Since my mare's been out for a few weeks, I've been riding Firefly, a 10-year-old QH mare. Firefly had a reputation around the barn. She is a "one person" horse, and her person had moved away. Aside from "her" person, she behaved for no man. She presented vices such as head throwing, trotting/cantering off, diving into the bridle, and jigging. She also didn't allow herself to be caught in the pasture. Her overall attitude was almost as rotten as they come, so no one wanted to touch her. She sat in the pasture for weeks.
I came along and started to work with her. I rode her every day for three weeks -- I missed maybe two days total. Her vices began to disapear. After I got through to her, she was a pleasure. I rode her bridleless down from the pasture and galloped trails bareback. She was an angel and a lovely, well behaved trail horse.
Then the kids came...
It started three days ago when she was ridden on the trail by a beginner student. I figured that Fly had gotten over herself enough to be ridden on a walking trail ride. I was wrong. Fly quickly became her old self... Worse then her old self, even. She trotted off, threw her head, and just made the trail miserable.
I was riding my green four-year-old, Rascal, on his third trail ride, so I couldn't trade places. The BO got off her horse and tried to ride Fly, but Fly wouldn't even act right for her.
The next day, more kids. These kids were intermediate riders, so I wasn't as dismayed. We barely had enough horses, so one of them had to ride Fly. I rode Rascal once again.
Fly acted like an f-ing idoit for these kids as well. I couldn't stand it. I switched with the kid who was riding her. She rode Rascal (Rascal was being an angel; he was the best horse on the trail that day!) and I hopped on Fly. After a two minute little fight, Fly remembered who I was and behaved beautifully for the rest of the ride.
After we got back to the barn, the kids took Fly to the arena. They jumped her and stuff like that. I wasn't there to watch, but I assume they allowed her to get away with some stuff.
Today, I rode her. She acted like this was the first day of training all over again.
All my work... Gone. All her vices were back... She settled down a little after a fight, but she wouldn't go back to the Firefly I had four days ago.
Worst of all, my "hero" was there, riding a horse she was training. She probably thought all the work I had put into Fly was a joke... She saw that horse at her worst. Therefore, she saw me at my worst. That horse is an extention of me... I was so embarrassed I just about cried.
My BO suggested I put her back into a hackamore and a running martingale if I couldn't control her, and that maybe she needed to just be sold... Mentally, I cracked. I COULD control her! I didn't need a martingale! This horse could go in a bit beautifully! This horse is GREAT!
Just not today...