Letting someone else compete your horse

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8 July 2019
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I've recently purchased my first horse after many years of riding and dreaming. He is a 10 year old andalusian who was jumping 130cm with his previous owner.


Due to budget constraints I have him in working livery at a riding school. I have three lessons a week currently (dressage) and he is ridden primarily by another person twice a week (jumping). I don't have a written contract with the riding school, just an agreement over email that he can be used for lessons if needed. He is not a beginner's horse or schoolmaster therefore isn't as heavily used as others.


Anyway - the guy who rides him twice a week wants to take him to a showjumping competition in a few weeks.


My gut says no. It's an uncontrolled environment. Horses are more likely to get injured competing. My insurance doesn't cover showjumping competitions. And if he is injured I miss out riding for who knows how long. He had an over reach injury previously which took him out for a season.


I feel like the bad guy here and awful that this guy won't get to compete but the other part of me is saying "not my problem". They don't have any school horses which can jump at this level.


Am I the bad guy? Is this unreasonable?
 

Michen

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I probably wouldn’t. I have paid someone to compete my horse to give him experience which is obviously a totally different matter.

I did let my sharer take mine hunting twice, once when I was foot following (fine) and once alone. Tbh my heart was in my mouth all day.

He’s your horse so if you don’t feel comfortable with it definitely don’t allow it.
 

Sussexbythesea

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I think it would depend on whether I was getting anything out of it. I’ve had an experienced friend ride mine jumping as I’m wimpy and wanted to see what he was like out before I did it. Sometimes it’s enjoyable to see your horse doing something that maybe is beyond your own capabilities but still being part of it.

Otherwise no I don’t see the point of taking the risk. And as above don’t feel pressurised into allowing it but if you do make sure you adjust your insurance. Most basic insurance covers unaffiliated and affiliated competing at the lower levels.
 

ROMANY 1959

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I owned a promising eventer years ago, too much horse for me, so I found a rider, but I used to take them to events...It was the making of the horse and he went on to do good things with his young rider, who in the end bought him off me.. but I did always keep control of what he did till she bought him..
 

Shay

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We've competed for others - usually catch rides when the usual jockey was injured. But not actually having been in that position myself - no I would not let a client at a riding school compete my horse. If you are not comfortable with the situation then say no. Working livery or not he is still your horse.
 

Reacher

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Agree with others - it is your horse so unless it was a pro riding it I would not allow a RS client to compete it. What standard of rider is the guy? As a more general comment, sounds like your horse has been ridden / competed to a good standard by previous owner - I’d be careful about who i allowed to ride the horse as I wouldn’t want it spoiled by (assuming) less skilled riders at a RS
 

Trouper

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Slightly off track here, but please get a good written contract with the school on how much work your horse actually does and who rides him. It is so easy for horses to get sour in a working livery routine and it sounds as if you have a very capable horse here. I would be happier for a competent rider to compete him and challenge him mentally than endless arena lessons with riders of differing abilities.
 

QueenT

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If your gut tells you 'no', don't do it. Trust your instincts, you are not being unreasonable, it is your horse - the pleasure and the risk. I don't think you have to explain yourself, but if you do your reasons are valid enough. For me, it would be another matter if it were a sharer that contributes to the horse's training, then I'd consider it
 
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Agree with others - it is your horse so unless it was a pro riding it I would not allow a RS client to compete it. What standard of rider is the guy? As a more general comment, sounds like your horse has been ridden / competed to a good standard by previous owner - I’d be careful about who i allowed to ride the horse as I wouldn’t want it spoiled by (assuming) less skilled riders at a RS
He is a perfectly capable rider, better than I am at jumping anyway. Reasonably kind hands, soft seat.

I'm lucky the school and my instructor are very choosy about who they pair up. So far I believe only this person and one other have ridden him. I intend to take him off working livery when the weather improves and I can ride more often.
 
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A randomer at a riding school, absolutely not!! But then I wouldn't ever have my horses on working livery at a riding school in the first place.
It's definitely not my first choice. At the moment it means he is ridden 5x a week (winter here) which is more than I can commit to, plus it means I can afford more lessons. Hopefully it is short term only.
 
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Another no here from me, I would be really worried too, particularly as I don't know the person taking him and don't know how he would react if there was an issue or god forbid an accident.
 

milliepops

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If your gut tells you 'no', don't do it. Trust your instincts, you are not being unreasonable, it is your horse - the pleasure and the risk. I don't think you have to explain yourself, but if you do your reasons are valid enough. For me, it would be another matter if it were a sharer that contributes to the horse's training, then I'd consider it
this
I'm a believer in following gut instinct. Sounds like the rider in question is a pretty good match for the horse which is great in the meantime, but if you don't want him to take the horse to a show then that's your decision and I don't think you need to justify it to anyone.
 
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This is your dream horse and you have worked hard to achieve owning him so no. You can always change your mind at a later date if you would like to see your horse competing or maybe do a class each.

An Andalusian was my childhood dream so don't let yourself be pressured into a situation your not happy with and enjoy your new horse :)
 

Brownmare

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I wouldn't allow it in that situation. The client grts all the potential pleasure and none of the pain if it goes wrong. You, on the other hand, get no benefit and potentially no horse to ride if he is injured.

If you do let him go ahead with it, ask him to sign an agreement to pay for any vet care not covered by your insurance plus your livery and lessons on a school horse for the duration your horse is out of action in the event the horse is injured or lamed in his care. I bet he wouldn't sign up to that so why should you!
 

Black Beastie

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I have competed horses for people. I’ve also taken horses to their first shows and outings for people and had no issues.

The owners have been fine with me doing it, however if you don’t feel comfy doing it then don’t.
 
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If the horse is not insured for showjumping I would say no. If he injured himself you wouldn’t be covered!
And, your livery might well go up if he did get injured as he couldn't work for them.
Best get a contract sorted to cover not just working hours but also potential accidents whilst in their care, you could end up paying full livery for an injured horse.
Hope you resolve this.
 

Hexx

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If the insurance doesn't cover him, then no.

My YO used to compete my horse for me - I was off games after back surgery for 3 months, so she took him to a few shows over the summer and I did the grooming. Unfortunately, I didn't get him back for the next 8 years as she enjoyed showing him so much (and they did brilliantly well) she insisted on keeping the ride and I did all the prep work at home LOL! She eventually did "let" me do some dressage on him.
 

LegOn

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I think the insurance issue really rules it out and also gives you a friendly answer to the question to blame that rather than just a 'No I dont want you to' (although nothing wrong with being assertive either!)

He may be a lovely rider and get on well with your horse but its the other things that you have no control over at a show that might just be the thing you regret - like if another horse kicked your horse in the warm up or if the rider fell off, would you be liable for letting him take your horse?? Its a bit of a minefield! Sometimes better safe than sorry!
 
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I think the insurance issue really rules it out and also gives you a friendly answer to the question to blame that rather than just a 'No I dont want you to' (although nothing wrong with being assertive either!)

He may be a lovely rider and get on well with your horse but its the other things that you have no control over at a show that might just be the thing you regret - like if another horse kicked your horse in the warm up or if the rider fell off, would you be liable for letting him take your horse?? Its a bit of a minefield! Sometimes better safe than sorry!
The insurance thing was my first response to him.. he has now suggested he pay the difference on the insurance!

I'm worried I'll get him offside or that I am committing some cardinal sin of working livery :(
 

MagicMelon

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Absolutely not would I allow it. You dont even know this guy it sounds like? He sounds like an amazing horse (exactly what Id love actually!) so why let someone else get the fun, its of no benefit to you or the horse particularily. I would just say no, sorry its your horse and if anyone is going to compete him then it'll be you!
 

gunnergundog

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A different point of view....If the horse has recently competed successfully at 1.30m and you have bought it as a school master and aspire to compete at that level yourself in the future it may be worthwhile finding a competent rider (this or another one) to keep him ticking over at that level whilst you get your act together to ride and compete yourself at that level.

I am guessing that you are not in the UK??

I would however ensure that the requisite insurance is in place and that the jockey is to your satisfaction. I would also endeavour to have lessons off that jockey to ensure that you are both singing off the same hymn sheet as far as the horse goes and not cause confusion.

This sort of arrangement can work. Many many years ago I was competing at BE at a level WAY beyond my capabilities purely because a pro loved my horse, took pity on me and kept the horse sweet for my clumsy attempts at 3*. It did help that the horse was a sweet natured, forgiving jump-aholic. He got his 4* qualification and if it hadn't been for my selfishness (and lack of funds!) he would have competed at that level....probably with a moderate (mid-field) level of success, all other things being equal!
 

Talism4n

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The insurance thing was my first response to him.. he has now suggested he pay the difference on the insurance!

I'm worried I'll get him offside or that I am committing some cardinal sin of working livery :(
Maybe it’s just me but that seems cheeky of him to have not taken the hint. If you want an excuse, tell him thanks but no thanks, it could raise your premiums when you inevitably want to drop back to your current level of insurance. For what it’s worth, I agree with other posters, I wouldn’t allow this under any circumstances. It’s a very different question to get a pro to compete your horse for you - someone I didn’t know well wanting to use my horse as their chance to compete? Not a chance.
 
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