Equestrian Pet Peeves


I’ve often seen the “What’s your biggest equestrian pet peeve?” posted as a daily question on IG and with too many responses to list and plenty of my own opinions, and also seeing how nasty things can get, I thought the topic deserved it’s own blog post!

Dictionary.com describes a pet peeve as
noun, a particular and often continual annoyance; personal bugbear

Which also begs the question, what’s a bugbear? I went ahead and listed a few of my greatest equestrian pet peeves below along with a few of my friend’s biggest pet peeves:

My Own

  • When I see other people getting to make the same mistakes I used to, but my trainer drilled them out of me. Not fair. Why do I have to sit up and support to the jump?

  • Rain. Enough said. Oh and WIND.

  • When people don’t get to buy the horse they want. It actually stresses me out to hear about friends not being able to have all the horses. I just want everyone to have their horse and for them and their perfect horse live happily ever after.

  • When people fall off and somehow have an absolute death grip on the reins. I don’t even know if this is a pet peeve or I’m just impressed? When something goes wrong when I ride the FIRST thing to go is my reins. Horse trips? Fingers magically open. Long spot? Reins gone. Bad chip? Reins have been deemed unnecessary without my consent. Maybe I’m just jealous… but the horses never looked pleased to have their previous rider now attached to their head and mouth.

  • Nastiness on social media. There have been times when I see something that I gasp don’t approve of! And guess what? I say nothing. Not because I’m some amazing person, but think about what is really going to happen if you say something, even with good intentions. They don’t know you, why would they listen to your suggestions or criticism? Their only response is to become defensive. Just unfollow!

  • Witch Hunting on social media. Watch this video to see why it’s both unproductive and a scary change to our culture. Just unfollow!

  • Having a GoFundMe to pay for a horse/vet bills/shows/etc.

  • Anything else that could be relevant to boarding or the barn experience, I have no right to complain about because I’ve probably been guilty of it at some point and no one knows everything. If you see someone committing a cardinal barn sin (like leaving poop in the cross ties) kindly say something (hopefully a different response in person than online, right?). This is especially true for safety issues! When you’re kindly saying something in those cases, also mention the safety aspect because these barn sins are almost always committed out of ignorance and not malice.

Friend Responses

- Arena etiquette, especially in the warm-up arena. There is nothing more infuriating than playing a game of chicken with the person coming head on at you when they don’t respect the shoulder-left rule. It’s also maddening when people pass extremely close. There is a special place too for the people who clearly lack horsemanship skills and common sense and do things like cutting you off after a fence or smacking their horse as they pass you. Lastly, don’t tailgate other riders!
- Caroline L. (@clurie.eq) [I’m so guilty of that last one, Leo’s got a big stride and loves to chase!]

- Putting off a persona that you’re the perfect rider and horse owner, we all make mistakes, be transparent. Also, not patting your horse after your round. They just tried their heart out for you, give them a reward, even if it’s as small as one pat.
- Olivia M. (@remarkablemare)

- My biggest pet peeve are riders who don't listen to their horses or care for them with compassion. If your only goal is to get on your horse and make them do exactly what you want, then I don't think you are a great horse person. Also, there are few more annoying things than someone else besides your trainer giving you suggestions on how to ride your horse. Don't listen to the peanut gallery!
- Connie F. (@connieincolorado)

- When people blame their horse for their poor performance and when people don’t attend to the other riders in the ring. Even if the horse is acting up, it didn’t choose to be ridden so it’s not his fault.
- Claire C. T. (@mdadultammy)