THE TERM "BOMB PROOF" HORSE
Okay, so you are a new beginning rider or perhaps it is your child who wants to learn all about horses and riding. So you are looking for a BOMB PROOF horse to learn on. Here is what you will find.
You will find horse sellers advertising their horses as Bomb Proof, HOPEFULLY meaning that they are Quiet, Kind, Gentle, Easy to load, Easy to work with on the ground, Do not buck, SHY, run away or in anyway endanger the rider while being ridden. Horses that have seen everything and done everything without getting scared or mad.
Well, if the horse is still young, say less than 5 years old, there isn’t much chance that it is Bomb Proof. That horse is still much to young to be absolutely trust worthy and good at all these things. Maybe nothing has scared or upset this horse yet, that’s all? So let’s skip to the 10 years and older horse. He has seen most everything and done most everything. In fact the older the horse, the more things he has been through in his lifetime, thus getting closer to being the big name, BOMB PROOF. Now for the clincher. THE BOMB PROOF HORSE DOES NOT REALLY EXIST. Many are close, but accidents do happen.
Okay, so you have taken care to not buy the younger and/or not completely 100% trained horse to save yourself or child from getting hurt on a horse that might get scared out of it’s wits by something. Or might simply get mad over your riding abilities or your saddle or bridle that doesn’t fit it properly causing it discomfort so it retaliates. You have purchased a horse even that is "Guaranteed" to be Bomb Proof. He/she is an older animal with a long history of patience and gentleness and wee children have ridden him everywhere.
Maybe he/she has never had a bird fly out of the ditch or bush right under his nose. Boom, the horse shies violently. You or your child is on the ground looking up. Maybe the horse has never seen a really large or really small dog come tearing around a corner of the barn before. Boom, he jumps almost in your lap but definitely crushes a couple of your toes in his fright.
Maybe the horse is totally accustomed to road traffic, big and small vehicles. Never even blinks at them. Then some person honks his horn or some big truck employs it’s Air Brakes. Boom, you are on a runaway horse going in the opposite direction or on the ground, looking up.
Rule of thumb! Never say Never. That quiet, gentle horse simply got scared out of his wits for a split second by something he/she has never encountered before. Trying to learn about horses without at least taking some lessons from a knowledgeable person is foolish. That wonderful older horse that is having his sensitive mouth jerked on because no one taught you how to rein him correctly may dump you or try to avoid you riding him because you are hurting him. Or maybe the saddle you so happily bought for the horse pinches his back or girth area and he can’t help it, he learns to dump you or tries to avoid you getting on because every time you do, it hurts. Maybe you bounce all over his tender back until he starts hating being ridden.
Another rule of thumb. The older the horse, the more chance he will not get frightened over something strange and the more chance he will suffer in silence without getting mad, while you are in the learning stages of riding and general horse care. Many horses, even 20 years old, have lots of years left in them for the beginning rider. So even if there really is no such thing as a 100% Bomb Proof horse, the older, the better trained and the better cared for in the past horse is your best bet.