Matching Horse And Rider By J. Foley
Just as with humans, horses have very different temperaments and characteristics depending on their breeding; talents, and how quickly or slowly they grow up. There is no such thing as a 'bad-tempered horse', merely one that has reacted
antagonistically to some bad experience. 'Bad horses are made, not born.
Apart from training the horse properly, to ensure these bad experiences do not occur and leave a negative imprint, it is as important to match the right horse to the right job as it is to match horse to rider.
A highly nervous, quick-reacting thoroughbred will lose confidence with an experienced handler just as quickly as the handler will. Similarly, a laid-back, big-framed cob forced to go fast in a jump-off every week is going to be just as unhappy as its frustrated rider who fails yet again to win a prize. In these situations, it is less an admission of failure than one of common sense to acknowledge that both horse and rider would be happier with a partner better suited in temperment, objectives and riding skill.
As a general principle, a young horse needs an experienced rider and a novice rider is better off on a steady, experienced horse. While we should not attribute human emotions to animals, it is correct to summize that horses can feel emotion, that they can pick up 'vibes' and react to a negative or positive environment. Trust and harmony form the basis of any relationship, and it is the same with horses. When these qualities are present, the relationship between horse and rider is capable of bringing much reward and pleasure.
Article Written By J. Foley