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Bobbie my OTTB - Before and after (finally)!
Well finally I have some pictures that I feel are worth sharing of Bobbie (Bit of Energy) my OTTB mare that I brought home in May this year.
Her story so far: She was raced until she was five and didn't do anything special on the track. She was turned out straight after and literally left in a paddock and forgotten about - no health care, no hoof care and no future. She had given herself a reputation as being difficult to handle, ride and be around so the trainer never entertained the idea of selling her as a riding horse. Mind you, I found out this reputation was somewhat deserved :wink:
When I went out to this particular trainers property, I was actually there to look at two other horses he had for sale (kept stalled and in relatively good condition) but I had no interest in either of them. However this mare caught my eye and I asked to see her instead. His response was "that b*tch will never amount to anything, I wouldn't bother with her at all." Well I persisted and he put her on the walker for me to see how she moved. Well in between her bucking fits I could see she has beautiful floaty movement and decided that I would have to take her. After a rocky first two months with more than one hairy moment (she has a vast repertoire of bad behaviours, all showcased in quick succession when she has a meltdown) we are finally at the stage where she is beginning to mellow and attempt new things with a calm mind, rather than completely losing it.
Since then we have competed in a couple of Introductory dressage tests and placed third and fourth which I was very pleased with! Of course if she could have seen her way clear to not attempting to halt and salute solely on her back legs we would have done much better but she only did it once and managed to complete the test, albeit being rather tense.
Well here is what she looked like when I brought her home in May, sorry these pics were taken on an old camera and the lense didn't open fully. I wanted to call her Betty the Yetti but everyone said that was too mean:
After dentistry, intensive worming including tapeworm and a couple of visits to the vet we started some light work, here she is in June - still skinny but looking healthier:
And now here she is this weekend! She is lacking some topline as she had a month off after her quest to become the biggest baddest meanest horse on the property resulted in her receiving a horrible bite on the back and a kick to the shoulder that blew up into a hematoma the size of an orange but other than that she looks like a new woman, especially after a bath!
And of course, mandatory roll in filth after having a bath and then back to the fence to show off her dirty face to me in case I hadn't noticed what she had done:
BTW: The leadrope is hanging in one of the pictures purposefully - I need her to associate the lead rope being dropped to the ground with being tied and standing still. Also, I am aware of her conformational shortcomings, she isn't perfect but she will suit my purposes just fine - low level dressage and eventually some jumping, possibly eventing next year if the training progresses well enough :-)
Those are AWESOME update pics! Way to go. She looks really good.
Way to to go Sarah :)
Wow, she looks amazing! Great job with her!
Good work! She looks like a much healthier happier horse!
Very nice work! She looks content and happy =)
Is that a little heart on her halter? It's so cute! And that's a neat idea for the hanging lead rope. I have never tought a horse to ground tie. How long does it take them to catch on?
Thanks guys, I am very proud of her! The behavioural issues are getting better too as she relaxes a little into her new life. Although she does terrorize the ranch hand, he will no longer go near her and will only feed her in the round pen - so he can feed through the fence (his own fault if you ask me).
Chevy Princess - I like all my horses to stand still when the lead rope is dropped. The rules are - four feet on the ground at all times. They can rest a back leg if they want but are not allowed to take a step sideways, forwards or backwards. I do this gradually by initially staying close to them while walking 360 degrees around them and within reach. If they think about moving I say 'whoa'. If they actually move I say sharply "uh-uh" and reposition them to where they were originally. Over a period of time I increase my distance from them as I want to be able to walk further and further away in any direction and they are not allowed to move. Same voice commands.
So I should be able to walk in and out of the tack shed(s), saddle, unsaddle, bath, groom, pick out feet, whatever and they stay stock still. Sure when I walk off she turns her head and looks for me but as long as those feet stay planted in the one spot, I don't mind. So far I can do all of this with Bobbie except saddle her in this manner, but we are getting there, so far it has been four months with the ground tying (prior to that I was happy if she tied at all).
P.S. I take no responsibility for the headstall with gemstones or the pink saddle pad - they just happened to be lying around at the time!! If it was my stuff it would probably be a plain leather headstall and a white saddle pad... ;)
She is a very nice looking horse and I think she is VERY lucky to have found you! Good luck! Thanks for sharing your story!
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