Monday, January 12, 2015

When is it time to grow up?

I started off my morning in a foul mood. The two inches of fresh snow on the ground was nothing, especially since it quickly warmed up enough to skip icing all together and go straight to melting rain. I board at a barn with an indoor, so I was really looking forward to taking advantage of using it while riding in this lovely 36* weather--especially since it's supposed to drop back down to the teens tomorrow.

But no.

My car needs new wheel bearings which is a minor fix, but Hubby is away on a business trip and obviously can't replace them until he gets back. While I supposed I could drive it, the horrible grinding and weaving it does makes that seem like not such a good idea.

But wait.

I have this great truck, remember? Only the fucking truck has decided, LOL I won't hold a charge. The battery charger makes no difference. Could I back my car up to it and jump it off of there? Probably, but the fucking car can't make it the rest of the way up our hilly fucking driveway to get to it.

Basically, woe is me. I am stuck home alone until I get so ferociously pissed that I just jump start the truck with my fury.


By now you're probably thinking, "So...the title of this post has to do with you growing up and fixing your vehicles yourself?"

No. It doesn't. My rant has nothing to do with the blog title. We're moving on from that bullshit.

Instead, it's time for random blog filler because nothing else is going on! Yay!

bobby with his ears up is so rare,
i just let him stand there and stare at the mares for awhile.

My survey-free, I-won't-be-making-a-graph-this-time-fuck-yeah question of the day is: At what point do you consider your horse--or really any horse--to no longer be considered a "baby" or "green"? 

I'm curious to know how each of you qualify that. For instance, Bobby still has loads and loads to learn. He's not a schoolmaster in any sense of the word. But I wouldn't remotely call him green any longer either. He's being trained for things he doesn't know, but to me, a green horse is one that is still new to the basics--w/t/c, jumping, barrels, trails, or whatever you're working towards. I think once that horse has mastered the fundamentals, it's just in training.

And personally, I don't like the "(S)he's still green, know." excuse when the horse is just being an asshole. (Someone at my barn? Nooooo....)

Agree? Disagree? I'm sure someone can hash out their thoughts better than I can.


  1. Call me crazy, but I think a horse should not be considered green after one year solid (I am talking 5 days a week) under saddle. That being said, I think it is totally legit to say my horse is "green" to horse showing, trail riding, etc for years even if they are totally un-green at home. I think it all depends on exposure to different environments. Additionally, they going be green over fences only. If they have been jumping for years, tho, I don't think you can use the green excuse. Just admit maybe they are a little nutty over fences. Just learn to ride it or move on!

  2. I think a horse is green when they're not yet 85% reliable in a response. If I can't trust steering and brakes a lot of the time, you're still green. And I guess my big ones are moving off the leg, go, stop, and steering. If I get the right response close to 100% of the time, whether we're at home or not, you're not green anymore. This of course doesn't take into account what assholes horses can be, but you catch my drift.

  3. I think I define a horse to longer be green when they can pack an inexperienced rider. But I guess any horse could be "green" at something (ie barrels/jumping etc).

  4. I'm so happy I'm not the only one who cherishes a very rare moment in time when my horse's ears are up. Red's are always in Eeeyore position as I call it.

  5. Agree. I won't call Simon green anymore. Limitations? Yes. Needs improvement? Yes. More to learn? Yes. But I can take him to a horse show, jump courses with reliability and usually get something similar to what I ask for.

  6. Green can extend a really long time, because every time a horse does something new, it's green at that parcticular thing or at that particular level. But being green is never an excuse for bad behavior, regardless of ride #1 or a seasoned show horse.

  7. I had a blog post asking the same thing when I got Ramone. I have decided he's 6 this year and can no longer be a baby. Green yes, especially to some things but at this point he's more schooled then some 9 yos.

  8. IMHO it depends on your goals/discipline. I am a adult ammy hunter through and through.
    My horse peaked the green-bean curve when she could reliably w/t/c, (transition smoothly), and pack me around a 3' course with subtle intervention from the rider.

    Though, needless to say. We still have a lot to work on...

  9. Courage is a way broke race horse who's not phased by much of anything, but he's still green under saddle. That said, I'm aiming "pretty broke" by this summer and then hopefully he'll just be green to showing? We'll see.

  10. I consider all
    Mine green - even Penny because she is still fairly untrained. I guess it just depends on the terminology you prefer.

  11. This is hard. Because I still consider my "baby" a baby, even though he six. Because he is retarded. I think I considered Yankee a "baby" until he was almost 8. That was when he stopped exploding at random things and actually focused and retained things I taught him. I think thats when they stop having baby brains. Retention. But in reality, a horse isnt a baby anymore once they turn 6. IMO.

  12. Agree with above - I think any horse is probably green at something. Do I consider Hampton a green horse anymore? No. He can walk, trot and canter prompty and obediently with any rider with at least intermediate experience (let's face it he knows when a beginner is riding and turns into a sloth). He is reliable at shows and on trails. He has good breaks and a good go button. BUT is he green at canter pirouettes? Passage? Piaffe? All the fourth level work? yes. And so am I. So I guess depends on the situation. He would also still be considered green at jumping, simply because he lacks much experience.

  13. A horse isn't green anymore when it has reliable brakes and gas trained in, knows it's steering aids, and can be worked reliably both with and without other horses around. Obviously every horse has days where they forget their brakes, or decide turning left isn't going to happen, but in general those things should be installed pretty well and anyone should be able to get up and find the appropriate buttons.

    After that they are just "green to the level." Right?

    1. Oops! I meant to add "and understand when to react and when not to react." One mare I ride now has brakes and gas and turning installed, but is still figuring out that leg means go and not "leap spectacularly forward into a full out bolt." Once she gets that little gem, she won't be green anymore, to me.

  14. This is an awesome question. Brantley is still a "greenie" to some things more than others. Good example is that we're both "greenies" in the jump/show ring. But whoop ass on the trails. I mean... What's the fun in riding a perfectly finished horse? But then you have horses who have been out of work for a while and need to learn the ropes again like my friend's old jumper. He's not green... Is there an intermediate thing to call them?

  15. This is always a good subject. I personally hate it when "green" is used as excuse. Dickie is still green. He is five now but we didn't get started until late last year (3yo year) and we lost most of last year with my hip injuries. I do judge how well a ride went with the fact that he hasn't been ridden much since early summer. However, he doesn't get an excuse to be an asshat and neither do I. I hate it when the person on the "green" horse makes it every one else's problem. One lady at Dickie's first show kept yelling that her horse was green and it was his first show. He was bolting and bucking and being an overall fucktard in a packed arena. It isn't my fault your horse is losing it's mine. Go somewhere else and work it out don't give my guy a bad experience. Also, Dickie doesn't get free rein to be a fuckwit despite his green/young status. No bolting around on the lunge. We don't expect everyone to clear the place because it's windy. He needs to grown up and be a good citizen.

  16. People tend to call pony in shes not super broke or good at any discipline but in general she is super broke in terms of being able to do stuff on her, put anyone one yeah it kinda depends on the people themselves

  17. Can Twister and I come live with you? My truck holds a charge and I don't have an indoor lol

  18. I really struggle with the definition of "not green" as a horse that has w/t/c, brakes, and steering, even if you add a certain large percentage of the time. When I first got Murray he was very compliant w/t/c, had good brakes, and could even steer due to being just fairly balanced and sensitive enough to the rider's weight that, if you were careful, you could guide him easily around the arena. The steering and brakes were thanks to his track training, but what you could get him to do was one hundred percent dependent on his rider's abilities. He would jump whatever he was pointed at given enough positive vibes and momentum. Sure, he could totally accept contact and lift his back if you tricked him into it a little, but he had no concept that lifting his back was what you WANTED him to do and that he should sustain it without you having to nag him every few strides. So I guess I would say that a fundamental part of "greenness" to me is how much your horse understands his job, and the system of cues and rewards that indicate what he should be doing and that he should be doing things that way (and sustain that way of going).

    This still means horses can be green in all different situations and for all different things, but I think a horse that is well-trained and not-green in one area will probably be green for less time when they take up a new discipline because they already understand the whole concept of training.

    Does that make sense? I hope so.

  19. "Baby" is a physical concept. For me a horse is a baby until it is about 6 and finished growing. To the point where you no longer get on and discover the horse has gone bum high overnight and no longer has ANY IDEA where to put it's feet!
    Green is a mental concept. A horse can be green when it's 10 years old. a horse is no longer green (to me) when it can RELIABLY WTC, pick up the correct leads, float, and arrive at a new place and not totally lose it's s**t. With anyone, NOT just it's owner/usual rider.

  20. I never really thought about it before! I guess I'd still consider Jazz green because she doesn't have consistent canter leads, and can be dull to the leg. I think a horse isn't green once it has a consistent and willing wtc with leads, and could be trusted with a late beginner/early intermediate rider about 90% of the time

  21. aww boo winter and misbehaving vehicles :( and idk really about the baby / green thing... maybe bc i'm spoiled by a definitely-not-green horse, even tho she's still new-ish to this level of jumping (low tho that level may be)

  22. I'm with Austen in that a horse can be green to the level- Rico is 19 and totally trained but is still considered green at the Grand Prix level.

    Personally I think once as they're WTC with correct leads and at least mostly on the bit at all three gaits, that's no longer green for me. For me I think that baby is 3 and under, young is 6 and under. Everything is so subjective though!

  23. I think a horse is broke as soon as they do what you tell them with some level of control/finesse. As in, any horse can be kicked into a trot or gallop, but I would consider it still green until it has some idea about steering, softness, sane transitions, and paying attention. Some horses get there faster than others...some horses never get there...

  24. Like that 85% responsiveness suggestion above. I hate when people call horses green as an excuse for bad behavior (especially ground manners). Is the horse really confused and learning? No - they're either being a brat, or the human is not training/enforcing properly.

  25. Haha, I have many of these same debates in reference to children. "Oh, he's just a baby. He can't help hitting". Um...where's the definition of "baby"?? Until you decide to raise you 30-year old baby, or once they're capable of cognitive thought and response?

    I feel the same way about a "green horse". No horse owner should let their horse be "green" forever. I feel "green" is akin to "broke". A broke horse knows what is expected of him, and how to react. That's not to say a broke horse won't shy at a scary object. Knows how to jump an oxer, race a barrel. Won't occasionally misbehave with a green rider. You take a green horse and you make it broke. You explain the language to it, so that if you ask right, you should be able to get the expected response. Predictability.

    Yes, there will be teenage moments, but a teenage isn't a baby. Your expectations are higher. A broke horse is still going to misbehave, but they're not green. They know what you want, even if they don't act appropriately.

    No horse will ever master everything, and no horse will ever give you a perfect response to everything all the time. Ever. Unless it's mechanical, but even then, someone will forget an update and it'll blue screen on you.

    A green horse does not know what to expect from a handler. Once the language has been taught, it's no longer a green horse. Just because it can't pronounce a word or never read that book.


If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.