View Full Version : The mistakes we make
29th Apr 2000, 05:00 AM
The mistakes we make
Isnít it awful, the mistakes we make with our horses? Judy, I know exactly how you feel about the wasted years and the mistakes you made with your mare, and Joey JoJoís friend too, who thought her horse was being naughty and lazy when he was old and tired..... I made every mistake in the book with Tristan, my first (and only) horse: I donít think heís ever had an illness or injury that hasnít been caused by me - heís had laminitis and a chronic cough; he injured a tendon because I overdid the cross-country, and once he fell over a jump because I asked him to do too much.
SometimesI donít really feel Iím fit to have a horse at all! :(
29th Apr 2000, 03:14 PM
Don't be silly! I'll bet your horse loves you! You are probably a good horse owner!
Sorry had to cheer you up!
29th Apr 2000, 07:09 PM
I know how you feel - sometimes it does get to me as well. The only good thing I think is that I do have a special relationship with my horse and she does get the best care that I can give her. I have had a lot of stable management help over the years and I have learned really a lot - it's just in the riding that I don't feel I've learned enough. I have recently had a new instructor and she has really helped a lot - she took me right back to the very beginning. The last instructor I had said that people are born with feel and that if you didn't have it, you never would. I thought I never would feel anything but as Heather Moffett says in her book (which is brilliant by the way) you can learn feel.
The only thing I feel quite happy about is that probably Shade wouldn't be around now and as fit as she is if she was owned by someone who did a lot more with her. Even though she is 16, according to workload she is only about 7!
I still wouldn't have missed owning her for the world as she has a lot of character and whoever said cobs were laidback and calm hasn't met Shade! She has her moments!
Don't feel too downhearted - just think of all the neglected and badly treated horses and animals out there. We all try to do our best and hopefully have good help so we aren't being cruel through ignorance.
Enjoy your hacking - Judy.
1st May 2000, 03:42 AM
Thanks for your messages, Judy & Czar - you have cheered me up, and the wonderful thing about horses is that they never blame you!
Still, I'd be interested to hear about other people's mistakes .... or doesn't anyone else make them?
1st May 2000, 03:57 AM
Of course we all make mistakes! My first horse went lame because I pushed him to go over a 3'9" jump when he was really physically capable of about 3'3" or 3'6". I have had horses colic because I gave them grain too soon after a workout and let them drink too much water. And then there are things that I can't prevent, like their buddies getting a little rough in the fields. Or him stepping wrong or getting the wrong footing. Or maybe landing wrong after a fence. But I take every "mistake" as a learning experience. And I'm glad, in a way, that all those things have happened. Without them, my horses wouldn't be what they are today. And all those things have contributed to the owner and rider I am today... and I am happy with the owner and rider that I am. Be a little easier on yourself. Everything happens for a reason.
1st May 2000, 12:56 PM
I am sure that your horse is one of the lucky ones, Linda. The most important aspect of owning a horse is the fact that you obviously care. People who treat their horses like equine bicycles are the ones who are not it to own them.
Riders often bemoan the fact to me, that their horse has a talent that exceeds their own, and wonder should they sell the horse on to someone who can realise thier potential.
I always tell them 'no'. No horse is born aware of his potential. If left to his own devices, he would just want to be a horse, doing what a horse does, eat, sleep and run around occasionally in a field! He does not think to himself 'well, given the right owner, I could be a Badminton winner'. I would far rather see a horse with a caring owner who just rides for fun, than see him passed on to an overly competitive one who would exploit, sometimes thropugh cruel means, the horse's ability. I am not accusing all competitive riders of cruelty, but there are plenty that do use severe methods.
So, enjoy your horse, don't feel guilty! If you are trying to improve your riding, so that you do not impede his natural movement, and are looking after him well, you need not feel the slightest twinge of remorse!
2nd May 2000, 12:29 AM
Just my twopennyworth ...
If you treat a horse with kindness, it will be your friend ... treat it unkindly and you will lose any chance of respect and friendship.
2nd May 2000, 01:27 AM
Hello again .... should have added to previous email that yes, we all make mistakes we hopefully learn from, but I have to say that when I started a few years ago, I was told I was far too soft in the way I handled horses, and that "the whip", and a good "boot" would soon sort out a horse which wasn't listening!!!
Appalling? Yes it was ... but after I'd tried that, and loathed myself for doing it, I never treated a horse that way again, and I still think that you can persuade a horse to trust you with kindness ... it may take a little longer, but it's worth it ... I'm sure Heather would agree.
Also, horses are not like people, you will get as much back from a horse as you give, as will all animals ... sadly, my experience is that not all humans respond in kind.
Sorry if I sound cynical, but that's how I feel.
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