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Can someone please explain the whole, 'My horse is naughty, that makes me a good rider...my horse is bigger, that makes me better' attitude?

Caol Ila

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Ponies like new humans to play with! It gives the excuse to do all the dickish things they really want to do but aren't allowed to normally!
My old sharer was not as directive a rider as I am. If she was in that sort of mood, my horse sometimes used the opportunity to prove that she was still capable of grand prix dressage movements.
 

criso

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See I never got a chance to prove my stickability at the RS. Because I was quiet and polite I got plonked on the boring, can't do very much ponies while the gobby kids got to ride the more interesting horses. Having a big gob and a pushy mum obviously worked well in riding schools.
The ones I went to as a adult was that if you didn't actively complain, you got put on the more challenging horses. I was probably a better and more adaptable rider then than now.

Some of the conversations

"Yes, he did the same in the staff lesson this morning"
On asking what a new addition was like to jump in a jumping lesson, "not sure she only arrived yesterday"
"You'll be fine"
"He's great fun"
 

annagain

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I had similar at pony club - I had totally non-horsey parents but managed to find myself a Section D as a share horse. I had him all the way through pony club as all the kids around me moved on to bigger and smarter and more expensive horses. He had sweet itch and was a bit scruffy. They all looked down on me but I didn't care, I adored him and we frequently beat them all at several competitions - including daft ones like who could jump the narrowest jump - he was the only one to jump one traffic cone rather than dodge round it. Then came the 'it was all him and not me' comments as ponies are obviously easier than their big horses.

One year at camp we were preparing for our B test where we would have to ride other horses so we would swap every afternoon. They all complained at being made to ride Eb apart from one girl who was from a very similar background to me. Every single day, he refused to do anything for his riders (he just went backwards with one until she started crying!) and the complaining got worse and worse until the other girl who didn't complain about him got on him and he went beautifully. It was like he knew! Meanwhile I got on their horses (I'd also been riding a huge TB ex point to pointer owned by Eb's owner for a bit by then but not taken him anywhere) and got them going just as well, if not better than they did.

To add insult to injury, we were also discussing conformation as part of our stable management and all these girls were asking the instructor which horse had the best conformation. She said Eb was the best example of his breed she had seen in a long time! At this point I nonchalantly dropped in that he had been placed at the Royal Welsh and been to HOYS in his younger days before he developed sweet itch. They were horrified. It was very satisfying...as was being the only one in the group to pass my B test!
 

BBP

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BBP is a bit feral at times when he goes to competitions. He can throw some shapes and generally make my life pretty challenging as he loses his mind. I get a lot of ‘well sat/well ridden/wow you ride him so well’ comments. Well thank you, but if I was a half decent horse person I would have been able to train him not to have a melt down in a warm up arena. I think those riding round on well mannered, biddable horses are doing a far better job than me.
 

smolmaus

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I had similar at pony club - I had totally non-horsey parents but managed to find myself a Section D as a share horse. I had him all the way through pony club as all the kids around me moved on to bigger and smarter and more expensive horses. He had sweet itch and was a bit scruffy. They all looked down on me but I didn't care, I adored him and we frequently beat them all at several competitions - including daft ones like who could jump the narrowest jump - he was the only one to jump one traffic cone rather than dodge round it. Then came the 'it was all him and not me' comments as ponies are obviously easier than their big horses.

One year at camp we were preparing for our B test where we would have to ride other horses so we would swap every afternoon. They all complained at being made to ride Eb apart from one girl who was from a very similar background to me. Every single day, he refused to do anything for his riders (he just went backwards with one until she started crying!) and the complaining got worse and worse until the other girl who didn't complain about him got on him and he went beautifully. It was like he knew! Meanwhile I got on their horses (I'd also been riding a huge TB ex point to pointer owned by Eb's owner for a bit by then but not taken him anywhere) and got them going just as well, if not better than they did.

To add insult to injury, we were also discussing conformation as part of our stable management and all these girls were asking the instructor which horse had the best conformation. She said Eb was the best example of his breed she had seen in a long time! At this point I nonchalantly dropped in that he had been placed at the Royal Welsh and been to HOYS in his younger days before he developed sweet itch. They were horrified. It was very satisfying...as was being the only one in the group to pass my B test!
I would have devoured this paperback when I was 12. What a very good boy.
 

scats

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11 September 2007
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I like small horses. I’m only small myself and I honestly used to find it hard lifting a saddle onto my 16hh horse! They are also cheaper to feed and closer to the ground in the event of a gravity testing scenario.
No doubt there are probably people on their ‘proper’ horses looking down at me on my somewhat oddly put together pony-like coloured, but we hold our own.

As for naughty horses, I think that’s a teenage thing isn’t it? “Look at me on my wild horse, sitting all these broncos...” but once you hit your mid-twenties and it takes about three weeks to recover from a fall, you realise that there’s absolutely nothing fun or clever about riding lunatics!
 

ester

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My old sharer was not as directive a rider as I am. If she was in that sort of mood, my horse sometimes used the opportunity to prove that she was still capable of grand prix dressage movements.
meanwhile mine would take the opportunity to walk even more slowly than normal. . .
 

ForeverBroke_

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4 June 2008
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Thank GOD for this thread!!!

I have a few acquaintances on 'social media,' who cannot post without referring back to their horses unrivaled height and how TOTALLY ENORMOUS they are. LITERALLY without fail, and it drives me INSANE. I've un-followed them both now. I had a 17.2hh horse and not once did I yarp on about how tall he was!
 

HufflyPuffly

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24 October 2012
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I'm still a short arse - summer project is a naughty 12.2 & I would have LOVED her as a kid.
Haha I'm too heavy these days for the littlies but I'm still a short arse and like a bit of spunk that tends to come with ponies, I like a 15.2hh limit on my horses (I just make Skylla kneel down!).
 

J&S

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17 June 2012
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I always remember riding out on the New Forest one day with a younger girl and her grey part bred NF gelding. I had a share with a lovely Arab/Welsh mare and was riding her. The gelding was seriously pratting around but my mare was as cool as could be. "She's very quiet" said the girl about my mare, " almost as an insult, No," I said, "She is just good mannered!"

Another time I was kindly given a lift in a lorry to RC dressage. I took my project mare, a chestnut TB/Hanovarian of very dubious character. This was our first outing after having had a really major loss of confidence with her when she had unmercifully bucked me off for the umpteenth time. We managed to get placed in our class and my friend, whose lorry it was, did not. She was nearly in tears and insisted "well, its easy for you with your TB"............huh! I would have swapped mine for her steady cob any day!!

I must admit to taking great pride in watching my young stepdaughter ride my ponies at competitions or PC, seeing how good they were for her. I usually shed a tear or two! It might make a tougher rider out of you to ride naughty ponies but I do think good ones are far more pleasurable!
 

annagain

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10 December 2008
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I would have devoured this paperback when I was 12. What a very good boy.
Haha, all true. I wouldn't have the imagination to write a story like that.

Funnily enough, I just popped out to the vet to pick up danilon for Arch in my lunch hour. His practice is at his wife's livery/competition yard. At pony club, the girl from a similar background to me rode the wife's horses. I haven't seen her for years (at least 10!) but she was there today. She's been furloughed and the normal groom has gone home to Poland so she was helping out the livery owner (wife). We had a nice chat reminiscing about the other girls and when I mentioned I still bump into one (a particularly nasty one) now and again out walking the dog, the livery owner who's normally very polite said "Is she still mental?" It was very appropriate for her and very funny!
 

Green Bean

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I don't understand all the hype. I have a 16hh horse because I feel anything smaller would be too small for me from a weight point of view (I am not huge but no fairy either). I have a warmblood because I like their look not because it may be related to something amazing (a bit like Trump saying he is very clever because one of his long ago relatives was a scientist!). For these two aspects I pay the price - she is a long way to fall from and can spook at thin air. Do I often think perhaps I should have bought a weight carrying 15hh cob? Hell yes. But, I would do the same again (and have done)
 

annagain

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I don't understand all the hype. I have a 16hh horse because I feel anything smaller would be too small for me from a weight point of view (I am not huge but no fairy either). I have a warmblood because I like their look not because it may be related to something amazing (a bit like Trump saying he is very clever because one of his long ago relatives was a scientist!). For these two aspects I pay the price - she is a long way to fall from and can spook at thin air. Do I often think perhaps I should have bought a weight carrying 15hh cob? Hell yes. But, I would do the same again (and have done)
This is me too - I'd love another Section D but I'd be too heavy for anything but the biggest of them these days (working on getting it down but would rather have something I don't have to worry about being on a constant diet to ride comfortably). I have big chunky horses as that's what I feel comfortable on and that's what I need. They're both pretty easy - one took a very novicey 13 yr old around several 80cm ODE events last year, he's that much of a gent. I love that they're easy and I've never thought of them as a status symbol.
 

Tarragon

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I wish more people would realise the difference between an adrenalined filled and stressed horse and an excited horse. Both feel "exciting" to ride (and can be used to show off your riding skills if you fall into that category!) but one of them is not a happy horse!!!
 

Elf On A Shelf

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I wish more people would realise the difference between an adrenalined filled and stressed horse and an excited horse. Both feel "exciting" to ride (and can be used to show off your riding skills if you fall into that category!) but one of them is not a happy horse!!!
I have pretty much retired Gray from ridden work now. He was getting too wound up at shows because idiots saw him as the quiet horse in the class so would cling to his arse which upser him a lot. Most recently he has a small black lump on his side right where your girth buckles would be. I am unsure if it a melonoma or a skin tag. He has melonomas under his tail. I will get it checked out when my trusted vet is back at work. It doesn't bother him on a daily basis but he is seriously upset when I put my leg on now.

Oh and he is a 17hh exracehorse so ner ner ne ner ner! 😝😂🤣😂
 

fankino04

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I find it's very much linked to the..... "you're so lucky, your horse is so well schooled/polite/easy" crowd. ;)
One of those riders said that about my ex racer when we moved onto a new yard, she rode her one day and found out when she was unceremoniously dumped on the floor that she wasn't that easy unless you pressed the right buttons 😂
 

Pinkvboots

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Years ago my friend had a 14.2 Arab he wasn't the easiest to ride I know this as we often hacked together and I had ridden him myself, one of the new liveries at our yard that had a 17 3 warmblood, once said to my friend " when are you going to sell your childhood pony and get a proper horse to ride"

Friends reply was that he wasn't her childhood pony and that he was an Arab a breed she had always wanted and was definitely not a pony for children, she even offered the girl to hack him out she declined I think after asking a few other liveries on the yard.
 

AShetlandBitMeOnce

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I think some of the posts on this thread are crinimal for exactly the kind of attitude you are irritated at, but in the reverse; there is also nothing wrong with owning a big warmblood, just as there isn't with owning a donkey, draft horse, cob, mule, pony, shetland, unridden, ridden, driven, walking on the moon horse.

I have a 19hh Westphalian (happy to post photo with meauring stick if anyone is really that interested, although mine only goes to 17.3hh so you'll have to make do with an additional few inches of tape measure), he is high withered so is probably truly 18/18.1hh if you measured to his back but to me it makes no odds. I will mention he is 19hh if it is relevant to what I am saying/discussing with someone eg: I am struggling with 'x' part of a dressage test because a 10m circle is tricky on him, or why I always carry a curved top hunting cane to hack with (helps with gates).

His paces are incredible naturally, he floats in trot and he is very loose and atheltic, and sometimes when he is full of adrenaline he goes into 'stallion mode' which looks lovely but is something I actively avoid - and I have been victim to some nasty comments/judgements from both people I know and people I don't know at clinics etc because they assume I will have the attitude described in this thread. But the truth is, as anyone knows who will speak to me, that I bought him for £1000 because he has sarcoids, was unfit, undermuscled, prone to lymphangitis and was bargey/bitey/inpatient/horrible on the ground and unpredictable to ride. Despite that I loved him, I knew his ability schooling wise would make me a much better rider and I wanted to learn from him, and I knew I could work on the rest.

He can now be handled by anyone, can be sat on by anyone and schooled by anyone capable, and I am allowed to be as proud of my progress with my 19hh Westphalian, as you are of your 15hh ISH or 9hh Shetland.
 
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holeymoley

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18 November 2012
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I would imagine it’s the same breed as the ones that create the invisible problems that there is NEVER a resolution for. Like- ‘I have to do this as I can’t feed/do this because it would upset this which would then upset that and cause x which will cause y and then that won’t work either..... ‘

No matter any solution, which you know would work, is totally off the cards.
 

CanteringCarrot

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Hm, if I like the horse, I like the horse. I don't care about height, but I don't prefer a giant. I seem to do best with the 15-15.3hh variety.

FWIW, a lot of the big, big, Warmbloods I've been around have had limb issues of all sorts, I have no idea if it was due to their size or just coincidence in my personal experiences. Many take a lot of food, A LOT. I've never caught the attitude of the rider/owner being better because his/her horse is bigger, but I could also be so absolutely dense that I just don't pick up on it. My last horse, a KWPN, was large, but I never thought anything of it. I just happened to own a horse of x size.

A good pair is a good pair, so I don't care if the rider is on a mule, pony, draft, gangly giant, etc.

I do not think I am a better rider when my horse acts up or I ride through something. In fact, I want the earth to swallow me whole when my horse acts like an idiot...because it's more of a failure/weak point in our training than anything else.
 

huskydamage

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23 October 2012
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Im not into big horses at all, I find them boring and clonky. (no offence to big horse owners!)
For me I think why go crashing through the undergrowth in a Lorry when I can wizz through on a motorbike (pony!)😂 I have had countless people make bitchy comments and look down there nose at me on the pony but not on my horse. The pony is nuts, horse is so chill your granny could ride her.
 

MagicMelon

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Anyone who thinks it’s harder to ride bigger horses has never ridden a pony 😂
Ha ha totally agree with this! I've only had two horses that I'd call "big" (ie. over 17hh) and they were very mannerly and easy to ride, it just hurt more when I fell off... ponies on the other hand are so much more of a challenge!
 

Scotsbadboy

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I look down on people who ride ponies ... I cant help it, my horse is 17h! Is she naughty, no ..... is she sharp and un confident sometimes .. hell yes ... am i a better rider than you ... probably not, I just have a sticky bum but that doesnt mean i wont fall off eventually. Do I appear to be a bit stuck up and looking down on you sometimes ... absolutely but likely because 1) Im on a taller horse and 2) my head is spinning from the last jaw dropping spook that I managed to sit and my b*tch face is very similar to my 'hung on for dear life' face :D
 

mule

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27 October 2016
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I think some of the posts on this thread are crinimal for exactly the kind of attitude you are irritated at, but in the reverse; there is also nothing wrong with owning a big warmblood, just as there isn't with owning a donkey, draft horse, cob, mule, pony, shetland, unridden, ridden, driven, walking on the moon horse.

I have a 19hh Westphalian (happy to post photo with meauring stick if anyone is really that interested, although mine only goes to 17.3hh so you'll have to make do with an additional few inches of tape measure), he is high withered so is probably truly 18/18.1hh if you measured to his back but to me it makes no odds. I will mention he is 19hh if it is relevant to what I am saying/discussing with someone eg: I am struggling with 'x' part of a dressage test because a 10m circle is tricky on him, or why I always carry a curved top hunting cane to hack with (helps with gates).

His paces are incredible naturally, he floats in trot and he is very loose and atheltic, and sometimes when he is full of adrenaline he goes into 'stallion mode' which looks lovely but is something I actively avoid - and I have been victim to some nasty comments/judgements from both people I know and people I don't know at clinics etc because they assume I will have the attitude described in this thread. But the truth is, as anyone knows who will speak to me, that I bought him for £1000 because he has sarcoids, was unfit, undermuscled, prone to lymphangitis and was bargey/bitey/inpatient/horrible on the ground and unpredictable to ride. Despite that I loved him, I knew his ability schooling wise would make me a much better rider and I wanted to learn from him, and I knew I could work on the rest.

He can now be handled by anyone, can be sat on by anyone and schooled by anyone capable, and I am allowed to be as proud of my progress with my 19hh Westphalian, as you are of your 15hh ISH or 9hh Shetland.
Do you find him difficult to ride, because of his height? Mine is 16"1 and he's lovely but I think it takes more effort to match his movement than the smaller ones. I recently rode one that was just shy of 18 hands and it took a lot more effort again. I suppose me being short doesn't help.
 
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The Fuzzy Furry

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In a mysterious clique, apparently....
Can I just say that I'm getting chugged off with riding out with friends on tall horses?
The reason? When they take photos (as I'm usually inept), I look much bigger on B especially in my body, than I do in photos taken side on from the ground! 🤣🤣

I'm very happy to hand over the reins on mine now and in the past, I like getting feedback, usually (unless still a work in progress) I'm proud to say mine are well trained enough to do as asked :) However, as current mount bounces a little in company on rare occasions, most friends wont hop on in an arena (where she is pretty pleasant and responsive).
 
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