Sunday, July 24, 2016

I'm a sucker for pain

I'm a sucker for mares. Pony mares are truly my soft spot when it comes to things. 

So when I sold Fahrenheit and became in between serious sales horses I started wandering around the internet just looking at things. 

I had a few owners looking in the market but they were looking for broodmares or lovely young horse resell projects. I wanted really wanted something with no expectation. In short, I was wanting a summer project to fill a gap.

I never particularly commented or showed interest in anything I saw. They were just horses that I knew were not in the best of ways or needed a lifestyle change, they would get those with  the people responding to them. 

When I stumbled across an ad for a free RPSI pony via a friend, I stopped and responded. 

She was pretty, fairly good type and relatively near.

So I jaunted out to see her. 

She was less than impressive with her presentation. The owners had cut her tail off, wretchedly kept feet, covered in dew poisoning, unhandled, and her mane was wild dreadlocks. In many ways, it reminded me of when I pulled Sinari out of the backwoods ghetto tobacco field at three.

She was the essence of ghetto and the definition of redneck. But still all the parts were in the right places. The then owners were basically going to give her to the Amish, and knowing what unbroke, slightly opinionated ponies do, it would have not been a good ending for either pony or human.

A few phone calls, I convinced an owner to take her on, so a few weeks later after we cleared the health papers and paperwork she got into my trailer with some chemical and physical assistance and headed to a new life. 

When she stepped off the trailer, the mutual reaction of people was of general concern for my mental health.

The problem is after you've had a Haiku, a Fahrenheit, a Flair and even a Sinari, the expectation becomes a double edged sword. On one hand, you have really nice horses, that have gone on and done good things, and the assumption is that you'll continue on this path. On the other hand, the perception is you've had it easy and those nice horses were just flukes.  

Truth is, in this industry, you're only as good as your last horse and while I choose nice horses, my team and I have to make them even nicer. 

The first days were interesting. She stuck out like a sore thumb with her tail bobbed off, and lack of social skills in a herd of 16 plus hand mares. Her world, basically was turned upside down. Everyone thought she was a yearling with her size and lack of maturity.

She became a project, first were the feet and teeth, then it was getting her into a nutritional program that wouldn't overwhelm her. She was groomed, daily, and taught to tie. Then the work began.

She took to it, happy to have something to do. She liked the attention and every time out she improved a little. There was never a real issue that she could do whatever job I asked. 

21 days later she's started, and already she's showing good talent and what's more is she's unafraid. It's an asset to have any horse like this, it makes working them easier, and it's a gift especially with the ones that for the first three-quarters of a decade haven't done anything except eat and loaf. 

While I know my barn will be full again with super horses in a very short time- I'm enjoying the little downtime with this one, and also the several  the mental health questioning and seeing where this takes us all. 


Aoife said...

Sounds like a fun way to spend the summer. I'm sure she'll be going beautifully when you're finished wih her. What a gem, a lucky gem to have found her way to your capable hands 😍

Val said...

A very lucky horse indeed!

Allison E said...

Can't wait to see how she continues to transform with you! Next time I'm in town I better see your face and there better bet a pitcher of margaritas on the table!

Karen said...

hahaha "physical assistance" getting on the trailer. hee hee