Owners who never ride their horse? Competition livery

The wife

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While watching my fabulous ex-racer win his class today (Sorry I just had to get my proud mummy moment in) I had a quick conversation with a lovely lady who questioned why I wasn't riding him, my reply was because he is too much for me, it has got me thinking, how many of you have horses in competition livery that you have either never ridden or very rarely do so.

Although there was not an ounce of malice in this question, I have had someone ask me with disbelief of why I own horses that I am not capable of riding. For future reference, because they are pretty is not a reasonable excuse to some - Mind you own business would have been a better reply.

I actually have 2. This horse and my dressage horse who my sister rides and competes. Fact is I get very little pleasure from riding these days. I have a gorgeous, older loan horse who takes me on little wanders around the roads as and when I feel like it, who looks after me well but is just spooky enough to keep me on my toes and I will occasionally sit on my sisters or mothers horses when asked to for 10 minutes or so, so that they can see how they are going.

Please tell me I am not alone. I love each of my boys dearly, they want for nothing and get the very best of care - the ex-racer is based with a pro as our set-up did not suit him and I try to see him as often as I can for cuddles and treats but that's it. I sit back, enjoy watching him improve and competing, pat him and feed him Polo's when he's a good boy, feel sorry for his rider when he's naughty and pay the bills when they are due and enjoy handing him over from my token holding session at a competition. It works for me.
 
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indiat

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I think if this is how you get pleasure from your horses, if you are a kind and responsible owner and if they are happy, it's no one else's business! There are lots of ways to enjoy horses.
 

bluedanube

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Your money, your choice... The Queen has racehorses and various show horses and she doesn't ride them so you're in good company...:)
 

SpringArising

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I don't understand it personally but I don't have an issue with it. I would just think if you're spending all that money, why not get something that you can 'ride like it's stolen'. :wink3:
 

The wife

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I don't understand it personally but I don't have an issue with it. I would just think if you're spending all that money, why not get something that you can 'ride like it's stolen'. :wink3:
The 'ride it like it's stolen' is in reference to a tattoo and a Team moto, ;) ... I have no interest in riding these days, that's the problem. I get more pleasure from getting up at 4am on a Sunday morning to plait my sisters horses up for her to compete, then travelling hours to a show for an hour long class and getting home at some god forsaken time in the evening than I ever would competing myself. Why would I want to spend all that money on a horse who would just be wasted on me?
 

rachk89

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Your money, your choice... The Queen has racehorses and various show horses and she doesn't ride them so you're in good company...:)
Exactly. Loads of people do this, most of the top competition horses arent owned by the people who ride them. Professional riders more often than not are given horses to ride by people who have bought the horse, but dont have the ability to ride it to its potential, or dont want to like yourself.

I get others to ride my horse in jumping if I dont want to. He loves to jump and is fairly good at it, but green so he needs an experienced rider who has confidence to show him what to do. So others do that for me, I just improve his flatwork as best as I can so its easier for those who jump him.
 

equi

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Your money your horse your life. I would love to see my big lad out competing. I'd like to ride in a show but I'm far too nervous. I enjoy riding at home and hacking a little and some low stress things.

I have four minis who can't be ridden obv but I get the greatest pleasure from working with them and showing them in hand.

Do what makes you happy :)
 

_HP_

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I haven't ridden my horse in over 3 years....I have 3 ponies that I can't ride because they are too small. All of them are pets first. I don't understand how people don't understand this.
Do your dogs have to do a job too or is it OK for them to just be pets?
 

sjp1

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As long as you get enjoyment out of it, it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks. Lets face it, apart from the minority of horses who actually make money for you, for the rest of us, whether we hack, compete to a fairly low level or hunt, its all about enjoyment - like race horse owners who very seldom get a win and probably have never ever ridden.

Its a hobby for most of us, and one to be enjoyed - however.
 

ihatework

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I love eventing but I'm too gutless and not good enough over a fence to do it myself.
I get so much pleasure from being involved in event horse ownership. I could ride the horse but at the moment I choose not to, he's a little sharp for me to want to hop up at the moment - I do often ride the advanced horse out alongside him though.

I have a mare that until recently I was doing dressage with (and will again when foal weaned) - I enjoy riding but I'm very particular about what I like to ride these days. The mare hits the spot, but I have to say I haven't missed riding that much while she has been off on mat leave
 

Mince Pie

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I haven't ridden my horse in over 3 years....I have 3 ponies that I can't ride because they are too small. All of them are pets first. I don't understand how people don't understand this.
Do your dogs have to do a job too or is it OK for them to just be pets?
To be honest, if my dogs were costing me £400 a month I'd expect them to be doing something - canicross or something similar - else I couldn't justify the money.
 

splash30

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Slightly different situation I have mine as home produced, I ride, hack, school to a certain level (toddle round and try to look pretty) then I have a schooling rider who does an amazing job to school to a higher level, then I have a show rider as I hate the ring, it works well, I would not send my horse away as I love the relationship I have with my horse but also get a huge kick from seeing my horse ridden/competed by others and do well.
 

gunnergundog

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Well, if we didn't have owners that didn't ride their horses we would never have seen the likes of Tamarillo or many, many others so don't knock it!
 

Micropony

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Personally I wouldn't choose to make the financial and emotional investment in horse ownership without the riding part, but that's because I really enjoy riding. If I want a pet, my preference would be something I can have at home, so spend more time with, and with considerably lower running costs!

The thought of someone else competing my horse, even if they could do it miles better than me, would make me wild with jealousy! But if you get pleasure from someone else riding and competing your horse(s), or just from keeping them as pets, then why not? It's your money after all!
 

Luci07

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Without people like you there would be no professional sport. No pro rider owns their horses or they own a piece of one. Some people want to compete, some want to support and watch. Each to their own. End of the day, your money, your time, your horse.
 

FlyingCircus

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Personally I wouldn't choose to make the financial and emotional investment in horse ownership without the riding part, but that's because I really enjoy riding. If I want a pet, my preference would be something I can have at home, so spend more time with, and with considerably lower running costs!

The thought of someone else competing my horse, even if they could do it miles better than me, would make me wild with jealousy! But if you get pleasure from someone else riding and competing your horse(s), or just from keeping them as pets, then why not? It's your money after all!
Me too! I don't think I could hack seeing someone compete my lad.
Maybe i'll change in time though. When I first got my lad, I didn't want ANYONE sat on him. Now I like to watch my friends ride him occasionally.
 

MyBoyChe

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If I had the money I would absolutely love to own a decent eventer and have a pro rider do everything. I would be more than happy to turn up at shows and watch and enjoy. I do love my pony and thoroughly enjoy riding him, but we hack for pleasure, we never ever jump or gallop around, Im far too chicken and worry about the "what ifs". I think it would be an amazing experience to be the owner of a really good horse, or to be honest, even a fairly good horse, that could provide you with the fun of a good day out without any of the rider stresses!!
 

Leo Walker

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If I had the money I would absolutely love to own a decent eventer and have a pro rider do everything. I would be more than happy to turn up at shows and watch and enjoy.
Me too :) I'd still keep my boy, but I do let all sorts of people ride him and love watching him being ridden, so I'm not fussed that way
 

equi

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I have changed a bit over the past year or so. I actually like watching people ride mine. I like giving lessons on him cause I know what he is like and what buttons need pushed and I get a thrill when someone's face lights up cause they've cracked it. My little gelding is being shown by someone else next weekend and they are a bit nervous but he knows his job and I can't wait to see how much it relaxes the person - it will give her a lot of confidence.
 

PollyP99

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I do wonder why more than one person On my yard keeps a horse they don't ride more than may be once a week at a push. They also complain about the winter/weather/general chores. They would be better just having a lesson or buying something they would enjoy riding (most have horses that are slightly loopy in one form or another so can't be hacked/ridding elsewhere). It costs as much to keep a bad horse as a good one as the saying goes.

Owning a horse someone competes is not my cup of tea but it's not as odd as owning something no one does anything with IMO.
 

AdorableAlice

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If you cannot do the horse justice let someone else ride it is my opinion. I bought a lovely horse back in 2004, he was sensible and a real gentleman but it soon became evident he was capable of being very very good. I asked a friend to ride him in competition and never looked back. I do produce from home though and wouldn't send one away as I really enjoy the yard and production side of things. I would not just buy the horse and pay the bills to some distant yard.

I freely admit to feeling very proud when standing at the ringside and hearing someone admire my horse. The best comment ever was Robert Oliver commenting to his group of people at the ringside at the Counties. He pointed out my horse and said - bloody amateurs taking the prizes professionals should win, it is our living they just xxxx about showing hunters. As childish as it may seem, I was rather satisfied to beat his horse after that comment.
 

WelshD

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Not competition horses but I have two ponies. i dont ride these days but have just sent one pony off for professional schooling and when he comes home I am looking forward to seeing him go off and have fun with a local child.
When the other pony is old enough he will go for training and hopefully become the next pony up for the child.
I cant wait to see my two out having fun locally being ridden by other people's children
 

The wife

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Thanks for the replies guys :)

I know from my perspective I get a huge amount of pride from the abundance of comments that I have received about his stamp and type. I have lost count the amount of times someone has come up to me and said what a lovely stamp of a horse he is. It took me over a year to find an ex-racer that had the conformation and movement to potentially make a top class RoR prospective as well as mainstream Riding Horse classes as well. Unfortunately I highly doubt he will have the head to do this job so we changed direction with him. I get a huge amount of pride from hearing these comments as at the end of the day it was me that bought him in a raw state. :)

Just a general musing really, so thank you for the replies. I think my sister does get a tinge of jealousy watching him as he was intended to be her ride and still is in the future but our quiet yard at the moment just doesn't suit him. I, on the other hand get nothing but pride and adoration from watching him growing in confidence and loving his new career in a yard where he is flourishing and extremely well cared for.
 

Cheeky Chestnut

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I don't see the harm in having someone else riding your horse in competition, I've known of people who can school and train all day at him e it out then in any comp class and the fall apart and forget to ride. Someone else rides and they do all the work and they are happy with this :)
 

Rollin

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Lots of reasons not to ride. I am a breeder of rare breeds and because of the recession, we started running on our young horses, backing them and then competing them. In France it is necessary to have French qualifications to compete at the level our youngsters compete, so we pay professionals.

Actually I do back our youngsters but I am a pensioner and no longer get the pleasure from riding I once did, although I enjoy hacking out.

So I do help keep our youngsters fit but pay a better rider than me to compete. It looks as if one of our home breds had just qualified for the National SJ championships, the rider is delighted.
 

Goldenstar

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As long as your horse is cared for it's up to you .
Personally I don't really go to competitions anymore but enjoy training my horses and I know some people find that strange but I just can't be bothered with all the rushing about anymore
As long as your horses are happy and getting enough work ( I do think there's loads of horses whose welfare would be greatly improved by enough exercise ) what you do is up to you .
 

XxCoriexX

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Ok so in all honesty I was always one to not fully understand why people have horses and not ride them. My friend is a brilliant eventer and she has many horses in for different reasons that she rides and competes for the owner, obviously the owners age sometimes is the issue or medical problems can make it difficult but I never understood the people who ride but not their own horse!
However I recently sent my horse out to a show jumping competition with her (ponies first time so thought she would be better with a more confident rider) and I really enjoyed the day! much less stress, much more enjoyable outing for me and I think my horse got a much better experience than she would have had with me!
so I am a convert and will keep my big mouth shut from now on! :)
 
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