Friday, December 21, 2012

Sometimes I wish I could say

I spend quite a few hours on a show ground and I see and hear plenty of things that I wish wouldn't be really rude to just say to someone. Especially as I'm not confrontational and just like to keep my head down and get it done.

Don't kill your kids buzz

You hear it all the time, the helper/trainer/parent critiquing the round as the rider comes out. And it's a part of growing as a rider and mostly it's one of those things. At one of the Pukete shows it really hit home how damaging this can be. A little girl on quite a big pony had the first rail and then jumped a really lovely round to be clear after that. She came out of the ring beaming and the first thing her Mum did was start saying how she had stuffed up at the first fence. Her little face just fell. As a rider you tend to know what you have done wrong, so why not say well done you round super after the first fence, rather than say why didn't you ride the first fence properly you did this that and the next thing wrong. I really felt for that poor kid.

When your horse stops, ripping its face off will not help

This is really one of my pet peeves.The horse stops for whatever reason and the rider starts pulling on the bit. Pulling on the reins means to stop so ripping on his face after he has had a refusal really is meaningless. If you think it's merited give him a kick or a hit which tend to be go forward signals. Horses mouths are pretty sensitive and if you hurt their mouths you teach them to be scared of the hand and to run through the bridle. Respect the mouth and you will have a much nicer horse to ride.

If your horse is consistently stopping at the practice fence you wont get round

The practice fence is the easiest on the course. It has no filler, and you jump it more than once and you start over it small. I don't mean when if you have a stop because you have a bad distance or someone cut you off or because you got distracted watching a butterfly. I mean if your horse is consistently stopping despite a good ride then you are only going to compond the problem by going into the ring where the jumps are scarier and new to the horse.  If stopping is out of character for your horse and he wont wont jump the practice fence chances are that he is carrying some sort of injury/ the gear is hurting him.

I know you are richer than me but I paid the same as you to enter

I get it, your horse is an import, your gear is worth a down payment on a house but the fact of the matter is my entries were as much as yours and I have as much right to the warm-up as you. Don't stand in the way having a chat with your mate, don't jack the practice fence 20cm higher than the class (which is against the rules anyway) and leave it that height so the poor schmucks riding after you have to have a helper or get off and adjust it. Don't cut me off. The truth is my tough little homebred horse is going to be a lot less bothered by a close call than your fancy version. My sister and I used to play pretty rough on our ponies.

Look after your damn horse

It really bothers me how many horses I see at shows that stand all day in their yards or next to the truck and you never see them get any forage/hay or water. The horse is carting your butt around all day and you are sitting on the ramp having a drink of water while your horse looks like its about to tip over. Thankfully this isn't that common, but it's not unheard of for me to run water and give my hay to other peoples horses.

Yes it's lame, now get off

It blows me away how many lame horses I see being ridden up here. So many more than down where I used to live. I don't know if they can't feel it or what but of the last 5 or so shows I have seen at least 2 lame horses go on to compete. Yes you can disquise it by cantering in the ring and not trotting, and the judges rarely pull a horse because it's lame, but it's not right. You don't know what damage you are doing and why make your horse work while it's in pain. I heard you discuss with your trainer how lame it was and he said it wasn't so bad and to just canter which is disgusting, because it was still clearly uneven.

Phew good to get that off my chest not that there isn't a bunch of other things that bother me, but these are the ones that really get me.


  1. Agree with all you wrote. I'm always off my horses back after my rounds, loosen the girth, offer water. Always amazed at the people who use their horses as recliners all day.

  2. YES. I hate people that either treat their horse as a dollar sign or a status symbol. Not a living breathing animal that feels pain and hunger and thirst and neglect. Yea we played rough.. just explained to Sam the Indians and Cowboys we played haha xxx


    Especially the "I paid as much" quip. People.