Who Can Ride My Horse?

I mean I’m pretty sure literally anyone CAN ride Frankie. He’s not a tough ride. So maybe a more appropriate title is: who MAY ride my horse? This is a much shorter list.

And it’s a list that has evolved over time, and changes based on a couple different factors.

Last year, I would put Frankie in the lesson program when I was out of town and have one of the other ammy riders hop on.This was sufficient to meet my criteria of 1) keeping Frankie working and 2) not ruining my horse.

Earlier in the winter, I was a bit more relaxed about this as well- I had one of our juniors hack Frankie for me when I was home for the holidays and she did a great job with him! He was, of course, a gentleman for her and she enjoyed riding him.

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Literally this horse will put up with anything

I have always taken great joy in having literally anyone briefly flat him around. I’m always trying to get people’s parents up on him for pony rides, and will swap horses with the barn kids for a few laps around. I know Francis will be chill about it, and I know a few lapsΒ  won’t undo any training. It warms my heart to see my sweet boy taking care of the novices.

I’m also OK with some of the stronger barn kids doing a bit more with him under my trainer’s supervision- I trust her judgement about what they can do with him, and I know her first priority with him is keeping him show-ready.

But for pretty much any situation besides a short hack, my list of people I want on my horse narrows dramatically- especially during show season.

My basic rule of thumb during this show season is: I only want people on Frankie that are better riders than me (other than myself, obviously). I only want people adding to his training, because I certainly undo enough of it myself. This means that my first choice is to pay for a pro to hop on if I’m not available to ride (and even sometimes when I am available to ride).

Because this year we’re asking for a more extended season (starting earlier, showing more) and we’re asking for more intense work (bigger jumps, more classes). He’s certainly athletic enough for the move up, but he does actually have to work harder now and I want to do everything in my power to prepare him for his job. That means increased fitness and sharper tools in our toolbox- with the emphasis on that “sharper” part.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the ability to ride Frankie safely. In case you couldn’t tell from the EVERYTHING I’VE EVER SAID, Frankie is a supremely chill easy ride. His favorite gait is the halt and he will bop around on the buckle for the rest of his life if you let him. But that last part is exactly why I’m so picky about who hops on him: we don’t want him bopping around on the buckle. We want him connected, on the bit, pushing across the ground, firing on all cylinders. Which he is also quite happy to do (more and more), but only if we reinforce that way of going with consistency.

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We love stretchy trot, but sometimes he has to pick his nose up so he can see the jumps

I’ll relax a bit about this after our show season slows down in the fall. Heck, I’m planning on taking him in some local pleasure classes for a nice change of pace. And if anyone at the barn is in need of a safe mount with some fun buttons, we’ll leg them right up for a ride.

They’ll just have to deal with my controlling-mother tendencies for a few more months.

How do you decide who can hop on your horse?

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22 thoughts on “Who Can Ride My Horse?

  1. T 02/20/2017 / 3:41 pm

    Super post! I’m going to steal this topic for an impromptu blog hop if that’s ok, because I have two very different horses – one very much like your Frankie, and one who’s a bit of a princess πŸ™‚

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  2. littlepiecesofme1 02/20/2017 / 6:33 pm

    I’m the opposite…I never let riders better than me on my horse. I don’t want him to know how good it could be. Only bad riders…then he thinks I’m great. 😜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kaity 02/20/2017 / 11:38 pm

    No one else ever wants to ride Leo lol and since I’m the only person who rides him I actively try to recruit people to take him for a spin…And they usually laugh awkwardly and make excuses about not wanting to die. He’s a little…Special.

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  4. Stacie Seidman 02/21/2017 / 12:36 am

    My horses are fire breathing spookasauruses (spookasauri?) so that limits who can ride them… I’d let almost anyone sit on Jamp as long as I’ve made sure he’s not going to run away with them first. But Romey is too unbroke, no one but me or the trainer on him for now. Hopefully in another year he’ll be able to share more. And Rio… My step mom used to ride him before the EPM, but now I don’t let anyone get on him other than me. Just in case something were to happen. I think it’s a liability.
    Badger has had a few people try him, so he’s met some strangers recently. He handles it well, but definitely needs to see trainer regularly since he’s still a kid.

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    • hellomylivia 02/21/2017 / 9:42 am

      Well I’m clearly stealing Jamp away from you at some point, so I’m glad he’s the most willing to entertain another rider πŸ˜‰

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  5. T. A. Eyo Β₯ 02/21/2017 / 3:21 pm

    I like to think that if I had my own horse, I’d let anyone ride it, but I barely let people even use my drafting pencils. Odds are, it’d be a me & trainer kind of thing. That being said, I do greatly appreciate people like you who allow their horses to be used in lesson programs on occasion. It’s a nice break from school horses and gives students the opportunity to try something more fine tuned. Props to you and Frankie!

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    • hellomylivia 02/21/2017 / 3:29 pm

      I get such a warm fuzzy “proud mama” feeling when I see Frankie with one of the kiddos haha. But when it comes down to performance time, it’s just me and trainer. So kinda a mix of the two philosophies you mention πŸ™‚

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  6. Olivia @ DIY Horse Ownership 02/21/2017 / 11:05 pm

    As long as I don’t think my horse/mule will be dangerous for someone to ride, I’ll throw them up. But it’s generally either me or someone who’s a complete beginner, so I’m not really risking training getting ruined. I even let my friend who’s ridden like 10 times ever show Nilla at a schooling show. I might be a little too easy going.

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  7. Megan 02/22/2017 / 8:45 am

    hah I’m actually really picky about this… the only people who have been on my horse since he left the track is my trainer and my best friend (who I mostly let ride to show off how nice he is hehehe). BFF rode under my very strict supervision.

    ooh and I let my barn friend hop on him once but she just walked around πŸ˜›

    hm maybe I should be less psycho…

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  8. Rocking E Cowgirl 03/05/2017 / 11:09 pm

    Anyone can ride my horses, but I guess I’m more over-protective than I realize, because I rarely let people ride them.

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  9. Karley 03/13/2017 / 12:17 pm

    I know I commented on your fb post, but I don’t share well πŸ˜‚πŸ˜œ I put a lot into Henry to get him to where he is… I want to enjoy him now 😬

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