I’m having a discussion on FB about bits with people. I’ll be honest.. I don’t consider them the most educated horse people.
I’m sure they’re fine people.. when they’re not calling me names, or being passive aggressive, because I ride/rode dressage.
I think they were insulted when I suggested additional training versus a bigger/stronger bit.
But, that’s not really my point.. what I wanted to ask you is this:
At what point in learning dressage did you realize that other people’s horses feel like blocks of wood with piss poor training?
You know what I’m talking about. You hop off your horse, after you’ve gotten yours bending evenly on both sides, he’s forward and responsive between the reins, and you can feel his back come up and the movement lift and swing..
And then you sit on their horse.
Their horse, the one that doesn’t even have the first clue what moving away from a leg is, NOR does the horse do more than grit its teeth and bear down on the reins when you ask for slight flexion to the inside.
This isn’t to say everyone who doesn’t ride dressage is a bad rider/trainer. I’ve met many non-dressage horses that are trained as well (if not better) than a good 2nd level horse. I’ve been in awe of many of them.
No, this is the average, back yard, 4H level horse, or the dreaded “School Horse”. The kind you used to sit on and think was trained well. The kind you never noticed how stiff they were before you began dressage. At what point in your dressage training did you start to realize how poorly trained the average horse is?
Have you experienced it? And if you have, do you find yourself trying to “fix” the horse?
Actually, this same phenomenon probably applies to other disciplines too.
I’m sure Reiners could relate (I’m not gonna list all the disciplines).
I’m probably just being a pompous ass, but it’s something I noticed. Horses I once thought were the epitome of trained, now seem stiff and cumbersome to ride. I take things like “move away from the leg” for granted now, and yet so many horses can’t do that realtively simply thing.
I’ve gotten so I won’t ride just any horse. It frustrates me too much to have an unresponsive, argumentative horse, and I can’t fix it in a 15 – 20 minute ride, so I turn down a lot of rides.