Published 11-01-2009 8:05 PM
On a gorgeous sunny day like today, all horse lovers went riding, I am sure of that! Well, that included me! I went riding with a few people I know and a few that I met today. We trailered the horses to this friend's farm. Everyone was riding their own horse except for this girl who beforehand told me she was very inexperienced. She was borrowing a horse. I don't think she's ever ridden this horse before and although the trainer swore by his horse, no horse can be trusted 100% of the time. I was proud to see she was wearing a helmet. I was just going to work my horse on a few jumps, so I wasn't going to go with the group. So I stayed behind with a friend because she was working a 2 year old filly in the round pen, and we are huge advocates of the buddy system: Never ride alone.
Well, so 3 riders took off and left. The inexperienced rider and the horse owner, who was on another horse, stayed behind. It so happened that the horse was not listening to her whatsoever. He did not want to leave the barn and started rearing and turning in circles. I saw that from a distance. After the horse owner tried all he could to encourage the lady to toughen up and make the horse go with no success, she dismounted and decided not to go. I was even more proud of her by now. She came over by the round pen and said "I'm just not going to go, I don't feel right about this". So she stayed with us. Thank God nothing happened to her, but it could have, had she decided to go on.
Here is what I drew from this:
Even inexperienced riders can have a gut feeling of "this is not right, I don't feel comfortable". Experienced riders also have this gut feeling, but they generally just continue on and toughen up. This is when many accidents happen. If you feel your horse is not acting like his normal self, don't try to toughen up. There may be legitimate reasons why he is acting up. He may be scared, he may be fresh, he may be feeling pain. If that's the case, swallow your pride and dismount and save the ride for another day. Who cares about what your "friends" may be thinking? Second of all, experienced riders and horse owners have the responsibility to pair horses with the level of experience of riders. Don't loan a horse to your friend that you know only listens to you. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.
My friend worked the filly in the round pen, I stayed watching her the entire time. After she was done she came with me to the jumps and watched me until I was done. We were there for each other. The inexperienced rider watched us work our horses as we were teaching her basic horsemanship. She was glad she got to learn a thing or two.