I love Bart!!!
While she's my first horse, I truely believe that the mare that I own right now is my heart horse. She is miniature horse, so only stands 34" so I can't ride her, but that doesn't bother me one bit. She is VERY opinionated and VERY mareish, but its part of what makes her my Sour xD
I first saw Sour a few minutes after she was born on my first day to work at the farm, and remember thinking she was the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen. I didn't realize at the time just what horse she was, and she was sold with her dam and taken to a large pasture to grow. I figured I'd never see her again.
About 6 or 7 months later though, a tiny, rather ugly little miniature horse filly with slippered feed, a halter grown into her face, and a nasty attitude with no human contact came to our farm loaded in an SUV trunk. She leapt out and into her pen with firey eyes and I knew then she was something special.
Unfortunately, some idiot of a man decided a few weeks later to 'break her in' quickly so she could be used as a kids horse, and laid her down, which is a method where the horse's feet are roped and yanked out from under them, they're thrown on the ground, and sat on until they stop struggling. Its supposed to break their spirit. With her though, it just unleashed a fiery hate for humans and ropes, and she was quickly deemed a 'man eating horse' after she attempted to kill one of the workers, and began to lunge with barred teeth and kick at anyone who got near to her. They left her in a pen, destined to got to the meat buyer.
I saw something special in Sour though, and while looking back what I did was stupid, I decided to make her 'my project' even though I was only 12 with very, very little horse experience. With tons of carrots, many hours of sitting in her pen, and quiet words though, I slowly won her over. She didn't like me, and sometimes I still wonder if she does, but she tolerated me.
From there I began to work with her to turn her around from the demon spawn horse to at least a semi acceptable miniature horse. It took me over three years, countless tears, MANY mistakes on my part that I'm lucky didn't kill either of us that had to be trained out of her as I progressed in my knowledge, and quite a few bites and kicks, but we are now an inseperable team. As it turns out, all she had wanted was someone to feed her and give her a purpose. Someone recommended to me that I try to cart train her which sounded crazy at the time, and most people didn't think she could do it, but under guidance of a trainer I can now saw that she is now a fairly well broke (still training) four year old miniature cart horse, and she LOVES IT. Once she was given a job, she turned from a crabby, antisocial horse to one who would tack herself up if she could.
Still, Sour is a difficult horse and I can't imagine how bad she would have been as a full sized horse. She's moody and sometimes its hard enough work to just get her to behave decently, but other times she's a star. She still doesn't really like other people, but she has learned to put up with them and act nice about it. She's very opinionated and must be ASKED to do things, and she is very sensative. She flies into a rage if one of the men try to ask her to do something too roughly, and she isn't an affectionate animal. Grooming annoys her but she realizes its a duty if she wants to go driving, so puts up with it. But I love her. We click together. No other horse will work for me like she does, and she never lets me down. She'll never be the pony who's withers I can cry on and who's mane will dry my eyes (she's more likely to be the one that caused the crying! LOL) but she is always there to take me away and be my dependable companion when I need her. I can't imagine her any other way :)