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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So for those of you that don't know, Leia is half Saddlebred and Saddlebreds are notorious drama queens. My girl is no exception to the stereotype. She's always been pretty skittish, spooky, and very dramatic. She never actually does anything, but she makes it clear she's terrified of most everything. (Her neck cranes up, her nostrils flare and she snorts, sometimes adding in a prancey walk) But, bless her heart, she never takes off and always tries to keep from frying her brain to pay attention. She used to be a lot worse, I could hardly get her to calm down, but after 6 years of owning her and 8 years of riding her, she's come to trust me, or at least that's what I'd like to believe. I'm not sure if horses have the capacity to trust, but I think they do. I do know that when other people ride her, she definitely hesitates a lot, while when I ride her, she has a bit of confidence in her step. (Again, that may just be because I've learned how to ride her, but I think she trusts me..)

ANYWAYS. 6 years ago, when I bought her as a 4 year old, I would've laughed at the idea of ever trail riding her! She was kinda jumpy INSIDE the arena, I didn't want to think about how she'd be on the trail!

As a 6yo I took her foxhunting and we went hilltopping and she held it together with a fine string, got pretty ****y when we had to stop, and hated the dogs (okay, she still hates dogs).

But in the past year or so, since I've moved barns and no longer have a trainer, I've noticed a huge change in her. When I had trainers, most of my riding was done in the arena either taking lessons, or practicing for shows, or whatever. (Also, the other barns didn't really have trails to go on). After I moved, someone at my new barn invited me to go trail riding with her and another boarder. I had my doubts but I accepted the invitation anyway and went. Leia was phenomenal! I could tell there was a lot of things that made her nervous (bridges, water, cars, people, dogs, etc) but she didn't question anything I told her to do. By the time the trail was 2 thirds of the way over (it was a 4hour trail ride btw) she even started dropping her head and relaxing! I was so proud!

Since then, I've done a lot of trail riding with her, mostly by ourselves because no one ever can come with us. She doesn't mind cars, water, bridges, ditches, logs, nothing! We went out on a 10mile trail the other day by ourselves and she was awesome (both of our first times on this particular trail). There's quite a stretch where we have to be on the road before we get to the trail entrance, and she didn't mind the traffic! Even when dumb***es would speed up passing us or honk. I made her trot though most of it, and I let her canter/gallop up hills as a treat. We crossed water with a little hesitation because the entrance was a little slopey and muddy, but she walked right through the water with a little encouragement. We got through the whole trail with no spooking or any naughtiness. On the way back, there was a group of dog walkers (about 20 people and dogs) and thank god they were on leashes! Most of them were barking and growling and pulling on the leash. Leia hates dogs because on more than one occasion she's been chased after and almost bit. I got a lot of compliments on my 'beautiful horse' and I thanked them for moving off the trail to let me pass (she'd already begun snorting and prancing because of the dogs). I cantered up the hill away, so we'd be away from the dogs, and continued walking when they were out of sight. She was so good. When we got on familiar ground again, I let her walk on loopy reins and she walked with a low, relaxed head all the way home.

lol I rode with her neon green shoulder guard on so that we'd be easily seen.


She's come such a long way, and always gives it her all, whatever we do.
I love her :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ha saddlebreds... were about to start training a saddlebred at the barn where i work, i am not looking forward to it lol. glad to hear yours is doing good though:)
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They're so smart, I've loved every Saddlebred I've ever worked with. They've got so much character (either bad or good!) and always keep you on your toes! They're really awesome, I hope you have a fun time :) If nothing else, it'll definitely be interesting!

And Thanks guys! I love her, she's awesome. :)
 
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