Friday, July 1, 2016

Making A Solid Citizen Blog Hop

Yesterday, Sprinkler Bandit posted about the mythological forever home and I started thinking about things (dangerous territory).  I know that in addition to my own goals for Sinker I want to make him a solid citizen.  He will always be quirky, but I think I can increase his odds in case something happens.

Gotta make this face the best he can be

First off, I have a plan in place in case I die suddenly.  Morbid I know, but it is also necessary.  He will go back to D and she has the means to find him a good home or the possibility to keep him if she so chooses.  Either way, he has a soft landing regardless of where his training stands.

This leads me into my actual question.  What skills would you want a horse to have to be a solid citizen?

He stands quietly now.

My criteria may or may not be the best one, because I like the weirdos and I have spent my whole life around horses, so there may be behaviors that don't bother me that are terrifying to others.  So help me identify the holes in my grand plan.

  • Ground manners
    • Leads next to you.  No dragging behind or in front (guess which one is Stinker's problem).
    • Picks up feet easily
    • No biting (Stinker is super mouthy so this is a constant battle.  He doesn't bite, but the licking proceeds to nibbles)
    • Stands for grooming and washing
    • No pawing in the cross ties (This is also a work in progress)
  • Under Saddle
    • Stands for mounting (this has improved greatly)
    • Willing to stand and wait (this needs work)
    • Prompt and forward (we have this down pat)
    • Can be ridden alone or in groups (the alone part is good groups are hit or miss)
    • Trail rides (still improving)
    • I would love for him to be solid in dressage and maybe some little jumping but that is dreaming at the moment
  • Personality (These aren't really trainable, but they are pluses that Stinker has)
    • Lovable (Stinker is a favorite around the barn because he is so interactive)
    • Smart (He picks up things so quickly.  I have been too lazy to do tricks with him, but with his stretches he basically does them himself)
He hasn't gotten tired of my shenanigans yet,
so he is basically tween girl proofed.

I really want him to become a solid citizen, so if the odds aren't in our favor he can find a soft landing.  He already has several strikes against him.  One he is a saddlebred which carries a lot of negative connotation for people.  Two he now has had health issues which may or may not continue to cause him problems.  Also, his conformation isn't the best.  Three, he had a rough start and has baggage from it.  Lucky for him I am not the three strikes you are out kind of girl.

I think I did things right to update this to a blog hop if you are interested.  If it isn't working please let me know and I will attempt to fix it.


  1. Under ground manners I would add loads and trailers well, clips, and stands well for the vet -- those are all pretty important to me! (After having horses that were terrible at those things, naturally lol)

  2. This is a great list! This should be a blog hop!

    1. I can be persuaded. I'll see if I can get things fixed up this afternoon.

  3. Nothing morbid about it- I know plenty of people that have included the horse in their wills to make sure the right thing is done for them. Wills aren't morbid, why should ensuring your pets' safety be?

    I don't have anything set in stone, but I imagine my husband or parents would send Penn to Trainer for her to sell. I should probably make sure that's the case.

    A large reason I bought him was his super sweet personality- that's something I can't train, but certainly helps him. Things I make sure of: excellent ground manners (standing politely, leading politely, cross ties, clips, etc), easy to load/unload, trail rides and works alone or in a group, and train him to do something (like dressage).

    Forever home searches don't bother me at all. Probably because I see it as someone looking for another person who isn't going to 'use and abuse then dump' the horse. What bothers me are horses untouched in a field for years until their later years then have to be rehomed, or 7-10 year olds that are barely halter broke. I'm a firm believer that if you're going to bring a horse into this world, you're responsible for giving him a job and the tools to learn/do that job. I'm also not for tossing old horses out into a field to 'live out their days'- I think it's a death sentence. Continuing to lightly ride them is so good for them (unless they're not sound!). There's a 28 yr old and 30 yr old at our barn who are still spry and trucking along at their jobs and you'd never guess how old they are. I know a 30 year old who hasn't been ridden in 5-6 years and he looks well past his age and his health is declining because he doesn't have any weight to fall back on. I know which ones could still be rehomed at that age, and it's not the one who hasn't been ridden.

    1. Personality and minds are important. I love Stinker's willingness. It just took me awhile to convince him that I wasn't going to hurt him and he would actually feel better relaxing and stretching.

      I agree with you about the pasture puffs that are old/older and don't know anything. But I have mixed feelings about the old horses. As a kid we had the old kid horses that as my sister and I out grew them they mostly sat in a pasture and were only occasionally used for the people that didn't know how to ride. They were mostly home bred horses and they had worked cattle for 20+ years. I don't feel like it was bad for them to live out their years like that. But they also lived in large pastures where they could roam (like 640 acres). I do think light work is good for the older sport horses that are kept in smaller areas.

  4. Making my horse easily rideable by everyone (including the 2' rider who bought him) was my goal in making sure my horse stayed safe.

    1. Giving them a job they are good at is a good way to ensure their future.

  5. Great list! You've made so much progress with stinker!☺

  6. Very good list! I am very slow but will try to join the hop ;)

  7. Yea I'm all aboard the "probably anybody could enjoy being around and riding this horse" boat as the thing likeliest to keep them safe moving forward too