Ok, so anybody who has seen my posts about my four year old mare, Clover, has seen my troubles, falls, frustrations, and more. I think it's about time I tell our story. So if you are interested, keep reading. But just a warning, this might get a little lengthy
It started back in February when my trainer (who is also one of my close friends) and I went trail riding at her friends house (these friends are the one's who taught her how to ride). At the time I had been riding for a little over a year. I had been barrel racing on my trainer's horse, but I was looking for a horse of my own. My FIRST ever horse. The lady jokingly said "Oh, I have a horse for sale! That little gray filly over there!" My trainer looked at her like she was crazy and said "No way! She's never ridden a baby before." I ended up riding a big red QH named CC that night. She's was lots of fun
I looked at the horse while I was when they were showing me all of their horses. They told me her name was Clover. She was a dapple gray 3 yr old at the time. She was beautiful, she had the slightly dished face of an Arabian (she is Arab X Quarter Horse X Andalusian). I have always been a sucker for Arabs, but I knew from just watching her for that they were right. I had never ridden a green/young horse before and she would be way too much for me to handle.
We went on our trail ride that night and had a lot of fun. A few days later my trainer informed me that she had gone back over to her friends house the night after we went on our trail ride to go riding again. Her friend, the owner, rode the gray filly that night and she did good, according to my trainer. She wanted me to go over there and ride the filly myself so that I could get the feel for a green horse.
So the next week, back we went. I got Clover out of the stall and saddled her up. She flinched at every sound, the whites of her eyes were showing the whole time, and she jumped when I put the saddle on her back. Quite frankly, I was terrified of her. I had only ever ridden a trained, bomb-proof lesson horse that was very lazy. I had never ever been around a young or spooky horse before.
We went out on the trail and my trainer rode her for the first half of the ride. She spooked when the wind blew the bushes, when a dog ran out from behind a tree, at birds flying, at nothing that I could see... I decided to tough it out and ride her, even though I was scared out of my mind! We switched horses, and the magic began
She would not walk. She had to do this sort of prancing jig the whole way. But, she was EXTREMELY smooth. She spooked every few minutes, but she had this "Spark" to her. She was just like the high strung, prancing, gorgeous Arabian that I had always dreamed about. I was in love with a horse way out of my level of experience
I went home and told my parents. As my mom tells everybody, "She came home and the first thing she told us was, 'I've found my horse!' and she couldn't stop smiling the whole night!"
My parents talked to people at shows and other friends with horses. They all said that we were crazy. That I wasn't experienced enough to be riding a green horse and I needed to get an already trained horse. But what's the fun in that? I went back and the owner helped me work with her. At first she was very willing and extremely intelligent, but very spooky. I was scared to ride her, but I did anyways. I did groundwork for months and months. I still do periodic 'check-ups' with her every now and then. After a while I was doing everything by myself. This summer I had my trainer come out and help me once when I got stuck, but other than that I have done everything myself for the past few months.
The high-strung, spooky 3 yr old is now a high-strung, level headed 4 yr old that can be ridden safely by an eight year old girl and follows me wherever I go with no halter or lead rope. I took her on a trail ride a couple weekends ago and she was the best behaved horse there! No spook, calm walking the whole way, she was completely chill.
You might have heard the expression "A green horse plus a green rider equals lots of black and blue". It's true. Lots of bruises, blood, even a concussion thrown in there. But I now have a better relationship with my horse that anybody I know. She will do anything for me and I could not ask for anything better.
Point being, people told me I was crazy and I didn't need to get a horse that young. Maybe it was crazy. Especially since I had only a little over a year's riding experience. But guess what? Those people that told me I didn't need to do it have seen the progress I have made with her and have asked me to come over and help them with their horses!
Sometimes you have to take chances. We have a long way to go and we are no where from perfect. But we are making big progress. You know how you never seem to be looking for a four-leaf clover when you find one in the place you least expected? Well I have found mine