I started working with horses when I was about 5 years old, and started actually riding when I was about 7 years old. I took lessons once a week, without fail, for 9 years. At this point I had to stop because I could no longer afford the lessons. By this time I was 16 years old. I am 18 now, and since I stopped my lessons I have just been riding friends horses in my free time, helping them whenever I can. In the last couple of months I have been looking for a loan, for myself.
A girl who I used to know when I was about 10 got into contact with me, saying she needed help with her mare. It's not a loan because i'm not paying any money.
This is what I was told about the mare, and I quote; "She is a typical mare. She is pushy and hates it if she doesn't get her own way. She behaves well on the lunge line but not so well when you get on her back. She rears up when you jump her, she rears on the roads sometimes and on a couple of occasions she has reared up when being led if things aren't going her way".
"Great" I thought
Well Saturday just gone I decided to visit the horse, called Fen. I bought her in from the paddock, spent a good amount of time grooming her, and then decided I would lunge her to see what reaction I got. When I first asked her to move out she reared up at me, I was looking up at her hooves above me! When she came back down I pushed her on, as if nothing happened. Made her work like normal. Just simple walk to trot, trot to walk transitions. I didn't think about making her canter because the ground was wet and slippery. After the first rear she behaved like a diamond!
The next day I told my friend I wasn't too keen on helping, because I just fancied a nice easy horse. Not a plod, but one that didn't need totally re-training! She begged me to help her, so I gave in.
I went back there today. Fen was a totally different horse! She did come over to the gate to me, so I thought, "hey today is going to be a good day". But no. I tied her up inside and she had a right tantrum because she couldn't see her field buddy. She was kicking, pawing the ground, snorting. I knew that persevering would be better in the long run, but I just couldn't groom her when she was doing this, so I moved her outside instead and she stood good as gold, didn't move at all. I gave her a carrot from my hand, and after that she nipped my fingers constantly! I will be feeding her treats from the ground from now on! I decided not to lunge her today because it was very, very windy, and the ground was even more slippery than Saturday. After spending more time with her, I put her in her stable ready to bed down for the night. She turned into a nightmare again! Pacing around the stable, barging me, nipping at me. It took me forever to put her rugs on because I had to keep reminding her that she WOULD stay still!
I know it's not Fens fault, she just needs more time and effort put into her than what her owners are putting in now, but dammit she is frustrating! I am doing my best with her.
My friend wants me to start riding her next week (she was backed at the age of 5, was good as gold with her previous owner but as soon as my friend got her she changed), but I really don't think that's a good idea. I was planning on spending a couple of weeks at least just on the ground with her. Am I right? My friend really hasn't done much for this mare, I feel bad for her. I am an experienced rider, I can't wait to get on her back and see what she can do!
Well anyway I apologise for my waffling! Here are some pictures I got of Fen on Saturday:
P.S: please ignore my hair and lack of make-up!!