Friday, October 24, 2008

Riding Other People's Horses

A friend of mine who lives way, way out in the boonies of Newport, WA--he he--I like to tease her about that--came in to ride with me on Wednesday. Not wanting to haul her horses that far, we came up with a novel idea--why not ride one of my 7 horses?? Wow. Who woulda thought??

She rode Shadow and I rode Cowboy and the horses know the ride so well all we had to do was drop the reins and chat, they knew every turn, every hole in the road, everything.

As we were talking about how great it was to have this new option, she invited me up to her place to do the same--ride one of her horses on a trail.

Hmmmm...I thought--don't think so.

So, why not? Why won't I ride someone else's dead-broke horse?

I think it's just my comfort level. Almost every time I've gotten on a horse I don't know it has turned out bad.

My first ever all-by-myself-and-friends horse riding experience was when I was in the 6th grade and riding in the desert in Las Vegas. We rode bareback. As you can expect, leaving the barn it was slow going, but when we turned the horses around to go home--BEZERKO, and mine bucked me off and ran back to the barn. I had to walk.

Then there was the time I test drove the Paint in Coeur d 'Alene, and as soon as it got around the corner and he couldn't see home anymore--BEZERKO--there was no control--the horse just tucked and ran. (Maybe why they were selling him?)

So, I've learned the only way to fully guard against the Bezerkos, is to actually ride my own horses. At least I know what makes them go crazy and I'm ready for it.

Thinking about it, though, I don't know if this is a good thing, because what a great option, to ride some else's horse and not have to haul. It worked out well for us, and once again has got me thinking.


  1. I know where you are coming from. I am wierd in the sense that I won't ride something until I actually see someone else ride it! Just a wierd quirk, I would not get on Willow until I actually watched the trainer get on her and then hopped right on. Go figure!

  2. Your story reminds me of Blackie, who I occasionally rode for one-hour trail rides back in the 5th grade, in New Hampshire. Blackie was a huge, lanky old horse, slow and gentle, perfect for this shy 11-yr old. But at the end of each trail ride when he caught sight of the stable in the distance, he broke away from the group in a gallop, heading for home, me holding on for dear life. There was no stopping him, and I loved the thrill.

  3. When I was younger and didn't know as much about horses, I was much more willing to jump on anything. Now that I've trained a few and know exactly what they are capable of, and also know my own so well (and each one is different), I'm not so eager to just jump on someone else's horse unless we've discussed thoroughly what the horse knows and what things tend to freak them out. I like to be prepared at least.

  4. It sounds like we've all had similar experiences and gotten "back in the saddle"! I'm probably being overly cautious and need to tap into that 12-year-old confidence sometime. I may have watched too many train wrecks and not enough trains in the last 20 years.


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.