Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Steady as She Goes.
So at one of the facilities that I train at one of my close friends and students, you know her as S&D, brought it to my attention that one of the horses at the stable was about to be abandoned. The owner is a druggie with a kid she can't take care of and her mother can no longer afford food or board. The mother has been trying to place this horse, but doesn't know enough to ride her or tune her up so finally with hands in the air she says F-it, I'm done, I'm not buying feed, or paying for board, I'm at a loss so do what you want with her.
Well once S&D made this known to me, we went to the owner of the barn and said that WE would take over and try to place the mare since the mare has now been abandoned. It is not in our nature to sit idly by and watch a horse go to the auction or be given away to some other shit hole of a home without a fighting chance. Well now we're giving her that chance. Even though we need to care for another horse like we need a damn hole in our HEADS!! We are not going to let her suffer or not eat or be shipped away to be dog chow...
Now Tawny, the mare, is a 15.2hh healthy shiny chestnut mare with a thick long mane and tail. She has a bit of roaning on her and has a personality to DIE for. So far so good. Well it was told to S&D that apparently Tawny bucked the last time she had been ridden and so the prospective buyers hit the ground running. It was our immediate thoughts of Ill fitting saddle, bad bit, bad riding OR the more likely, ALL 3!! Do I foresee an issue? Me? Hell no! You see there are many ways to "skin a cat." S&D suggested we use her treeless saddle as maybe beyond just not being ridden or worked with Tawny is sore.
So last night we get Tawny and tack her up, she stands WONDERFULLY, you couldn't ask or PAY for better ground manners. S&D goes and round pens her and Tawny moves like a cat. Gracefully and smooth, she spins on her hind end and ducks down when she turns as if she was once a trained cutting horse. S&D has bonded perfectly with Tawny in the round pen and gets her kicks out so I can get ready to ride her. Not only did we use the treeless saddle on her but also a basic gentle snaffle.
We take her into the arena and I ground drive her for a few minutes, I want to make sure I have breaks LOL! she performs sweetly and then S&D's hubby holds her for me so I can mount. She's nervous and a bit jumpy, but we take our time. Slow and steady. So I get on, get off, get on, get off, to let her know that we are gentle and she's a good girl. Finally I get on and sit in the saddle, take up the reins and the hubby let's go. Tawny is very nervous and I have FULL contact on her mouth and my hands are up in saddle seat riding position. IF Tawny wants to buck, I'm not going to let her! Her head is mine at this point. So I'm talking with her very quietly and gently and S&D, hubby and son are standing quiet as church mice in the arena watching. For Every time around the arena Tawny goes she relaxes. Quietly lowering her head offering no sign of bucking or sass. Now she is perfectly relaxed and so I offer up a little cluck cluck and slight squeeze and off she goes in a beautiful quiet jog. She stops nice, neck reins, backs, and has a jog as smooth as a chocolate swirl!!!! Tawny wants so bad to bond with someone she followed us all around. S&D, me, hubby and son. She wanted the attention so bad, so we happily nominated a very happy Son to be in charge of loving this sweet girl until we can place her.
Steady as she goes, this mare. Smart and pretty, quiet and gentle, she needs to be loved. We've thus far taken her under our wing to make sure she gets food and is cared for. Tonight we'll work with her more and tap into the amazing horse she is. She'll for sure come along nicely once refreshed and will bond with her new owner for life and that is what we'll be looking for. That's what she deserves.