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Bombproof Horses Don't Exist
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Bombproof Horses Don't Exist

I hear it all the time and I see them advertised everywhere. Bombproof horse for sale, or my horse is bombproof. My other favorite is "kid safe". I'm sorry folks but both of those don't exist. 

When people become so relaxed around their horses, they let their guard down and at one point or another an accident happens. Most of the time, someone is going to get hurt. Professional horsemen aren't using those terms much anymore because they know those 2 types of horses simply don't exist. They are used as a selling point to get people to buy a horse. Horses are prey animals. They have 2 responses: fight or flight, period. Even the oldest most seasoned horse doesn't give up these 2 responses because it's a part of them. They aren't vehicles you can exchange parts on just because you don't like them. 

After much research and with my own experiences a lot of times a young horse is a fighter. They fight you for their life because they don't understand your language or what you're trying to teach them. I recently read an ad that said, " 3 year old colt. Kid safe, bombproof, has had many miles rode on him, doesn't spook, rear, bite, kick. A real laid back horse $xxx." Sounds pretty good doesn't it? To me that is a scary ad right there, especially when I think about all of the people who are just getting into horses and have no clue what they're in for.  In today's society, many people are turning to imprint training on newborn foals. They become adjusted to people right away, so there's no fear that they will get hurt. I think it can be a great tool in the teaching process. Most of the time those babies are very gentle, they learn fairly quickly and are taught to think things through. It still does not make them bombproof or kid safe. That baby has a lot of growing to do and horses tend to hit that "terrible two" stage a lot sooner than humans. If you've spent any time around trainers who are breaking/training these young horses you'll see just what I'm talking about. These young horses test the handler in every way they know how by rearing, bucking, striking out, kicking. It doesn't mean the horse is bad, it means a couple of things. One thing is they are testing the handler in order to find the pecking order. Another is the fight response. There's also the flight response. 

Now maybe you haven't been around that "terrible 2" toddler and have only seen young horses who "comply" more readily. That's great! It still doesn't make them bombproof or kid safe. The horse has a good mind, a good head, is a thinker. They're gentle, smart, and a willing partner. Those types of horses are fun to train because it just goes so quickly. You can move from one thing to the next and have a really great trained horse. 

People need to keep in mind a couple of things whether you're new to horses or an old hand. Never let your guard down for one second, don't become lazy in your person, thoughts, or actions, and don't take a seller at their word until you've actually seen the horse in person, had the owner ride it and have come around at different times to see the horse. Maybe you could take your vet to see the horse to make sure it isn't drugged in some way or someone who can tell if the horse has been tired out before you got there. 

You want to protect yourself and your investment when it comes to buying a bombproof, kid safe, mother approved horse. Take the time to gain experience by taking riding lessons, watching clinics, being around trainers. Ultimately it's YOUR fault if your horse tramples you, not the horse's fault. A horse is what it is and it can't be anything else. Accept it and gain knowledge on how to be around them and you'll reduce your risk of injury and/or law suit. 

Disclaimer: Of Horse! and sponsors do not endorse nor validate the accuracy of a blog post. Each article is the opinion of the blogger.

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  1. arabobsession
    Great article, I have seen so many kids turn up with their brand new push button ponies that were perfect when they rode them in their own paddocks only to resort back to fight or flight in a new environment
    1. Rene Wright
      Rene Wright
      Thank you. I think people get too complacent and just take it for granted that they're not going to hurt them. You just can't let your guard down for one second because you never know what they will react to. I mean you can get a pretty good idea of how your horse is going to react, sure and you'll know your horse better than anyone if you've had it for a while, but none of us should just expect our horses to be push buttons.

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