Blog Hop: Dealbreakers

It feels like a blog hop kinda week!

This one came from Amanda and Henry: what makes you not even want to hop on a horse?

I’m actually pretty picky about this. I’m fairly confident in my own “stick-a-bility” through shenanigans, but hey. I really don’t want to deal with that.

So things that I do not do:

  • Rearing. Obviously. I won’t touch that with a 9 foot pole.
  • Spooking. Of course every horse will have a spooky moment now and again, but if the horse spooks often enough to be described as “spooky,” then I do not want to be in that saddle. I really don’t like going in the ring and wondering if my horse will be offended by the flags/buzzer/wind/noise/commotion.
I like ponies that can chill on a loose rein at shows
  • Bolting. I like a horse who thinks forward is the right answer, and I don’t mind a little gallop-fest after the fences. But I do NOT like when someone cuts my brake lines.
  • Stopping. Much like spooking, pretty much every horse will stop at some point. And sometimes it’s the safest choice if the fence is big and they can’t safely jump it. But if I’m riding well and my horse is healthy and sound and I’m asking a reasonable question, then I want my horse to jump the jump. I’ll still hop on a horse to flat around, but I don’t have the patience or desire to work with a horse that has a stopping problem- no matter what their potential is once they work through it.
  • Too much playtime. The occasional crowhop? Fine. Throwing an exuberant buck every once in a while after a big fence? Also fine. I have enough balance and strength to ride through this. But I don’t want this to be the norm. I’ll still hop on and deal with it if I have to, but I won’t spend money.
  • Bad work ethic. Listen, we all have lazy days. We all have days that we don’t want to show up and play the game. But I don’t want to try and convince a horse that hates his job that maybe it isn’t so bad after all.
I like ponies that like their job


For me, there are a couple different layers. There are horses that I’ll flat, but I’m not interested in jumping. There are horses that I don’t even want to flat. Heck, there are horses that I don’t even want to go near. At the end of the day, I pay too much money for me to voluntarily feel unsafe on the regular.

14 thoughts on “Blog Hop: Dealbreakers

  1. Tracy - Fly On Over 08/16/2017 / 8:37 am

    It’s funny, because I too would have said “bolting” but Moiya bolts. Usually it’s not more than 3-7 strides, but yeah. She does it. It actually doesn’t scare me because it’s STRAIGHT and not hard to ride at all… and she’s always stopped for me.


    • hellomylivia 08/16/2017 / 8:54 am

      As long as they stop, I think it’s way more manageable!


  2. Hillary H. 08/16/2017 / 12:47 pm

    Fair list of reqs. I don’t ride that many different horses so the on the ground bit is even more at play for me. I don’t want to deal with a horse that is known for biting (also if your horse bites for the love of god tell people so they can take extra caution), striking, etc. I get that manners have to be installed but one thats dangerous no thanks. Not today.


    • hellomylivia 08/16/2017 / 12:54 pm

      All of the yes. If I can’t comfortably lead a horse to and from the paddock, it’s a hard pass- I had a horse as a kid that was a terror about turnout and I have no desire to repeat that. Ground manners 5 ever.


  3. Stacie Seidman 08/16/2017 / 3:37 pm

    Lol. You would hate Jamp. He’s horribly lazy (but doesn’t hate his job, so maybe this one’s ok), spooks at nothing, and loves a good bolt! If he weren’t already mine, I wouldn’t sit on him either though! Ha! On the other hand, he’s really safe. When he does all these naughty things, he 100% takes you with him. Knock on wood, the only time I came off him was when I jumped up his neck at the wrong distance and he chose to add one before jumping. My bad.


    • hellomylivia 08/17/2017 / 10:42 am

      Jamps!! I’m just imagining him saying “don’t worry Mom, I’ll get you away from the monsters.”


  4. Karley 08/16/2017 / 4:15 pm

    ive found that relationship with a horse makes me more flexible to handle stuff…. I had a horse who was an older barrel horse and we ran flags at the rodeo and he LOVED it and knew we were going fast so he would literally hop and go sideways into the arena on rodeo days… but he was the safest kindest no spook or bs horse ever so his ‘dancing’ didn’t bother me and I knew he was broke and wouldn’t go crazy on me.


    • hellomylivia 08/17/2017 / 10:43 am

      That’s such a good point- when you have a relationship with the pony, those dealbreakers tend to change! I know for me, Addy stopped at fences sometimes. But I still adored her.


  5. Abby F 08/16/2017 / 4:21 pm

    I don’t like horses that rear badly. Leila would do the stand and spin on occasion, and I’ve had some that would rear if they felt claustrophobic, but a truly bad rearer…. no thanks. Charlie used to be SPOOKY SPOOKY. He still has his moments, but is way way better. Parker can be a big spook if he’s fresh, but nothing awful. Charlie also really used to play after the jumps… or for no reason at all, haha. He still will definitely play, but he’s pretty easy to stay with if you know him. My two deal breakers are bad/dirty stoppers and bad rearers.


    • hellomylivia 08/17/2017 / 10:45 am

      I’ll never believe that Charlie is anything less than a perfect unicorn. Srsly. I have a forever crush on him.


      • Abby F 08/17/2017 / 7:37 pm

        Haha! Well…. he IS the most perfect creature ever… at least to me!!! I love his little quirks 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Kaity 08/20/2017 / 2:12 am

    Dirty stoppers are definitely on my list of least favorite things, and I’m definitely not a big fan of horses that bolt uncontrollably. I can deal with rearing if it’s minor – Leo still throws tantrums that involve briefly coming up off the ground but it lasts like .5 seconds and is more annoying than it is dangerous…but a horse that straight up rears with the danger of flipping is a definite no go.


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