I’ve got another blog hop which will fill the space between posts of ‘no baby yet’. Haha.
Growing up riding with a trainer and in a barn that schooled classical dressage there was very much a culture about who could and couldn’t ride specific horses. By the time I rolled around the horses in the barn were too advanced for me so I rode almost exclusively on my own horse. The only time I sat on the back of the Andalusian or Lusitano stallions that were schooled with my trainer was if I was working on seat or posture. Even then it was almost always bareback and I never had control of the head even if I had reins in my hand.
I understood why. When you or someone else puts so much effort into training a horse, it’s awful if someone else gets on and undoes months of training in a few minutes of mismanaging the horse. I myself was very particular who could ride my horses. My trainer could. My sister could. Anyone else being schooled by my trainer was allowed to. I was more lenient regarding trail rides because my horse would just follow the others most of the time but I was always explaining to people who asked to ride why they couldn’t (and can we talk about how much it sucks to have laymen ask to ride your horse like it’s no big deal? Sure, you can ride my horse when someone lets me drive their 2017 GT Supercar.). Usually I’d explain they are not for beginners or I’d say they are in training and people would understand.
I’m with a new trainer now. All their horses can do whatever they are asked, regardless of who asks it. They believe that you train a horse, and then you train it to fill in the gaps. This way no matter who rides the horse will attempt to understand even if the reins are uneven, the rider’s seat is all over the place, timing is off, or leg cues aren’t exactly where they should be. This is a really great concept to me. It’s like an insurance policy for your horse. This training ensures that heaven forbid something happen to me the next owner would succeed with my horses. I’m all for anything that helps my horses’ futures.
Now I’m not so much on the ‘no one can ride my horse’ boat. I will still have times where I won’t want others to ride them because I might be preparing for a show and want crystal clear communication but I won’t be living in fear that all my time and money spent will be wasted by some wayward rider.
However, that doesn’t mean I’m okay with everyone riding my horses. I have to know you to some degree. If you’re an equestrian of any level I have to make sure you aren’t going to repeatedly jab a spur into my horse’s side or haul on the bit when you don’t get the results you want. I don’t want assholes riding my horses, after all. If my trainers can’t vouch for you, then I want to watch you ride until I’m satisfied that my horse is in good hands. I find it doesn’t take long to observe a new horse and rider pair run into a disagreement. Especially when you have very opinionated Spanish horses.
What do you think? If you could train your horse to work well under any rider, would you? Do you prefer that no one but you and riders better than you can ride your horse?