I was bitten by the horse bug early in life. Since then I have been blessed to establish relationships with many great horses. As a child 90% of the time I spent at the barn was just walking my grandmother’s horses around, more trying to pull their heads up from the grass so I could walk them, grooming or sitting on them while they ate hay in the stall.
When you are young or new to the equestrian world you rely on trainers, vets, and other professionals to help guide and educate you. The goal is to create a team that can work together to do what is best for the horse. As I look back, I can see how much I relied on these people.
I wanted to learn and thought they knew what was right for me and my horse, but in hindsight now there were several situations what my horse was trying to tell me that something was wrong.
Refusing fences was not a behavioral problem, he was in pain. He was able to happily come back into work after some rehab, but by making a change in his training could’ve avoided the behaviors that were dangerous for both of us. I wish I would have been an advocate for my horse.
I was always a little nervous to speak out because I felt inferior to those who have been in the industry longer than myself and were more ‘experienced’ horse trainers. The value that I find in what was an extremely frustrating situation was the hard lesson I learned of the importance of looking into physical problems before ‘fixing’ any training challenges. At this point in my career, I will no longer stand in silence.
Trainers have different training methods and some may look tough but are needed for that horse or situation. Not every program is for every horse, just like we talked about on this podcast.
A good way to keep track of your horse’s behavior is to use is a journal. We all can forget informations or timeline of events in a month’s time. Recording every ride can be helpful to catch these things. If they were a little stiff starting or refused a jump, make a note of it.
If lameness occurs, you can go back into the journal and show the vet the timeline of events and highlighted instances. Not only could this be a faster way in catching an issue, but your vet will love your detailed notes! Every horse needs an advocate. We have domesticated these creatures and now it is our responsibility to care for them.
Leave a comment and share when you've had to be your horse's advocate!
Meet the Bloggers
Miranda and Julia bringing over 20 years of experience in the horse industry in a wide variety of experiences and disciplines. Here on this equestrian blog we'll share our horse experiences, tips, plus advice on surviving as an adult amateur rider.