This is not a test to see what category of horse owner you fall under, nope, it is a list of some of the weird, wacky, compassionate and sometimes over the top horse owners I have met over the last 30 years. Names and exact locations not included.
The horse owner that should not own a horse – or even a goldfish for that matter
This person is in love with the idea of being a horse owner. They usually have no clue on how to properly handle a horse or ride either. They have gone through several different instructors and horse trainers in a matter of months because they refused to listen to each one of them say that the problem was not with the horse but with them – the horses’ owner. The horse usually knows what buttons to push and does push them. This owner usually has the horse at a boarding stable and only shows up on weekends. They are sometimes known to purchase a horse and own it for a few months and then sell to acquire a “better” horse only to find out that the same problems surface. Horse ownership with them usually only lasts until the fad of being a horse owner wears off.
We have all run into this type of owner. They have learned all about horses from videos, reading books or the internet. They are usually a novice horse owner with an attitude. Their way is the right way to do anything with a horse. They rarely have riding lessons or training sessions with their horse with a trainer, why should they……..they know how to do it the right way, without a trainer. They also trim their horses feet and even do minor surgery on their horses. They love giving out advice to others about training and care of the horse even if it sounds odd or dangerous. Some of them actually give advice to the vet when they show up to fix the minor surgery that was horribly done.
The old cowboy or cowgirl
This horse owner grew up around horses. Not only did they grow up around them, they worked with them on a ranch. They know how to rope, herd cattle and all other ranchy things. They are a mixture of old and new. While most of them are friendly and level headed, you will find the odd ball who insists on some brutal way to teach a horse to obey you, like hitting the horse on the top of the head to keep its head down while riding. That same odd ball never had proper riding lessons and has trained his horses to move into pressure and not away from it. He could never figure out why the horses that he trained and sold came back to him after a week or so.
The out of shape horse owner – read obese
I think most of us has slipped in and out of this category at one time or another but I dedicate it to all those horse owners who refuse to lose those extra 40+ pounds. I am not talking about those owners who are 20 or 30 pounds overweight but the obese riders who have actually shopped and bought a tank of a horse because they refuse to see themselves as fat. They are the ones who squeeze themselves into a 16″ western saddle and to the on-looker they seem wedged in it. They are unashamed to go into horse shows and wonder why they do not even place. Some have the missed guided impression that they are actually good riders because all of their friends refuse to hurt their feelings when questioned about their opinion on how their riding was. There are a few that fancy themselves as a horse trainer and will put up flyers or make websites advertising their services with pictures of them standing next to or riding a horse……and you wonder which one weighs more. They don’t get many clients.
The petite owner
The petite owner is just that petite. They are adults that are jockey size and athletic too. They come in male and female and are often asked to train or school ponies for children. They are usually fantastic riders and know it, which can go to their heads at times. Often you will find the petite owner attracted to 17 hand warmbloods.
The non-riding horse owner
This horse owner never rides the horses they own. They might breed them or even show them at halter. They love to groom their horses…….a lot. They spend their time and money on caring for horses they have “rescued” or caring for that one elderly horse they had since he was born. They use to ride when they were a teen or young adult but never divulge why they gave up riding.
This owner is a little unique and I have only met 3 of them so far. They are the ones who can’t afford to own a horse but have figured out how to get other people to pay for their horse or horses. They will usually dream up a plan that will enable people to donate money, a barn and even horses to their “cause.” Often it will go under the guise of a “horse rescue”, “horse therapy” or in one case “a school project.” With the invention of the internet these would be owners are often found out, but not always. These horse owners do not own their own horse property but will often be kicked out of places for non-payment or other dispute.
The level headed owner
This is the majority of horse owners, like you and me. They love their horse or horses and see them at least once a day if boarded and more if they are at home. Their horses have enough food and shelter to keep them healthy and happy. They are handled daily to check for injures and keep their ground manners in check. These horse owners almost always have a plan for their horses. Their horses have a purpose in their lives. Most of the time these owners did not become a horse owner by accident but deliberately shopped for their horse.
There are many more variations of horse owners but as you can see this little article is pretty long now. I haven’t even gotten into the whack jobs that became horse trainers that should not be allowed near a horse, I’ll leave that for another blog owner to write about.