Monday, 1 October 2012

What's the Great Big Advantage in...

A horse that is happy for you to stand up in the saddle? I am bemused by the increasingly regular appearance of sales shots of people standing on the offered horses... and the use of these as the only or biggest photograph in a horse sale ad as if it is some amazing plus point. If I want to pick apples out of a high branch I'll use a stepladder. If I can't see what's going on at a busy show I'll find a fence to sit on or a different place to stand. I don't need a horse as a means of gaining height thanks!

Here are just two adverts where this random talent is apparently the horse's big selling point! Don't get me wrong- this chap looks a sweetheart, but as I can count on er.... no fingers, the times when I am ever likely to want or need to stand up on his back, I'd rather see a nice shot of him being ridden properly please? If you want to show me how non spooky he is, ride him and carry an umbrella or balloon or something... that's at least more relevant to my normal everyday requirements from my horse!

Now I have more of an issue with this one...

So on the plus side child has hat and correct footwear on. On the negative side, she is A CHILD and she is standing on a pony which is not being held, in open pasture and apparently not tied to anything. I don't care how quiet a horse or pony is, things can still happen! What if an insect stings quiet pony, and quiet pony reacts  instinctively to sudden pain and bucks or takes off up field? Child doesn't have a hope of staying on pony and could easily break an arm or even a neck hitting dirt from that elevated height. Her parents appear to be taking the picture- at least our first guy is an adult making his own educated decision on risk. Kids can be a bit too gung ho for their own good- this is REALLY a time where mom or dad should be saying... gee honey, don't think that's a good idea...

If pony happens to be tied in a fashion I can't make out, I don't need to tell horse people here about the dangers of tying him to a gate, which could be lifted off hinges and trap and break delicate limbs. Also as he's for SALE it's not really a great shot of him as it's a bad angle and you can't see his head properly... honestly, I'd sooner see him in a halter stood directly side on to the camera and with no one using him as a makeshift jungle gym. Or hey, he apparently does get ridden like a normal pony, could we see that please?

BTW you will also notice for the description of pony that the child walks UNDER HIM. Which is another thing which seems like a great idea (to some people), at least until a fly lands on pony's belly when child is mid walk-under and pony lifts hindleg fast and sharp to kick it off. *head desk*

Here we have yet another child taking unnecessary risks... and this time no helmet, so gets to knock herself senseless, possibly permanently, when she hits the deck. Here's a thought- what if quiet pony shifts back leg and child loses balance- now that would never happen right?!

It's like an epidemic!!

Pictures like these just remind me why one of my favourite sayings is- particularly with horses, just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD! Come on folks, people get killed around horses everyday when they are just leading them in from the field and have followed every basic safety rule- I just can't see the point in making a dangerous activity even more dangerous for absolutely NO REASON!!!

Here's someone who does need a horse that's happy to have him stand on him.. but I can't say I know many riders who will have the same requirements!

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