Do you think equines are more ruined these days by novice owners etc?

Saucisson

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But just remember that not so long ago horses were used for transportation. In the 1960s and even 1970s there were probably plenty more people who knew a bit about horse care just because they had needed to work with them on a day to day basis.

Not that all experience is worth listening to anyway, there's plenty of "experienced" horse people who are more than capable of ruining a horse and wouldn't even know it when they had.

I think we have too many choices now and as a result worry too much (internet forums are probably a major culprit :D) but I think that applies to many other areas in our lives too.

I would say though that generally, people are lazier. I think perhaps there's a lot of horses who just don't get worked hard enough. I know my horses "vices" generally vanish when he's been working hard and he's pooped out.

I regularly see people spend more time tacking up than actually riding. The horse will get a couple of canters on each leg and then that's it. The good riders I've seen are those that have the concentration and fitness to just keep going, repeating and repeating instructions/ exercises and making sure the details are consistant. (They also seem to have a 6th sense of when to stop).

I just finished reading "Warrior - the Real Story of a War Horse" and wow, they didn't worry too much about Neddikins being tired/having sore legs/back problems in those days did they? :D (and that was the bits when he wasn't at war :eek:)
 

Flame_

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Is it just me or are there more flash horses on livery yards these days? All very well if you can ride it, but so many (IME) don't seem to be able to handle them :cool:
Oh this. We are swamped with continental WB things, even Irish horses are often half continental these days. If you look at old videos, all the horses here were TB or Arab X pony or carthorse. Now livery yards are full of 17 handers bred with the hope of being super horses but failing and getting passed over into amateur homes where they really are not the best animals for that job as a rule. Trainers and advisers often don't help either because they get over-excited at the prospect of working with a strapping athlete of a horse and encourage amateurs to go for this sort rather than the plainer but more straight-forward type, which these days is harder to come by IME.

OP, more people ride now, the equestrian industry has grown and is growing and this is, I imagine, the only reason more horses might be ruined by novices now than in the past. People have always had to start somewhere and there have always been good and bad ways and places to learn.
 
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newbie_nix

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I haven't read the other answers but its not NOVICE owners that do the harm but IGNORANT ones:eek:

There is a wealth of information out there and people to ask - everyone has to start some where - but a failure to learn/research is inexcusable in this day and age.:eek: Advice and knowledge if forever changing and being updated - some of the worst information can come from a 'knowledgeable horseperson' who has not moved with times as much as it can from a 'novice' who is trying to learn.
This completely! I am a novice return to riding a few years ago type adult in my late 30s. Got our first horses (hubby rides too) a few months ago having had lessons for a couple of years. Before that I rode on and off since 6 but never much more than hacking and with long breaks due to back issues.

I am lucky, have family with many years of horse ownership, lots horsey friends and mother in law runs Riding for the Disabled so looks after 8 horses daily and I help whenever I can. I am constantly asking questions - of my vet, barefoot trimmer, farriers, neighbours with horses, people in the tack shop, people in the feed company and of course hang out on here, another board in NZ (where I am now) and research on the internet constantly. I also love just hanging out with horsey types, keeping my mouth shut and just listening....

Not the same as being practically born in the saddle but i decided I needed horses back in my life and sometimes you just have to go for it.

I use common sense, and if something doesn't feel quite right I stop and check everything. 10 times if necessary! i don't expect a ready made horse , every day is a 'school day'. If something goes wrong, I look to myself first then figure it out. We take our time, I don't expect too much of either myself or my horses. I don't spoil them, I am strict with them but I keep it fun for both of us. So far, so good.

I have seen some shocking mistakes made by people with heaps of experience. Young horses ridden hard and yanked about, ridden in ill fitting tack etc. Horses ridden into the ground. I did take 1 risk initially. I bought a 3 yr old! Definitely not what I was planning on, I was (very sensibly ) looking for an older schoolmaster type but then spotted him just up the road and he was being advertised as a quiet, novice, can ride on the buckle type ride.

Thought it couldn't hurt to look..... He is a very cruisey, gentle, clydie type - the only reason I dared buy a youngster - he had way less baggage than all the older ones we tried! And I totally fell in love with him - oops! GAME OVER.

I was told by seller, an ex show jumper and breeder with decades of experience to 'ride him really hard' , 'lunge him on tight circles and use side reins' ' get him jumping' MAKE him do this and that. Hit him if he is naughty!' etc I took this advice with a pinch of salt, got him out of there.

Rode him lightly at first then realised he was a bit uncomfortable. He had been broken in at 2 BTW. Way too early IMO. Saddle they sold me didn't fit at all! Got saddle fitter in, and in meantime have decided to just do groundwork with him and give him a chance to mature a bit physically and mentally (but mainly physically)

So now we have *gently* discovered the delights of clicker training, sessions of ground driving, double line lungeing together. Slowly and responsibly. Or we just walk out together and enjoy getting out and about seeing things. Will bring him back into light ridden work with the help of an appropriate instructor when he is at least 4. Or even 5 - no rush. And by that I don't mean just send him away and expect a finished product at the end! In the meantime have bought an older, very gentle, stock horse with heaps experience and he has been a fantastic confidence builder.

One of the things I pay most attention to is diet, health and foot issues. I also bought a first aid book, several horse manuals (and actually READ them LOL) and a wide range of first aid products. Researched how to bandage, poultice, what colic signs are, and what to do in advance of a problem.

I am constantly researching what plants could be toxic, but also which ones are beneficial and good pasture management. I will probably always be a 'novice' but I am committed to making sure I do the very best by my horses at all times. I know I still only know a fraction of what the true experts do, but I am aware of this and will happily stick my pride on the shelf and keep learning and asking...

Everyone had to start somewhere....but no matter what level of experience, there really is no excuse for complete ignorance these days!
 

htobago

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OP, more people ride now, the equestrian industry has grown and is growing and this is, I imagine, the only reason more horses might be ruined by novices now than in the past.

People have always had to start somewhere and there have always been good and bad ways and places to learn.
This, especially the last sentence.

Also I like whoever posted that 'novice owner' is not the same as 'ignorant owner'. Intelligent novice owners have always had (and no doubt still do have) the sense to get help from experienced professionals.
 

rachel_s

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I haven't read the other answers but its not NOVICE owners that do the harm but IGNORANT ones:eek:

There is a wealth of information out there and people to ask - everyone has to start some where - but a failure to learn/research is inexcusable in this day and age.:eek: Advice and knowledge if forever changing and being updated - some of the worst information can come from a 'knowledgeable horseperson' who has not moved with times as much as it can from a 'novice' who is trying to learn.
I partially agree with this BUT there are many different schools of opinions and a lot of noise without a lot of actual evidence about the right way. Look at any post asking about shoeing or feeding on here. And I still have yet to read a post which would actually inform me what a saddle fitter does and how to tell a good one from a mediocre one. (Recommendations arent necessarily worth much since it can be a case of "blind leading blind").

In other words, I actually think the sheer amount of so called information available makes it really difficult to work out what is good information and what is simply noise.
I also think the horse world can be very condescending and cruel to novices (as can other worlds) which can put people off asking and trying to interpret noise on their own. Difference being in other worlds, you might waste a lot of money. With horses, the potential for harm to both equine and human is huge.
 

SO1

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No I don't think they are ruined but I do think more people have ended up with unsuitable horses. Horse ownership has been opened up to a wider range of people with the expansion of livery yards.

Buying a horse is risky business even if you are experienced it does not mean you will not make a mistake or be taken in by someone dishonest. There are more people buying a first horse or pony who do not have the support of knowledable friends or family to help make a decision.

I remember as a child my parents who did have experienced of horses tended to buy through the local pony club as they knew the ponies and the DC would offer advice on what was suitable.

When I was looking for a pony for myself after a gap in horse ownership I wanted something quiet and easy to handle yet competitive and it was so hard to find anything like that. I was very lucky as just when I was about to give up I found a nice young new forest he was younger that I was wanting but sensible and has proved to be both steady and competitive.

I can see why people give up trying to find what they orginially set out to find and then end up with something unsuitable due to desperation to have a horse. Also I think there is a degree of snobery too involved in that if you have a flashy horse by default you are therefore a good rider and if you have a quiet one you must be a novice and sometimes people want others to think they are good riders and can manage a sharp flashy horse even though they might be happier with something a bit more straightforward and are too frightened to do most of things they want to. People probably look down on me for having a quiet pony and when we win they say oh it is ok for you your pony is really well behaved as if to say you have not achieved anything unless your horse is tricky!
 

emma.is

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A few years ago kids would go to the riding school and be able to help and learn. Now health and safety says they can't...

The school is blamed and sometimes sued for the kids getting kicked/bucked off/dragged and the kids aren't just laughing and brushing themselves off or having a trip to a&e (which would be boasted about in the tack room next week!)
 

lizijj

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The riding world is very strange indeed to me...
For example I have owned/trained ridden hundreds of horses/ponies from a child.
I still have yet to meet one who needed help with back and teeth checked and new saddle and bridle etc etc.
And yes I have had some difficult rearing, napping, bucking horses brought for cheap or gifted:eek:
All of them have improved with lots of turn out, minimal time in stable, lots of love and care, followed by firmness with a kind hand(not spiteful)I find a used saddle that fits them the best I can! I admit that:eek::D
and mainly just accepting horses limitations, not all can go in wonderful outline and jump 4 foot gates.
Some might be a little crooked some days (as are we) time off is needed..
However I simply could not afford to go down made to measure saddle route, regular back person and this new reikki thing:eek:
It could be luck but I just like to follow common sense.

I agree - the best rides of my life were over 20 years ago. Not so many good stables/yards due to increasing costs. I, myself have to admit, that to buy the horse of my dreams had to buy a youngster and have been out of my depth at times, despite having ponies/horses all my life. There are only a few 'select' people I would turn to for help now - I wouldn't even rely on BHS qualifications.
 
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Ladydragon

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The problem is, that its an easy thing to say "I can ride".
<snip>
I do feel that some people are far too confident too soon. I used to run a riding club for a certain uni, and on a weekly basis had to split people into novice, intermediate and advanced lessons. Novice - people who could not rise in trot properly/canter confidently, Intermediate - could walk, trot, canter confidently and were learning to jump/could pop a small simple course, Advanced - those that could perform a dressage test, jump, etc. It was an utter nightmare, I had girls moaning that the should be in advanced and that they could jump so they should be in advanced, they had no respect for the people who let us use their horses for competitions. They honestly did not realise how dangerous it can be to over estimate your abilities. The club irritated me, and showed the selfish side of people, I can quite easily see how people with money (rather than students) could go out and buy and horse and find themselves completely out of their depth... without actually ever admiting it....

Have I just made myself a snob :eek:
Interesting what you said there about classes... My son is a total novice end of IMO... He started riding April of last year and I've taught him although he is now getting beyond me so I've roped in professional tuition to start soon...

He went to his first PC session on Saturday and I was absolutely gobsmacked that they wanted to put him into the top class (three of them)... He has done no jumping and I don't want him to start without proper tuition on a school master... The reason given was that he (as the novice newbie member) was the only one in the middle group who automatically checked his diagonals in trot, changed the crop to the inside and could move pony into the corners and it was apparently "quite surprising" that he knew to use his inside leg *sigh*... I had to say no to moving up because I didn't believe he is ready to jump, the pony is borderline too small for him and she's not old/experienced enough but I felt a bit of an idiot arguing the case that he shouldn't be placed in the highest group and although he did agree with me, I'm pretty certain he was hoping I'd lose the power of speech... "Eccentric" was probably the nicer of the thoughts the instructor had...

I don't want him to be a "point, direct, kick and if nothing happens kick harder" rider... Maybe it's me that's the snob or maybe I'm just old and remember expectations whilst learning being somewhat different...:eek:
 

Oldenburg

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I don't just think its novices as such just poor understanding or poor husbandry!! As I've owned 2 horses that have been ruined by experienced owners sadly!!
 

rockysmum

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My first horse was 43 years ago, a exracer and I was 13. I was just working out that I could buy an exracer today for the same price I paid for her.

Horse prices are so much lower relatively than they were then. Apart from the competition and hunting people who stabled their horses and had transport, the rest of us had to hack everywhere.

My horse lived out 24/7 with a barn shelter, wasn't rugged most of the time, shocking to think now.

She was a happy sane healthy horse which I enjoyed more than any other I have owned since.

But I still fall for the modern ways, I wouldn't dream of keeping a horse like that anymore.

So even those of us old enough to know better still over feed, stable too much, dont give enough exercise and buy unsuitable horses.

There really is no hope.
 

treacle_beastie

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I think there are just more people that own horses these days and they change hands too frequently when something goes wrong. When I was younger you would be very privileged, rich or come from a horse/farming background to own a horse and you would stick with what you got til the end despite the problems.

I think the problems still existed, I certainly used to ride some nappy, bucking, rearing, bolting beasts but I didnt care so much when I was younger and wouldnt have a had a clue how to fix it. I think these days we have too much knowledge from different sources so we can find a 'reason' for the behaviour which may have just gone ignored before.

Also with saddles - most old english saddles seemed to fit most things before but maybe thats down to the variety of breeds we had access to. i.e TB or native pony.

And as for feed - well one I used to ride used to eat grass, hay, some cattle cake if he got his teeth into it and the occasional sheep nut! Again, clueless back in the day too but it never did him any harm!
 

dumpling

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In my experience it's been the fact that the person has over estimated their abilities and bought the fast and brainy horse. They then beleive that they know everything and run into trouble but ignore it and any suggestions you make are swiftly ignored or your moaned at for being interfering! Problems then escalate and thus your left with loony horse that then gets papped off to a dealer and traded in for something else which then gets sold on... And the list goes on.
 

eahotson

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In my experience it's been the fact that the person has over estimated their abilities and bought the fast and brainy horse. They then beleive that they know everything and run into trouble but ignore it and any suggestions you make are swiftly ignored or your moaned at for being interfering! Problems then escalate and thus your left with loony horse that then gets papped off to a dealer and traded in for something else which then gets sold on... And the list goes on.
I think that this happens because novices see a big young warmblood as just a bigger flashier version of the riding school/novice ride that they have been riding.In fact some fairly experienced riders can get taken in like this.They underestimate what riding those great powerful paces can feel like and the fact that, powerful as they are,they don't do little spooks or little bucks.They just see themselves wowing everyone at the local riding club.(And we all dream sometimes!).Couple that with the fact that a lot of sellers will sell anything to anyone.Yes OF COURSE this ex racer straight off the track will be perfect for your novice,nervous 60 year old mum to hack out! And that a lot of people haven't got anyone REALLY sensible or knowledgeable to go horse shopping with them.Been there done that! One time I asked my then riding school instructor if she would come and see horses with me.I said I would look locally and of course, be happy to pay her for her time.The answer was NO! They didn't do that they said.
 

Feathered

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I do think health and safety has a lot to answer for. I see kids these days who learn in riding schools and they are just not as good riders as the pony club kids or the ones who have ponies at home etc.

I don't think it's their fault it's that they never get chance to ride in the real world, it's all trotting round the school in body protectors.

The trouble that this causes though, is that they are told they are "advanced riders" and of course mummy believes this, so when it comes to buying their own horse their heads are full of their own self importance and they won't listen to the common sense that says buy a nice cob for a first horse...

Oh no little Jenny wants this flashy ex racer to show off to her mates and because she's "advanced" she can cope with it....
Sigh.
 

Anglebracket

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I do think health and safety has a lot to answer for. I see kids these days who learn in riding schools and they are just not as good riders as the pony club kids or the ones who have ponies at home etc.
Alternatively, could this not be attributable to more time in the saddle? Children who ride at riding schools generally ride only once a week.
 

siennamum

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I suppose we started out as "novice owners" and I have been riding for, wait for it - 50 years. But we bought our first pony from an old time dealer, whose children were friends and used to go to the local shows every week and took their horses hunting in the winter.
We joined Pony Club and had to hack to meets. People in those days a) had their horses at home as they owned enough land, tended to be horse people, b) kept a hunter at a hunter livery or c) rented a field.

What you didn't have were many livery yards where more or less anyone can rent a stable and a field. There has also been an explosion in the number of horses and ponies in the country. There are more horses now than before cars when they were working and a means of transport (more people too of course).

I think there is a big lack of the old "nagsman" who would break-in and train a young horse, the old experienced groom who had been handling horses all their lives and had enough knowledge to avoid problems.

There is a lot of hard work and knowledge required to school a young horse. The hard work starts after the horse is broken to ride and this is when it can all go wrong, sadly for the horse.

I am very saddened that there are so many spoilt and "project horses" when with all the books, videos, training opportunities you would think that there would be a national full of nice, well schooled pleasant horses to ride whether sports or family horses. Sadly it seems that a good, ordinary horse is the hardest to find.
I agree with all of this apart from the bit about starting 50 years ago, I started riding 47 years ago!
 

pip6

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I'm reminded of a very dear friend. She & her adult (30+) daughter bought a horse together after loosing the previous one to grass sickness. They bought a quarter horse / tb cross aged 2. They didn't have a clue about bringing on one so young, & it got away with most things. Fast forward its now about 8 yrs old, daughter is scared to ride it so it has been dumped on mum, who realistically is a pretty novice rider. It still gets away with blue murder, is a horrible ill mannered brute. It has dumped her numerous times. At a particular low point, I did suggest she sell it & buy a steadier animal (she is a lovely person who deserves a sweet natured animal who wont take the mick) that may even get her daughter back into riding. To her credit she thought seriously about it, but decided to keep the s0d. Why? Well when another friend suggested she needed something like her new forest x cob (looks like a big forester), she said she wanted a horse without hairy legs & finer. So this lady is trapped by ego. She should be having huge amounts of fun on a steady mount, & sharing with her daughter. But, because they want a 'finer' animal, they're left with a nasty creature (don't think it can all be their lack of discipline, it's just not nice person) who spoils their enjoyment & to be frank is dangerous. Another friend at their yard has refused to hack out with her again after she lost control whilst he was mounting & the beast backed up to him on the mounting block, double barrelling him in the chest. Such a shame for both horse & rider.I'd never call a horse 'Daisy' now, having met this one.
 
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nona1

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I think novices don't get much opportunity to do the things that taught us so much. H&S and other regulations in various forms have stopped a lot of good stuff - while no one wants recklessness and accidents, it's not possible to have zero risk around horses. The attempt to get that has changed the horse world and means we have very ill-equipped people thinking they are more advanced than they are.

My parents weren't horsey or well off so all my riding as a child was at riding schools. some were good, some were bad, but they all had a nice normal mixture of horses and ponies with a bit of character that you really had to ride, not just sit on. We used to go our for bareback rides. None of the schools had anything more advanced than a sand school (if that) and there was lots of hacking out across fields, along roads, bridlepaths, through woods, up hills, down hills, jumping logs and ditches in our way. We'd have a good gallop. I learned to canter at the age of 8 hanging on for dear life as the group of unaccompanied riders (!) I was with just took off across a common. We'd take them back to the fields cantering along the track with just a headcollar. We climbed hay stacks. We'd go on 'pony weeks' where we had lessons on stable management, feeds, tack, bitting, tacking up, grooming, what to do if something threatens to bite/kick you, how to lead properly, how to lunge etc etc. We had competitions from mounted treasure hunts, gymkhana races, Chase me Charlie jumping to trying to vault on to bareback horses with the horses getting increasingly taller! All with about 20 kids all day being supervised by one riding instructor and left to our own devices for an hour at lunchtime while the poor woman disappeared for a break! I doubt any of this happens much these days...

We weren't taught anything about outlines or advanced stuff, but we learned balance and to have a sticky bum, light hands, how to work with your horse/pony to get their cooperation, that some ponies can jump 4' and others can barely get over 1' and that's just how they are, how to deal with napping and bad manners, how to ride out in company, how to keep an animal healthy and fit, and confidence.

If people stopped so much pratting around in arenas only thinking of looking pretty, and had the change to just crack on and have a bit of fun, and a few spills, they'd be much better riders.
 
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Copperpot

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At a yard I was at previously a couple had been for lessons on a school horse. Had them weekly for a month and then went and bought an ex racer straight off the track. The other liveries used to stand around laughing cos these people were clueless on how to take care of the horse. I helped them to the best of my ability. When did the horse world get so bitchy and judgemental? I wasn't born into a horsey family but when I was younger people at my yard helped me and taught me the right ways to do things. I agree the people should not have bought a horse so quickly but they did and the situation for them and the horse would have been easier if instead of laughing, people would have helped!!
 

cptrayes

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A friend of mine who ran a local livery yard of 60 or so horses saw this big time YorksG. She reckoned that 1/3 ofthe horses were never, ever, ridden because they were too much for the owners. They looked great though :eek:

Sadly too many people have a years worth of lessons and believe that they can ride. I have been learning to ride for over 40 years and continue to do so every day.
Agree with this too. I'm close to the 40 mark too, but the day I stop learning will be the day I give up and go and find something more interesting to do.
 

Cortez

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I used to teach a lot, and one of the most common questions from doting parents was "when can we buy a pony" for their little darling. My inevitable answer was "invest in another year's worth of lessons instead", repeat as needed.
 

YorksG

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I used to teach a lot, and one of the most common questions from doting parents was "when can we buy a pony" for their little darling. My inevitable answer was "invest in another year's worth of lessons instead", repeat as needed.
Thank Goodness for people like this^^^^^
A couple of years ago I went on a riding holiday in Wales (wonderful experience, day long hacks, no resposibility and loads of food which someone else had made :D)
Was wondering which catagory to tick, knew I wasn't novice, but should I put intermediate or experienced? Friend who was with me, who had been before, insisted that I tick experienced. I found out why on the first days ride! The majority of the guests rode at riding schools and the 'experienced' riders had had lessons for a few years, but had not hacked out on the roads, couldn't negotiate roughish tracks and claimed that the long, sedate and lovely canters, were gallops! It did explain a lot :p
 

wildflower

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We all must have been novice owners at some point....:rolleyes:...when I think of what me and my friend got up to with her ponies can,t believe they were, nt ruined by our antics:eek:........fast forward to my daughter....had 3 yrs of lessons at a riding school and learnt nothing.Except how to follow the pony in front , kick hard and flap about a bit. Her first pony was a little plod who was a treasure.2nd pony is a nightmare ...which you could,nt have predicted...however shes has been the best thing as my daughter has learnt tons...how to handle her...sit a fly buck in canter...the difficult ones give us the most experience.Shes just a sharp moody mare....
 

Luci07

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We now live in a society which has an awful attitude that animals are disposable. If it goes wrong it's never the fault of the owner and far too many people think they can buy perfection and chuck it away when it goes wrong. Just look at how dogs suffer in so many cases. The time of parents assuming children needed to work for their rides and learn seems well past.
 

marmalade76

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Having been around horses for nearly 20 years now (that is really scary being able to write it down, although I did start in my single didgits!) I would think it is happening more now than it did 20 years ago.

Granted over the years I have become more experienced and with age comes awareness.

I would say that horse ownership has become more accessible to a wider demographic of people. With more peolpe coming into the industry, the wide literature that is available on multilple platforms for 'self taught', the decline of riding establishments coinciding the increased ability to have a 'house with room for a pony' it is inevitable that there will be more 'problem' horses.
This. And I've seen it with my own eyes.

There are also loads of livery yards where there were none when I was a kid. If you had your own, you owned your own land or rented grazing.

I had horsey parents, they taught me the basics when I was little but after that I was left to my own devices, left to ride on my own and then find my own rides. Horse mad kids had to help out at an RC or pro yard to get rides if they didn't have their own. I was very lucky in that I found some wonderful people to learn from and I am most grateful to them. It seems to me that these days a lot of people simply don't want to learn, they just want a horse in the paddock or at the livery yard 'cause it's the thing to have.
 
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I think quite a few problems start at the riding schools now. I'm only a "young'un" but I've noticed things change, it always the ponies fault never the riders, and kids are just told what they want to hear, about their riding. And even colleges
 
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I think quite a few problems start at the riding schools now. I'm only a "young'un" but I've noticed things change, it always the ponies fault never the riders, and kids are just told what they want to hear, about their riding. And even colleges and unis churning out people with no horse sense. Then as others have said, how available horses are. I had a lady once come to me to enquire about lessons for her daughter, I had to turn her away as daughter was 5, and the woman's response...'oh don't worry dear, we will go buy you you're own then'
 
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