Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Teach Me Tuesday: Pony Rides

Pretty much if you have a horse, you've gotten the "can I have a pony ride" request for your horse.

And if you haven't, I want to know what planet you live on.

Ha!

Anyways. I used to not ever get those because Courage was straight off the track and possibly not always the picture of sanity, but now that he's doing really well, it comes up fairly regularly.

There's definitely a side of me that thinks Courage is a fancy show horse and shouldn't have his training derailed, but I'm also actively pursuing a fun, broke horse, and a great way to do that is to pile a bunch of kids on and make him deal.

So we give pony rides sometimes.

How else do you address the pony ride issue of horse ownership?

28 comments:

  1. Dino is happy to give pony rides to kids of people that I know. They don't weigh a lot, and he doesn't actually have to DO anything. Slow walking? He's all about that. I don't just let random children climb on him, though. He's also not great with riders that aren't very advanced, but try to make him do things. He gets very, very grouchy about that. So, small clueless children or expert equestrians, no in between!

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  2. I don't like that question! I guess I've never had horses that just anyone can get on and nonhorsepeople don't understand that. Luckily its a moot point right now BC I can't even sit on my horse at the moment!

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  3. Long time reader, first time commenting :) This is tough because of the liability issues. No matter how much you trust someone, when their child gets hurt on your horse you have to get nervous about how they will handle it. I do think that having a well trained horse means that a variety of people can safely ride that horse and not just he owner. I do let my own 2 year old up on my endurance mare and have let close friend's kiddos up in an arena with me standing there watching them like a hawk. My mare does well to just putz around but like Ali said she gets very grouchy being asked something by a clueless rider so it is either kids happy to walk around the edge or a fellow endurance rider.

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  4. I would let little kids sit on Apollo but no one has ever asked me :)

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  5. Rico hates pony rides. But it's part of his retirement package so he suffers through it. He makes it seem like you're killing him. He torments the person handling him the whole time by threatening to buck and biting them. He knows you can't smack him for biting because then he'll startle and throw the kid off.

    It is fun though! My cousin's daughter rode him this summer and got to experience piaffe and passage (I was on too), which was adorable. I don't mind it, even when Rico was at the height of his career, kids were still allowed on him for pony rides. TC is going to have to get used to pony rides too eventually.

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  6. I've given a couple of pony rides on Fiction. I really don't worry about them hurting his training because I normally walk him around with someone on his back or put him on a longeline. If someone rides him off the line and doesn't quite have the skill needed to work him, I just hop on afterwards to school him briefly and make sure he knows what is proper and what isn't :)

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  7. I always wanted to give pony rides to anyone interested, but strangely, Boca, the horse who isn't fazed by much, has seemed tense and unhappy the two times I tried to give pony rides. He loves kids and strangers on the ground. Unbalanced newbies on his back - not so much.

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  8. Ashke hates kids so that's a no brainer. I did make him give my Goddaughter a ride last September and he only nipped at me a dozen times in that ten minutes.

    On another note, I was offered a hundred dollars to pony a grown man back to the trailhead on Sunday. I might have taken him up on the offer if I didn't hate hiking in paddock boots so much.

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  9. I typically throw people up on Simon as long as he's been worked consistently in the recent past.

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  10. I gave the husband a pony ride on Ivan (last horse) and well.. it did not end well. Since Foster is in some ways even more sensitive, I don't think I'd feel comfortable giving a complete novice a leg up on him. Oh well!

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  11. We've given a few pony rides, but for the most part tell people that our horses are "in training for their next competition" so that we have an excuse not to give rides.

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  12. Luckily I have multiple horses, Copper for the fancy show pony role, Paige for goofing off, and Robin for...who knows what. I will throw people on Paige, but Copper is the type that gets derailed, so no strangers for him. Plus, he kinda hates kids.

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  13. I am all for it. Kids love horses. 99% of horses love kids. It is kinda ideal. Even my previous crazy horse Savvy was comparatively an angel with my kids. I am now of the mindset that if my horse can't pack kids around at the walk, s/he probably isn't the horse for me.

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  14. Oh man, I ran into this over Thanksgiving last year when Johnny's entire extended family wanted to come to the barn and visit/groom/ride my horses.

    I let them go to town after some basic safety tips (you know, "Don't kick the horse" and "Do not scream if the horse walks faster") and Gina and Moe were surprisingly okay for all 15 people who rode them around the arena at a walk.

    I usually don't mind as long as I don't think the situation will become dangerous. Which means people usually go on Moe, because he's more predictable.

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  15. I don't allow anyone under the age of 18 to ride my horses. Period. So no kiddy rides. I used to with the horse I had in college, but that was in PA, an assumed liability state. In CA, they can sue you for everything.

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  16. it's pretty easy for me bc i can just say it's not my horse so it's not my decision to make

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  17. We've thrown basically anyone up on Lucy. She loves it. She thinks she was born to be a leadline/walk/trot kiddy horse. "Ohh, I get to go as slow as absolutely possible and break and nobody makes me go in a frame, THIS IS AWESOME." I can trust nearly anyone on her.. When I got hurt in 2009, she went to the Congress with a 9 year old who rode her four times previous to showing.

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  18. I have two that give pony rides, one that use to (Lucy) and one that I don't want to share and most likely doesn't need to give pony rides (Bacon). The one time we did let Lucy give a kid a ride, the kid let her run around all over the place and then her hind end slipped under her and she has never been the same since. I really don't think the kid caused that and don't think that happens to most but, you know how it goes.

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  19. Absolutely no pony rides for Mo. Probably ever, but maybe when he's 25 and retired.

    I've lead a kid around on Red and won't do it again. He just has too big a stride and he's too tall.

    Teddy is great for pony rides but he's also really big. On the other hand, you can fit 7 kids up there at once if you want.

    Ink was a good pony-ride horse until the ataxia thing, and now that's obviously over. Grayson has always been too insane.

    Which brings me to Sugar, whose entire purpose in life is to give pony rides. Which is good, because she is an actual pony. She's a little snot sometimes, but never on the leadline. I like giving pony rides on her.

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  20. I actually hate the pony ride question. We get it a lot, because I have young children and they have friends. Ironically, my children's pony is the one who will absolutely not give pony rides. He loves his children, but he thinks all the other children can get bent! Jack still has flashbacks to the track whenever someone is given a leg up, so he's out, too. Spider is actually the best at pony rides, but he gives me death-dagger stares the entire time. Plus, at 16.2h, most non-horsey parents don't want their precious little darlings on him.

    It also depends on the attitude of the pony-ridee. I do not tolerate demands or brattiness from children or parents. Our horses are our partners and part of our family, not toys to be passed around. I don't expect to come over and ride your husband, don't expect to come over and ride my horse!

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    1. Haha! I'm dying... "I don't expect to come over and ride your husband." I may use this if I ever get asked for a pony ride.

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  21. Tucker used to be in a riding school so in theory he should be good for pony rides. But he can be a jerk and absolutely hated summer camp. Therefore I don't think I'll torture him in that way.

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  22. I have given a few pony rides to very few adult friends, but not lately with the horse I have now.

    I have found that handing someone a release to sign that goes into how you might die from the inherent dangers or riding a large prey animal with steel on its hooves gets a lot of folks to back the f off with the pony ride questions.

    If friends with kids ask me about their kids riding, I suggest they sign up for lessons.

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  23. I have never had a child (or parent of one) ask for a pony ride. I've thrown a close friend and my husband up on Wilbur but that's about as far as I'll go to letting anyone ride the horses. A big part due to the waivers and sign off needed to even attempt it!

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  24. No.

    Kids are an enormous liability around horses. A family sued the entire Baltimore Police Dept when a mounted police officer's horse accidentally buy a little girl's finger. The only kids I've put on horses of mine were my cousins. No other children are allowed around them.

    I'll put less experienced adults on Gracie because she had a gift for tuning out "rider noise" but it's going to be in an arena with me giving them a lesson. I don't like kids around Gracie because I'm afraid she would nip a finger or hand thinking it was a treat.

    Only 3 other people have ridden Lily in the time I've had her: my friend Liz because she has a similar riding style (quiet), my husband because he can be very gentle with aids, and my FL trainer who ironically is the one that got dumped by Lily in protest. Lily is way way WAAAAY too sensitive to put inexperienced people on her of age. Plus, kids make her nervous anyway so there's that.

    So no, no pony rides. And that's still with a ridiculous amount of liability insurance on both horses!

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    1. *accidentally bit, not "buy"

      Stupid phone!

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  25. I let kids ride my QH occasionally as long as I'm the one steering, whether I'm riding with them or leading him in a halter. My mom gets to ride him as does two other people who are GREAT riders and respect my wishes for how I want him ridden. No one gets to work with him a lot other than myself. No one but me really gets to ride him, honestly.
    I let kids sit on my TWH. Both of my horses are very good but I don't trust them to be perfect and safe, and I don't want people screwing them up.

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