My husband and myself had owned and operated our equestrian center for 17 years when this call for help arrived and we still had several elderly horses retired from past lessons and a few younger individuals needing training. We had a full load as it was and did not need a new project but something pulled at our heart strings so we decided to take some much needed time away from the 24/7 responsibility of barn ownership. We had no idea what we would find at the end of the journey but we loaded up one of our seasoned mares and off we went.
When we finally arrived at the barn of the special lady who had sent the e-mail we were told that the filly had been purchased by a young man who was attempting to give the little gal a new home but did not have the time or knowledge of what to do with her. Consequently, she spent a number of weeks alone in a stall.
At first sight we questioned if adopting this little would be our best decision. Poor little thing was covered by mosquitoes and was still in a severe state of depression. All of a sudden she perked up and began to trot around – almost like she was trying to convince us to take her home. I was totally surprised when she trotted to our horse trailer and stood there until we lowered the ramp. Before we could discuss the pros and cons she just hopped right into the trailer and she stood in that same exact spot until we pulled into our driveway many hours later.
As the days passed I spent time communicating with the fillies past owner getting her history together and to my total surprise she is a great grand-daughter of Col. Freckles. What a struggle to get her papered because her momma was gone and we had a difficult time proving heritage. Finally got her papered.
Year one and two were spent working her in hand and watched her grow and develop. Year three we began to haul her to local open shows to show her off in fun halter classes and she has earned a ribbon or two.
Now we are in the middle of year four and she is under saddle and is getting ready for her job as my main saddle versatility horse and is so willing to accept what I ask of her. My wish is that other trainers could take the necessary time to condition the brain of their horses to build trust before throwing the saddle on.
Topic shifting a bit, several weeks we installed a large red tarp to the East side of our covered arena to protect riders from the biting winter wind. Somehow the tarp loosened and began flapping all over the place. Wanting to know what Nina would do I let her loose in the round pen directly next to the wild red flapping monster. I was totally delighted when she went straight up to it, sniffed it then stepped on it in total defiance. Later, under saddle, we again approached the tarp, and as I expected she accepted it like the champ she is. I am working on a series of you tube videos to publish so you can watch and enjoy. They will be view-able on my web-site at www.countylineequestrian.com.