Maine Woman Believes Horses Should Not Be Ridden, Launches Local Chapter Of UK Organization

by | 01.22.2018 | 7:45am

Gabriela Rodriguez, owner of the nonprofit BlixxHorses in West Kennebunk, Maine, has dedicated her life to informing people about the proper way to care for horses. She teaches others how to understand horse's needs and behaviors, as well as makes sure people have an understanding of the time, financial, emotional and physical constraints horse ownership places on a person.

Recently, Rodriguez joined a UK-based online movement that encourages people to not ride their horses. More than 10,000 people follow the Facebook page of the Non Ridden Equine Association, which “celebrate[s] the many joys non-ridden equines can bring to us.” Drawing worldwide interest, the association touts that it puts the horse first instead of riding the horse as a primary goal, but states that “Riding is wonderful if it is ethical and fun for both horse and human.”

One of Rodriguez's horses, Lexxie, is not ridden and the other, Fritz, receives limited riding time. Rodriguez primarily uses them to help educate the public about horses through her nonprofit. Rodriguez tells the public that horses are not designed to carry weight, and one way to deal with this is not to ride them. Rodriguez says that finding the non-riding movement has been a blessing, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Many times people who don't ride are criticized, says Victoria Yates of Coventry, England. She says that non-ridden equines are seen to have little to no value and are often the most at risk of neglect and abandonment.

Yates said that many people who own non-ridden equines don't have a connection to the horse industry and don't feel included in much of the horse world. In response to the success of the Facebook page, Yates launched the Non Ridden Equine Association in the UK in August of 2017; she hopes to host an event in 2018.

Read more at the Bangor Daily News.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that neither of Rodriguez's horses are ridden. Additionally, not riding is only one of Rodrgiuez's recommendations to combat horses' physical limitations.

  • riatea

    I am confused:
    “Riding is wonderful if it is ethical and FUN for both horse and human.”

    “Rodriguez hopes that her group will help spread the word that horses should not be ridden”

  • Nytex

    I can give her a list of horses that don’t like to run or be ridden.

  • Ida Lee

    Interesting article. I’ve only been on a horse once (see photo)….I can understand if you don’t like horse racing but recreational and even therapeutic riding ??…. can’t see how it could be harmful to a horse….unless of course, it does not want to be ridden and they’ll let you know soon enough…of course, that does not mean that I don’t admire Ms. Rodriguez for the great work she does on behalf of our equines….P.S. Some time ago we had an animal welfare group who wanted all dogs set free ….they were not meant to be pets … I think we need to pick our battles ….so as I take my little canine to the spa to get his nails clipped, I conclude that some dogs were meant to be pampered and taken care of and some horses were meant to be ridden ….

  • Fred and Joan Booth

    One of our horses had to be reassured that our riding him was okay and that he would come back to our farm always. Once he realized that we would allow him to eat some of the nice grass growing along side our county roads he didn`t mind us being on him at all.We do worry all the neighboring farmers however, because he is a tall 17 hand thoroughbred and is very intimidating.He is an amazingly good behaved horse with Seattle Slew, Fit to Fight, Northern Dancer pedigreed lines.

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