Ancient and full of pet peeves

Does anyone else feel that way sometimes? All the time? Old man who yells at cloud style?

Me. all the time.

Being a horse person, we are just all so passionate you know? I know I am, not to mention on some of my opinions I am 100% sure that I AM RIGHT AND THIS IS THE ONLY WAY. Spoiler alert: this is not an attractive quality and duh, there are often multiple, very valid methods and schools of thought in the horse world. I know. Total shocker.


Without further ado, here is a list of my current peeves. It is in no way complete. I am a flawed and judgmental person. I realize this is not a good quality in a person.

Bare hands

Nope. Not when riding and NOT EVER when lunging. Who wants rope burns? I certainly don’t. Seeing the ungloved hands on someone else while they ride isn’t such a huge pet peeve, more like, omg how can they stand it? But the lunging. That bothers me when I see anyone lunging a horse with no gloves.

Improperly done up lunge line

Like an accordion not a hose or a wad of line.

The pony club way is the only way for me on this one. There is no negotiation. I need to be able to lengthen and shorten the line quickly and without dealing with tangles or any part of the line touching the ground. I just can’t do it. I will redo any lunge line I see in any tack room that is just wadded up or rolled like a hose. Nope nope nope.



This one is a no brainer (har har). If you are sitting on a horse you need a helmet on your head. End of story. There are no instances where a bare head is ok.

Bridles put back together incorrectly

This one might be specific to lesson barns. While I appreciate the kids who want to clean tack thoroughly if you don’t know how to put the bridle back together correctly then ask someone. Don’t just put it together wrong and leave it for someone else to fix.

Full cheek bits with no keepers




Not correct. Cue images of the bit getting caught on anything and everything in my head.

Is this a new trend? I see them EVERYWHERE. I understand the action of the bit changes with keepers vs without but I just can’t get past the thought of how many things the bit could catch on. When I see full cheeks sans keepers AND a running martingale I just cringe even more.


Fly bonnets

Flipping up. Don’t like it. I imagine its annoying to the horses too! Though Jollybo I am sure was concentrating on, you know, getting around Rolex like the awesome mare she is. 

This one makes me feel like a dinosaur, but I just do not like seeing horses in fly bonnets. I don’t like that it has become just another space to advertise your brand or your sponsors. Would you want a brand name on your forehead?? I don’t like that there are some people who use them to keep in earplugs in the jumping phases (is that even legal?). It seems that if your horse is that spooky or distractible then you need to go back to schooling/desensitizing instead of using earplugs. Much less important is I simply don’t like how they look. I LIKE a nicely braided forelock and being able to see the horses face. I hate when you see the fly bonnets just flipping up constantly over fences. I know I might be the only one with this opinion too and I have no plans to do anything a just not use them on my horse and keep my dislike to myself around others.

Much more generally and most importantly, people who blame their horse for things going poorly. I find its generally a rider issue, a training issue, or a pain issue. Don’t try to blame your horse around me.  A true horseperson will instead try their hardest to figure out if its training, pain, or rider and act accordingly. Be a true horseperson.

8 thoughts on “Ancient and full of pet peeves

  1. the other day while i watched some pony clubbers go around with glaringly questionable tactics, and expressed my own curmudgeon-y opinions on it…. i suddenly also realized i might be fairly terrifying by the time i actually AM old and even more curmudgeon-y lol. get off my lawn, kiddos!!

    also, interestingly, last summer i conducted a survey on rider safety as it relates to gear and equipment. the survey got 288 responses, so a pretty good sample, and a full quarter of respondents claimed that riding gloves had reduced the severity of an accident in their experience. bc yea…. sometimes that glove makes the difference between being able to hang on for that one last critical moment, and…. not holding on.
    (more on the survey here if you’re curious:


  2. What about full cheek bit keepers that are put on too low, therefore basically negating their purpose? That makes me twitchy as all hell. I do like fly bonnets though. Not to keep ear plugs in (yeah they’re legal in jumping phases, just not dressage), but for gnats, rain, or wind. Mine is particularly sensitive about his ears, so if there’s any kind of possibility of one of the three aforementioned things, I put a bonnet on him. Keeps him much happier.

    People blaming the horse (or calling it a jerk, or an asshole) is my NUMBER ONE issue though. Cannot stand that, it’s poor horsemanship, and poor horsemanship is really the root of most problems.


    • Oh yes on the too low keepers. Just. Use things correctly please! And yeah, if your horse is legit sensitive to bugs then bonnet away, that is their intended purpose after all! I’m just not into the aesthetic, but of course the needs of the horse come first.


  3. Eh.

    I used to be more judgy about how people did stuff. But you know? Fly bonnets are fun. Grand prix riders go barehanded and win. And all kinds of people make tack faux pas and still have a damn good time with their horse.

    I certainly have standards to which I keep my horse, but I’m not going to get excited if someone else has different standards. It’s a big world and there are many, many roads to Rome.

    TL:DR: having a stick up one’s ass is uncomfortable. Ymmv.


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