Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: I'm an American girl living in southwest France
Two-week trial ... what can we realistically accomplish?
Hello horsey friends. Thanks in advance for the wise counsel I'm sure to receive here. :)
I've been searching for a horse for my daughter for a few months now. We take lessons together, 2 private lessons per week and 1 group lesson per week, so in total, my daughter rides 3x per week, an hour each time - since last summer/fall. She can ride in all gaits and can cantor now one-handed. Previously she'd been bucked off a horse we were trying and was terrified to cantor, but now she's very comfortable. She's been doing this since February or so.
I specifically was searching for a mérens horse, native to the Pyrenees mountains here in France where we live. They are cold-blooded, great for all kinds of disciplines, and easy keepers.
I found this 10-year-old mare, about 13-14 hands high (so officially a double-pony in France, not a horse) who has had 3 babies and was broke to ride about 3 years ago. She hasn't been worked much in the last year and when we went to try her out was very barn sour. I brought a very experienced rider with me and every time she turned the horse towards the barn and then tried to turn away from it again, the horse tossed her head like crazy and tried to refuse the turn. She never bucked or reared or did anything like that. She just twisted her head around with the rein but walked forward.
On the other hand, she has a really great nature when at the barn. She's very calm, kind eyes, very tolerant, didn't move a bit when we were tacking her up. Only gave me a tiny hard time with her feet when a biting fly was attacking her stomach (to be expected). While we were there, 3 huge high speed trains went flying by about 50 feet away and she barely flinched when under saddle with an unknown-to-her rider. I know she's used to the sound, but still, it was impressive. This breed of horse is known for being very steady and unflappable, great for trail riding and pretty much anything else.
We've taken her on a 2-week trial and I know our first week will probably be spent just getting her settled in. But I want a trainer to do some work with her on basic obeying aids and so on.
What I want to know from you more experienced folks is this:
how much can I realistically hope to achieve during a 2-week trial?
I will get a vet check and have her feet and back done, but training-wise, will I be able to see her true potential in this short of a time?
Any of you who out there have worked with barn-sour horses in particular, I'd love to hear from you. This is slightly different since she's been moved away from her barn and buddies, but I suspect she'll just latch on to new buddies here and we'll have the same problem.
“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare