Horses are incredibly intelligent.
They often fool us, tease us, and make fun of us. They somehow “know” when we’re coming to feed them versus the times when we have otherwise bad intentions (like deworming day.)
They hold their breath so the girth is magically loose when you get on.
They can put their foot down directly on your big toe……
time ………………don’t tell me that is not carefully calculated!
Horses can also incredibly stupid creatures. Why on earth is a 1200 lb creature afraid of a plastic bag? Or the yellow lines on the road??? Or a teensy tiny little DITCH??!!
In general I like to believe that I am somewhat more intelligent than the average equine. After all my brain to body size ratio is significantly higher than a horse.
What’s my point right??
I’m getting there, but let’s talk about neurotransmitters for a moment……
Eventing is an adrenalin sport for sure.
Thoroughbreds LOVE adrenalin!!
Thoroughbreds are the Retrievers of the horse world. A retriever will “retrieve” until the thrower has complete exhaustion or the puppy gets heat stroke (whichever comes first). These dogs are “driven”. Now that drive may be somewhat mindless, and often self destructive, but owners of retrievers love their obsessive compulsive pets.
Thoroughbreds are the retrievers of the horse world. They love the rush, and if they get to run fast they are usually happy. If they get to run AND jump things even more so. And like their canine counterpart they will run even without a rider because they are adrenalin addicts!
Warmbloods on the other hand, are entirely different creatures. I am the reluctant owner of my very first
I had heard about this horse for nearly two years.
“You HAVE to see this horse!!”
“He is your Ride to the ROLEX!!”
My friends repeated this mantra to me every-single-time I saw them, “He’s your ride to the Rolex!! You have to come see him!!” until they beat me down and I finally went to take a look.
I objected strongly to his breed.
I don’t ride Warmbloods.
I love my Thoroughbreds.
After all I prefer to ride horses that I have a slight chance to outsmart. There is something to riding a nice big dumb horse. And I soon learned why I will never refer to a warmblood as a dumb-blood again.
I drove 1000 miles and they proudly presented me with my “Ride to the Rolex”.
Yep, that was him.
I was a little offended really, but they were convincing and I agreed to watch him trot around a pen.
He took a few trot strides
and as I watched him float through the air, I thought maybe he wasn’t quite as bad as it first appeared.
Then I free jumped him over some barrels to see if he would be interested in jumping.
With zero hesitation he cleared not only the barrels but the level of my eyes (and I am not short!)
I was beginning to think, “maybe….” but then I had the misfortune to attempt to ride the beast.
No steering, no controls, herd bound, argumentative, RECENTLY gelded……………..need I say more??
But my friends were determined and after MANY MANY margaritas later they convinced me to take him home and try him.
So, I took the lovely creature home and rode him for about 3 weeks. I felt like we were just starting to get somewhere…… and before I screwed him up too much (as if that was possible) I took him to his first dressage lesson.
This horse is a very thinking creature, and does not react or overreact to ……. anything.
As he was walking around his first indoor arena, complete with spraying water and mirrors, and didn’t seem to notice anything my instructor asked who I was riding.
I let her know, “This is my Green Bean! This is his 20th ride!”
She was immediately impressed and commented on how her youngsters would be “hanging from the rafters.”
After a lesson of walking and trotting (& mostly trying to steer in general) she said, “He has TWO very good gaits!!” After a pause she asked if I could canter him.
Sure! was my reply and we cantered around the ring.
She eagerly asked me if he could jump. I told her I didn’t know yet, and the reply,” If he won’t jump – we will turn him into a Grand Prix dressage horse!!”
At this point I decided he had potential & with the Grand Prix dressage champions approval I made the decision to purchase him before his price got any higher……it seemed the more I fed him, the higher it got.
Six months later we are still working on steering and likely wouldn’t make it through the dressage phase at Green as Grass. It’s not a matter of talent with this horse, as it is MOTIVATION. Remember the bit earlier about Thoroughbreds being self motivated????
This horse has continuously outsmarted me at every single turn. I even resorted to teaching him tricks to get his brain busy on something besides making me look BAD!!
If we ever do jump around Rolex, (or Beginner Novice for that matter!!) his name will be Tequila Persuasion, because it took an AWFUL lot of tequila to talk me into this horse….. And even more tequila to keep me RIDING this horse!!
My Ride to the Rolex is more likely to be………..old faithful.
Outsmarted by a WarmBlood…………..who knew……………