Monday, September 16, 2013


Yes, I'm still here.
We've been flooding.
Then there's been a writing direction crisis.
Lots of family and health stuff.
Have to admit, just a touch of hand wringing and maybe a small pity party.
Am soooooo over it.

So, I figure, I'll make fun of somebody else and vent my irritation on their stupidity. Guess I'm missing FHOTD. She always got my irate-o-meter ticking.

Western Riding Lessons Available (South Colorado Springs )

Have you always wanted to learn to ride but dont have a horse or space then give me a call and I'll be Glad to teach you. Western riding lessons available for anyone that can sit on their own and follow directions. I live outside Colorado Springs area in Hanover. I have a kid broke horse that my 1yr old and 5 year old can sit on and ride with no problems. She can handle adults as well. If you have a horse that's fine too. We have pasture boarding available. I start with the basics of care and then work into riding. I firmly believe no one should just start riding until you know how to take care of your horse first. I have time for a couple of trainees. If you would like to learn give me a call at xxx-xxx-xxxx or text xxx-xxx-xxxx. Rates are $25hr per person. All lessons are individual.

OK. Here I go.
As you all know, I don't care about all the petty crap, like poor sentence structure, bad spelling, or tattoos.
I'm more interested in the stuff that is bad for horses and the people involved with them.

I also like to start with finding a few good things.

The little girl seems very happy. She's a brave little mite, facing her imminent doom with such pluck.

These are a couple of great horses, soft eyed, clean and apparently well fed..They have not only tolerated, but encouraged the boob who owns them. So much so, she now has the confidence to call herself a riding instructor.

If at all possible, somebody with some sense needs to swoop in and buy both horses for themselves. They  are those rare gems that make searching the ads written by the under-educated worth while.
I completely understand she is not offering her horses for sale, but I'm guessing, pretty soon here, somebody will be suing her ass and she'll be needing the dough. The property looks nice too, so you might want to stop by and look it over too.

I like the fact she's got a well fitted snaffle bit on the horse I can see. The horse is undoubtedly grateful too.

Let's get the lack of helmets out of the way -- there's a given -- even with my own eternally stubborn and helmetless ways, I think kids should be kept helmeted until they are legally old enough to make their own bad decisions. I'm kind of fond of safe, reachable stirrups too, and footwear that won't leave my littleun's wearing said stirrups around their ankles.

 Personally, I'm not taking lessons from anybody who rides with their baby in front of them. Although, I could be wrong, since she states, "I have a kid broke horse that my 1yr old and 5 year old can sit on and ride with no problems." I have never succeeded in teaching a one-year-old to ride alone, so maybe I need to be listening and learning here, not judging. That baby might have learned to ride by himself just so he could quit getting mashed into the saddle horn. Self-preservation can be a strong teacher.

She's on the right track though. "I start with the basics of care and then work into riding. I firmly believe no one should just start riding until you know how to take care of your horse first." 

I agree 100% with her. It's just that I taught, and was taught, these things a little differently. When I covered saddle fit, I encouraged avoiding a cheap, poorly made saddle that mashed straight onto my horse's withers. I also considered it not only embarrassing, but hard on my horse's loins, when my butt hung 2 inches over my cantle. Of course, that's just me. 

Last but not least, for a riding instructor who has lead ropes attached to both horses, I'm a little confused when it comes to her purpose. The blue lead rope in the first photo appears to be tied to the fence. I have more than one story to tell about riders on horses that are tied to stationary objects. It's not pretty.

The white pony rope in the second photo is attached to the horse carrying the little girl. But nobody seems to be holding the other end...hmmmm.

Last, but not least, is the classy horn and cantle bag. OK, I got nothing, having done the same more than once. Again, these horses are saints and need to be finagled away from this crazy person. But, I stand by the fact that I NEVER advertised for business while using my Wal-mart bag horse gear. Never, if I was having my picture taken, I'd at least reach for a Target gift bag.

Here's the thing. I walk a fine line when I get all critical, because I did things during my years as an instructor and trainer that make me cringe today. I have a photo of the kidlet on a trail ride I just might share...
I also believe that as long as you know more than the person you're instructing, you can still be of help. But man, this woman needs lots more help before she's anything but dangerous. 

Help she could have gotten from:


or even:

Until she gets even the most rudimentary equine education, I'd say she might want to wait to start giving lessons. Maybe I should take her a copy.


  1. Glad to hear you are ok despite the flooding. That's all.


  2. So good to hear from you... when I hear about horrible weather in CO I wonder if you're hanging in there!

    Anyways. This. This is why I went through three years of training and paperwork and gritting my teeth and paying fees and insurance. I had no illusions about my expertise - a childhood of falling off Shetland ponies wasn't gonna cut it and I darn well knew I needed the education!

    After three years of advertising my services I still worry and obsess over every word and every picture.

    I wasn't totally horrified by the ad there except I have to call BS that the baby is riding the horse alone with no problems. Because she says "Western riding lessons available for anyone that can sit on their own and follow directions." and I don't know many 1 year old kids who can do that.

    Although I do have pictures of my daughter at age 4 sitting on an old mare while not wearing a helmet. You're just not going to see that pic in my lesson ad!

  3. Glad to hear from you, Mugs. Stay safe keep breathin, livin, and writein.

  4. Yes Heidi. And I would send my kids to you in a heartbeat.

  5. Thanks!! It would be a long drive though.

  6. I'm very sorry to hear of the flooding and health problems. Yet I am selfishly glad to see a new blog entry.

    The first photo is disturbing - the poor baby. The horse looks concerned about something in the distance, so it's double scary that he's tied to a fence. I once saw a horse tied to a 'horse tie' on the wall at a fancy barn. The hardware was only attached to a cedar board and not to an underlying support beam. The horse pulled back and broke the board. He ran out of the barn dragging part of the board and made several laps around the property. He was pretty cut up and bruised by the time they caught him. The baby won't have a a chance if the horse feels like he has to leave in a hurry.

    I hope everything takes a better turn for you in the near future.

  7. Thinking of you with all that flooding - hope you and all the critters are safe.

  8. Happy to see you and I hope your world settles down into yet another new "normal" soon.

    That first photo makes me nervous. She is not tuned into what is going on with her mount at all. I can feel the horse getting ready to Beat Feet and dump the rider and baby in the dirt.

    Thank you for offering some back to basics reading suggestions. I can always use more books on horse care and management.

    Please let us know if we can help you, or your neighbors, in any way with the ongoing events in your area.

    I hear my brother (who is in Lafayette) has started talking about building custom Arks.

  9. This.

    I have an (ex)friend who came to me for help years ago "fixing" her "problem" horse. The only problem was her. I tried to help her out so she could help her horse, but she just could NOT grasp the concept. After that, for my own sanity, I stopped keeping company with her.

    This year another mutual friend sent me the ad she had posted on CL as a trainer. I about crapped my pants. I friended her on FB just so I could see what happened (I know. I know. Not very honorable... but I just couldn't help it). After 2 horrible wrecks (horses freaking out while tied to dumb shit) and her getting bucked off she finally called it quits. At least all of her kids made it through safely.

    Just boggles the mind, though.

  10. Did you get both fire and flooding in the same darn summer? Yikes... Hope things get a little less crazy for you guys.
    Take it easy...

    And if it makes you feel any better there's a strict rule of -no pony and no quad rides with out a helmet- for the kids in our house. I wear mine too.

  11. Unfortunately, there seems to be a general dumbing down in my area, too. Some guy is advertising to train using the most bizarre photos; rearing horses, slouched position in the saddle, standing on the horse, etc. Oh well, guess he is not doing too well, he's had the ad up on CL all summer.

  12. I did not start training on purpose, or through a specific program. It just kind of happened.
    I had a parent ask me to teach their kid how to ride and then help her find a horse. I did, it worked out,word spread, I started making money.
    Next, somebody asked me to ride for them. So I did. It worked, word spread, I started making money.
    It never occurred to me I was a trainer or a riding instructor.
    As my interests expanded, showing IBHA, then AQHA, then reining and cattle events, I went to established trainers for help, then shared my information.
    I still simply said, I ride for people sometimes, even though 75% of my income now came from my work with horses.
    It was trainer Devin Warren who finally broke the news. In the eyes of the breed and event organizations, I was a pro.
    Yes, I'm a little slow.

  13. It was much the same with me. I taught my own kids what little I knew and taught a few friend's kids. I like it a lot and wanted to keep going. I did the whole provincial certification program because in my area it's mostly English riding, and I figured teaching Western, I'd be better off with a piece of paper saying I know what I'm doing as opposed to, like, it's a saddle with a horn, therefore it's Western. Pull this, kick here, kind of thing. Sometimes I'm afraid it's kind of snobbish of me to wave around my certification but ... y'know. Still a hick after all. Just a slightly more edu-macated hick.

  14. I have to agree on all points!!
    Those poor horses are Saints in disguise.

    On another note- I hope you all dry out soon!