'Unridable' - this is a word that has doomed so very many horses. This is an issue that has been dear to my heart since I was a child volunteering at a local rescue. While I took riding lessons and of course loved to ride, my favorite place to go was always the rescue. I got so much more out of my time with the horses there. I got to learn about them, their nutrition, health care, daily needs, social interactions and relationships, I learned to read them. I became what we call at the farm a 'horse observer', those horses taught me so much.

In a world dominated by riding and competing there's not much room for these broken down old souls - or even the young, healthy horses who are unable to be ridden for whatever reason. As a child I hated competitive riding because I saw it as the reason why people stopped loving their horses when they stopped being able to be ridden, so while I took lessons and studied many riding style I never competed. I saw teen girls my age throwing away the ponies they claimed to love so much, because they outgrew them (physically or competitive level wise). Obviously I've grown and learned how there are people in all realms of the horse world that are good and bad, competitive riders who cherish their mounts and provide them safe homes for life - and monstrous rescues just out to make a buck.

The problem remains though, what do we do with a horse who can't be ridden and how do we show the public their value? I think we can start by popularizing the fun games that don't involve riding - like driving, packing, hiking, and my favorite, agility. Horses have so much more to offer us than what we can get while on their backs. And maybe, just maybe if people spent a little more time at eye level with their horse they'd learn to develope a little more empathy. R+ training in particular really opens up gateways of fun things to do with horses on the ground that can be fun and valuable for the horses too.

<- Back to Training Articles

Skip to toolbar