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Oh, you have a horse? Can I ride it?

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  • Oh, you have a horse? Can I ride it?

    Why is it when people find out that you have horses, they start asking to ride them? They usually say how they rode when they were kids (most of the time is was the pony at the birthday pony rides ROFL) my response is usually NO, or like the meme I saw that says them: ďCan I ride your horse?Ē, Me: ďCan I wreck your car?Ē

    Iíve had a couple horses that wouldnít mind anyone riding, they were just those types of horses. Now, I have a mare that aside from a couple people, no one is allowed to ride her (Iíve referred to her as the little beast LOL) I have a gelding that anyone could ride, BUT, Iím in training with him and honestly, Iím spending a fortune and refuse to have someone mess it up!

    People donít ask to drive your cars, why do they ask to ride your horse?



    sigpic
    Geniune Bar Keeper aka Cash Man
    Skips Stormy Twist aka Peanut

  • #2
    I agree entirely. NO ONE rides MY trail horse and there are a very, very select few that I have ever allowed to ride any of my other horses. I feel that as a rider you and your horse developed your own style together and you know what one another will do any almost any situation. I don't want that ruined. Also, some people just ride hard in the seat, especially if they are inexperienced riders. That is a recipe for a chiropractic bill for the horse. JMO
    My horse is good for my soul....

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    • #3
      I've had numerous persons come to my home or call me, wanting to ride my horse. It's generally people that know nothing about horses and they act insulted that they are told "no". I had a woman call and she wanted to video her 3 year old walking around my property on my mare. I politely explained that this would not be safe, to which she responded, "Why? She would only be walking!" This person never spoke to me again. (and I was glad.). I had kids from behind my property jump my fence, thinking they could ride my mare. I politely told them she had health issues, so that would not be possible. They left annoyed. I chalk it up to ignorance and that is why I get along the best with other folks that own horses!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bits of magic View Post
        I've had numerous persons come to my home or call me, wanting to ride my horse. It's generally people that know nothing about horses and they act insulted that they are told "no". I had a woman call and she wanted to video her 3 year old walking around my property on my mare. I politely explained that this would not be safe, to which she responded, "Why? She would only be walking!" This person never spoke to me again. (and I was glad.). I had kids from behind my property jump my fence, thinking they could ride my mare. I politely told them she had health issues, so that would not be possible. They left annoyed. I chalk it up to ignorance and that is why I get along the best with other folks that own horses!
        Exactly! I walked outside one day when I saw one of my husbands friends vehicle outside my gate (I say friend lightly, I despised him, hubby tolerated him), I found him with his little 3/4 year old absolutely horrible snot of a child on the back of one of my horses, no saddle, no halter or lead! He couldn't understand why I went completely nuts screaming at him! I threw him off my property's do told him to never come back! He told my husband he couldn't believe I acted that way! My husband told asked who he thought he was coming here like that, the guy said, it's just a horse! This is also the same guy who looks for places to sue!
        sigpic
        Geniune Bar Keeper aka Cash Man
        Skips Stormy Twist aka Peanut

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        • #5
          We have always had a horse that is great at pony rides for kids. Maybe an occasional adult. If a horse isn't good at it when we get them, we train them to be good around kids. We don't tolerate bad habits or poor ground manners. I wouldn't put kids up on a green horse, but I've never had a riding horse that couldn't carry anyone I asked them to with me leading. And we've had some spirited animals.

          Personally, I love leading kids around on a horse. I let the parents know ahead of time that it will take about an hour to get through the whole routine. We usually plan it around lunch and the family coming over usually brings some food or returns the invitation and we go to their house for lunch another day. They have always been delighted at the invitation.

          First, I have them stand in front of the horse in the crossties to keep them away from their feet. We talk about walking only and not going behind the horse. I teach them to speak in a normal voice and not to shriek, even before taking the horse out of their stall. Then, we go through the grooming routine. They take a peek at the bottom of their hooves and they can help brush the shoulder area. I show them how to saddle the horse up and make sure the saddle is comfy for the horse. We have a variety of helmets, so if they want to get on, they must put on a helmet. It's a chance to teach safety, too. Finally, I boost them up and take them for a lap around the farm. I teach them how to sit straight and tall, to keep their heels down, and look where they are going. I also tell them about cowboys and why they hold the reins in the left hand (lariats or guns, lol!). I tell them why you get up on the left side of the horse (knights and swords).

          By the end of the lap, the kids are taught how to steer a little. I tell them to only use the minimum necessary to ask the horse to turn or stop. I emphasize that horses are strong enough to run away and it's their training that teaches them what the signals mean. We can't physically stop a horse. They have a respect for the horse's intelligence when they hear that, especially when they compare how many signals a horse knows versus walking their dog.

          I don't know how many kids have been over and had a safe ride on our farm over the years, but it's got to be over 100. It's always been a good experience and I've never had a kid be rude. The most excited ones are the ones that decide 'no' once they start putting on the helmet. Our gelding excelled at giving rides. He knew the routine by heart and enjoyed it. He looked forward to his treat when we were done. When we had to put him down, my spirited old Morgan mare took over duties. I guided her carefully the first few times, but she got it. She enjoys the laidback interaction. I also get a chance to see how much the horse looks to me as a leader. I always hold the lead rope, but even if I didn't, they would follow me around. I think it's good for a horse to taught how to carry anyone. Especially if you are leading and they don't have to worry about being steered by a stranger. What if you are on a trail and there's a medical emergency? If you know you can boost someone up and lead your horse to help safely, wouldn't that be a useful skill? I know I could depend on my mare to help in an emergency. We live on a dirt road. We have hurricanes. Who knows what situation might present itself where we might be able to help.

          I see my job as partly an ambassador. If people like us and understand the appeal of horses, they are more likely to keep our trails open. We don't live in a vacuum. We need to interact and be nice to others. It also destroys the myth that horses are only for the rich. That's helpful, too. People have no sympathy for the rich and that will only get worse in the future as the rich keep getting richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class smaller. If they know we are just like them, they look at us differently. Instead of that "rich family with horses" we become the "neighbors with nice horses that let our kids ride one". They realize that we sacrifice in other areas so we can own horses (maybe an old car or older technology) and that it would be possible for them to have a horse, if they wanted.
          Last edited by Little Cow; 03-06-2018, 11:25 AM.
          Does working cattle count as playing with your food?

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          • #6
            To me, it's aggravating. I don't see these people offering to help with the feed bill...so, no. Just got asked by someone "where can I go to ride horses that doesn't cost much" and I'm thinking, another planet maybe? Horses are expensive. Now, if I REALLY like the person, maybe, but just maybe, because it always seems to be a lot of hassle for very little thanks of any kind. I wish it wasn't that way!
            VLS
            Outfox Reality Run
            "A canter is a cure for all evils."

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            • #7
              My reaction would have been to invite that person to our farm. People don't know how to ask when they are curious about our lifestyle. It can come out quite awkward, but they are simply interested, or they have a horse crazy kid that is pestering them to ask you. I was a horse crazy kid once. Someone gave me a chance to meet their horses. This is how the sickness is passed on, lol! A rejection, especially a harsh one, can turn people against horses and people associated with horses. We are dismissed as stuck up or snotty.

              Feed bill? I guess I don't see it like that at all. When people rent horses, it's usually to see a view or ride somewhere special. If they take lessons, it's to learn how to ride over several months. When I give a free ride on our horse, it's not really a lesson, nor is it for the view. It's to be sociable. It's like inviting someone over for anything. You typically share a bit of your life with your guests. They pet your dog and enjoy some food from your grill. For us, it also involves a tour of the farm and an intro to horses, with rides for kids, if they are interested. They feed treats to our cows, pet the sheep. hold one of our tame chickens, or even pet a rabbit. The barn cat makes herself available for petting, but the house cats hide. They are not sociable, lol!

              Our animals benefit from the interactions as well. They enjoy people. Unintentionally, we've been compared to a petting zoo more than once, but the animals are all willing participants. No one is allowed in the pens, pastures,or stalls (For safety, this is the best policy. An unintended kick or scuffle could catch someone unaware). The animals all come over to the fence to meet people quite willingly.

              I cannot tell you how many of these social visits for coworkers, families from our son's school, or friends from our parish, have turned into good friendships. We know a lot of families in our area because of our horses. I cannot tell you how many kids ask about our horses and remember their names. Indirectly, we've benefited from these friendships, especially now when we're moving our farm closer to town. We found an excellent barn builder and someone that is going to help us build a shed for our sheep and a chicken coop. This is the result of such kindness. That isn't why we do it. We don't anticipate anything. Kindness is simply returned with kindness.
              Last edited by Little Cow; 03-08-2018, 06:37 AM.
              Does working cattle count as playing with your food?

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              • #8
                I should also mention that a few of those kids that rode our horse began horseback riding lessons at a nearby stable. We don't do lessons, but we are helping the people that do.
                Does working cattle count as playing with your food?

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                • #9
                  LOL my close friends know my horses arenít for everyone, they donít ask LOL itís the ones who hardly know us that suddenly want to ride! Iím all for encouraging the excitement, and it can start with the dirty work, mucking stalls, cleaning water buckets, grooming. and thatís where I find they arenít really horse crazy, they just donít want to pay for their experience!
                  All of mine have good ground manors, my gelding, anyone can ride (if I allowed it lol) my mare, NOPE! and while I want to encourage people to ride and get to know horses, I feel a riding stable is probably the better solution since most of those types of place have horses that can handle new riders. Iím not a trainer and I donít give lessons, I also donít want my horses mouths being tore up from a scared rider who rides on their hands.
                  I just donít understand why people think horses are just ďthingsĒ I donít ask to take someoneís boat or sports car out for a spin or ask to use their jet ski?
                  When my non horsey husband didnít understand why I wouldnít let people just hop on my horses, I asked him if heíd let just anyone jump on his Harley, he said ďpoint madeĒ ROFL

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                  Geniune Bar Keeper aka Cash Man
                  Skips Stormy Twist aka Peanut

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                  • #10
                    I don't mind if it's a coworker or friend. And if its not a regular thing. If they want weekly visits they can pay any of the instructors in our area.

                    I love introducing people to our lifestyle. I live next to a city park and I did have a lady walk up one day wanting to ride double with her daughter on my daughter's lame gelding. I told her no and she got offended.

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                    • #11
                      Little Cow; So nice that you do this for others, but not every horse has the temperament for leading beginners around. It becomes a liability issue and I don't want to take the chance. I believe the best way is to refer them to a lesson barn, where there are horses that are used to doing this. It's great if your horses can participate in this but many of them can't do it. And then there are those that have medical issues that can cause unpredictable behaviors. I enjoy all the differing opinions on this site, nice to hear what others are thinking and doing.

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