Every since I can remember I have wanted a horse. I grew up in my Nana’s house and I know I bugged her many times to buy a horse for me. I couldn’t understand what the problem was. We lived in the country and we had a large back lawn with lots of grass and room to run. What else could we possible need? It should be simple… get a horse, put her in the back yard and then you just jump on her and ride her whenever you wanted… at a gallop of course.
Now I have a horse and I am learning so much about her. She has quite a personality and it seems a bit of a stubborn streak. She’s smart too, and you can look in her eyes and see her thinking. Savi puts up quite a fuss every time my friend and I put a saddle and bridle on her so we can ride together. A few weeks ago I was in the barn with Savi. I was alone and determined that I was going to saddle her myself and ride. I managed to get the saddle on without too much trouble but she fought the bridle and bit. She was cross tied in the barn, I had the headstall across her forehead, the bit against her teeth and my finger in the corner of her mouth. She realized that she was not on the winning end of this battle at this point and she did the crazy Ninja duck and yank move and she slipped her halter. I threw my lead rope around her neck and got her into her stall and let her calm down. I tried a few times to get her halter back on her, but she went out past me. I got her back in to her stall and had to go get Mike to get her halter back on. I had to take her saddle off to straighten it but I managed, and I got the bridle on her by myself as well.
When it comes to riding, Savi isn’t too keen on letting anyone on her back. She side steps a lot and someone has to hold her so I can get on. So there I am out in the riding ring, just Savi and I. I walked her around and she followed me with her head down and not fighting. I lean on the stirrup, putting just a little weight on it and she accepts that. I lead her to the mounting block and she steps away as soon as I step on it. So I circle her around a few times, kicking it as I go by. Then we just stand there beside it. I kick it and talk to her. I step up and she stands still. I keep talking to her. Then someone drives up the driveway and she perks her ears forward, watching to see who it is. While she was distracted I took the opportunity and hopped on her back. Success! We had a lovely ride!
Here it is, two weeks later and Savi did her Houdini trick again a slipped her halter when I was trying to bridle her. I was alone in the barn, but this time Mike and Lees weren’t home so I was on my own. I put Savi in her stall and let he calm down a bit. Then I stood at the door and every time she hit the door trying to push it open, I hit the door to drive her back. Once she respected the door, I cracked it open and stood there in the crack. When she approached, I threw up my hand and loudly said “No, back.” After a few minutes of this I went in the stall with her and if she didn’t back up, I pushed her in the centre of her chest and walked toward her. She yielded. I showed her the halter and she threw her head up. I backed her up. We did this dance a couple of times and then she started to munch on some hay and ignore me, so I stepped up to halter her, she tossed her head, and tried to get past me, but I backed her up again. With a big sigh, she put her head down, stretched her neck out and I put her halter on her, snapped on her lead rope and took her out to the riding ring where I made her run until she was tired and sweating. I didn’t go for a ride today, but I accomplished a lot.
I think Nana was right not getting a horse for me when I was a little girl. Having a big back yard and a lot of grass isn’t enough. And you just don’t go get your horse and jump on for a ride, but today I think little Miss Savi Ninja Warrior Houdini Bratty Pants has gained some respect for me. And in doing so, has taught to respect myself a little bit. I believe I am turning into a better person because of what I am learning from her… and I would be remiss if I didn’t give due credit to all my horsie friends who have been there since the beginning of this journey, supporting me and helping me to learn self confidence, and of course my husband who who helped me get her and doesn’t mind that I spend a several nights a week at the stable, talk more about horses than anything and come home smelling like a barn.