Hello everyone! Being the only horsey person in my family and most of my friends, I don't get to talk much about my horse - and when I do people tend to not care :P So I'm going to talk all I want here instead. I also have an issue where once I start talking about my horse, I can't stop. So this first post especially is just unnecessarily long.
My name is Charlotte, I'm in high school and I (am trying to) do hunters with my mare Pepper. Pepper is a 14 year old AQH/Arab (quarab).
I bought Pepper from my old trainer, who had her since she was 2 years old and broke her herself. Nobody at my barn rode Pepper because she was "crazy" (can confirm :P). Somehow despite trying to sell her multiple times, my trainer always ended up taking her back because they didn't like her. I had always wanted to ride Pepper, but my trainer said no every time I asked. I did get to brush her a handful of times, and I had somehow fallen in love with her.
Before I started riding her, I was riding a push button lesson horse and was honestly bored out of my mind. Therefore, we were going to move to a different barn where I could get new experience. However, in a desperate attempt to keep us around, my trainer offered to let me ride Pepper, and that was the start of a new chapter filled with joy, laughter, along with blood and tears (lots of them). I started riding her in January of 2014.
I was the first person to ride Pepper in who knows how long, so we spent much time in the round pen, building up our confidence together. Eventually, we were jumping about the same height I had been on my lesson horse (2'3" or so). However, we did not get there easily. Pepper was the master of running out of jumps, which I had very little experience with. My new trainer has told me I've stayed on when she probably would have fallen off. Yet I still manage to fall off a lot, generally I fall when I shouldn't and manage to stay on when I should fall. I remember vividly, the first summer camp at the barn when I was riding Pepper, I fell off three times in one day - on the same jump. The first two times, Pepper did a nasty runout right before the jump, sending me flying the other direction. The third time, I was prepared! But the saddle wasn't. While I stayed on, the saddle had slipped some, spooking Pepper, and leaving me hanging on for dear life and she galloped around the ring. I ended up falling and was just really mad, because all I wanted to do was jump the jump. I remember laying on the ground in defeat as Pepper continued to gallop like a madman.
Afterwards, I learned that her teeth needed to be done and I, being the not best rider, was pulling on her mouth over the jump and causing her pain. That was the first day of camp, and I rode a different horse the rest of the week.
That was probably the worst day, but I refused to give up on her. Since, there have been countless refusals, runouts, panic attacks, spooking, tears, blood, falls, you name it.
In August of 2014, I wanted to start showing on an IEA team, so I split my time between my old trainer and Pepper, and the IEA team at the barn I'm actually at now (not on IEA, but I do have Pepper here with me!). This made my old trainer mad, and she sold Pepper from me. (At the time I didn't realize that was why she sold Pepper, but I know now. She was a good person who made some very bad choices.) I was devastated.
However, like I said before, nobody ever kept Pepper for very long, so she ended up back at the barn. My old trainer did not want her there, however, and was trying to do anything to sell her. My mom ended up buying Pepper for me as a late birthday present. I learned the news on November 13th, 2014. She thinks I'm crazy for having this date memorized, but hey, horse people are crazy, right?
We lived our lives (with lots of panic attacks and tears. I've learned that I'm actually terrified of jumping horses, but I refuse to let that get in my way. I've been put on anxiety medicine since lol!) until the day after this past Christmas (dec'17). We got a call from my trainers mother saying she had been caught doing illegal things and was being put into rehab. I have no idea where she's at now or what she's doing, but I hope she's doing well.
We moved Pepper to the barn we're at now, which is now having issues of its own. Read this post for more information on that : https://www.horseforum.com/horse-boar...-sorry-790503/
So, back to the present.
I went to visit Pepper yesterday, and it was... interesting to say the least. It started with me finding out that her pasture-mate has been biting her poor booty, as she's got bite marks all over it. I've also been having issues tying her as she does not stand if she's on grass and she spooks super easily when she's tied. I don't want to tie her to the fence in case she spooks and breaks something, so I tied her very loosely around a post inside her pasture (at least that way if she gets loose she's still in the pasture), which worked well until her pasture-mate came over and started biting her. I ran her away long enough for me to get Pepper, only to realize I forgot one half-chap inside the pasture-boarders tack shed which was a long enough walk that I didn't feel comfortable leaving Pepper by herself, so I took her with me. Once I got there, I had no choice but to tie her to the fence for like 30 seconds while I put on my half-chap. I just looped her lead around the fence post, hoping the pressure would be enough to make her think she was tied long enough for me to put on one half-chap.
Well, because this is how my life goes :P she managed to spook at a blue bag (the dreaded plastic bags) before I could even get my half-chap zipped. I looked outside to find her taking a leisurely canter down the path back to her pasture. I sighed and walked after her, still with only with one half-chap on and brought her back up, where I held her and put on my half-chap, before walking her across the street to the covered arena.
She tried to run me over like five times, so I closed the arena gate and took her bridle off to free lunge her a bit, trying to get some energy out. She took off cantering, only to stop at the other end of the arena where a bit of grass was sneaking through the fence.
I got on her and she took off cantering with her head down, bucking. I let her run some energy out before we did some actual work on transitions. She behaved pretty well after that.
Anyways, tomorrow I have to leave school early and hold her while she gets shod because last time the farrier came she tried to kill everyone (see link above for details). So, I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow. Hopefully nobody dies or gets hurt lol
Moral of my horse journey so far:
Flicka is a lie. It takes long, hard work to ride/train a horse. When I first started riding Pepper, I honestly thought it would be a miracle thing where she misbehaved for everyone but me and I was some sort of horse whisperer and yeah.
Now we're at the point where nobody else can ride her, and I can barely ride her. On my first lesson with my new trainer, she got on Pepper and her first words were "this is worse than I thought".
Also, I know it's not good that she misbehaves for everyone but me, but we're taking baby steps.