A horse, dragon, dinosaur, or other creature that is being used as a mount has a mind of its own.... and doesn't like its rider. So it resists being saddled, doesn't take commands, tries and often succeeds in throwing the rider. Such animals are often black
. They most likely started out fractious when being broken (indeed, broncos for rodeos are specially selected for the challenge they present), and this mount hasn't improved much with training. Don't expect bribes of food treats to work either; people foolish enough to offer a treat are likely to be bitten and/or kicked for their trouble.
If such an animal is well-known to be temperamental, expect its name to reflect this
(or alternately, be hilariously inappropriate
). Characters in the know (stable hands or bystanders with expertise in handling such animals) will advise against riding the animal. Despite having such a reputation, a specific person may get good responses from the animal
, and be much marveled at for doing so. (Compare Only I Can Make It Go
, because as we all know horses are just another kind of vehicle
Frequently Played for Laughs
. See also Horsing Around
Anime and Manga
Film — Animated
- Ash's Charizard in the first season of the Pokémon anime. He fights when he wants and when he doesn't feel like it, he sleeps.
- In addition to being a Sapient Steed, the relationship between the bounty hunter and his horse in Moon Jung-hoo "Yongbi" is often a contentious one, often getting into arguments like an old married couple.
Film — Live Action
- The Road to El Dorado has Altivo, who may have inspired Maximus below; they're both suspiciously intelligent white warhorses who were stolen from their owners and got very very angry about it. Altivo, in this case, originally belonged to Hernán Cortés.
- Disney's Melody Time segment "Pecos Bill." See Folklore below.
- In Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, the title character. Justified in that he was taken from the wild and treated harshly.
- Maximus from Tangled won't let Flynn Rider ride him. Perhaps it has something to do with him being the Captain of the Guard's horse, and Flynn being a wanted criminal.
- Toothless of How to Train Your Dragon decides when Hiccup, his rider, gets to set the course. All other times, he only gets to hang on.
- In the Tall Tale of Pecos Bill, the horse known as Widowmaker would let no one ride him but Bill. When Slue-Foot Sue, Bill's love, tried to ride Widowmaker, he took her for quite a trip - all the way to the Moon.
- "The Strawberry Roan" — "I'll bet all my money the man ain't alive, that can stay with that bronc' 'till he makes his high dive."
- In Dungeons & Dragons, there's an item known as the Obsidian Steed. If the rider is good-aligned, they must roll to control the beast or it goes to the Lower Planes and dumps them there.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- Juggernauts of Khorne, giant metal rhinos serving as beasts of battle. Being creatures of the god of rage, they are 'very hard to break in, which makes their riders all the more feared.
- Slaughterfiends are demonically-possessed machines that exist only to kill. Khornates make a point of trying to hitch a ride on one, as such a feat vastly improves their status.
- Warhammer has Cold Ones, ostrich-sized raptor-type dinosaurs used by Dark Elves and Lizardmen as cavalry. In the Dark Elves' case, riders need to smear themselves with a special unguent that masks their scent (otherwise the Cold Ones attack them), prolonged use of which deadens your sense of touch. In the fluff, one elf got rid of a rival by replacing his unguent with a placebo, ending with the rival ripped to shreds.
- Red Dead Redemption has a lot of unique and in some cases magical horses that must be "broken" before they can be ridden. And even a broken horse can still buck you off if you don't pay attention to the stamina meter.
- The Elum in Abe's Oddysee is a grumbly cuss, but hopping on his back is the only way to progress through certain sections where the jumps are too broad for Abe alone.
- Yoshi from the Super Mario Bros. games will actually run around very fast and become very hard to catch should Mario or Luigi be thrown off his back after Yoshi is hit by an enemy.
- Angelus from Drakengard acts like this due to a deep hatred for humanity. The only reason she allows Caim to ride her is due to their pact, meaning if one dies so does the other.
- Bighorners in Fallout: New Vegas are giant mutant mountain goats that, even when domesticated, are useless as pack animals or steeds because if they're not in the mood to carry something (and they never are) they'll just sit down until the offending weight is removed.
- In a World of Warcraft short story has Koak a Dragonmaw Orc, who bonds with an unruly cloud serpent he later names Steel.
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Yoshi the raptor won't let anyone but Gordito ride him. Unless Gordito is in danger.
- In Freefall, Sam tries to ride Polly the emu to escape from an angry mob, but she refuses. He gets her to run by pulling off one of his facial tentacles and putting it on a stick
- The unicorn in Exiern allows the formerly male barbarian heroine Tiffany to ride but absolutely refuses to allow Princess Peonie to mount even when her life is in grave danger (probably because she's reputed to have been mounted more than a few times herself.) Lampshades are hung on both the implications and on the fact that Tiffany doesn't get the implications.
- Knightmare, the dire unicorn/dragon and Blackjack's steed in The Daemonslayers. While mostly loyal to Blackjack in regards to their shared blistering hatred of daemonkind for corrupting them as they are now (Knightmare was once a noble unicorn, while Blackjack is a black dragon cursed into the form of a dracosvulf), Knightmare's capricious nature makes it so that Blackjack is left with a few broken rips at the end of the day. As a result, Blackjack always has to keep half an eye on him.
- The crowning achievement of Dr. Kondraki's career is setting off a series of events culminating in his riding SCP-682 like a rodeo horse. SCP-682 is a monstrous alien lizard that cannot be destroyed by any means and hates humanity as much as AM.
- Jonric's party in Broken Quest end up with 'asshole horses' that refuse to move and have to be dragged along by their reins.
- Many donkeys can be like this.
- It's also where the phrase "stubborn as a mule" comes from.
- Anyone who rides horses on a regular basis has run into at least one of these.
- Camels also have a tendency to be this.