Well, the time has finally come that I'm going to be moving my mare to the stables.
I had hoped the one pen would get cleared on the property so that I could work with Roxy at home, but that doesn't seem to be happening so I got in contact with the barn owner and she told me I was allowed 2 horses in a paddock at the stables for no extra cost. So that's what I"m going to do since I already have my gelding there. Basic Roxy Info:
(for those who haven't heard about her before)
Registered name for anyone curious: I'mnaughtyandnice (describes her personality perfectly lol)
15 year old mare.
About 15.2 hh.
Raced in her younger years. Then became a broodmare and a lesson horse between foals.
Dumped off at a rescue by the time she was 14.
Fostered for a year.
Sold in the spring of 2018. Was mistreated a great deal.
Foster lady took her back and rehabbed her.
November of 2018, I bought her and continued her rehab of gaining weight and getting chiro to fix up her back. Issues:
At this point, Roxy "tolerates" me so to speak. She has a very sassy, marish, leader type of personality. I'm quite laid back and relaxed with things. So our personalities don't mesh too great, but we get along well enough. However, due to all the space she has to roam, she'll chose to walk somewhere else instead of stick around for getting some loving. Catching her is no problem. And if she's grazing, she'll "put up" with me coming over to rub her a bit. But that's it. Otherwise she doesn't really want much to do with me and doesn't see me as the leader. I've tried to fix this, but due to all the space we have, she can easily just run off and ignore me. And to try to build that leadership with her while having her caught doesn't do anything.
She is very cinchy thanks to the people she was sold to in the spring as they would yank on the cinch and tighten it to the point it hurt her. So she thinks the cinch is going to hurt every time it touches her belly. Once cinched up, is totally fine. She just gets cranky and upset in anticipation of the cinching up and the pain she expects to follow it. I did have this almost fixed at one point but then we had a late snow storm so then I wasn't able to work with her for a while on it so we're back to nearly square one with that. She occassionally reacts this way when you go to put a saddle pad or the saddle on her as well for the same reasons. People before had ridden her in an ill fitting saddle and rode her hard. So getting ready for a ride in general she associates with pain most of the time.
Once riding, she'll walk decently. Sometimes she'll want to go faster, but with a gentle reminder, she stays walking.
However, when you try trotting, she throws a fit. She'll lift her head like she's wanting to rear, she'll back up or go sideways despite you wanting her to move forward, and has kicked out her back legs. She's also gone into the cantering motion while going no faster than the walk and will not listen.
Only way I've gotten her to settle down and trot nicely is to have her moving in somewhat small circles while doing a sitting trot. Rising trot or standing in stirrups makes her want to go faster (probably flash back to racing days or such). But like I said, there's not enough space here to work through this properly with the worry of her or I getting injured as there area lot of trees and fences around and I don't want her to back into a fence or tree and then freak out.
Plus side is, she's never bucked, reared, or truly bolted. What she's good at:
Very easy to catch. No issues there at all.
She's also very sensitive to pressure. She moves off your leg quite well and can have a web or nylon halter on her and she's perfect. Smallest bit of pressure and she instantly listens. Example such as lunging and then asking her to stop and turn.
Ground manners are good. Health + Tack
Her health is good. She's gained weight since I got her so she looks healthy now. She's up to date on everything. I've had others look at her trotting along a hard surface and they say she's moving quite well, especially considering how stiff she used to be when I first got her and there are no physical reasons for her to act up when going to a trot.
She is being ridden in an endurance saddle since it's the only one I've managed to find that fits her as she's narrow with high withers. I looked at a dozen or two saddles before finding this one. She has been ridden both English and western before as well as bareback. She seems to prefer going around in a halter than a bridle with a bit, so I'm looking into getting a bitless bridle.
So in general, she's in good physical condition (other than needing to build up some muscles now) and her tack fits her. Plans:
I'm planning on working with her more regularly at the stables as she needs quite a bit of work. She did have the winter off to just get back in good health.
To start things off, I'll probably work her in the round pen and get things better established between her and I on the ground. From there, I'll work on getting her better with taking the saddle and being cinched up. Once that's completed, I'd move onto riding and taking things slow. I'll get her to become good at each gait before more moving onto the next. So like master the walk. Then go up to the trot, and from there the canter.
Since she also loves to jump, I'm hoping to eventually, as a long term goal, learn to jump with her. There are a few logs around the property and she'll go running towards them and just jump over them quite easily so I think this would be fun to do with her once her and I are working together as a team. I'm in no rush to do this, I'm simply looking at it as a long term goal to work towards with her.
Any other tips and suggestions are welcomed as well.
So ya, that about wraps things up. I plan to take videos of our progress and work with a trainer when it comes to riding since I haven't experienced tantrums quite like hers. I've dealt with bolting and bucking before, but not whatever this is that she does lol. So ya, hopefully things get better. First real hurdle though, is introducing her to my gelding, Jack, who's already at the stables. Crossing my fingers that it goes well, though I'm expecting some type of fireworks just because of the type of personality Roxy has. But I'm pretty sure they'll get along soon enough. And there will be extra people around just in case things do go badly.