have been no problems. This could be said for many I'm sure but the horse in question is with the O.P. I hope she returns and at least gets a glimpse of why we are all saying this is going to be a good deal of work even for an accomplished horse trainer.

I usually can relate and completely agree with ManesNtails but only half way this time. The owner who has asked for suggestions does not know what she doesn't know, agreed. We've all been there. But I do not think however that she has any confidence in her non-existent abilities. She does have heart though and perhaps she is just suffering resignation arising from her situation. She seems pretty alone in her neck of the woods but it is so hard to tell what is really going on with just a few posts and a picture. Having a big heart does tend to expose oneself to an excess of slings and arrows that a more callous or calculating person would choose to avoid. Hard to fault her compassion while she's currently on the mend.

I regret that I seem to be talking about you now in third person Shriest but as I've already discussed, these forum threads take on a life of their own and any help that anyone can offer will become part of the record. I do hope that you will benefit from this attempt as a whole and add the collective suggestions to any decision making process.

You continue to have my best wishes.

William (historyrider)

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thank you Historyrider that means alot coming from you, ive read alot of your posts & you have given loads of great advise over the years & once again a voice of reason. i agree, i hope the OP comes back & tries to learn & realize we are not meaning to be hurtful just some worried old hens that feel pretty helpless sitting behind a computer when a fellow horse lover has the chance of being seriously hurt or killed. this story has stuck with me the last few days, i had a horse not to long ago i knew was way over my head, i had raised her for the track, on her way south for a date with Paul Jones, (sorry little brag there) she had a trailer accident. still a touchy subject, well long story short her carrier ended, this horse was not meant for a back yard animal, & had little respect for me, im 5'3" shes was 15.2 as a yearling & 1500# of pure muscle & wanted nothing more then to run. anyway i met my now idol, hes names Steve, he has been handling horses since i was knee high to a grasshopper & the most patient man i have ever met. we spoke awhile & i went & watched him work, the best trainers will do that for you, let you watch, learn, & they enjoy sharing their knowledge. i went back to work with my mare & still i think she saw me more as a sibling then a leader, so i went back to Steve & he graciously took my mare, i told him to treat her as if she was his, after 30 days she was a puppy dog, i watched them together a few times, it was amazing to me. he was working cattle on her & roping it was great. she has been back with me now for several more years, she now respects me as a leader. she had her first filly three weeks ago & shes the light of my life, hopefully now this one can fulfill her mothers destiny. anyway sorry WAY off topic, but i hope this girl can find a Steve, & learn all she can. sometimes it takes saying- you know what self, you cant do it alone.- & when we stop trying to learn we fail.

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William I think you (and Cheri) give hands down the BEST training advice on these boards, and I do see your point, however, this poster strikes me as the "I didn't get the answer I wanted so I am going to take my ball and go home" type. Full of excuses (horse was abused :rolleye0014: - always a favorite, it doesn't like men, it was MY fault, I don't have money for a trainer, and finally "no thanks anyway but I am SURE i can do this myself).

This type of owner is a REAL PROBLEM in the horse world, I think they are responsible for many, many rank, useless, unloved and abandonded horses - all because they refuse to admit they are in over their heads.

I see them as wanting to do things on the cheap, on their own and expecting a 'black stallion' moment, but what they will end up with - I guarantee you- is a neglected, unvaccinated, un-trimmed, wormy skinny abandoned "project". How many of us drive past these horses every day. After a while, well, it gets to you.

I'm reading, nodding my head and see ... it's YOU again exes! [ROTFL]

Seriously, the biggest injustice we can do to a horse is not ensure it is properly trained. If it's not trainable and dangerous? Euthanasia in whatever form suits you. Not saying THIS horse needs a bullet, but just saying in general ...

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I'm reading, nodding my head and see ... it's YOU again exes! [ROTFL]

Seriously, the biggest injustice we can do to a horse is not ensure it is properly trained. If it's not trainable and dangerous? Euthanasia in whatever form suits you. Not saying THIS horse needs a bullet, but just saying in general ...

I am a mystery wrapped in an enigma! lol [Crazy]

Agreed, though, I think WAY too many people buy horses with no idea of the responsibility that comes with them.

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I am a mystery wrapped in an enigma! lol [Crazy]

Agreed, though, I think WAY too many people buy horses with no idea of the responsibility that comes with them.

Absolutely!

I've had 2 horses that were dangerous. One was incapable of not only being trained or even gentled (she was off the rez, not a BLM wild horse), but was downright dangerous as even a pasture pet eventually. She learned she could keep people out of her space by charging, teeth bared, feet striking and just ignoring a whip, stick, bucket thrown at her, etc. We chicken-feeded her before we got hurt and before she hurt someone else.

The other one was unpredictable and I think a little "off" mentally. She'd ride out OK 1-2, maybe even 3 days in a row then she would blow, no reason behind it. She liked to rear up and just stay ... UP! Or buck until she unseated a person or fell trying. 8 years ago last Sunday, she bucked me off so hard that I landed 15' on the other side of her, knocked out, bruised kidneys, bruise on my leg from my knee to my rib cage and I hurt still to this day. My husband loved that horse and said he could "fix her" so she was safe for me to ride.

I told him he could do whatever he wanted with that witch but I was NOT getting back on her. He got on her the next day and rode in the round pen. Sugar moved around the pen nice, at a walk; he asked for a trot and she bucked all the way across the pen. Didn't unseat him and he made her go around the pen for about 20-30 minutes, jogging without bucking. Was pretty pleased with himself so he took her out in the field. She went about 500 yards or so then just stopped and reared straight up. I counted to 23 before he managed to get all 4 feet back on the ground by flinging his weight forward, repeatedly. He rode the piss out of her for about another hour and she still continued to attempt to buck and rear. When she finally stopped her behavior and behaved for about 5 minutes straight, he got off, untacked her and said "We need to sell that *****" [ROTFL]

We had her vetted -- no underlying medical issues. We had her teeth checked by a dentist -- all looked good there. We checked saddle fit -- it was a nice fit. We had the chiro out and her back was fine. She was just a witch. There was no pattern to her explosions, no "triggers", like a certain place or going away from the barn, something scaring her, whatever. We sold her with full disclosure and I have no idea what happened to her later. The young girl with the child just "had to" have her because she was "pretty" (chocolate palomino, well bred AQHA); we kept in touch for a little while but then she quit emailing me back after I chastised her for putting her 3 year old child up on Sugar and she bucked while being led! She laughed about it; I wasn't amused.

Not every horse is WORTH saving, or retraining, or rehabilitating. Heck, not every HUMAN is worth it sometimes! [ROTFL]

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Agreed exes. Especially now, when horses are a dime a dozen and you can get nice ones for next to nothing, something's gotta give. And those rank horses just aren't worth it.

I feel terrible that i returned my rank mare to the rescue after 2 years of trying to rehab this mare (way too long but like the poster I thought I could help her) and finally realized that this horse was a liability to me and returned her and repeatedly asking them for help (and getting NONE) and them insisting that she was fine.

After I returned her? They must have evaluated her and discovered the same thing because she's now listed on their pasture/companion horses.

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"We need to sell that *****" [ROTFL]

That cracked me up too! Hey, he can never say that he didn't try. Holy Cow! I'd like to meet you and your husband one day and share that story again. I see in him a stubborn man with strong convictions and confidence. I like him already but as your story demonstrates so well, that even under really talented and loving handling, some horse are not worth fixing. Whew. What a ride!

William (historyrider)

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Andi, I had to laugh about that pretty horse you guys sold that the folks just had to have. That could very well have been me years back. Now mind you, my downfall had always been I'am a sucker for a bulked up good looking halter type most of the time. The most expensive horse I ever owned was by far the worst horse I ever owned. To make matters worse , I even disregarded advice from someone that forgot more than I would ever know about horses, to not buy her. Oh no I just knew I had me a jam up halter horse that would win. This mare was one that would come apart at nothing. Trimming her one day he would go to sleep, the next week it was like you had never trimmed her in her life. You could never build on any training as you were always starting over. Riding was a nightmare and I had a professional start her. I however, got attached and could not sell her. I didn't dare breed her and she was a fixture in our pasture for many years until her death.

She did make me appreciate a good horse when I found one that I loved to work with and be around. Even the horses I had as a kid I did not realize were not really well trained, but kids go on a wing and a prayer. I rode but at least they were not crazy.So, this crazy mare taught me alot and one thing that is a huge factor in a good horse is what is between the ears and a willing attitude. I guess we all had to kiss a frog to meet our prince.

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These stories make me appreciate the heck outta my little filly. I'm not an expert trainer by FAR but I've had the right help and guidence and she has a SOUND mind and the willingness to learn that makes me proud. It makes me even more proud when a friend comes over and rides her and says it's scary how well she behaves for a 2yo =]

This lady is missing out on so much GREAT information and advise. I feel sorry for her..

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That's the way it should be Brandee. You can't get (ride) a motorcycle without getting a license first and taking lessons and a machine doesn't have mind of it's own. Anyone with a fence can bring home a horse. Riding and working with horses is suppose to be fun. Of course there are elements about it that are work but if you don't know what motivates a horse, what their basic physical and MENTAL needs are, and how to correct and handle poor behavior, there is great risk associated with thousand pound animals.

I'm still hoping we haven't lost you Shriest. I recall that you already have a steady horse and have been deceived in this latest aquisition. We all continue to hope for the best for you and this new horse. Sometimes the head should over ride the heart but you will do what you feel you must.

William (historyrider)

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Oh, Historyrider, you just said something about motorcycles that sounds so much like what a friend of ours is always ribbbing me about them . He is always telling how dangerous and crazy us horse folks are to be messing with these big animals. He of course has this big Harley type cycle. Well I asked him one day, "you think we are crazy , but your riding something that has gasoline and it's between your legs?" Don't think us be the crazies if you know what I mean. Besides not sure how alot of these bikers passed their test the way they ride around here!LOL.

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Oh, Historyrider, you just said something about motorcycles that sounds so much like what a friend of ours is always ribbbing me about them . He is always telling how dangerous and crazy us horse folks are to be messing with these big animals. He of course has this big Harley type cycle. Well I asked him one day, "you think we are crazy , but your riding something that has gasoline and it's between your legs?" Don't think us be the crazies if you know what I mean. Besides not sure how alot of these bikers passed their test the way they ride around here!LOL.

I had to go to a cycle shop to get the tires ordered for my jog cart. One big biker came up and asked me what kinda bike I rode. I said; "Four-legged".

[Question] " Wait~!! That's not even a bike, if it's four-legged. I wouldn't be caught dead riding that~!!"

I said; "NO, it's a horse. Way harder to ride than a bike.

AND,

It doesn't need a kick-stand to keep it from falling over when you park it. [Crazy]

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Yea, I enjoy bikes and all but I deffinately prefer horses. I personally think they are cheaper than a bikem insurance wise =P

My bf doesn't like horses because whats between the eyes. But thats ok, lol.

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God Bless you in dealing with a horse that was not trained right in the first place. Just hope you don't get a broken neck dealing with a horse that should be used as a companion animal only. This horse needs more than you can provide for her. It time to just let go and move on to another horse that fits your experience level. This one is way over your head. Not being mean just honest and hope you can see the reality of dealing with an unsafe horse.

Good Luck,

~MH

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Ahhh. But with practice and good feel, as long as you are doing your part and paying attention to the focus of said animal under you, you will know it's coming before it happens. Can't say that about a motor bike when it gets ready to loose a wheel or blow a gasket. The "trick" if you will, about working and riding on another living thing is that you have to listen as well as tell. There has to be harmony, understanding, and a shared respect. Sure we need our horses to respect us and everyone talks about that. But if you don't respect and listen to the thousand pound animals you are sitting on, your are destined to eat dirt.

William (historyrider)

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