HHO Dictionary - “Quirky”

mini barnes

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Ah yes, words and phrases that are subject to interpretation in the horse world.
Notably, we’ve had
“not suitable for novices”
“green”
“Project”
and most recently “sharp” ....this brings me to the next instalment. How would you define “quirky?”
Examples welcomed for clarification (and funny stories/healthy discussion!)
 

milliepops

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But in general a horse that wont be suitable for a human lacking a sense of humour.
^^ good catch-all description there

I'd say my Welsh is quirky, tbh it's a polite way of saying she's downright contradictory but worth the effort for her immense cuteness and unlikely talent.
She's desperately needy and has terrible separation anxiety yet starts a punch up with any horse she is allowed contact with, including her pair bond.

In the same ride you can go from utter brilliance to outrageous napping back to brilliance in a heartbeat

That kind of thing 😁 many people wouldn't be able to put up with the awkwardness but I find it interesting.
 

Floofball

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I think many horses have ‘quirks’ that are down to past experiences. My lovely sensitive white boy had many! Rushing through stable doors, wouldn’t turn left into a stable but would turn right. Bowed down like a dogs play bow when he saw a saddle, turned into a sweaty tucked up dragon if he heard a hunt horn (unfortunately a fellow livery had it as their ringtone!!) if he sensed/heard a hunt in the distance would stand shaking and not eat for toooooo long to name but a few! Unravelled it all eventually, he’d been a hunt hireling in not well fitting tack, had fallen going into a stable etc etc. Lots of rubber matting outside the stable, stable doors widened, sedatives when hunt was about, 5 saddles in the first 18 months of ownership yada yada yada - he taught me so much but he was batshit crazy - I miss him soooo much 😢
 

mini barnes

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I think many horses have ‘quirks’ that are down to past experiences. My lovely sensitive white boy had many! Rushing through stable doors, wouldn’t turn left into a stable but would turn right. Bowed down like a dogs play bow when he saw a saddle, turned into a sweaty tucked up dragon if he heard a hunt horn (unfortunately a fellow livery had it as their ringtone!!) if he sensed/heard a hunt in the distance would stand shaking and not eat for toooooo long to name but a few! Unravelled it all eventually, he’d been a hunt hireling in not well fitting tack, had fallen going into a stable etc etc. Lots of rubber matting outside the stable, stable doors widened, sedatives when hunt was about, 5 saddles in the first 18 months of ownership yada yada yada - he taught me so much but he was batshit crazy - I miss him soooo much 😢
Funny you should mention all of that, the passing hunt makes mine ill :(
Takes days not hours to get him the right way up again. He also has a career black spot which we kind of know was just hunting with a bloke who we think just ragged the proverbial tits off him as a youngster and blew his mind. He’s a brick outhouse as well so it’s a right faff getting in and out of his box.

I’m googling “how to do a fun ride and not die”
 

windand rain

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Quirky to me means one that doesnt quite behave as most would in given situations not necessarily bad but definitely not predictably boring. Used to love quirky when I rode it made life interesting now I am old I prefer a bit more simple as I am mostly on the floor with them
 

conniegirl

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^^ good catch-all description there

I'd say my Welsh is quirky, tbh it's a polite way of saying she's downright contradictory but worth the effort for her immense cuteness and unlikely talent.
She's desperately needy and has terrible separation anxiety yet starts a punch up with any horse she is allowed contact with, including her pair bond.
My welshie Is like this! Is in his own paddock as he has tried to kill everything put in with him but god help you if you take away any of the horses near him
 

Floofball

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Funny you should mention all of that, the passing hunt makes mine ill :(
Takes days not hours to get him the right way up again. He also has a career black spot which we kind of know was just hunting with a bloke who we think just ragged the proverbial tits off him as a youngster and blew his mind. He’s a brick outhouse as well so it’s a right faff getting in and out of his box.

I’m googling “how to do a fun ride and not die”
The good thing was he was ok with fun rides, riding out in large groups, hacking around the fields with my dogs - think he associated the hounds and the horns with stress/pain etc
I had a Clyde X that I took hunting to get him going forward, it was the first time I got him to gallop - he loved it!! Pulled my arms out and spent far too much time on his hind legs 😂 never took him in a snaffle again! He would go off his food if the hunt was around but you got the impression if he got out he would go and join in - White boy wanted to get away and displayed a very fear filled reaction - he was a sensitive soul bless - do the fun ride 😃
 

Crazy_cat_lady

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Not sure if mine is or just spooky

Not a nasty bone in his body, wont ever try and hurt you

But will walk past things like fly tipping hacking with only a bit of sideways. Poo or mud on the road, especially if flattened, on the other hand results in slammed on breaks and snorting...

He is Welsh
 

Bonnie Allie

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Love the term quirky - it is so descriptive for the whacky unusual things they come out with that appear to have no rhyme or reason to them. Had a few over the years.

ex-racer whose mind had been blown up both in racing and then he was handed from owner to owner as a show jumper. Came to us as a chronic rearer described as quirky. Ironed out the rearing and he lived to 29. The only one we couldn’t solve was his hatred of loud announcements at shows. We couldn’t park anywhere near a tanoy or he would lose his mind.

Current mare who has been with us since birth has a massive exclusion zone around her. Challenging when we are waiting for our turn to go into the SJ ring, I have to ask others not to get too close or she lunges at them snapping her teeth at them.
 

milliepops

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In all seriousness, I think quirkiness often comes from a bit of PTSD
FWIW I think that's spot on for my quirky one. She's not naughty or scheming, she's pretty screwed up really. I've learned how to accommodate her and she's learned how to do stuff I like, so we've met in the middle but it would be easy to tip her back over the edge by not taking her quirks into account.
 

DabDab

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To me, you have rearrange how you do thinks to suit them or face the consequences. Unpredictable too.

ETA, not that it can't be trained out of them to a degree.

In all seriousness, I think quirkiness often comes from a bit of PTSD, or not being treated as a horse as a baby.
I don't know, I've known some who would be described as quirky because they just have an unusual personality, just like some people.
 

madamebonnie

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Quirky is George:
Spends one day napping and spooking in arena, terrified because someone messed up the line of trailers and now they're out of order. Next day goes to a competition, warm up a bit rubbish, but then goes in a big spooky arena and produces 70+ % tests. He's the most reliable horse I've ever ridden to compete but the least reliable at home!
 

Jeni the dragon

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I'd say my mare is quirky. She definitely wasn't a pet as a youngster as grew up on the Fells with very minimum handling.

She's very particular about the stables she goes into, also can be very funny with people. She and my sister don't always see eye to eye!
 

IrishMilo

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Quirky to me means unpredictable. I know a few who I would describe as quirky - one day he’ll do 1.05 and the next he’ll drop his shoulder at a pole on the ground. Or another who I ride will shoot forward if you need to adjust your hat/reins on one day but the next day he won’t care. The ones who don’t seem to have a reason for being as they are are the ones I describe as quirky.
 

C1airey

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Something has happened in the horse’s past which has left a psychological mark.

Sometimes it’s as easy as not using buckets of a certain colour, or always leading from the wrong side; sometimes it would be kinder to PTS but someone thinks they can/wants to make their mis-spent money back.

Either way, in a sales listing, it’s someone covering their *rse ready for when it decks you.
 

Caol Ila

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Mine is quirky to manage but not to handle or ride. She's super straightforward to ride. But she can't be in out in a herd, yet wants to share fencelines with other horses. If you she doesn't like the vibe of the barn or the field she's in or the stable, she will boxwalk and fencewalk. And there's no solution to it other than moving -- finding a better field if the yard owner is cooperative, and a new yard if they are not. If she likes the place, she's fine. I've given up trying to figure out what triggers the fencewalking. Years ago, I even went to an animal communicator once (so desperate!), and I didn't feed them any information about fencewalking, in fear they would say something generic and useless. It was a Q&A where they said, "What would you like to ask Gypsum?" I said, "How does she like this yard?" (where she was fencewalking like a mad thing and was impossible to deal with in the box if her barnmate wasn't in). They said something along the lines of, "Gypsum says she enjoys being out with her friends and she likes her stable." Ummmm....

It was so clearly BS. But yeah, quirky.
 

SEL

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My appaloosa mare .... although since she came into my life I've met many people who describe Appys as "quirky". I think the fact that their white eyes look human probably adds to it - & mine can roll her eyes if she's annoyed too.

Only likes some stables - no consistency with what does / doesn't meet her standards but you definitely know if she's displeased.

Pulls up fence posts even if it means a smack off the electric. Not always the posts with grass the other side either.

Bodywork makes me laugh. She gets quite insistent that the human with useful hands massages her in a certain spot. Even if they've been doing that spot for 15 mins they are not allowed to move on.

Pigs, tarps all met with indifference. A newly cut hedge = meltdown.

By far the most expressive horse I've ever met. She's like a 600kg teenager who would stomp off in disgust and slam her bedroom door if she could.
 
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