Young and Stupid

You cannot hide your ignorance.
L. at Viva Carlos has provided some thought-provoking blog fodder for us with her latest Blog Hop question: What horse- or equestrian-related piece of knowledge did you believe was true for an extended period of time, that turned out not to be true?

I spent over half of my riding life being very young and very stupid, and existed in a tiny, weird, uneducated bubble of the equestrian world. I had no idea that my experiences were way outside the norm until much later in life. I was especially stupid pre-internet, after which time I gained the ability to teach myself about things that my daily experience didn't allow me to learn naturally. Stupid things I believed include:

It's normal and healthy and safe for horses to live 80% of their lives in straight stalls tied to the wall without the ability to turn around or lie down. Cross-tying horses in said stalls directly to the bit rings is also an OK thing.
The lesson barn I learned to ride at did this. The lesson horses were basically never turned out, and I didn't think anything of it for years because I didn't know any better. The horses were all batshit crazy and/or lame. Which I also thought was normal. Clearly, I have changed my opinion on this, as I now believe that most horses should live outside in a field 24/7 if at all possible.

Anything other than the softest body brush should not be used on horses' legs because it will injure their tendons. 
How do people get mud off of their horses' legs without a rubber curry or stiff brush!? Also if currying your horses' legs is going to injure them, you have bigger problems to deal with.

Sweet feed is a good and healthy thing to give horses who need to put on weight.
Yeah, no. This could maybe be the reason why the TB mare I fed a billion pounds of sweet feed to daily was so hot and cranky all the time.

To put a horse on the bit, you must ride them on a 20m circle and pull on the inside rein. Alternately, halt the horse and pull on the reins and squeeze with your legs at the same time until their head goes down. 
I was woefully uneducated and had horrific instruction, okay!?

Chasing a horse frantically around a round pen will "train" them. 
To do what, I'm not quite sure.

As long as a saddle isn't sitting on the withers, it fits. 
This is just... very wrong.

As you can see, I believed a lot of very ridiculous things as a young, stupid person. Can anyone else identify?


  1. I can't tell you how many young kids I knew that believed the whole "Chasing a horse frantically around a round pen will "train" them." thing, myself included.

  2. It trains them to run away from children! Hahaha

  3. lol i remember hearing that bit hard brushes below the knees being a no-no too!! and it always kinda blew my mind, but just in case i would be super gentle (while still totally using plastic curries bc um... hello, grooming!!) and would avoid doing it when ppl were watching. even now sometimes i still wonder if ppl judge me when i'm vigorously brushing my horse's legs.... so far tho, no grooming-related ST injuries! (*knocks on wood*)

  4. Yes. I was definitely sure a stiff curry comb was going to damage tendons. And exactly what Emma said, once I realized how the heck else are you going to get all that caked on mud off of there, I did it anyway making sure no one was looking.

  5. I had heard the curry on the legs thing too, but was told that pertained to metal ones (which kind of makes sense) the rubber ones were ok according to my early education :)
    Tie stalls are awful, I agree. But to play devil's advocate, they can lay down in them. My old lesson barn had them too (the horses did get turnout at least) and they were able to get up and down easily.

  6. That is unfortunate about the lesson ponies lives. Yeah every time I get off caked mud with a curry I feel like a bad person because I thought it wasn't right.


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