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Rachel Kosmal McCart is a lifelong horsewoman and the founder of Equine Legal Solutions, PC, an equine law firm based in the Portland, Oregon area. Rachel is a member of the New York, California, Oregon and Washington State bars and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Rachel currently competes in three-day eventing.

Monday, August 17, 2009

So You Think You Can Ride?

California working cowhorse trainer Larry Trocha had a few horses for sale and sent out an email to his mailing list about them. Apparently, Larry received quite a number of inquiries, some of them alarming, so he sent out a follow-up email clarifying a few points. Well, one point, really.

While Larry's email is rather amusing, it does highlight the serious problem of people who want to buy horses that simply don't exist. NO HORSE is completely safe for anyone to ride. That is, unless it's tied up in front of Wal-Mart and has a quarter slot in its neck. And, as much as a kind, well-trained horse might try his best, NO HORSE can completely compensate for lack of horsemanship.

Thanks to Larry for his generous permission to share his email with my readers:

Hi Rachel,
Larry Trocha here.
This past week, I have received a lot emails and phone calls
concerning the horses I have for sale. There seems to be much confusion about what horses I have available for sale and what those particular horses can and can not do.
Right now, I have three (3) good horses for sale.
1. One paint cutting horse gelding priced at $8500.
2. One almost black, 3-year old filly, trained to cut cattle, priced at $5000.
(This one is tuned and ready for the nonpro futurities)
3. I also have a 3-year old, chestnut filly, trained to work cattle, priced at $3500.
All three of these horses are priced at about half of what they should be.
Most of the inquiries (and misconceptions) are about the paint cutting
horse gelding.
People watch the videos of him working and fall in love with
And rightfully so.
He's a talented horse.
Then, people read the description I wrote and totally
mis-interpret what I said about the horse.
So, just to make sure there are no misunderstandings...
I'm going to spell everything out so everybody gets it right.
Below are some of the common questions I've been getting.
Plus, my answers to the questions.
Q. I see your horse, Berry is a cutting horse. Would he be
good for my grandmother to ride?
She's in a wheel chair right now but I think if we
could get her in the saddle, she'd be fine. What do you think?
A. Uuuuuuuhhh... no. =o
Q. My 13 year old son would love to use Berry for
cutting competition and high school rodeo events. Do you think
this would work?
A. Did you watch the video of Barry cutting cattle? If your son
can ride that... then sure he is.
He would be a good horse for ANYBODY
to compete on...
IF they know how to RIDE.
Q. I'm about to retire and need a horse I can ride on the trails.
Would Berry make a good horse for me?
A. Probably... if you know how to RIDE.
Q. I saw in the video that Barry will do a nice, pleasure horse jog.
Is it difficult to get him to do that?
A. Not at all... if you know how to RIDE.
Q. If I took Berry on trail rides, will he spook?
A. Probably not. However, ALL horses will spook at one
time or another. Berry is well trained so it won't be a problem...
if you know how to RIDE.
Q. Barry, looks like the kind of horse that is easy to
control and reins real light. Will he work that way for me?
A. Most definitely... if you know how to RIDE.
So... by now you see the common
denominator here...
"if you know how to RIDE".
Any well trained horse
will usually work well for anybody who
knows how to ride correctly.
And by the same token, NO HORSE will work well for
somebody who can't ride.
It's as simple as that.
You have to realize ALL HORSES will either RISE
or FALL to the level of the rider.
If you are a good rider, a good horse
will stay good.
If you are a poor rider, your well trained horse will
quickly degenerate into a horse that performs poorly.
That being said,
you should keep this in mind...
Even if you ride poorly and mess your horse
up, as soon as your riding gets better, your horse will get better too.
That is the reason I don't discourage a poor rider from buying
a well trained horse.
horse is like before they can improve their horsemanship.
In other words, how will you ever KNOW what a GOOD horse
is UNTIL you get to RIDE one.
That good horse will teach you a lot.
Sure, you'll screw him up for a while but he'll
come right back to where he was... once you get better.
There is just no way around that.
Why do you think I make such a big deal about how to use
your hands, legs and body in my training DVDs?
It's because that is the KEY to MAKING and MAINTAINING
a well trained horse.
Okay, I hope this explanation clears things up.
And I darn sure hope that question about the
grandmother in the wheel chair was just a prank.
Reading it though, it sounded like the person was serious.
Take care,
Larry Trocha
Larry Trocha Training Stable

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