OLD DUDE RANCH HORSES
QUESTION: We just bought a 26 year old horse from a Dude Ranch. She was good at the ranch on the trails with paying customers riding her every day down the trail. But now we have had her a couple of months on good feed and she is bucking and being a jerk? She has gained weight and looks much better. What should we do with her? Keep her or sell her as we are not experienced horse people. We do love her and were told she has many years left of riding in her?
ANSWER: Such horses are ridden by Inexperienced people all day long, day after day. They are sore, tired and confused from so many different people jerking the reins and not riding a balanced seat in the saddle resulting in a sore mouth and an aching back. But they cannot fight back by bucking or anything else because "They Are Just Too Tired". Ground down so they mentally keep going around and around or on trail rides just following the horse ahead of them. Tired, confused, sore and aching.
Now give them a break from the hell they exist in? They gain some strength back? They are still sore and tired of riders. So they buck, jump, shy, anything in an attempt to not be ridden anymore, especially by still another inexperienced rider.
AND: At 26 years old, this poor old girl is ready for retirement. She is ready for love, good feed, kindness and to live out her remaining days not having her mouth jerked on and riders sloppy in the saddle. Absolutely every horse her age has from mild to severe Arthritis and pain in the joints, etc. They all do!!! How about if she could just find love and caring now at her age. No more riding. Just feed, water and gentle caring. Poor old girl.
Thanks for writing but I feel so awful for these old soldiers in Dude Strings. Always a different rider jerking and kicking and soring their backs up because the rider is not riding with the flow of the horses body in motion. Can't blame the riders, they are not experienced. Can't blame the once happy horse before ending up in a Dude String with hating their job now either. Can't blame the horse for suddenly getting time off and good feed. Can't blame the horse for suddenly having the strength from being rested and good feed to want to be retired. Especially as an old horse of 26 years old. She is ready for retirement. Please don't sell her. Just give her a loving home for her last remaining years.
NOTE: No Dude Ranch sells a GOOD horse without a reason. The good ones are to valuable to them for inexperienced riders. They only sell a horse because of a Physical or Mental problem with that horse???