Friday, March 2, 2007

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses Part 3

Part 1
Part 2

The Arabian mare, Scandalous, had stolen my heart long before I had the money saved I needed to buy the horse of my dreams, my first Arabian horse. The trauma of having the mare shown to someone shopping for Arabian horses was enough threat for me to decide my original plan would have to be revised. I was not willing to take any more chances and lose this Arabian horse. I made the trainer an offer that included a contract. She accepted and the horse was to be mine as soon as I had the down payment together. That was going to take a couple of months.

Part of my plan also included me being paid for the time I was putting in at the training/show Arabian barn. I had been working six day weeks mostly twelve hours days for over a year for free. But when I asked that my work be applied towards board for the horse, the owner of the facility said no. My response was to tell the trainers that I wouldn't be back. I would be looking for a job to pay for board and my horse. Within two hours the owner changed her mind and agreed that I could work 4 hours a day, 5 days a week for my board ($300). That made my darn cheap labor but I agreed so I could keep learning about Arabian horses and spend more time with the Arabian horse that was so special to me.

Before I actually bought the mare, the trainer had been riding the Arabian mare and she told me I could walk the horse and cool her out. I jumped at the chance. Remember here that at that time I didn't know that much about riding. My experience was 2 lessons riding with seat and legs and rental trail horses as a kid. I had never ridden a horse that was trained like this. So now I'm riding the Arabian horse of my dreams. a green broke six year old sensitive Arabian mare. I was tickled to death!

Things went okay at first. The trainer was giving a lesson to a haul-in horse, also a mare. Scandalous was cranky about going by the other horse on the rail. My horse tried to kick the other Arabian horse as we passed them on the rail. The trainer yelled at me to NOT let her do that. "If she does that again, kick her, kick her hard!" So the next time around the arena, my Arabian horse pinned her ears and started to kick out at the other Arabian horse and I did exactly what I was told by the trainer.

Poor Scandalous, her eyes about popped out of her pretty Arabian horse head, as she took off terrified. The horse had no idea what had happened to her. Whoa wasn't working! Neither was the bit! to make matters worse, I slapped the naughty horse and scared her more.(Boy, was I stupid!) The frightened mare was at a dead run and I couldn't get her stopped.

The trainer was nowhere in sight. A groom yelled at me to pull her head around to the side. I did. The saddle slipped to the side. I hit the wall flying off my dream Arabian horse and the western saddle continued to roll on over underneath the mare's belly. I'm very long legged and the groom and I watched in horror as the mare stepped into both back stirrups with her hind legs.

I thought my life was over right there. That horse was going to break both legs in her terrified state. But she didn't. As soon as the Arabian horse realized she was trapped the horse stopped dead. Trembling, the horse stood there. The mare let us figure out how to get the saddle off of her. We struggled with the latigo but finally got it undone and the saddle slipped to the ground underneath the horse. Her back feet were still in the stirrups. We hadn't figured out how we were going to deal with that mess.

But the Arabian horse fixed it for us, as she realized the saddle was on the ground the Arabian horse hopped out of the stirrups. The horse turned around and stood there snorting at the pile of tack on the ground. There she was, the Arabian mare of my dreams snorting and blowing like only an Arabian horse can do. It was pretty obvious, I was in over my head. This Arabian horse was too green for someone as inexperienced as me.

I could hardly move for a week. I had a bruise on one hip that looked like the Easter bunny from where I had hit the wall. (We still laugh about that bruise today.) I was embarrassed at my stupidity because I had slapped the Arabian horse and made things worse. But no one in the barn every mentioned it again. I don't even know if the grooms told the trainers it had happened. I didn't mention it because I was afraid she would change her mind and not sell me the horse. So we all just swept it under the rug and three weeks later I made my down payment on Scandalous, the Arabian horse that would save my life.

I was definitely a baby boomer finally daring to dream. Two weeks before I turned forty, I began this ride of my life. It took my three long years to pay for that Arabian mare. There was plenty of blood, sweat and tears along the way. Today, I can't even imagine what my life would be like without an Arabian horse.

To be continued....
Part 4


  1. PHEW! I am out of breath from reading that story! What a scary thing, but so cool that she was sensible and STOPPED. Can't wait for the rest of the story...

  2. MiKael, what a great story. I have learnt the value of pulling the head around since being here too. One of the first things my husband taught me as most of our horses have never beeen ridden before I get on them and I have never had experience in this field, just normal riding school lessons on riding school mounts LOL. It is a sure thing to stop bolting and bucking, although bucking can also be prevented if you are in a safe area by just spurring them on, they cant buck while they are running fast LOL. He has always taught me to teach the babies the one rein stop before anything else, helps them with their flexibility too as we do lots of flexing exercises with their necks from the ground then from the saddle.

    I remember one of the trainers (think it was Clint Anderson or Chris Cox) saying that if you cant flex your horses neck with ease then you have no place being on their backs.

    I got my fist horse at age 41 when I came over here. My husband gave me my filly who he had named after me (poor thing). She is the sorrel tobiano mare that I post pictures of. She was four weeks old when I came over.

    Looking forward to the next installment as always.

    We had a dusting of snow last night but now are expecting a warm up over the next three days to the 50s, YAY. Hope it lasts.

    Hope you are well, let me know how you are doing.


  3. Wow!! Glad that didn't turn out worse then it was. YIKES!!