When you own a horse, at some point someone will ask if they can come ride it. In fact, many different people may ask you this question. But should you say yes? Consider these six factors when making your decision.
Can the Rider Ride?
Think about the person who’s asking to ride. Are they a total beginner, or an accomplished equestrian? Do you trust their riding skills?
Is Your Horse an Appropriate Choice?
Think about your horse’s behavior and temperament. If you will be letting a beginner ride, can your horse be trusted to take care of them? How does your horse deal with strange riders? Has anyone other than you ridden him recently?
Could Your Horse Get Hurt?
If the person asking to ride is an experienced rider, then chances are they’ll want to trot and canter your horse – it won’t be just giving someone a pony ride. Think about what would happen if your horse got hurt during the ride. Do you want to deal with the vet bills and time off associated with an injury? Is it worth the risk?
Are You Insured?
Never let anyone, even the most talented rider, on your horse unless you are carrying insurance that will cover you in the event that the rider should get hurt. You never know what will happen when working with even the most trustworthy horse, so insurance is a must to protect yourself. Be sure to also have the rider sign a release before mounting up.
What Will the Barn Owner Say?
If you board your horse, be sure to check with the barn owner before agreeing to let anyone else ride. Many barn owners have strict rules about who may and may not ride on their property, even if it’s your horse that will be ridden.
Do You Want to Let Them Ride Your Horse?
This might be the simplest of all questions to answer. Do you want to let this person ride your horse? No? Then don’t. Ultimately you own the horse and it’s your decision; don’t feel bad about saying no.
Many people don’t understand all that’s involved in owning a horse, and may interpret a ride as being a quick and easy activity. Don’t be afraid to say no to someone for any of the reasons listed above, or for any other reasons you have.