Anyway, back to my girl, Phoebe, who happens to be a Palomino quarter horse and one more reason I've taken so long to write this! I've loved horses all my life, but growing up in the city didn't afford many chances to ride. We've been living on this ranch for almost 11 years now and I finally got my own horse. Someone pinch me! I mean, excited doesn't begin to cover it! My husband and I went to pick up one horse and ended up coming home with two. The tag-a-long was Blondie, a great kid's horse, and my Phoebe, who is an ex-barrel racing horse. I don't think anyone has ever just ridden Phoebe just for pleasure. I could tell right away she was very hot. I was told by several people to not waste my time with her, but she has a such terrific personality and I had a feeling she would be worth the effort. Unfortunately, I had to take Blondie back because she has Equine Cushings Disease to which there is no cure and the monthly medicine would be costly. I will miss you Blondie!
|Phoebe & Blondie|
When I first got Phoebe I couldn't get a bit in her mouth or even put my hand near her ears. The vet said there was nothing wrong with her physically, it was just that she had probably not been treated very well. I've learned that some people who barrel race horses will twist the horses ear to make them comply with whatever their want because it's quick and easy. I'm happy to report after only 3 months of spending time and loving her, I can rub her ears with no problem.
When we decided to keep her, I prayed I would find a way to re-train her so she would understand that every ride would not be a race and she would be able to just enjoy being a horse and being ridden. My prayers were answered when I found out a new friend at church, Sarah, was a horse trainer and offered to train her at no cost. She said that not enough people just help each other out without expecting something in return. This is amazing to me because she's right. Not enough people help each other anymore. That's why I love my church, Cowboy Fellowship, the people there including Sarah are awesome and are always willing to help anyone that needs it.
I guess Phoebe and I are both getting trained since I only have some basic knowledge about riding and zero knowledge about training horses. Sarah lives about 30 minutes away and is keeping Phoebe at her house with her beautiful mare, Fancy. This way I don't have to trailer her back and forth, I just supply the hay for her. I've decided to make Sarah a necklace or bracelet to thank her for all her help.
Well, Phoebe's first lesson went extremely well. She saddled her, actually got a bit in her mouth the first time and then worked her in the round pen from the ground for awhile doing circles. Then Sarah had Phoebe turn her nose to one side, then the other, towards the saddle. She would hold the rein there until Phoebe gave some slack then Sarah would give her relief and let her relax. Sarah rode her around in the round pen a little and decided she has a few issues we'll have to work on such as turning, backing up and her alpha female attitude. All in all, it went much better than I was expecting and I don't think it will take long to get her in great riding shape. I plan on writing more posts on mine and Phoebe's training progression soon.