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.