You know.... 99.9 percent of the time. The horses have the same anxiety we do when we have the first ride. Please, give that a moment to sink in.
Think about stepping onto a horse you don't know and you know NOTHING about them. I do it ALL the time... they may be broke, they may decide to buck you off. They may be absolutely awesome! Are you going to get hurt? Are you going to meet a kind soul? Are you going to meet your new best friend? They may flip over and crush you... Are you there with me, now? Get the phone ready to dial 911!?
That is the exact same anxietly MOST of these horses feel.... Can you blame them? Please, for a moment, put yourself in their hooves. After all, many people just sit up there, in the saddle, like entitled jerks and bark orders, yanking on their mouth, giving them obscure orders that you can't find the meaning with a map and a flashlight.... It's been months or years since the last ride and people expect for them to NOT be an animal with a brain of their own. I'm sorry, but that is not realistic.
So, the introduction... Yeah, it's a time for them to realize that there is life beyond abuse, or laziness.
How do we start? Well, we start with the basics. We put in a basic, soft bit, with soft hands. Long story short, we become "Mom".... I am Mom... my girls are my pride and joy. I have girls that have manners, morals and a sense of responsibility. Guess what, that is what I ask for from my horses. I ask for simple tasks and I expect for them to respect very specific boundaries. What are those boundaries? Let me tell you.
1. Stand tied quietly
2. Lead quietly
3. Pick up feet
5. Mount quietly
6. Ride quietly
7. Respond to cues
8. Dismount quietly
9. Ride away from friends quietly
10. Zero aggression
It's incredible. As anyone who knows me knows.... I read horses like tyical people read humans... while most peole are a complete mystery to me... horses are an open book.
Horses that meet me have been through it all. They have met assholes (excuse the language but unfortunately it is the word that is most accurate), kidness, tragedy and often abuse. When horses come here, we focus on one thing.... How the horses are acting right now. We cannot play to their trama, to their past, we need to help them focus on NOW... How we need for them to act now. Due to that fact, we give them some leeway, but we do expect for them to have wonderful groundmanners. We expect for them to stand quietly to be mounded and to ride in such a way to be safe for rider.... To the amature, that is simple. But to a person whom understands the complexity of the equine psyche understands that this is a complete submission of trust and (frankly) sacrifice. I am telling you... they have the SAME anxiety!
The least we can do is make their life on this planet a peaceful and loving. If you don't agree, please... unlike my page and move on.... seriously.... go away. I care.... these animals are in my care. They don't need another person that is waiting around with a handfull of cash to adopt them, just to fail them.
These horses are in God's hands... My prayer is that they find the right home, where they will be safe.
It breaks my heart that this is their reality.... but we are their safe haven and I pray that we are their refuge.