So I've been thinking and I think that small, easy jumps would be a fun exercise to mix things up with my Ben and Creampuff. I don't mean any dramatic walls that Show jumpers leap, but more like the jumping you see here.
I'd like to get involved in showing. Ben would do good with barrels (his fastest time so far has been 20 seconds!) -- Creampuff would too is she would only settle a little bit -- and I think Creampuff would excel is just about anything. Both are Quarter Horses. I'm also looking to involve Creampuff in pole bending, hoping that the multiple activities will help keep her mentally stimulated enough to behave.
I just don't know where to start them from there. Creampuff is a magnificent ride, very responsive and excitable; however, she bucks when she begins to canter and may start when she's in the middle of one. She's one of "those" horses that you have to know inside and out in order to have an inkling of what's going on.
However, this is my issue: Another volunteer rides Creampuff, practically ruining her. He rides her at a tight rein when he goes any faster than a walk (fearing she's going to buck or rear on him again). He kicks when he doesn't need to kick. He's loud with a deep voice and sour attitude, even toward Creampuff.
When he rides her where the barrels and jumps are set up, he takes the aforementioned actions and works her hard. He won't give her air, walking her after a good run. He doesn't pat her, or so much as give her a treat after he dismounts. He only wants to run: so she bucks. This would be another issue to work around: keeping him off her or keeping her settled in a way that she won't act up for everyone else as she has in the past (biting, trying to kick).
On multiple occasions the same "man" (well, he's actually 17 and far from a man if you ask me, in terms of morals) has made Creampuff's cinch so tight I couldn't wriggle my finger under it. But, since she never sees who does this to our horses, my boss doesn't know who it is and thus can't fuss about it. Multiple head from our herd has become "cinchy" and sore. One other horse is so sore you can't even lightly stroke his girth area without being met with pinned ears.
I've told my boss, Di, about how this man rides the young mare. She has said, since Creampuff is a new horse and we need her in the line up, if he wants to ride her like that than he shouldn't ride her at all. This hasn't proven true for my forgetful boss, who lets him ride anyone he wants.
I don't know how I should approach it. I have been tempted to detach myself from my darling mare. But seeing how filthy (I mean mud literally caked in her fur) after she is "groomed" by another volunteer and seeing other people work her in a way to get her riled up in a bad way, I just can't bring myself to "abandon" her.
I see how she looks when I approach, the gleam in her eye that says: "Finally, something enjoyable." Creampuff will let me work with her as I have with no other horse: playing with her nose, kissing her face without moving her head, rubbing the "crusties" out of her eyes (you know, "eye boogers"), checking under her tail and moving about all around her in a way that most mares would say "GTFO" in the cruelest of ways. I can call her up from the pasture by whistling the tune of her name, and each morning I'm greeted at the fence by perky ears and shining, fresh eyes.
I trust this mare with my life, and so I can't just "ditch" her because I'm frustrated with one of the other so-called "horsemen" at the barn. Any advice as to how approach all of these issues, especially the "mental conditioning," would be greatly appreciated.