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Hi Franklin,

I have had two accidents on a horse, one on a retired racer (Arabian) that wouldn't stop and the other on an excited Arabian that was afraid of the new surroundings. I was hospitalized both times, broken pelvis first, broken ribs and shoulder second. Now I am beginning to take lessons again to rebuild my confidence. Should I stay away from Arabians? They are my favorite horse. I've been told to get an old quarter horse lesson horse and they just don't interest me at all. Am I being difficult, as my husband suggests? Are quarter horses calmer? I am an intermediate adult rider.

Thanks so much for your website. Diana

Hi Diana,

Well it is true that there are warm (hot) blooded horses and cold blooded horses. Examples of hot blooded horses are Arabians and Thoroughbreds. Examples of cold blooded horses are draft breeds and quarter horses. Hot blooded horses tend to be more active and 'up.' Cold blooded horses tend to be calmer and less excitable. That being said, horses respond to and mirror what is presented to them. If a human is unskilled and unsure around any horse it will tend to make that horse nervous and unsure as well. People who are experienced, calm, steady, and skillful with horses will help any horse of any breed to settle when with that human and be calmer and act in a more confident way. Riders who are balanced, centered and ride appropriately help create confidence within the horse they are riding. An unbalanced rider, not centered, holding on to the reins too tight, with tension in their body, holding their breath or breathing fast because they are nervous and clenching any part of their body, will unsettle many horses and prompt fear responses such as bucking and dislodging their rider.

It is good advise to get your skills honed on horses that will more better tolerate your skill level. It is abusive to finely trained horses to be ridden by unskilled and insecure riders. It is like being a professional dancer and having a dance partner who is kicking you in the shins and stepping on your toes all the time. That is abuse pure and simple. You'd want to kick them in the shins as well and not dance with them. Consider putting your ego aside and look at this from the poor horses point of view. Horse do not want to lose their riders. It is upsetting to them. They feel afraid when this happens. If you attempt to ride a horse that is beyond your skill level, you are abusing the horse. You need to learn on horses that will tolerate your level of equestrain ability. You can always move up to more finely tuned horses after you have gained more skill and knowledge. Consider the horse first and foremost always and that way you will not go wrong. Educate yourself in appropriate ways. Don't take a higher step until you have mastered the step below. This is common sense and will keep you safer and the horses you interact with happier. Again, always consider the horse first and foremost. Thank you for your question and the best of New Years' wishes to you.

Sincerely, Franklin

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