"We love our horses, but we are human. Being human means we are prone to mistakes, some of us try to gloss over and hide them. A lot of it has to do with education, horse ownership is kind of like trial by fire. I for one am all about transparency, I own up to my humanity so today I am gonna fess up to one of my biggest horse care mistakes. Will you Fess up to yours?"
As a beginner rider, I have made a lot of mistakes. Most of them are extremely small mistakes, granted, but mistakes nonetheless. Being constantly surrounded by people to help me has been wonderful so they've saved me from a lot of dumb things. But by far, my biggest regret and my biggest mistake was taking my horse in that Christmas parade. It still makes me feel horrible that I took him in that parade and stressed him so badly. It's all in the past now and obviously, Red doesn't hold that stuff against me/it was a learning experience/yada yada yada, but I still would love to go back and never, ever take him in the parade.
I should have asked his previous owners-my aunt-about his past a bit more, then I would've known he was terrified of sirens (of all things...) I should have tested him more, I shouldn't have just figured that he'd be perfect like always because horses, like humans, are fallible. In Red's defense, he took care of me. He knew that he couldn't bolt, he couldn't do anything horrible, and he kept on going despite his constant peeing and hiding in my leg and Spirit's neck. The minute we got back to the barn, I untacked him and he didn't leave me, freaked out when I tried to walk away because he was still hiding and scared. It took him a few minutes to settle down but when he realized that he was home and I was getting him some yummy food, he was okay. That caused him to road founder and he was stiff for weeks after that. (Stupid cold weather and asphalt.) It caused me to feel horrible. So yeah, I'm fessing up - I shouldn't have taken him.
But at least we got two good things out of it - Spirit and him are now inseparable and I learned more about my horse...he may be bomb proof, but he ain't siren proof. ;)
(I'd also like to say that several people have offered to take him in parades just to get him used to it without me having to stress about it, one person even tried making a bet with me and offered me cash just to prove to me that he would be "fine after he realized I won't let him get away with that junk" and my answer was, Um heck no.)