I'm pretty sure that any of you who have spent time at horse events has witnessed this phenomenon: a woman (isn't it always a woman?) has purchased a beautiful, amazing horse because she can afford it but it's so far beyond her ability to ride the animal that she's either constantly watching her trainer ride (which is wise) or attempting to ride herself and gets seriously injured in the process. The mismatch is so patently obvious that bystanders can't even really admire the horse because of their very real fear for the safety and well-being of the rider.
I've seen this over and over, and it intrigues me. Why do people overmount themselves? I'm not talking about buying a green horse and working on him with your trainer or more-experienced friend. I mean the people who buy horses with international potential to poke around and do intro A and B at a dressage show. The problem with their purchase is that the horse has zero interest in a low-impact career and the ride immediately becomes dangerous.
It seems to me to almost always be late-middle aged women buying fancy warmbloods, but I prowl around the dressage and eventing worlds, but I'm sure it occurs in other disciplines.
There's a new horse at the barn. I think he's a grade appy gelding. He's older, unremarkable, and rather poorly put together. His straight shoulder contributes to his jackhammer trot and his weak hind end is something that no amount of conditioning can overcome. BUT. Someone put time into this horse. He's a lower-level dressage horse and he knows his job. He also knows exactly how to get out of his job, but he's never naughty about it. He is the perfect mount for his owner, a late-middle-aged re-rider trying to get back into the swing of things. He's not fancy, but he's safe and so much fun for her.
I really respect that woman for picking a horse that's suited to her instead of buying the fanciest green thing she can afford.