Girls Horse Club Blog

Blogfest #1: A Lesson Learned

Published by • Jun 17th, 2008 • Category: Blogfest, Riding Advice

by Rebecca Shyly, age 12

In my three years of riding (it seems like so much longer!) I have been pretty lucky and not ridden many stubborn horses or ponies. In fact there has only been one…

Every year my stables has a mini horse show so the riders can get some show experience without the stress of the busy, high pressure show circuit. I have competed three times, and the fourth one is right around the corner. We get to sign up for any school horse we want to ride, if we don’t have our own horse. Well, I was late signing up, and the only horse available for a class I wanted to take was a new pony, Roxy. I had never ridden her and from seeing her in the arena, wasn’t sure I even wanted to. I ended signing up anyway, after being convinced by my instructor that riding a stubborn pony would help my riding experience.

Well, before the show, the stable has a practice day where you come out, help clean the barn up for the visitors that swarm the place the next day, and then ride the horse(s) you plan on riding the next day. After riding all the other horses I needed to, I begrudgingly walked out to the pasture to get Roxy, dragging my feet all the way. Then slowly but surely I tacked her up and led her out to the arena. I tightened her cinch, and had to smack her because she tried to bite me. I then put one foot in the stirrup, preparing to get on. The stubborn thing shied away from me. And it wasn’t just once, it was over and over again. I was about to try again when she caught me by surprise. Instead of shying away from me she side passed TOWARDS me, and stepped on my foot. I tried to stay calm, but the tears were already coming. It hurt like anything! I bit back sobs, not wanting to upset her. I pushed at her withers, trying to get her off my foot, but she wouldn’t go! Finally a kind mother noticed and helped me out.

Well, the next day I rode her in the show, after having a stern talk with her, telling her she better behave, and we did pretty good. After all, she didn’t buck me off!

The lesson of this blog is hard to explain. The best way to say it is that even if you don’t enjoy doing something, you will end up with better experience. I know I learned that I have to be firm, and keep my eye on the horse or pony at all times. For anyone who hasn’t ridden a stubborn pony, I will give this advice: Watch out! If you know they are stubborn, be extra careful. When riding a stubborn pony the best was to get on is to have someone hold their head, or you might never get on — or worse, get hurt!

14 Nickers »

  1. This blog is fantastic! You’ve grown so much since you first came to GHC, both in your writing skills and hopefully your knowledge of horses too. It’s really a pleasure to read this kind of quality so easily without having to search for ages in the library :D I am once again reminded of a horse camp I went to. I was assigned two horses (as we had a trail ride in the schedule and my first horse was scared of puddles), and both were so much trouble to ride! It was really difficult to keep them from fussing and going out of control, so it wasn’t as much enjoyment as I expected. But now I realize that that day gave me more experience than I could have ever gained at my level of riding, so I appreciate everything that happened. At the end, I was puffing and sweating so much more than my two friends who went as well.

  2. Brilliant blog! I’ve never had that problem, thank god, but I have ridden a load of very stubborn horses! That show idea is brilliant, it would be cool if our stables did that, as my class have been working on our jumping a lot, so I would love to try a show!

  3. Thanks so much Madelaina! Your praise means more to me than words can express! I am very grateful for the love, support and advice that GHC has given me! It’s almost been one year since I came here, and my writing has improved so much in that time! That sounds like a hard days work Madelaina! Hope that you have better luck next time!

    Well, I have to go practice for my dance show! Hope you all have a fantastic week!

  4. I’ve been looking forward to reading another great blog from you. And here it is! It really must have hurt when Roxy stepped on you. At least it was a miniature horse. If it wasn’t, it would have been really worse. Anyways, you have always had a talent at writing, and this shows it. I am so glad to have a Junior Blogger like you.

    We’re always happy to hear some great blogs from you!
    -mustangmane

  5. Thanks you guys! Wow! Your going to give me a big head if you don’t stop giving me praise! lol just kidding! I love how supportive you all are!

    Speaking of stubborn ponies, today I rode Cha Cha my favorite horse at the stables, and at first she was okay, but she refused to slow from a walk to a trot! It was annoying, but at least this time I didn’t get hurt!

    Sweetie, I’m glad you have never gotten stepped on!

    mustangmane, Thanks! I love reading your blogs too! And you right, it could have been worse, but it still HURT! lol

  6. Actually Horsecrazzz, now that I’ve had some experience with difficult horses, I wouldn’t mind riding one again :) Mainly just to really see how good at riding I am (I’d keep things far from extremes of course) and gain more experience with handling different horses in future. A push-button pony shows only a small part of the thrill that comes from horse riding. But thanks very much for the luck (as being around horses are risky) and your overall comment :D Have fun at dancing!

  7. Well, I have been stepped on, once, but by a shetland pony when I was really little, lol!! I was in the way so it was my fault. Plus it didn’t really hurt.

  8. In a way, I suppose you are right Madelaina! None of the horses I ride are push button ponies, or horses, nor are they all stubborn. They are somewhere in between. Well, thanks! I did have fun at dancing, but today is out dress rehersal..I should probalbly get dressed.

    But now I feel kinda bad about this blog. They had to get rid of Roxy because she was not well enough behaved to be a lesson pony. SAD!! Even though I didn’t really like her, I am sad to see her go!

  9. Horsecrazzz- I used to ride this very stubborn horse named Dude. I would sit there in the saddle looking stupid because he wouldn’t budge. Literally! He wouldn’t move his hoof for like 5 mins.! It was embarrassing, but I started to realize that he was a sweet horse, and that he was just acting like a horse.

    Also, what made me somewhat scared was when my riding teacher told me yesterday that one time when she was a girl, her horse Thunder picked her up in his mouth and threw her.

    Now THAT’s what I call a mean horse!

  10. Horsecrazzz, This is a great blog. I have also had my foot stepped on by a horse.It didn’t really hurt and I was surprised but I calmly pushed her off. She is a nice sized horse so it would have really hurt if she had but her whole weight on that hoof but luckily she didn’t. =) Another time (She loves walking close to me) she stepped on the back of my boot!

  11. That evil Roxy! Huzzah for telling her what’s up. I do just that to my cat.

  12. Awesome blog! Keep up the great work! Getting your foot stepped on by a horse hurts realy bad! I bet lots of us GHC girls have been there!

  13. There is a miniture horse named Seregent at the barn I’m about to take lessons at, when I took a camp there a few years ago there, I guess I wasn’t paying attention, but he stepped on it! It hurt, but of course he did it by accident. LOL… By the way, I actually have had my first lesson but I haven’t quit my other barn yet. I pay monthly at my barn, so when I finsh the Sundays in June I wiil officially move to this barn. I decided to go NOW because they do a lot of different things each lesson, and my friend goes there so if she didn’t take lessons there I probably wouldn’t of thought of taking lessons there because I only took a 5 day summer camp. I didn’t sleep over there though. The barn I’m going to now only has 2 lesson horses, and one is real old and the other is still in training so he can’t canter/jump. I’m doing the same thing over and over! Great blog, Rebecca, are you Horsecrazzzz too? I’m really going to miss Dakota, the horse that is still in training, he is my favorite horse in the whole wide world! We have a strong bond together. Sorry for getting off topic, I will try next time not to! But great blog!

  14. Sooooooooooooooo sorry for being off topic above, but I did say something on topic: great blog, and I got my foot stepped on by a mini too!