Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An Explanation...............


In light of my last post and the reference to confidence, I feel I need to explain a little bit about the confidence issue. I have had my little redheaded mare now for about 7 years. I originally sold a little pony I had in order to make room for Misty. The idea was to get a safe little horse for my daughter, who was "sort of" interested at the time. Me, being me ran with it. Like a bull in a china closet. And in the end, Zoe wasn't really that interested. Jess & Gerald found Misty for me, and in the end is worth her weight in gold. She is an unpapered Morgan Quarter horse cross who came to me with an 11month old filly. That's a whole other story. Anyway, Misty is the horse I can explicitly trust with my life. Period. She has proven it over and over again. I have had her out on many a trail, up & down our fields, down to Jess's, trail riding in amongst cattle, she wasn't impressed with, but this little mare and I have created that bond. She has saved me & my step daughter from drunken men hiding out on a trail, spying and following us when we were unaware. This is the gem that she is. That is I why I think nothing of just hopping on her bareback with a halter and taking a spin around the yard or arena. I crawl under her, hug on her, raspberry her nose, put little kids on her, put complete novices on her, Stephen has ridden her and I know she would NEVER, not even in a spook, which she really doesn't do, hurt a soul, Never. The TRUST is most certainly there. Misty is the horse that everyone wants. And when I got Misty, I also had Dakota, the AQHA gelding, who was a clown. Now Dakota and I had our trials and tribulations. He had my number. As Jess put it, I do not do well with geldings. My fault, I allowed him to take advantage of me. He broke my hand, the first year I had him, he went to training and after that he actually was pretty good, but I needed to put time on him and I didn't do that nearly enough. In saying that, as much as he could be a dangerous ASS, he really didn't scare me. He would load in a trailer, but only if Misty was going to, never by himself, that was always a fight, no matter what I did, etc. , etc.. I did take him out on trails. Even trails shared by bicycles. He never dumped me. He reared on me once after I had sent him to a shitty trainer where he was supposed to be for 2 months and I pulled him out a month early because I felt that they weren't right and after that, his behavior was actually worse. What it came down too, was that he was too much horse for me, a lot of work that I didn't want to do, but in all of that, I was never afraid to get on him at home or take him with a friend on Misty to a trail. I would never consider taking him down the road. He simply was a lot of work and correction and I could not relax on the trail with him, although the horse loved it. I decided after all of it that he needed a better suited home and believe me that was a very difficult decision for me to make, but I wasn't afraid of him, just cautious and most times pissed off.
Now this is where Kola comes in. For a brief month, I had a 15.3 gelding that I bought at auction that I really thought was going to work for me, although I did look up at this horse and thought to myself, "What the hell was I thinkin'?". Our first trail ride together was 3 days after I had bought him and it was a long big trailride. 2 hours and over a 100 horses and mules. Spectacular! I had never done that before. Jess & Gerald took me, Thanks guys, cuz that memory will stick with me forever. Junior and I made it through this ride without a hitch, thanks to Gerald insisting I get my fat ass off him half way through and re-adjust the now slipped backed saddle (Jr. had really high withers). It was awesome, in spite of my sudden poor balance at the start of the ride. I now know this was the beginning of my MS issues, hind sight is always 20/20. We soared over a tiny little creek, he was afraid to cross and it felt great. I hadn't jumped since I was a kid. We made it down a paved road hill towards the end of the trail with a combine behind us and his anxiety as to where the other horses had disappeared in front of him was great indeed and I survived without a scratch. It was great. I later that week took him out on another trail, close to home, Stephen on Misty and even though he started to get shitty over saddling, we made it through that. It wasn't until I saddled him at home in the arena to ride, some new gear, a hand crafted breast collar, that it all went sour. I got on him and I have no idea what went wrong, Me, him, a bee sting, a bad mood, don't know to this day, but he started bucking and at 15.3 hands, this boy could really launch. I could not get control and after about 6-7 serious bucks, I went flyin' and landed on my side. Stephen said that I was about 11 feet in the air. I covered my head and all I could see were flyin' hooves, until he finally settled long enough for Stephen to remove him from the arena and put him in the paddock. I wasn't seriously injured, but very well could have been. I could not move, the pain was immense and I took a ride via ambulance to the hospital, got the scans, etc. and 8 hours later was released, off work for two weeks as I healed. The entire right side of my body was black, I mean black with bruising. At that point, I knew that I would never get on this horse again. And Steve now informs me that he would have never let me. So that brings me to Kola, I took some time searching for her over the summer. She had a history of a lesson horse, gaited and a mere 15.1 hands, sturdy. I looked at her twice, handled her feet, test rode where I bought her and brought her home. She trailered fine. She has always had impeccable ground manners. I bought her in September of 2006. There is nothing wrong with this horse. It has been my confidence, not her. She is a phenomenal mare. I have ridden her, but with Steve leading her. This last ride was my solo. There is no reason on earth why I should have feared getting on this horse to ride her, other than what happened to me before she came to live with me. I have spent the past three years getting to know her and letting her get to know me to start with that bond and we have a bond as well. I know it will grow, the more I ride her. She is fine, the only horse I have ever had that actually sees the bit coming and drops open her jaw to accept it, LOL! I have never had any logical reason to worry about his girl. It has always just been my own mind and now that I've ridden her solo, we can only go forward. Just thought that needed explaining. Thanks for listening.

11 comments:

John and Regina Zdravich said...

That all makes sense. We feel that Zora is probably too much horse for us, too. John has adjusted to her and can ride her fine -- they have come to an understanding, and he actually likes the way she handles. I used to ride her in our fenced pasture on occasion, fought with the bucking, etc. Then I had a bad experience on her out in our trails -- I had to bail off, and was pretty banged up. I had trouble walking for about 2 weeks. I have been afraid to ride her ever since. From time to time I think I should ride her, and almost do sometimes, but always chicken out. Your story has inspired me....I will have to try Zora again.....

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Solid, predictable horses are hard to find. All of my horses are unpredictable. When I expect them to have trouble or give me a hard time, they don't. When I expect them to do fine with something, they surprise me by putting up a fuss. I've gotten to the point where I just don't have any expectations. I tell them what I want and hope for the best, being cautious all the while so that I am prepared for the worst.

Grey Horse Matters said...

It's great that you finally soloed on Kola. I'm sure she's a good safe horse for you. The mind is a intricate thing we deal with everyday. It seems the more we think about something the bigger the situation becomes. I've done this to myself many times, especially with my horse Erik, and always found that the more I built things up in my head the harder it was to actually get on. Then when I sucked it up and got on (which was almost everyday) we rarely had a problem. He was a good horse(very spooky) but a good horse. In the fifteen years I had him I only had maybe 5 accidents, so that's a pretty good average for someone who rode maybe 5 days out of 7.
The more you ride her I'm sure the more you will bond and you will have as much confidence in her as you do in Misty.
Good luck and many happy rides.

Tammy said...

I can relate to about everything you posted -- down to having a similar type horse who I knew had the potential but it wouldn't be me who could bring out the best in him.

It's taken me many years to start living my horse dream. I've learned what risks I want to take and those which aren't worth it. I've had horses that have been great teachers like your Misty and because of them, I am a better rider on those who may not be as polished! And I'm enjoying the ride! :)

cdncowgirl said...

That all makes perfect sense. Combine your two geldings into one horse and that is really similar to my experience with Quinn.
(also 15.3 and also dang could he buck!)
I've found that any new horse makes me nervous to ride and that I get intimidated easily. Which is part of the reason I felt good buying Voodoo. I didn't feel as nervous, or for as long. And the little bit he does act up I can deal with. Funny thing is another horse can do less in the acting up department and still freak me out.

cdncowgirl said...

ps - the story about Misty protecting you from drunken stalkers... is that one you're planning on sharing at a later date?

Kate said...

Those sort of confidence-shaking events are real bummers and can affect you for a long time - it's just your body and mind trying to protect you, which makes perfect sense.

I'm fortunate that I don't come off very easily, so (knock on wood) have been blessed with few falls as an adult rider - but anyone can come off at any time - riding horses is risky. My confidence issues are more on the ground - I've had a few cases (one someone else's horse and one of my own) where horses have done stuff on the ground that has made me fear for my life - adrenaline pumping, the whole thing. We have a mare right now who has some aggression issues with other horses, and when you combine that with raging heat, you've got a pretty explosive combination. She's the one who kicked me in the underside of the jaw about a month ago - my fault for not being more careful - but we need to deal with her issue of ignoring the presence of people when she feels she's got business with another horse. I'm still (too) cautious around her, but it's hard not to worry.

Katharine Swan said...

Isn't Kola a bit too tubby to cause any real trouble, though? :o)

Seriously, though, thanks for the explanation. I was wondering if it was something Kola had done herself in the past. Interesting to hear the whole story. Getting in over one's head -- i.e., with too much horse -- seems to be a recurring theme in the horse/blog world.

Jean said...

I ride a 16.3 hander who can buck. I do all I can to avoid it. *sigh*

A bad experience such as you had can last a lifetime. Bless Misty and now Kola for being your "medicine horses" to heal your spirit.

Molly said...

Thanks for sharing. Your Misty sounds like a very nice horse and I bet Kola is every bit as nice.

Photogchic has posted another scary story of what can happen unexpectedly.

Michelle said...

Congratulations on facing your confidence issues head on! It can be so hard to get back in the saddle after a bad experience. Great job in doing it! Keep up the good work!