8th of March is the women’s day and it’s also the perfect day to tell the story about how big impact women can have on horses. And the other way around!
I want to tell you the story about a former barrel race horse that really needed some love and attention. Sometimes you just bond with others right away. That had happened to me and Moon in the past. Especially after the period when she got sick and I had to help with the training and recovery to get her back on feet.
Waiting for Moon
But she wasn’t mine. I had to wait until my husband actually bought another horse until he let me care about her! I had to forget about her for almost a year. Knowing that all she needed was some love. And that she wanted to stay with me.
Then, on Christmas Day, my husband gave her to me as a Christmas present! I just cried and knew that this would change everything. It meant that I had to give up on my beautiful Haflinger with a perfect health and start to take care of a more problematic horse. A horse that maybe never would get back in shape..
But my heart had chosen Moon many years ago, and I couldn’t give up on her. She came to the equestrian center as a rather stressed and skinny horse, trying to swallow air by biting on everything in front of her. Her bad habit had just become worse after the lack of attention the latest months.
I started immediately to train her in the riding ground and also out in the fields. Even then she is much taller and faster than my former horse, she didn’t scare me off.
How to saddle up the demon
My biggest problem was actually how to saddle up! She behaved like a demon when she saw me carrying the saddle towards her. She tried to kick and bite and it really freaked me out!
First of all I understood that she had back pain and just hated that somebody threw a saddle on her bony back! So I went to buy a soft saddle blanket of thick wool.
Then I started to place the saddle near the grooming area on the left side, so that she wouldn’t have time to move towards the fence before putting it on. She used to do this to stop me from getting around her with the saddle.
Then I started to cuddle her while putting it on her back. A lot of sweet talk and scratching her neck really helped. At the same time I ignored her trying to bite me…
After a short week she was much more quiet, and it also helped that I bought a small stair to stand on. This made it easier for me to put the saddle on in a soft manner. Now she has almost stopped being grumpy while being saddled and this is a big change!
A new job
Instead of using her as a barrel race horse, I’m now using her to take people for a ride. She has become the perfect leader, since she is brave and calm.
During our rides alone in the fields she can become hard to control. She is eager to run, and if I let her go, she is just impressive! You feel all the muscles working at maximum speed, and you feel like a small small insect sitting there waiting to see if she will stop.
The magic thing is that she doesn’t make you scared! She has the ability to make you feel like she is just transporting you around – even at a crazy speed!!
Moon also has the incredible gift of controlling her own energy. She has just learned that when she is guiding people around, she only need to walk. She behaves like the most lazy old horse and is able to relax us all!
I think she actually recognizes the horses I’m using for the tourists, and she just looks backwards to see if they are following. Especially if I bring the lazy Argentine horse! Non of the other riders believe that she won a championship of barrel racing last year!!
Horses are really smart. This has proven to me that Moon is able to adapt to many situations and actually understand what kind of job she is supposed to do after a really short period of time.
My job will be to protect her from being forgotten again. She just needs some love.