Lessons Remembered: Never Lose Your Temper

Not every ride goes according to plan. I’ve had a few where after I mounted my horse it seemed that nothing went right. My horse wouldn’t listen, I felt I couldn’t ride, and what should have been a pleasurable experience became an exercise in frustration. Funnily enough, it often happens when I most need the enjoyment of a ride and it’s usually because something else has me irritated and distracted before I even get on my horse.

A wise instructor that I rode with back in Connecticut gave me advice that sticks to this day. When you have a day like that, either get off or go for a hack.

I know, we’ve all been told to “ride through” issues as you don’t want your horse to get away with murder. But this approach is for the days when it’s better just to stop and not dig the hole any deeper. You know those days: the ones where you’re really tempted to use that crop again, or you have an overwhelming urge to snatch at the reins, or you just want to scream at your horse. Those are the days where the best you can accomplish is to avoid the confrontation, give your horse a pat and put it away.

It seems that not even the so-called “professional” riders can’t always keep their tempers in check, so it’s not just an issue for amateurs who are trying to squeeze a ride into their only free hour that day.┬áThis incident of the abuse was reported widely and the perpetrator was brought to trial. I’m linking here to a thread that appeared on the Chronicle of the Horse:

A former German toprider was caught (again) on hidden camera while beating
her horse over 500 times with the steel end of the whip, this beating went on for over half an hour.

At the end you can see that a girl from Animal Welfare toke this horse to a clinic.

This rider was already convicted for the same thing almost a year ago. (REMEMBER)

In the meantime the rider moved to Danmark.

****** Warning schocking footage *******


It is an appalling example of how tempers and horses should never mix. My horses will never compete at the upper levels of anything, but at least I have enough control over my emotions that they will never suffer this kind of abuse.

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