As we have repeatedly said, horses have their own individual personalities with likes and dislikes. As with people, some horses do better with certain types than others. This doesn’t mean a well-broke horse can’t learn to adapt to the rider, but there may be a longer adjustment in some cases. It also doesn’t mean the rider can’t learn to ride the horse.
Are you the kind of person who reacts quickly to situations? Especially when you already drank three or four cups of coffee and the caffeine is pumping thru your blood? Yeah, you know maybe even just a little jumpy. Horses feel and see every move you make. Equine veterinarians confirm they can see objects directly behind them and can feel something as small a fly landing on their back. Being natural flight animals, they are constantly on guard for the need to run. When some little event happens and you jump, guess what you signaled the horse? Yep, the “D” word, Danger! ”
About this stage of the conversation with a lot of people, we usually hear, “I don’t jump”. Really, well squeezing your legs against the horse suddenly and unexpected as you deeply inhale may not be a “jump” in your book, but it is in the horse’s way of thinking. Remember, the horse can feel the movements in the seat of the saddle, feel your legs, and see you. How do you react when someone sneaks up from behind you and pokes you in the ribs?
Horses have varying degrees of “jumpiness”; some tend to react quicker than others to the unexpected. When you couple a horse and rider together that are both a little “jumpy”, the result is pretty easy to see coming. The horse is nervous because the rider is nervous. As the horse gets more excited, then the rider’s anxiety increases.
This is just one example to illustrate why we work hard to match a rider to a horse with an appropriate personality for the rider. A calmer, slower reacting horse for riders that tend to be quick to react results in a better match. Again we don’t want to mean that any horse and rider can’t learn to work together, it just easier when the fit is natural.
We have seen a few horses over the years that responded far better to females than men. Who knows the reason, they simply do. It doesn’t mean a man can’t ride the horse, but it probably means he will have a few more issues to deal with.
At the end of the day, doesn’t it make sense to find a horse that suits your personality rather than fight the disadvantages of a poorly matched relationship. How many times have we heard, “But, I like his color! He’s sooooo PRETTY!” Your choice, but I personally would rather ride an ugly horse that I can handle than a pretty one that dumps me every couple of months.
If you are out looking for a horse, give some thought to the relationship you want with your horse. Just like in love, the more time you spend in a good relationship, the prettier he or she becomes. We promise you riding a horse that takes you safely and quietly over the trails will start looking really pretty to you as the relationship grows.
The good news if you look with us is we don’t have any ugly horses. Yep, we think they are all pretty!!!! And yes, we know beauty is in the eye of the beholder!