I haven't been on this forum in years! I hope somebody might remember me! I posted lots of pictures of my reddun quarter horse mare, Lena. She has arthritis, and I retired her over a year ago. I still have her, but she is just living out her years as a pasture puff :)
I bought a new mare at a livestock auction a year ago. I wasn't planning on buying a horse there... but I brought along a halter and hay just in case ;)
When I first saw her, I thought she was beautiful. She was very nervous about her surroundings. I went into the pen to see her, and her muscles were visibly trembling. She had the kindest eye I had ever seen... and I just knew I had to help her. I think I saw myself in her.
She was led through the auction ring... freaking out about all the noises. I felt so bad! We ended up buying her for $400 :) Best $400 I will ever spend!
After bringing her home, I couldn't catch her easily. When you went to touch her, she would flinch and/or fly her head straight up and stop breathing. She also hated brushing. I think she was either hit in the face, or man handled alot. She is a very sensitive horse, and reacts to the slightest body movements. After working with her for a couple months, she would come to me in the field, and was much better about being brushed and handled, to the point where she started to enjoy it. She was still nervous if there were other people around though. I took her for walks everyday, and got her meeting lots of people. Over the summer, we worked on lots of groundwork and trust. Just hanging out in the field with her, going for walks, grooming, and lots of loving. Then we progressed to putting blankets on, saddle pad, then saddling. Each new thing caused her to be quite nervous, but after a couple of weeks, she was totally chill with them. Then we worked on free lunging, and eventually onto mounting and riding.
The first few weeks of rides, she was super super tense and nervous. She would take a step then spook and stop. I was a bit nervous about riding her the few few times as well, as I didn't know what she would do. But I trusted that the groundwork and trust we had built up over the months would pull us through. After the breakthrough of starting to ride her... it got much better. After a couple of months of riding in a small field, we took it to the trails. We went on trail rides 5-6 days a week.. walk/trot/lope on the trails. I rode her bareback in just a rope halter.. super sensitive girl. She was scared of the beach at first, but I took her down there alot, and we got to the point where we could lope down the beach
She is rarely ever spooky anymore, and loves attention from most people. She still hates the farrier.. but don't know if she will ever get over that.
She is currently having hind end lameness issues that we are trying to solve.. so I haven't ridden her in a few months. Hopefully it gets worked out soon though!
Sorry for the huge post! Peanut butter cookies to anyone who read all of it ;)
Also, she is a 13 year old TWH mare :)
Andd without further ado.. PICTURES!! First day home:
After a couple months:
With the saddle:
At a halter show last year. She was beyond amazing! So relaxed and calm with all the craziness going on. Couldn't have been more proud! :) As I was walking her down the barn aisles, someone said that she looked like a little angel <3
More in next post! xD