Category Archives: Bad Riders

How to find a quality trainer

When choosing a trainer for your young horse, you want to choose one who is focused


One who knows how to properly choose and fit equipment


A trainer who progresses your horse at an appropriate speed, keeps things moving forward.  As opposed to those money-grabbers who move your horse soooo slooowwwwlllyyyyy, keeping your horse in training for as long as possible to wring every last dime from your pockets – sometimes upwards of 5 months!

Coincidentally, 5 months is the age of the horse in the photos – she’s advanced for her age.  Clearly.


You want a trainer who has experience using rope.

Lots of rope.


Here’s a good tidbit: When looking for a trainer for your youngun, take a look at his other projects.  Are they in good health? Have happy expressions on their face, like this one?


And most importantly, the trainer must have a plaid saddle pad to use its magical plaid powers to keep the saddle in place as the too large rider for the too young and underdeveloped baby attempts to haul herself atop this tiny creature.

I tip my hat, much like the little filly is tipping in the above photo, to your asshatery, Mr. “Trainer”.

There are very few topics we all agree upon (which is cool, the differences of opinions are what sparks debates!) but methinks this may be one.  But, for arguments sake, I challenge y’all to come up with a counter argument!  Let the pro’s weigh in on why the above documented training practices are acceptable.  Come on! I dares ya! And it has to be realistic-ish! No aliens and no government experimentation (unless I comment about them.  DIBS!)

ps.  I am committed to making light of this, we’ve had too many poor little babies on Snarky Rider and Fugly recently.


Why advertise a 4 yo BLM mare to beginners?

Der! Because every. single. experienced. rider. KNOWS she ain’t worth $2300!

sweet 4 year old BLM registere mustang mare, Well my client that has her mustang mare in training with me would like to sell her, she would like to find that forever home for her. She is a true buckskin with black legs, she has a star strip and snip of whit on her face, her name is “MEADOW” she has a true mustang head a Roman nose looks like a ANDALUSAN head. Meadow is 15hh or so about 1300 lbs look like she may have some draft in her she is heavy boned and has awesome feet no need for shoes. She is current on vaccines, wormer and teeth, she ties, bathes even lets you wash her face, she trailers, saddles & stands for mounting, she has been in my care for 3 weeks for tune up, & evaluation of what she knows, she lunges, when riding her she walk, trots and is learning to canter, I have taken her on some trails and she is great very curious and not spooky, she is learning to go through water. After Evaluating her I feel she would be a great trail horse for an Advanced beginner/ intermediate person, only because of her age she is still learning left right with her bit but catches on fast I feel she would make a great trail horse as her footing is awesome she is wel balanced, she would make a great ranch horse. video and photos Client is Asking $2300 MAKE OFFER”

Honestly, $230 would be a more appropriate price tag for this mare.

I do so love that a self proclaimed “trainer” is touting the fact that the mare “even lets you wash her face”.  Lets?  REALLY?!  Good gawd.  The trainer then goes on to say that she feels the mare would be suitable for an “advanced beginner/intermediate”… well she says person but I’m going to assume she meant rider because, honestly, what’s an advanced beginner person? Someone who can walk down the street without a helmet and full body bubble wrap armor? (Purposefully misunderstanding people can be fun!  Come on, just picture the advanced beginner person!! teehee)  A 4 YEAR OLD HORSE IS NEVER -sorry, that wasn’t enough emphasis – NEVER a beginner’s mount!  NEVER!  Not ever! I mean, come on! “she is still learning left right with her bit“.  What. The. Fraggle rock.

Ok, now watch the video and then we’ll chat.

Or, for the wonderful reader who emailed me to say she couldn’t access the videos, click here! 🙂

Did anyone else notice the too small circles the rider (presumably the trainer?) kept the mare on?  Both while lunging and riding?  Hmm, could that have been to keep the mare from getting too quick, jumping around, or any other 4 year old type behavior that would not suit a beginner rider?  If that is the trainer in the video – we need to have a chat about your methodology.  When lunging a young horse, do not back away from it.  It is for the horse to move out of your safety bubble, not the other way around.  Do not rush the horse out away from you in that manner – what do you think will happen when the beginner who buys her, because they don’t know any better, goes to lunge her for the first time?  The poor mare is going to go charging out on the lunge, as you have taught her, and the beginner isn’t going to know what to do! And did anyone else think the mare looked a bit off at times?  Although I suppose we could chalk that up to the too tight circles she was being forced to run around on, placing undue stress on her young, developing joints…

Ok, we’ve moved past the lunging and are now putting the saddle on.  This isn’t a commentary on the horse or her suitability (or lack thereof) as a beginner mount, but what the fuck is that person thinking tightening the cinch in that manner? (See approximately 3:30 of the video.)  You have a nice young mare that’s standing almost perfectly still for you to saddle her and then you go and do something that will sooner or later make her sour?  WAY TO GO GENIUS!  (On a side note: LEAVE THE FANCY CAMERA-WORK TO THE PROs! Scorcese, you are not.)  Honestly, who tightens a cinch like that?!

And then: the riding.  There were times during the video when it looked like the mare was getting a little speed on her, then the rider would circle.  Not a proper circle, mind you, more of an oval as the mare fell through her outside shoulder.  I know, I know, it’s a sales video, not a training one… But I’d rather see how a young horse takes and responds to a correction than have something go unchecked! -I guess that, again, is why they’re marketing to beginners… ARGH!!!!! Who saw the Wolverine movie? You know when Hugh Jackman falls to his knees and screams at the heavens?  THAT’S WHAT I FEEL LIKE DOING!!!!!

Honestly, what do y’all think? Is this a decent sales video? Or would you prefer to see some corrections?  Was the lunging as bad as I thought it was? Or did someone piss in my cornflakes again?

You wouldn’t butcher a teacup pig for bacon

So why are you using a miniature horse for riding?

Here’s a hint, if your legs are dragging on the ground, not unlike the knuckles of cavemen past, you shouldn’t be riding it.

There are some people who hold to the school of thought that mini horses aren’t for riding, period.  Others believe the generalized 20% rule applies.  The latter has since been confirmed by the good people of the Canadian Miniature Horse Association.  The American one never did get back to me.  I sometimes wonder if the name of the blog throws people off when we’re contacting them for legit info.  Meh.

So, if we’re adhering to the 20% rule (the weight on the horse’s back shouldn’t be more than 20% of the horse’s own weight) then a miniature horse should never carry more than a small child.  Which begs the question, who’s going to break it?  Perhaps leading us back to the former group believing minis aren’t for riding.

Assuming you have a fairly docile mini and decide to throw your small child up for a ride, it likely doesn’t look like this:

Nor this:

I would love to know what the hell is going through these people’s heads that they think it’s so freaking cool to ride a horse with shorter legs than they have.

What? Tired of using the frakking mounting block?!  Too much effort to climb up those two short steps, so instead you’d rather just swing your leg over the horse’s back without your other foot ever leaving the safety of the ground?

Now, I know that some pony breeds are known for being stout little troopers who are able to pack around significantly more than 20% of their weight.  But I think some people are mistaking Shetlands for miniatures! Either that or they don’t care at all what they’re doing to that poor horse.

A while back we noted a child on a miniature horse that was clearly too big for it (see here).  Now, after seeing the above two photos, we’re *facepalming* even harder.  THE ABSOLUTE IDIOCY AND DISREGARD OF THE PHYSICAL COMFORT OF THE HORSE THAT HAS TO CART YOUR ASS AROUND IS ASTOUNDING!


Just because it’s an equid doesn’t mean you can ride it.

People like you give horse girls a bad name

In 3…2….1… Let the whining begin!

Isn’t there a Bible passage or something that says “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”? Ya? Well I think we should modify it slightly so that instead of “witch” it says “whiny little bitch” (or WLB, for convenience).  All in favor say “Aye”!

Do you think that’s the natural pitch of her voice or is that perhaps a learned behavior?

WLB: “Mom I want a pony” (like a normal human being).

Mom: “No”

WLB: “But mooooom”

Mom: “Fine, just STFU”

How embarrassing that must have been for her mother.  This isn’t some 10 year old throwing a fit.  This is a teenager!  And while they’re not exactly known for their decision making skills, I would like to think that by the time puberty hits they’d have, at least, a firm grasp of the concept of respecting others.  Actually, I would hope the whole respect thing would be even more ingrained because she’s a rider.  But maybe that’s because I was always taught, and firmly believe, that riding is a privilege.  About a month after I started riding, when I was 9, I started helping out with stalls (not sure how helpful I was…) to get extra lessons.  Does that not happen anymore? What’s with all these kids getting horses and not even knowing how to clean a stall?! That just seems so wrong to me.  That’s probably another topic for another day.

Back to the video! I love this judge.  She is totally right.  My favorite line is the rider’s response when the judge says that she’s the judge and she makes the rules: “yeah but I’m riding”.

Soooo, do you want to give out the ribbons then?  Why is that even a valid answer?  You’re in a specific class where you’re being judged on a specific skill – you don’t enter a dressage show and jump in and out of the arena and expect a pretty blue ribbon because you left all the markers standing! If you’re paying someone to judge you, don’t you think you should listen to them?!

Is it not the true mark of a spoiled brat to say things like “but that’s not fair!” and to think that apologizing makes everything alright?  Sometimes sweetheart, sorry ain’t good enough.

You know you’re a douchebag when…

…well, when we call you one.

“ha! ha! look! What fun! Watch as I torture and abuse this teeny tiny horse!”

Dear odious douchebag;

How dare you use the fear and pain you’ve put this horse through to ‘prove your manhood’.   You have no idea what it means to be a horse owner.  The thought of sharing the same oxygen as you is thoroughly nauseating.

Around 15 seconds in to the video someone from the sidelines cautions you to be careful and advises “it’s not worth a broken arm”.  In fact, what you have done to this horse is worth a lot more.  You try to make the poor thing move forward by kicking it’s hind legs.  You sit on his kidneys.  You wrench on the horse’s back when you are unseated,  using your legs to reposition yourself back onto the kidneys of a horse who is a fraction of your size and weight.

In this next video, you yourself state that you’re bigger than the horse – that’s really not something anyone should be able to accurately say about a horse they’re about to get on…

After seeing these videos a few times, we were left wondering what it would look like if the situation were reversed.  We’ve performed a few rough calculations and, utilizing the results, have drawn a schematic to help you visualize the reversal – strictly for demonstrative purposes, we take no joy in the following…

In case anyone wants to check our math, here is the equation we based our schematic on:

(1 x D) x (AH x10000000000000000000000) = P

(Wherein:  D = douchebag; AH = AssHattery; P = Punishment)

But wait! We’re not done yet!  The providers of the first video have proven what we’ve long suspected:

Asshattery is genetic!


We know, we know.  We shouldn’t blame the kid, the dad certainly seems capable of pushing him into this level of asshattery, but we could always hope he’d see the error of his father’s ways. Right? Don’t worry, we’re not going to write the kid off yet… but it wouldn’t surprise us if he grows up to be Odious Douchebag version 2.0

Poor Pirate (arghhh matey!)

Another prime example of some stupid asshat starting a horse long before it’s ready.

“Pirate has alot going for him: manners, color, lots of bone, nice comfortable movement, looks, & etc. He is turning 3 years old and very sensible. He is well started on his basics under saddle. He is sweet and willing and has a very level head. utd on vacc/worming. sound with good feet.”

How the ad should read:

“Pirate is a broke-too-soon two year old who is so underdeveloped he almost looks malnourished.  He’s very sensible!  You never have to worry about him tossing his rider because he is no where near coordinated enough to do so.  UTD on vacc./worming.  Sound for now!”

Ugh.  This is a two year old with a (tightly fitted) standing martingale on!  Sure, Friesians have naturally high head carriage, but this one’s exaggerated by the fact that he’s going around with his back hollowed – this “well started” horse needs to learn to stretch through his topline and build up his back muscles.  To the woman in the photo: those are the muscles that help him to carry the weight of a rider.  Another point of interest is that your stirrups are so short you’re sitting on his kidneys.  Perhaps that’s part of the reason he drops his back and brings his head up?  You know, ’cause he’s in pain?  Oh, and in case you’re interested, riding a horse before it is physically developed enough to properly carry a rider’s weight (which this one clearly is not) can contribute to conformational issues such as a sway back.

Oh gosh.  There was one more thing we wanted to mention.  Whatever could it have been?  OH YES! Who in their right minds doesn’t wear a helmet when riding a young horse?!  Especially one just started under saddle?!  Forget any attitude issues (bucking, etc.); what if he trips!?  Young horses, especially ones this underdeveloped, are not balanced.  They’re more likely to lean around corners and also to misstep because they’re still learning where their feet go!  You know what, never mind.  We hope you do fall.  Maybe that way this guy will actually get some time to grow before his next ride, so that all these things are no longer issues.

Too mean?

An Update on the Gwen Stockebrand saga

One of our readers commented on our original post about Gwen Stockebrand to tell us that charges had (finally) been filed against Gwen!  We immediately went over to google to see if we could find out some more details – after a quick search (no, I didn’t search at work.  I would never do that… quickly looks the other way) we found an article on Rate My Horse Pro  that indeed confirms charges have been filed against Ms. Stockebrand.  This article also tells of the unfortunate news of the passing of one of the rescued mares.  Sister was euthanized after presenting stroke-like symptoms.  It was later determined that she had, in fact, suffered from a bleed in her brain.

The good news is that the rescue, Lost Hearts & Souls, is reporting that Valerie is now a 3 on the Henneke Body Chart (she had a score of 1 when she was rescued).

This photo is from 9 days after rescue – already gaining!

This one is from mid-December.  Still a little ways to go, but she’s looking a lot better.

And here’s Sister after being rescued, happily chomping away, may she rest in peace.

For those of you that have been following this case from the beginning, you might remember that there were a few people who were less than thrilled that this case was perhaps receiving more media attention because of the involvement of a former Olympian.  Well, now that charges have been filed against said former Olympian we can chime in with our two cents (or four cents, since there’s two of us).  Olympians are held to a higher standard.  They’re role models to the rest of us.  They also cannot use the excuse of lack of knowledge – they are the experts in their field and have access to resources that most of us only dream about.

We don’t believe anyone’s personal lives should come under public scrutiny, what people choose to do in the privacy of their own homes is very much their own business, provided it doesn’t hurt anyone or anything else.  That was not the case here.  Gwen Stockebrand has been formally accused in this case of neglect and we most sincerely believe she should be punished to the full extent of the law should she be found guilty.

Flashy Welsh Pony? We think you mean Flashy Welsh Baby!

First of all, before we really get in to this ad, we’d like to know how old you think this horse is?

Yup, you guessed it (and if you read the alt text, you may have cleverly inferred it!): this horse is 2 years old.

Flashy Welsh Pony $3,500

She was backed this spring and can walk, trot, canter. She lunges and free lunges perfectly. She also will trot and canter over ground poles. She has been taken over crossrails but only a few times to ensure soundness for the future.
She has been taken to competitions involving swinging pool noodles and tarps. She has even walked up and down our porch steps. Fancy stays cool and calm in any situation. She is bomb proof!

Fancy is a super smart girl picking up any lesson quickly and accurately. Fancy will mature to 13.1hh. Fancy’s confirmation is flawless and she just has a certain spark in her eyes that tells you she is special.

I’m sorry, will mature to 13.1hh?  So she’s less than that now?!  And you’re riding her?!  But won’t jump her to “ensure soundness for the future”.  Holy wackadoodle.

We don’t care if your pony is the superhero known as “The Flash” incarnate, you’re too damned big for it and it’s too young to be carrying you!

Don’t believe us?  Think we’re being too judgmental?

Thank you to the concerned reader who sent us this ad from

Some ways to tell you’re too big for a horse:

  • If you can lift your leg over the pony’s back without the use of a mounting block or stirrups
  • If your walking stride is longer than the ponies’ trot (or canter) stride
  • Your knees are inches past the knee roll of the saddle because you’ve jacked your stirrups that much so your toes don’t hang past its knees

By the way, “confirmation” – really?  As if it wasn’t enough to torture the poor pony, you have to torture us as well?

Worst CL Ad

The following ad was sent to us by multiple concerned readers (thanks for sending!) and with a photo like this we’re sure you understand why!

10 yr old Bay gelding (Man’s horse) – $300 (Devine Texas)

10 year old Bay Gelding. Man’s horse to ride. Loads easy into horse trailers. Has been on trail rides. Very strong horse for experienced riders. Loves attention. Named Bravo. Call

Sweetheart, you’d have an easier time selling that horse if you didn’t have that photo up!  We would love to know what it is about that photo that makes you think (or whatever semblance of the process your pea-sized brain can handle) that photo will help sell that horse.  Is it the fact that we can almost see some teeth?  As in your thought process went something like this: horse teeth = good?  Is it the fact that the horse has the ability to carry a big-ass dude like yourself?  Showing that the horse is both strong enough in its back and tall enough to successfully (and unfortunately) carry you?  Never mind the fact that you’re sitting so far back that you’re not truly on his back anymore; you’re basically on his butt!

We haven’t even gotten into the fact that this appears to be another photo of a photo, that the horse vaguely resembles a camel, that once again we have an ad where the seller felt no need to mention height or breed and finally, WTF is a “Man’s horse to ride”?

Here’s an idea: how about you actually fit your tack properly and put some damn training on the horse instead of just attempting to bully it around?  ‘Cause if what you’re doing in the photo is what you consider a “man’s ride”, there’s not a horse on the planet who needs or deserves it!

10 ways to get featured on Snarky Rider

10.  Post a grammatically incorrect atrocious or information-low ad on craigslist

9.  Use crappy pictures in your ad, including, but not limited to, 4 + year old photos, photo of a photo of your horse, group shots, shots so far away you can’t tell if the horse is grey or just really, really dirty

8.  Breed a poorly conformed mare just so she’s not sitting in a field and call yourself a “breeding farm”

7.  Offer a fugly stallion up for stud even though his balls should have been chopped off the second they descended.

6.  Post pictures of yourself or your toddler doing stupid, irresponsible things with horses and priding yourself on your stupidity – leaving the rest of us to hope that natural selection will do away with you shortly.

5.  Riding like an asshat and posting the pictures/videos on the internet to say, and here I’m paraphrasing, “haha look at us, we’re so stupid we think putting ourselves and our horse in danger is funny and don’t care about the consequences of our actions!”

4.  Spouting tired, sexist rhetoric and blaming women for 99% of the problems in the horse world just because you can’t get laid.

3.  Your “horse” looks like it may belong to a different species – such as  a moose, a dog, a mountain goat, a yak, a chipmunk, a swan, a giraffe, a cow, and last but certainly not least: an alpaca!

2.  Using an old, ailing horse to reenact that scene from Star Wars because you’re either completely frakked in the head or you’re so desperate for fame and attention you think this is acceptable behavior – actually I think “or” is the wrong word to use, “and” seems more suitable.

and the number one way to get yourself featured on this blog?

1.  Starving or abusing your horse – or horse(s) in your care because you’re apparently old and senile and/or “didn’t know”.

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