In a horse-riding business, horses are the business. At Happy On Hooves we put immense care into choosing the right horses to be part of our team. Each horse we have - Sadie, Fish, Polo… - all of them come with their own personality and traits that we take into full consideration. Here’s a little context on how we chose our horses that may also help you in choosing your own horse down the road.
Buying a horse is a big undertaking. There are the initial of costs to owning a horse: feeding, medical care, space, and other expenses. You must bear in mind why you are getting a horse. Do you want to be an active rider, or are you just looking for a companion? When you choose a horse, you’re investing in an individual: each horse has a unique personality and set of quirks. These are the first things we consider when adopting a horse recruit for the trail rides.
To begin, with we look for easy-going horses that are calm and don’t spook easily. When our owner Mandy looks at perspective horses she pays close attention to their posture. The way a horse stands, looks around, and even moves their ears can tell you about their state of mind. Mandy always looks for a relaxed disposition in each horse and strives to find candidates that don’t spook or show signs of aggression. These are obviously very important qualifications for horses that will be social not only with other horses, but with different people.
All of our horses have a history of being ridden or working in farm-related tasks. This makes them experienced in being handled and therefore adaptable to different situations and people. Naturally horses will have quirks, but our horses are good horses - we can work around them. What’s important is that we choose horses that will be easy to ride for any rider whether they’re a beginner or experienced equestrian. You can actually see pictures of our whole horse team and read their mini biographies on our main page!
An interesting side-note to choosing our horses is that none of our horses are gated, or amble. This refers to the way in which the horse moves: the amble is a kind of two-beat trot. This can be a little jarring if the rider is unaccustomed to riding. Therefore, we choose horses that have an even range of movement to allow maximum comfort for our clients.
Health is another important consideration we take into account. The horses we adopt need to be physically fit in order to maneuver the woodland terrain. They must also be able to bear a rider for an extended period of time. The last thing we want is to have a horse with an injury that will grow worse on our trails. This is the same for horses with any kind of mental issues or past traumas. We want to make sure that we don’t cause further damage and that the horse in question will fit in at Happy On Hooves.
We’ll go over some tricks and tips on horse adoption in another blog soon, so keep reading. Do you have a favorite horse here at Happy On Hooves? Share your experiences below!