The Three Types of Horse Humans 

The three types of Horse Humans, I came up with these classifications while watching people enteract with their horses from the back of my 24 x 24 stall.

Equestrians, Horse Lovers, and Horse People

Ok, during my many years being part of summer camp, I have heard many terms thrown around while i was dozing in my cross ties. From my experience watching lessons be taught and fellow horses being handled, here is how I, and the rest of my equine community classify our humans.

Equestrians - Wikipedia describes Equestrians (or Equestrianism) as: "The skill of riding or driving horses. This broad description includes both use of horses for practical, working purposes as well as recreational activities and competitive sports."  Humans use this term to make themselves sound more sophisticated to their friends that don't own or ride horses. I see this term used more by those in the English discipline than anything else. This word is for those who have a very high opinion of themselves. Why say "Hello, I love horses! I ride and compete in Jumping, but I also enjoy to just hang out around the barn!" when you can say this!: "I am an Equestrian Athelete. I live to Ride, and Ride to Live. Riding horses is my passion." In our view, an Equestrian is descibed best as this: "A person whos interest in horses rarely strays outside of riding."  Its all about Riding, Winning, and Accessorizing. Here are some signs that you may be an equestrian:

  • You wear your field boots and riding pants to stores that don't sell horse items because you want everyone to know that you ride horses.
  • When you buy things from the Tack Store, you buy things you want for your horse, not things you think your horse wants.
  • You don't saddle your own horse. You sit in the barn lobby chatting with friends with your riding crop in hand while a groom tacks your horse up.
  • You can tell anyone the difference between a Stubben and Pessoa saddle, but have no idea where the ergot is on your horse.
  • Your idea of "Waming Up" is walking 10 meters, then trotting 20 meters.
  • You believe every horse needs to be ridden with spurs and/or a crop.. and the spurs/crop must have rhinestones and/or glitter on them.
  • You question someone's riding skills because their saddle isn't worth more that their horse.
  • You cannot talk about your horse without including which Registry he is Registered with, or how high he can jump. You refer to him by his Breed or Discipline, not by his name.
  • You have no idea what your horse's personality is like.
  • Every item of clothing you wear while riding is the top brand name or else it affects your "performance" (because of course, you could never be the one at fault).
  • Your horse is more of an accessory to you than a partner. You talk about your horse the same way you talk about your saddle, bridle, and field boots.
  • When your horse is injured you are not the one to dress his wounds. You show no interest in learning how to do so because you feel it is beneith you.
  • Your horse is on serious joint/leg health suppliments before they turn 5.
  • You don't know which side you're supposed to lead your horse from.
  • You are more than willing to sell/trade your horse if he stop performing to your specifications, or you feel you've "outgrown" his lower skill level.
  • You only come out to the barn if you want to ride your horse. If your horse is laid up you have no reason to come out.
  • You hand your horse off to a groom to be "cooled down" after a schooling session or you slam dunk them back into their stall with sweat and foam still on their back.
  • You are tremendously opinionated and critique everyone's riding style and horse even if they don't ask. Suddenly you feel you know everything about horses and riding though you've only been riding for 3 years.
  • If your horse bucks, rears, or throws you, it is 100% his fault and he is no longer fit for you to ride.
  • If your horse throws you or if you fall off, he runs like hell. 
  • When you meet a goal that you set during a schooling session, you don't stop riding. You up the ante and continue to push your horse until he refuses, then you beat him and fight with him until he finally meets the heightened expectation. (Example: You set a goal of jumping 2 feet, your horse easily meets that goal, so you continually raise the jump until he refuses, then you discipline him and beat him over the jump then you stop riding.)

We hate those who label themselves Equestrians. In the end, we are the ones that suffer. You may think its great to OMG LIEV TO RYDE AND RIDE TO LIIIVE!!11 but all we see is a completely disrespectful and ungrateful owner that uses us and throws us away when they get bored or want to move on. Many "Equestrians" get a horse when they are young and start jumping.. then by time they hit the age of 13 they start dating and we get forgotten and sold. Hell. Go ahead. Date. Maybe the next home we end up in will actually appreciate us for more than just an accessory.

I would say that there is hope you will change, but more often than not.. once an Equestrian, always an Equestrian. The more money you get, the less connected with us you get. Here's my advice to all Equestrians out there... take the time to take care of your horse on the ground, show him you love him for more than just what he can do for you. Groom him, cool him off yourself, let him graze on the leadline after a particularly challenging schooling session.. Please. I promise you, he will jump twice as high, learn twice as fast, and completely devote himself to you if you show him he is an individual, not a riding utensil.

Horse Lovers - I know that many horse owners think this would be the best of the three types of horse humans. I'm sure many horse owners would love to know that their horses think of them as "Horse Lovers" but this isn't exactly a good term for your horse to have for you. Don't get me wrong, we like Horse Lovers more than Equestrians but not as much as Horse People. Here is our definition for a Horse Lover: " Someone who loves horses and has good intentions but has little to no skill and commands no respect from their horse."  Another type of Horse Lover is the dreaded "Horse Collector" being loosely described as: "Someone who owns more horses then they have the money and/or time to care for.". Horses are NOT Potato Chips, sometimes one really is enough. Here are some of the signs that you may be a Horse Lover:

  • You think nibbling and nipping is cute horse behavior, and you encourage it by feeding them treats whenever they nip at your clothing.
  • You refuse to punish your horse because you dont want to hurt his feelings. It doesn't matter how much he paws at you or runs you over.
  • You let your horse lead you, and laugh because its cute when he pulls you around "like a big puppy".
  • You bought your horse because "he was pretty". You did not take the time to look at their build or sanity.
  • If your horse needs to gain weight you add more cookies and treats to his feed bucket.
  • You have to use a bucket of grain to catch your horse when he is in the field. (Likewise, your horse will come up to you if you have a feed bucket in hand and he will run away from you if you have a halter and leadrope in hand.).
  • You don't want to geld your colt or stallion because you don't want him to feel like less of a man. Plus, one day you want him to be a daddy because he is pretty and would make a pretty baby!
  • When your horse bolts and bucks while your riding him you smile and tell everyone he is just "spirited".
  • You refuse to ever use a stud chain on your horse. Ever.
  • You spend tons of money on toys and treats for your horses, but always end up short on cash when it comes to Vet and Farrier work.
  • The grain you feed your horse was purchased because you thought the horse on the bag was pretty. You didn't get any professional input on Nutrition from a Vet or respected Horse Person. Or, you feed your horse whatever is cheapest at the time. You have no clue what is in the feed your buying.
  • You easily buy into new training fads because if its new, popular, and expensive, it must be something your horse needs to have.
  • You buy a horse first, then realize you have no idea where a boarding facility is.
  • Your Tack and Feed room is full of Halters, Saddles, Bridles, Polo Wraps, and Cookies, but no Vet Kit in sight.
  • You have been taking lessons for a year or less then buy a horse and keep it on your own land with no outside help or advice on care.
  • You spend hours brushing your horses mane and tail, but forget to pick his feet.
  • You think that when your horse becomes unruly, you can send him to a horse trainer and he will come back "fixed" and you don't need to change how you handle him.

Remember.. your horse talks to other horses, and he tells every horse he can that your a Horse Lover, and before you know it, every horse you encounter treats you with as much disrespect as your own horse does. 

The good news is you are on the right track to becoming a good Horse Person! You have the passion for horses, but lack the discipline and knowledge to get true love and respect from your horse. Trust me, your horse will always act like a teenager, regardless how old he is or how much training he has. We will always find an opportunity to be pushy, but its YOUR responsibility to push us back! We like it that way! Stop looking for our love and respect. We are more than happy to give it to you if you actually ask for it. Cookies aren't the way to earn our respect. Cookies just show us that you are a food dispenser. I respect dominant horses because they draw a hard line with me. They don't seek me out to be ugly to me, but if I step out of line, they come over and kick my ass because I deserve it. Please do the same! Take the focus off of trying to bend over backwards to please us. Dont just keep buying us toys, buy supplies to take care of us, like medication and other vet supplies. Find a respectable horse person and have them help guide you along the right path!

Horse People - Finally! On to the good stuff! We absolutely LOVE true honest to god Horse People. Our general definition for Horse People is: "Someone who has a passion for horses and a drive to learn how to properly care for them both in the saddle and on the ground." Horse people always demand respect from their horses through humane and reasonable methods. What we love about Horse People is that they truly get us. They work with us to establish a sort of "language" to where we can both understand what the other wants without getting impossibly frustrated. Here's some of the signs that you might be a Horse Person:

  • You horse has an injury you are unfamiliar with, so you call your vet and ask what you need to do to fix the injury.
  • If your horse is laid up from riding, you still come out regularly to take him out of his stall, brush and groom him.
  • You always look out for your horse's best interest, even if it means cancelling the Horse Show you've looked forward to all season because your horse has the sniffles.
  • You take the time to ask your farrier and vet questions to help further your knowledge on how to care for your horse. You take honest interest in what these professionals are doing for your horse.
  • When you buy your first horse you keep him at a facility where you can always get professional help from a respected Horse Person or Trainer.
  • You buy Vet supplies before you buy your first horse.
  • Proper knowledge of when to discipline your horse. (Example: Your horse bites you, you instantly react him. Your horse spooks at a tarp, and you DONT beat him.)
  • Horses are a lifetime commitment to you, not just a passing fancy.
  • You understand the emotional and financial investments involved with horses.
  • If you breed, you choose a partner for your horse based on conformation NOT color. (Note from the Author: Maybe i'm just bias on this one folks :p)
  • If you breed, you are fully prepared to take care of the baby for the rest of its life because you are aware that there may not be a buyer.
  • You offer tactful critique ONLY when someone asks, or on a situation that is dangerous to the horse and/or owner.
  • If you fall off your horse more often than not he stays beside you and waits for you to get back on.
  • You know that you will never know "everything" about horses, regardless how many years experience you have, or how many years schooling you've taken.
  • You picked a specific riding Discipline that both you and  your horse are suited for. (Example: Your horse has ouchy front feet, so you chose Light Dressage work even though you really  wanted to jump.)
  • You understand that Horse Ownership isn't all riding. You didn't get into the Horse World solely because you enjoy competitive sports.
  • You get more excitement out of watching a wound heal than you do winning a blue ribbon.
  • You understand how important having a routine is. You realize that horses still need to be taken care of even if its not Sunny outside.
  • You can laugh when you see a $5.00 Yoga Ball being sold as a $45.00 Horse Training Device (with instructional DVD included).

On behalf of my species, I would love to thank you Horse People for everything you do for us. You have no clue just how much we appreciate and admire you. Every time a horse gets sold they pray that they get picked up by a true Horse Person. It can be so frustrating to have the communication barrier between our species but you created sort of a "middle ground" for us. You learned to read us, and in return we have learned how to read you. Im sure I speak for all horses when I say that we will do anything for you. No matter how high the jump, or how long the trail we will gladly perform at our best for you.


Well guys, thats about the gist of it for now. There are some sub-catagories I will add when I get the time, and I plan on making something similar for the Horse Trainers in the Horse World.. but for now, there's a turn-out with my name on it!

Your Wonder Horse,