I have been a horse person for most of my life, and I have noticed that people do not like to admit that they don't know anything about them. I have had people ask me to ride my horse and when I ask them if they know how to ride, and if they have ever been thrown,they always say yes they know how to ride very well, and they have never been thrown. Anyone who has never been thrown, has not spent much time on top of one, and that is on the serious side. I have been thrown so many times that I cannot even attempt a count. I have had every toe broken from them standing on my feet, and I have been kicked in the mouth, in the shin, and so on. You cannot spend time around horses without getting injured. They are very big and they play rough. The only safe horse is...OH, wait a minute, one does not exist. They will hurt you on accident without even being aware of it. Like when they stand on your feet, they dont know it.
Before anyone attempts to buy a horse, it is important to learn some basics. Like what they eat, how much they eat. How and what kind of saddle you want, how to clean feet, if you should brush their teeth?(just kidding!!)
You also want to learn what to look for as far as them being sound, like do they gait right, do they have a narrow or a wide chest, do they clip? All these things are extremely important. Get a book and ask a question. Know what you do.
i love horses. someday i would like to keep a horse or two. but i would make sure i learned all that i can about them before i ever considered bringing one home. they are a complicated animal, no doubt. i adopted a bunny from the rabbit rescue and they are creatures with their own set of complex protocols and communications, and strange maladies etc. and not just some creature you stick in a hutch outside and throw carrots to every once in a while. part of responsible pet ownership is knowing your animal before you bring it to its "Forever Home". great post!
Love it. Too many people have horses and are too lazy to learn the proper way to care for them. So many are too proud to ask for help.
How right you are.
Horses are not always easy - my great granfather, a man who had been around horses all his life, was kicked in the head by one, which is what killed him.
You're wrong about ALL horses being dangerous. I've spent most of my life around them and only know one person who was ever thrown from a horse.
My aunt and uncle had three horses for about 12 years. Each of the horses were ridden every day. No one was ever thrown until the adult female, Sonya, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The brain tumor caused her personality to change and she became very violent.
My friend had 4 horses, one died two weeks ago, for about 8 years. They are also ridden every day and he has never been thrown or injured by them.
I ride horses a lot at my friend's house during the summer, nearly every day. I DO ride very well and I have never been thrown. This is because I took the time to learn the horse's boundaries and I respect them.
I have to say something here. Your history of coming off a horse whether because it bucked and threw you off or if something happened to make them move very rapidly to one side or whatever. It all comes down to what your actual role with horses is. Do you buy them green and then break and train them; or are you one of the fortunate ones who rides bomb proof horses. That is horses who have so many hours into them and are trained to respond to the touch of a rein or the pressure of your leg. We are trainers. We but them young and we pick them as wisely as we can( it's all in the eyes). We have between us easily 80 years of riding experience and yes we come off horses. Not regularly but it happens. So you are a lucky rider and I suspect you do not do the heavy disciplines like hunter jumper or barrel racing or serious arena work. I have to chuckle at your remarks because they are coming from little or no knowlege and even less experience. I own 12 horses of different breeds and consider myself on a constant learning curve.
oh yes and forget boundaries. That one goes out the door with one fact that you have to live with. They are big and heavy. You are not! They must do as you ask or they need to be trained to do as you need. You must be safe around them. You and your friends and your family.
Horses are just as dangerous as cars and guns, but in a different perspective.
And so you are going to tell me that in all that time with all those horses and all your family, nobody has ever had their foot stepped on, or accidently gotten pushed or had one spook, EVER? I say the odds of that are too large for it to be true
LOL its precisely the reason I wont go anywhere near a horse.. I don't want to be knocked off! I do love horses, my neighbor has some so I usually just stand at a distance and watch people who attempt to ride them fall off!
I grew up with horses and I have to say, I'm one very lucky person. I've never been thrown or experienced broken toes by one. But, have been bit on the back and arm (my stallion really wanted to keep me in his harem... lol ... didn't want me to walk away ) and have been fenced by our crazy Belgian once. I've had horses charge me but never knock me down. I was taught to be one with a horse in a way that prevented these things from happening by being one step ahead. Can't really explain it...it just is.
I owned a horse for over two and a half years and only came off her, (was thrown) once. She was also a bit "nuts". If you have had every toe broken by horses, well I am sorry, but that is just plain careless as I never broke any, (even after 10 years of horse experience at the time). Of course you will get thrown by a horse sooner or later, that is a part of horse-riding as a hobby, if you have never been thrown, this does NOT make you a great rider, it makes you an INEXPERIENCED one.
Firstly, I have had horses since I was 12, and I am now 55. I raised an orphan colt, and have had problem horses (retired racers and cattle horses)but the point I was trying to make was that those who come to my house begging to ride, and then deny ever having been thrown but are experienced riders, I say are full of something, something I rake up a lot of....
I have been around horses quite a bit in the past, mostly green broke. I came off once, then a pony express horse that I was exercising decided to run straight for a fence. I have been stepped on, but never really hurt.
I think the handlers personality has much to do with the way the horse reacts. I worked at a camp for a time, and was given the nastiest horses to turn into trail horses. They occasionally gave me a bit of trouble, but nothing serious. I was given those horses, because my calm personality allowed the horse to be calm. I have been the first person to ever ride several different horses, and they did not give me any trouble either, except when asked to leave their known boundaries.
I don't think being a good rider has anything to do with not having been thrown. My husband has never come off a horse. He use to work on a 66 thousand acre ranch. They handled huge amounts of cattle via horse back, covering miles and miles a day, and none of the horses were suited for gentlemen.
guess i'm another of those lucky ones. i spent the first 25 years of my life heavily involved with quarter horses, from colts to mares to stallions. never once was i thrown. or bitten. or kicked. or suffered a broken bone. common sense goes a long way around those animals, as does a deep respect for their intelligence.
but in answer to your question, many people buy horses because they don't know.
Lol...I agree that you don't have to be thrown to be a horse person, but there are very few horses I know that haven't at least tried. For myself, I've only ever come off of two horses, one was a pride-cut Mustang that wasn't rounded up until he was 9 (and he managed to get me off three times), the other was a Welsh pony that would "trip" when she'd had enough and I learned to launch myself off of her. Well-trained horses ridden in well-known areas, or quiet areas, may never try to throw a rider, that doesn't necessarily mean the rider has never had any experience with horses. I agree, though, that under normal conditions (for me normal is a working ranch or open range) it's hard to go long without coming off at least once, even if it's just a horse that happened to shy when you were riding bareback.
Being a horse owner, I must comment. I fell in love with horses at age 10. Had many falls, close calls...but was lucky. Was away from the horse world for over 30 years when I returned & bought another. What a relief to be back on a horse! But I must tell you, there's a lot of difference falling off the animal when you're 17 than when you're 46! At 17 I took a plunge running full speed out of the arena. He fell with me...I landed, knocked the breath outta me, but had no major injuries. At age 46 I took another plunge. Sport bolted left, I flew right. Knocked me nearly senseless. Head ringing, body racked with pain. Then I had to catch him, get back on, and go right back to the spot where he threw me just to prove a point. I have no recollection of unsaddling him that day. I was hurt...bad. Took 2 weeks to quit hurting. Broke my wrist once after going over a log. So I say this....make sure, if you want to enter the horse world, to learn everything. Ride, ride, ride! Read, read, read! That's all I did for years. The problem with people now is they don't know how to properly care for a horse, how to feed, etc. That's why so many horses end up neglected. It takes schooling! And patience..but to me, it's worth it all to see that sweet chestnut gelding standig at the fence waiting to be fed. Stubbornly planting his feet to the ground while I attempt another Epsom salt soak for an abscess foot. It's worth paying the farrier to trim his feet, paying the Vet to give him his yearly shots, making sure he has a mineral/salt block handy, heaving another child on his back while he sighs in boredom, watching him age slowly (he's 10 now), knowing he'll be with me till he goes. Yep, I wouldn't trade him for anything. But if a person isn't prepared for the responsibiltiy, pain and work, they need to take a hike the other direction from the barn.
Sounds like my mom...she spent her entire life on horseback until shortly after she had my sister and I, so her break from horses came around 25. I bought my first horse when she was about 35, and I offered her a ride...despite spending her early years on horseback and going to college in equine science, she freaked out the moment my new horse started crow-hopping with her. She clung to his neck and started talking about her responsibility to her two daughters and not having health insurance...that's definitely something you don't have to have on your mind in the younger years .
I own horses, and personally, I think all horse can be dangerous...they are classic prey animals, and even the best trained, best behaved horses can be spooked.....I ride alot, and you always have to be prepared for your horse to just go right out from under you, in an instant....usally sideways...LOL....as long as you anticipate that it could happen, it's usually ok....I look for those "objects" of concern as much as my horse does...and after riding a horse for awhile, you are more intune with what they are afraid of...you can also read a horse by watching body movements and the ears....I am glad there is a horse thread out there too...
Great Horse thread. I have 12 horses at the moment and everyone of them has a purpose in the paddock. When being around horses XXXX happens. All of our present horses are well into their training but it is a process. Collectively in my horse world me and my family have been thrown more times than the three of us can count. I've had saddles break on me and so has my daughter Rachel. I've been charged by a moose and run off over slash. My mare has spooked at an attack picnic table and motorcycles make them a little nutty. You never know what they want to do in the moment. If you ride alot of them alot your bound to come off. And yes my big quarter horse Dallas Dan has tromped my foot very badly at least once. I know he knew exactly where my foot was and knew how to get my attention. It worked! I discourage this and other bad behaviors but I don't own dud horses and as long as they have spirit I can expect a little excitement. Is it any different with skiing or flying or even sailing? No. You got to pay to play or go and get a comfy rocking chair and a good book!
i took riding lessons a couple of summers ago. i found that i enjoy brushing, cleaning and talking to them more than i enjoy riding them. i fell several times learning the dismount. i was very out of shape. in fact before i even started to trot the instructor and i came to an understanding. i will come back for more lessons when i'm in better shape. she said she couldn't name anyone of her students who didn't cry when they fell. since i was the only one she promises when i come back i get my firts 2 lessons free. she has been keeping me updated on the progress of the horse that i had choosen to ride. just as i've been keeping her updated on my treatments. i hope next time i ride will be more enjoyable. i really do love those sweet giants. i agree with what you're saying about learning how to care for them.
I don't know too much about horses, but I have ridden a few, a few times. I have fallen off once. Don't know how I did it either! I put my foot in the stirrup, other leg over the horse, sat in the saddle (or so I thought!) and fell off the other side! lol
What angers me are people who buy a horse and let it starve to death because they don't realize how to care for them. I've been involved in a horse rescue before. It was sad. People buy these animals, cram them into a small area and don't supply enough hay and feed to sustain them. Just makes me sick.
The bottom line for this topic is: you need to know what you are doing if you are going to own a horse. They are very complicated, sensitive, accidents waiting to happen type of animals. They are not just big dogs you ride! I've had horses for 25 years and am always learning more and more about them every day. It takes years and years of experience, education and observation to be a true "horseman/woman". The measure of what you know does not come in how many times you've fallen off, been kicked, etc., it's whether or not you truly understand the animal, their needs, what ails them and how to be in tune with your animal for their best quality of life. Yes, I've been bucked off, kicked, stepped on, etc. but that doesn't qualify me as an experienced horse person. Their is no test to prove how good of a "horse person". However, an experienced one can pick out a newbie horse person right away. It's easy to tell once you watch them interact, not so much ride. Anyone can learn how to "sit pretty", it doesn't mean that they are a well rounded horse person & it's OK to ask questions. I'd rather sit and explain things in detail to someone if it means the difference of them doing something to hurt or injure their own horse. Yes, horses are dangerous but you need to be aware of those "cardinal rules" us horse people have like, 1)never tie a horse w/their bridle or an object they are stronger then, 2)Never switch feed fast, do it gradually so they don't colic, 3)always pick their feet before & after exercise, etc. I agree that no horse is 100% safe, it's probably inevitable that you are going to get hurt if you are around them long enough, but it's not a predictor on how much a person knows about the animal.
I know NOTHING about horses.
But my partner is an expert trainer who has done nothing else for the whole of his life, and has represented the US twice in the Olympics.
He has at one time or another broken practically every bone in his body, but he still adores horses.
He used to drag me round all the local stables but thankfully he's given up on that now LOL
If you haven't been thrown from a horse,through being spooked or otherwise,you have not rode a horse very much.
wow, yep definately all horsey people think there right aye! haha dont worry im one too! been around horses since i was 10, hadnt fallen off for 8 years, woo hoo go me, would go around telling everyoone that id never fallen off and ra de rah. yep 2009 was the year! started riding my owwn horse ( none of this school horse buisness), started training them, excersizing them for my job, stablehand food everyday and ect ect. learnt very quickly that EVER horse is unpredicatable = EVERY horse is dangerous! anyone who tell you otherwise is full of it. instructers tell the little kiddies that you have to fall off 100 times before your a pro. - silly right? maybe not so much. With horses we are ALWAYS learning, noone knows everything, and with them noone is always right. Perhaps we should all just admit we're wrong and they rule us? haha. who hasnt had a sneaky sly horse trick them into doing something so they can get to the sugar cubes or into the feed room? they each have there own unique personalities, one of the many reasons we love them sooo much! and they each have their own little idiosyncrecies (bad spelling) that mean that each horse is special! sure you get your bombproof school mounts eveyr so often. but have fun attempting to win an intermediate eventing competition on him! ( or her ). so ya, just thought id put my 2 cents worth in, im sure someone will disagree with me! otherwise we wouldnt be horsey! hehe love the thread! love it love it love it! xx
I have to side with dd on this one! If you spend A LOT of time on A LOT of different horses, you're gonna have some spills. I've probably owned about 50 horses over the years, as well as training horses for others, and I've certainly had my share of partings with the saddles. Got the scars to prove it!! Now if you have an old plow horse that you ride around the pasture once a week, you probably haven't suffered a fall.
Last week my 4 year old got bucked off a pony. Never saw that one coming LOL.
There are 4 horses she is learning to ride. 2 ponies a small horse, and a medium horse. Each has taken a turn trying to throw her. I've always found horses to be stubborn and disagreeable when they want to be. And that's when you give them cookies. Without the cookies for bribery I think they'd just sit there and laugh at us.
Ok, everyone has their own opinion and ways of doing things. But, horses and any animals that you have for that matter are kinda like kids. You need to reward them for good behavior only. If you are giving horses cookies when they are being stubborn and disagreeable then you are teaching them to be that way by rewarding them with cookies when they do something bad. So therefore, they are thinking that if they do something bad then they are going to get a cookie and will keep doing it. Would you reward your kids with cookies if you told them to do something and they just flat out said no? If you start thinking more along those lines then you may find out that horses are not stubborn and disagreeable. Yes they can be but you have to get through those scenerios and by making them do whatever you are asking them. They get rewarded by having the pressure taken away and learn that if they do it then the pressure will go away. And then you can give them a cookie if you want.
have read all your hubs with great interest. I have owned and trained horses all my life and I am still learning. Horses are big, heavy and have a mind of their own, therefore are unpredictable. Injuries are part of the learning process, and come when you least expect them too. Never be to proud to ask for help, and don't ever by a horse to big for you, check it's history carefully. Learn to ride and take frequent lessons after to keep up on your skills. This is a fantastic hobby, expensive, but all that you get back from your horse makes up for that. Such strength and power and yet in the right hands a sheer delight.
The spirituality is incredible and the bond between a horse and owner(I hate using that word because one "animal" does not own another). At any rate, I've been around horses for a very SHORT 11 years. I've been thrown-a-plenty by my beautiful thoroughbred ("green on green, makes black and blue"). But I love him. All "throws" were my fault. Have I been kicked by a horse, nope....because, and even around my own, I was taught to stay out of the line of fire and if in a threatening situation....get out! AND ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be aware of your environment....because your trusty horse is. I'm going on a camping trip tomorrow with my boy, Jack. The very beautiful boy who fractured my foot two weeks ago. Was it his fault NOPE!!! It was mine (because I was stupid. Period)....and I will tell you that EVERY time I was thrown or hurt by a horse was MY FAULT. With the exception of one boy named Ben who threw me to save my life as he gave his own. So, to brag about being thrown "x" amount of times or having your face crushed, doesn't really say your are a savvy horse handler it just tells me that maybe some situations that happened could have been avoided with some logic and knowing when to say when.
But I do agree that there are too many people out there that see a horse and say, "I must possess one", when maybe taking a few lessons or doing chores at a stable for a weekend, would be the fix for their itch
I grew up on a cattle ranch. Horses were not hobbies or toys or pets. They were part of the job (excepting team roping or cutting on occasion, I suppose). I would not say you have to have been "thrown" to be a "horse person," but I agree with those who have said that if you've never hit the ground for one of many reasons (they bucked, they spooked, you just did something stupid, they fell/stumbled... etc.) then you haven't ridden very many.
We had many horses throughout my childhood, so I rode tons of different ones, and the worst were not the spunky ones or the a-hole ones (we had one that was the spawn of Satan I am sure), but the clumsy ones. We had two like that, but the worst of the pair was one I called Snort. I swear that damn thing would trip over grass. I went down three times with him falling ass-over-tea-kettle, the two of us tumbling and bouncing through the grass. Fortunately, all three times were in fairly soft pastures and he never bounced on me as we rolled along, but still. I'll take a pissy one over a clumsy one any day.
(Which I won't really do, because I had enough horses to last a lifetime by the time I was 20. So, if I never ride again, I'm perfectly fine with that.)
Horses are wonderful, and yet they are like people - they are as much individuals as we are. They have personalities and past experiences that influence their behavior. Even the most well trained horse is potentially dangerous.
I applaud those who seek to learn more before buying - it's NOT like like going out and buying a dog! I advise people to spend time and /or work at a stable, take lessons, even for years before considering buying a horse - especially if one considers keeping it on their own property.
Even after owning horses and riding competitively for more than 30 years now, I still benefit from learning from other horse people. We are always learning, and that is in the best interest of our horses as potentially wonderful companions.
I think it is a shame to just say horses are dangerous without exploring this statement further. Horses are much bigger and stronger than us, but a well trained horse is wonderful to own and can provide you with years of pleasure and a special bond between you and your horse, that is very hard to describe. A horse is a powerful creature and if he or she are not handled in the correct way can cause you serious injury. This is why you should always try to learn as much as possible and when in doubt ask for professional help from your vet or your trainer.
I have owned and ridden horses for over 30 years and a lot of those horses have needed to be retrained due to problems caused by previous owners. Yes I have broken some bones but falling off has not been a regular occurence. If you are careful about your choice of horse in the first place and you keep your horse at a professional yard where training and assistance is available, falling off should be a very rare occurence not a regular one. If you don't believe me look at the huge number of horses bought for the Riding For The Disabled Charity who provide immense pleasure and mobility for both mentally and physically disabled children and adults. By the very nature of the job these horses and ponies have to be as bomb proof and safe as possible. Very few horses will deliberately want to hurt you and if you choose your horse with care and keep your horse at a good equestrian centre, falling off or getting injured should be a small risk rather than a large one.
I was riding nearly before I could walk. I grew up on horseback--am 27 now and have never been thrown.
I have fallen off a few times though. And once I didn't tighten the saddle quite enough and it went under my gelding at a full canter.
But never thrown.
So yea, a person can spend most of their life on a horse and never get thrown, or even fall off.
You ARE right about a lot of people getting horses and not knowing how to care for them.
Horses of course can be extremely dangerous. They are large and at times they spook and ram into you. Some are psycho and try to kill you. Then there are other times when they may not see you and step on you. A horse can trip and fall, effectively smashing you to death too.
The most dangerous horse I have ever been around was an ill-tempered mare. Been around plenty of geldings and stallions with no real worries.
Research and caution is key to keeping any animal, especially one so large and headstrong.
My personal quick check question for any person who claims to know how to ride: "Have you ever trotted?"
If you get a blank stare or the response "I've galloped" - they don't have clue.
And parents should take lessons before they buy their kid a horse:o)
After going back and reading this whole thread, allow me to clear up a couple of things. When I got kicked, it was because my horse spooked badly reared up and went clear over onto her back. The split reins got caught under her neck and she could not get her head to get up. An inexperienced rider might have gotten hurt badly, and it was neither the horses fault nor mine. When the kick came to my shin was when I jumped in to free up a rein to allow her to get up. Couldn't be helped. These kinds of things happen when you spend large amounts of time around them. Another thing that can happen is a cinch breaking, or another piece of tack breaking. I had a new horse I had just purchased break and bolt for home, really barn sour, and I wasn't aware of the problem until it happened. Hang on I did, but when she hit the brakes we both fell. These are the sorts of accidents I have had and been injured, but not badly, just enough to teach me not to do something the next time, or to do something differently next time. This was all I was talking about when I said they are sometimes dangerous.
Loving these horse stories!
I rode for three years as a teenager and was a more or less competent rider, but by no means an expert. I've fallen off four times and had a couple close calls.
One was completely my fault for being an idiot - my instructor asked me to exercise a new horse during our lesson one day and I absent-mindedly climbed on with my dressage whip in hand without asking if the horse was okay with them. Didn't even have time to get my second foot in the stirrup before I hit the ground! Stupid, stupid, and the embarrassing thing is I'd been riding two years by that point and should have known better.
That's the only time I was deliberately thrown. The other three were just cases of the horse spooking and going one way while I went the other. Two were really minor, but I just about cracked my chin open on the third and pulled myself up all winded and bloody to find the horse standing over me with this goofy look on his face, like "what are you doing down there?" The clown. I liked him, though. He was lazy, but a sweetie and much better at dressage than I was. He taught me flying changes and half passes and all sorts of fun stuff.
I have 11 horse of varies ages and sizes. 2 are for sale. I have been involved with horses most of my life. One of the many things I do is teach riding. When I teach all my puilips start with the horse in the paddock. My students learn how to catch , groom, saddle etc. I have a strong belief of teaching from the ground, so when they have there own they have learnt the basic by the time they are owners.
I was raised with horses but had had a very long break from owning or even being around them. When my daughter started her 'love affair' with the idea of having a horse I not only sent her off for regular lessons. I also arranged for her to take part in a volunteer junior staffing program at a riding school. The junior staff worked hard and long and learnt all about the unromantic side of caring for these beautiful creatures. It truly astounds me that many horsey people ignore the need for a bond with their horses. Each has a different personality with different needs. Ground time is more valuable than any time spent in the saddle. Without this foundation I believe you will always be at risk. It is essential to establish trust and constantly evaluate your horse's state of mind and physical health. Many people only go near their horse when they want to ride and are then surprised to find that the animal isn't all that interested in having a saddle slapped on - and then working hard! Strange, huh!
We have some people who live on our road, the horses are in good condition but they are not properly fenced in. these horses get out a lot, especially at night. we have almost hit them at least 5 times. the horses aren't there all the time but when they are, they always get out
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