Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Central Texas, easily mistaken for a big bowl of dust!!
Zena: a lesson horse in the making. Suggestions for being cinchy and desensitizing!
Hey everyone. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do with this mare, but I'd love to hear your opinions.
The owner of a boarding facility near my house asked me if I'd be interested in riding her mare, Zena. Of course I said yes, I'm basically getting a free lease. Plus it's for a good cause because she's hoping to use her for lessons. Here's how Zena got here, but if you want to just read about her now skip down to the line.
She's a six year old bay mare, about 14.3 hands tall (which is a bit small for my legs but that's ok) When Zena came there to be boarded she was thin, skittish, and hard to catch. The story the owners gave the BO is that they were driving through a smaller, nearby town, and saw a field of skinny horses. The owner was supposedly just shooting the horses because 'he couldn't afford then anymore' and said they could take them or they'd be put down. They took Zena (even though they knew nothing about horses) and tried to rehabilitate her. Then two months later, BAM the owners disappear , no one picks up the phone. I honestly think the owners said that so the BO wouldn't blame them for her being skinny.
Anyway, the BO took her in, fed her up, and had another boarder put some miles on her. What's sad is she's on grass and hay and fat as a pig. I don't know how she got so skinny unless they fed her absolutely nothing.
Now! She's green broke pretty much. She lunges, walks/trots/lopes/stops by voice cues, she flexes, moves off your legs and backs up. She's only been loped about 12 times in the round pen (under saddle) and had a few walk/trot rides around the barn and in the arena.
She has a nice, willing disposition although she has a few quirks. She hates being cinched up, she gets a pissy look, shakes her head, and will bite her leadrope or the pole she's tied to. I'm considering a pain issue like ulcears maybe. I'm careful to cinch up super slow and I praise her when she doesn't make a pissy face.
Another thing, her stop leaves a bit to be desired. She does that, sloooooow down, step, steeeep, steeeep, THEN stops. That's on the long line and under saddle. She long lines great, responds to the voice super well, except yesterday she was ridiculously hyper. Everytime I asked for a transition, the threw a buck. Everytime I asked for a stop, she would toss her head. She reared once, then jumped straight in the air. Haha, I just ignored the hissy fit because it didn't seem like aggression towards me. I just made her stop and change directions. When she wanted to take off, I made her stop for a moment, then made her do a quick lope for about 6 laps and she was good as gold. She rode around perfect.
So this isn't exactly a question thread, but suggestions in desensitizing for lessons, and helping with her being cinchy would be nice!
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