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Your embarrassing horse stories

I may have posted this before, but a while go.

When I was a teenager (late 1960s- early 70s) I had a horse named Rocket. We had access to large network (over 100 miles) of suburban/rural trails (then called PLA, which I think was “Private Lanes Association” and now called BRLA “Bedford Riding Lanes Association”). We rode on them regularly. One section had a loop of trail that was normally blocked off.

There were several hunter paces held on the PLA trails, that we competed in. One of them was in the section that had the closed off loop, but it had been opened up, and was on the hunter pace route. There was a person sited after the turnoff, I think to make sure that nobody got lost and went off onto the rest of the trails.

So I am cantering along, and setting him up for the turn into the loop, but he is ignoring it because he “knows” it is blocked. I am trying harder and harder to turn him, but he is ignoring me. Finally we have missed the turn, and I am just trying to get him to stop so I can turn around. At that moment he realizes “the turn IS open”, and he turns more than 90 degrees to head into the loop. Of course I am now set up for stopping on a straight line, and I come off over his shoulder. All right in front of the watcher!

He stops, I remount , and continue without incident. I think we got 10th in the hunter pace. I also got the booby prize (I think it had a slightly fancier name, but that is what it was), which was a stuffed toy skunk.


I believe this, having met the dear creature. I’m sure Noble has his own list, too, but he seemed a bit less opinionated.

Feronia had her moments bit a lot of them were not witnessed by anyone else, like hopping onto her bareback with a little too much impulsion, and going right over the other side of her. That said I’ve lost my balance while dealing with her hooves, and ended up underneath her a few times, when others were present.

And then there were the Monsters At E, and the Linda Zang clinic where we were the late afternoon entertainment…


Noble was no less opinionated; it was just that as a Morgan, he knew he was right and I was wrong and being right was enough for him, whereas Fanny, as an intellectual Arabian, was genuinely mystified by my repeat ineptitude.


Linda was the focus of my most embarrassing moment too!

We were having a clinic in our indoor. Pony was bad at standing at the mounting block and I was running behind so when he started to walk off I threw myself toward the saddle, and kind of missed. Landed behind the saddle and he took umbrage with that and popped his croup up a few times, ran me into the kick wall then directly into Linda, knocking her on her back. Somehow I ended up outside of the indoor, on my feet (maybe ran into my trainer’s husband in the process?) Thankfully Linda found it hilarious and was telling people in the area about how a pony almost killed her. (She also loves my current mare)


Yikes! I had a long, funny post about our experiences in 2009 at a Linda Zang clinic at our home barn, but I can’t find it. Feronia took a distinct dislike to having her normal indoor arena environment changed, and staged a long, full-blown tantrum, complete with spooking, rearing, bucking, and stomping her feet like the blonde princess she is. But when she got over herself, Linda loved her and hinted that she knew someone who’d love to buy her from me…


That sounds like Linda!

I’ve shared this on COTH before, but I get my horse-gene from my mother. I lived in a different state for a few years and during this time, I picked up a young TB from the track. He was a total 180 from the scrappy and tough TBs I’d had before him; we always perused the “bottom of the barrel” so to speak with our projects, since money was tight. I got this TB for a song and he was worth every penny of the $800 I spent. I knew he was special and when my mum came to visit was so excited to show her how much progress we’d made in only two months of work.

We’re in the indoor and I’m talking to her about how calm and chill he’s been in a busy boarding barn. I go to mount him, and I accidentally jab him right in the flank with my knee. He startled and took off with me hanging sideways off of him. We made it about three 40MPH revolutions around the indoor before he and I parted ways in a spectacular fashion. Mum was not impressed. :joy:

Yesterday was our 10 year anniversary of him walking off the trailer into my yard. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I’m sometimes reminded of a conversation with a non-horse person a few years ago where I was talking about barn life and working with horses. She was amazed and asked “So do all horses have their own personalities?”

Oh, honey. :joy:


Having been lucky enough to have met your late mare, I can picture her pulling up a stool with a sigh. “Do you want the laundry list??”

She was such a gem.

It’s funny, I have some standout horses over the years that I have felt privileged to meet and care for - is it coincidence all of them were Arabians and Arabian crosses? Up there with Fanny is Bakhar (sp?) and another lovely little QH/arab named Ellie.



Beowulf’s horses are/were pretty stand-out, too (even if they are/were not Arabs or Morgan horses), as is her connection with them. I can’t imagine her ever embarrassing her horses. I don’t know why she’s even reading this thread. :slight_smile:


Riding 29 year old horse bareback down trail, sans spurs, after a rainfall. He decided he would not go by a trash bag someone left on the side of the trail.

“Yes, you will!” says I as I over and under the reins.

“Guess again” says he as he spins and dumps me in a mud puddle, then after looking at me, turns and trots back to the barn.


I was riding a horse for a friend amd she had those elastic band safety stirrups on her saddle. Ride was good, but when I got off somehow the hook that held the band on the top of the stirrup got caught on my breeches and ripped them from mid thigh to the waistband.

I was mortified. Basically it exposed my whole thigh to the hip bone. Someone gave me a towel to wrap around my waist and keep the area covered as I untacked and put the horse away. I think I was about sixteen. I laugh about it now but at the time I was so embarrassed.


I don’t know if this counts because thankfully no one saw it. I find it embarrassing anyway, this is the first time I’ve shared it. :smile:

The loveliest place I ever boarded was a large well-appointed facility, not just horses, with acres of green pastures and lawns. They also raised herbs & veges & free range chickens to sell to farm-to-table restaurants and meal companies.

They had an extremely tall wildlife fence around the property perimeter, so they didn’t fence any of the gardens or chickens. They did have large, black-wood-fenced horse pastures (and barns).

Beyond that, when leading or riding outside of the arena and pastures, it was the responsibility of the horse people to be sure that no horse ever, ever trespassed on a garden or bothered a chicken (chickens stuck close to their coop so they weren’t in the way). No one knew exactly what terrible fate would befall anyone whose horse messed something up, because none of us were brave enough to find out.

I was leading my OTTB, not long off the track, across a large unfenced green area behind a buiding, sort of a lawn. Someone had put out a closely-placed group of those large, white, plastic Adirondack chairs, not far from the building. Probably getting ready for an evening picnic.

I was leading the horse with a bit of distance from the lawn chairs as we horse peeps avoided all contact with everything non-horsey. And yet I suppose we were finally close enough, because very suddenly, horse was able to perceive that in fact that group of chairs was an alien spacecraft landed to collect specimens for experimentation !!!
:scream: :scream: :scream:

I dunno how this suddenly hit his button, but his head & ears sprung up toward the chairs, eyes popped out of their sockets, and he bolted in panic. He wasn’t stopping, the aliens weren’t gettin’ him. Maybe he thought that if I were left behind, the spacecraft would be satisfied with me as a specimen.

I had been leading him back from a work in-hand with a longe line, the bulk of the loops in one hand, and there was no way I was releasing him to go mad-galloping over the gardens and the chickens and get us evicted. I was able to hold on to the longe probably 10 ft from his head, which kept his head pulled around toward me (and the chairs sort of).

I did not know that a horse could gallop backward that fast, while dragging a prone human across the grass, by the line attached to the horse’s head.

He did scramble to a stop before long. He was frozen with legs splayed and head and ears high. I was able to get up, approach and reassure him somewhat. But he was not going a step closer to those chairs.

Of course the front of my clothes had turned grassy, sandy-dirty, buggy and green. The neck and waistband had scooped up some random lawn detritis.

As he was way over-adrenalized, and my clothes needed, well, adjustments, I figured we’d both had enough for that day. But over the next 4 days we did gradually work our way to understanding the difference between plastic chairs and alien spacecraft.

By day 4 he was not only leading by and standing with the chairs, he was chewing on them. It was an odd feeling to contemplate such a large animal bolting from these things one day, and calmly putting them in his mouth on another day.

I suppose that eating whatever doesn’t eat you first is one way to approach scary things.

:grimacing: :face_with_raised_eyebrow: :grin: :joy:


I had just bought a horse. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

This was my second horse. First horse was an intended bribe from my mom’s second husband, trying to get me to like him. It didn’t work, though I loved the horse. “Gee, thanks, jerk!” Of course, since he picked and had no horse-picking skills and wouldn’t have applied them if he did, the horse was wildly unsuitable for a still inexperienced kid. She was a sweet thing, blood bay QH, unbroke 2-year-old. With my long-suffering riding instructor’s help, we actually did get her broke, and I had a few good months with her until she died in an accident.

Anyway, second horse. Mom, having dumped second husband and shaken the dust off her feet, was determined to do this right. She asked my riding instructor for input. Instructor looked at several horses and actually brought three over in subsequent weeks for me to try out for lessons. We were officially doing it as you should, professional input, test rides, though of course limited by the budget (1K), so anything I got wasn’t going to be perfect. I settled on Bam-Bam, who later became known jokingly as the half-Arab, half-lunatic gelding. He also was blood bay. In addition, he was selective, one of those didn’t-like-everybody horses. However, he liked me. I took several lessons on Bam. We got along well. Instructor agreed, Mom agreed, and I agreed. The deal was finalized, and Bam officially became a boarder at my instructor’s barn.

One day later, it was a Saturday. I had my lesson Friday nights. That Saturday, my dad came to visit me, and I, of course, wanted to show off my new horse. We arrived at the barn on its busiest day, but the instructor wasn’t around. I didn’t have a lesson scheduled anyway, but she had had some sort of medical emergency with a relative and was unexpectedly off heading to the hospital. So all lessons cancelled that day, but lots of boarders were just riding.

I proudly saddled up my horse, introduced him to Dad, and then started to mount outside. Alas, Bam didn’t like Dad (see odd selectiveness, above). Furthermore, Dad was clueless about horses. As I was mounting, Dad, in a protective dad moment, grabbed the reins to hold the horse safely for his daughter, but he did it all wrong and wound up jerking Bam quite sharply in the mouth. This was a horse who hated being jerked in the mouth. Bam pulled away sharply from Dad and bucked, and I went flying, in front of Dad and 20-odd people riding in the outdoor ring.

Dad, of course, was horrified. I wasn’t hurt, just embarrassed. Picked myself up, caught the horse, and dusted myself off. Only Dad by now was worried about the horse so was determined to “really” hold him this time as I remounted. I tried to convince him to just let go. Nope, he was in full Dad mode. Bam was definitely not liking him at this point for specific, not just general, reasons. Dad hit him in the mouth even harder and dragged his head sideways, Bam hit the limit, and he bolted. Ah, here we discovered a hole in my new horse. When he was totally fed up with life, Bam would run away.

I was actually on that time and managed to get my stirrups. Bam ran away. We hadn’t been actually in the outdoor ring, just near the open gate, as I didn’t want to get in the way of the folks in there while mounting. Bam bolted across the property, then finally came to a stop. I fell off more out of being shaken up than anything. First runaway of my life; I was still a kid with maybe two years of lessons. Score for the day so far: Bam 2, me 0.

Dad and a couple of others came down the field pronto to see if I was okay. Dad was now convinced that I had bought a kid-eating tiger. I got back on, with one of the other boarders heading Bam correctly and managing to convince Dad to stand back. Once I was on, she asked if I was okay, reins set, stirrups set, then stepped back and suggested I ride him back up to the ring. Here Dad grabbed the reins to lead me back across the property. He jerked the horse, and Bam bucked. Score for the day so far: Bam 3, me 0.

We retrieved the horse. I asked Dad to please, please, please just stand back, and I remounted. Dad at this point got right in front of the horse and, grabbing the cheek pieces, lectured him in firm tone to take care of me. Bam jerked away and bolted. After a nice run away to the other side of the field, he stopped, and I hit the dirt, not expecting the sudden stop. Score for the day so far: Bam 4, me 0.

By this point, Bam was getting totally fed up, and Dad was in Ultra Dad Mode. I tried to remount quickly to avoid Dad closing in, but Bam did a 360 spin (another specialty of his, as I would discover and eventually would learn to ride), and off I went. Score for the day so far: Bam 5, me 0.

Dad now wanted me to return the horse. Actually, he had a few more extreme suggestions for the horse. I was trying to explain that the horse actually liked me and we got along fine together. A few of the more experienced boarders stepped in here, bless them. One of them took charge of me and Bam, the other of Dad, keeping him at a distance and reassuring him. I got an impromptu short lesson in the ring, and I did demonstrate at last my ability to stay on my horse. Once we calmed down, we were fine.

It was literally the first full day I had owned him. This act played in front of Dad and in front of half of the boarders of the stable. To this day, being dumped five times in a day is a record, and I hope that one is never broken.

I had Bam for many, many years, up until his death. I loved that horse. Yes, he had a runaway in him when he got totally fed up with idiocy, but he also taught me to ride one. That and the 360 spin.

When Dad and I arrived home from our day out together, Mom, smiling, said, “So, what do you think of her new horse?” Well, um…

Dad still is convinced I’m going to get killed with these beasts someday.


I think it was my second ever foxhunt. A children’s hunt with our local club. I was about 15/16, on my heart horse (eventer, dressge, trail riding, fox hunter)…well we were at a check, he parks out to pee. A hound runs under him and he pees on the hound. Doesn’t miss a beat. I look to the huntsman and ask “Can I ever foxhunt again?” the huntsman looked at me and goes “absolutely. I cannot believe that hound was stupid enough to get peed on”. The look of relief on my face must have been priceless.


Some horses … anywhere, any time, is a good time and place to pee. Why can’t they see that they are going to the arena (or the trailer) and take care of this before they get there? :smile:

Today in the primary riding arena, one of the older geldings (not my ride thank goodness) abruptly parked out and relieved himself with vigor. He must have been holding it for quite a while, because a pee lake immediately formed, spread, trickled, and saturated, with a lot of odorous liquid on top.

Hours later there was still a smelly muddy splashy mess right in the spot to to turn the corner. I think it had grown.

Will any horse ever politely request to sneak behind the barn for a couple of minutes for a pee break … ?

My last late horse, off property at any horse event, must have been shy, because he would not go anywhere but in the trailer. I spent years trying to teach him to a) pee on command and b) pee somewhere else. He did get to where he would pee if a very particular type of dried grass was rattled beneath him, if we were standing among trees for privacy, and it was exactly the right moment. Or maybe that was coincidence. He finally died of old age before we got any further with the pee lessons.


I have a gelding who is super shy about peeing and pooping. In six years he has never done either while ridden, led, or on crossties. A couple of times he has done the dance on crossties to let me know he needs to go to his stall now! Even in his stall he will try to wait until no human is around.

Funny because he is so not a shy boy in other ways!


I’m on my 3rd set of geldings on my farm.
Stall doors at the back are left open, horses come & go at will.
They occasionally come in to pee :roll_eyes:
I noticed they always pee standing close to the North wall of the stalls & finally figured out that’s where they’re most “hidden” from the view of anyone/anything outside.
They can peek out the open doors, but are safely sheltered from predation… Or Peeping Toms :laughing:


Is that it? Predators attack peeing males? Are mares like this as well? I’ve only ever owned geldings.

My mare pees as a form of greeting when I come into the barn in the morning, so my guess is no.