Thursday, September 25, 2008

Life.........................and Eight Second Rides

I'm going to have to take a break from my series on selling Marwan horses because Richard told me I should post about 8 second rides. Now I'm sure this doesn't make much sense to you, so I'll have to go back and start at the beginning.

If you're a regular reader on this blog you'll remember about the fall I took last November on Scandalous Reflection. Not only way I traumatized by this event but my Arabian horse was badly traumatized as well. I decided that I was in over my head getting this horse started under saddle so I sought out help.

I think around May with our income tax return, I sent Reflection to a young woman by the name of Amy. My friend, Crystal Baker, had recommended her having sent several problem horses her way. Each horse had come back in a reasonable amount of time and doing great. After talking with Amy, Dave and I decided that getting Amy to solve Reflection's problems would probably be best for both my Arabian horse and me.

It took Amy a couple of weeks to even get to the point she was ready to try and mount this horse. From day one, the Arabian horse acted like he'd never seen a saddle before. He was absolutely terrified. So Amy went back to square one and started with sacking the horse out and building from there.

I had warned Amy that this horse is capable of going from a dead stop to a gallop in one stride. But like most people she thought it was just an owner's impression of her horse and not based on fact. However, one day I got a call from a giggling Amy. She's just learned how right I was about this horse's athletic ability.

She had thrown her leg over the saddle for the very first time when the horse bolted. She'd managed to stay on ok despite him catching her off guard with his reaction to her leg touching the off side of the saddle. She'd been in that tenuous position neither in nor out of the saddle when the horse took off. By the time they hit the far end of the arena she'd managed to get her foot into the stirrup. From there she just hung on for the ride.

Amy just let the horse run and run until he didn't want to run anymore. After many many laps of the arena at a break neck pace the horse finally came to a stop, right smack in the middle of the arena. She said he dropped his head down and then looked back at her like "Wow! What Happened!!"

It was a few more days before she actually asked the horse to take his first steps with her on his back. After that first time, he never quite ran off the same way again. He did start a few times but he managed to recover in a reasonable amount of time.

The first time I saw her ride the horse he had been with her about a month. At that time she wasn't loping him yet, only walking and trotting. The biggest problem she was having was the horse's attention span. She didn't want to work on the lope until she had him paying more attention to her.

I think it was a couple of weeks later when I got the call from Amy that she'd finally loped the Arabian horse. She was laughing at this reaction but the long and short of it was he'd really done just fine, turning his head to watch Amy in the saddle.

So I think it was only about two weeks that Amy actually rode the horse at the lope when I had to bring him home. I don't remember the specifics but it had to do with hay and running out of money so school for Reflection was over.

Amy was going to come to the arena and ride the horse there a couple of times. Then I was going to ride him afterwards. That's how we were going to make our transition from her to me and get me back in the saddle. The problem was that time never came.

By the time we did finally get something set up, Lindsay got hurt and I had to cancel. So it's been several months without the horse being ridden. He's been worked in long lines, bitted up and lunged, etc but no riding.

Richard decided he was going to get on the horse for me..............and that happened today. That's were the 8 second rides come in.............5 of them to be exact.

I think that Richard didn't remember all of what I'd told him about this horse. What had stuck in his brain was that Amy had been riding him for 2 months so he expected him to be ok. However, that couldn't have been farther from the truth.

Something in Reflection's brain triggered back to our accident and the horse wigged out. Richard, too, found out how fast the Arabian horse can go from a dead stop to a gallop. That and a few other tricks. It's clear the horse is still terrified of a rider on his back........and actually, he's back to being afraid of the saddle too. So we're back to square one.

When I heard the news, I felt immediately sick to my stomach. Just writing about it, I feel like I want to puke. That sinking feeling that comes with having the rug pulled right out from underneath your dreams wants to swallow me up. This is such a great horse.............and these are massive problems.

Richard says "Not to worry." but I can't. Worry is part of what I do best floating this Arabian breeding farm of mine. I'm worried that Richard or Jessica (one of Richard's young proteges') might get hurt. I'm worried that this will happen again when it's time for me to get back on.

So stay tuned................this is bound to be quite a story.

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  1. Oh Reflection, behave! MiKael, tell him he's my favorite so he better cool it and start learning or else. He is so gorgeous and needs to act like it.

  2. It sounds like he needs to be on a long line when mounted with a saddle, and get long lined while ridden.. this problem needs fixing for sure!

    do you ever work your horses from the saddle and long line at once? I think that may work, that way he cant bolt like that, the second he gets mounted.

    Good luck with that boy!

  3. Oh Mikael - My heart is with you. I can understand why you feel so disappointed. Please be careful.

  4. Oh dear...that is not good. I am with Kim...Keep him attached next time someone mounts him. Since I am sure he will run. That just stinks even more now though because now this has become a bad pattern. With you would could have just said it was a baby's mistake. With Erica he learned his lesson. Now he has a full on bad pattern. What are you planning to do now? What is your next step. I hope it goes well.

  5. Oh dear MiKael, but I think they are right, he will just click one day and it will all be behind him I am sure. Building his confidence is not going to be easy but persistance will pay in the end and when he gets the revelation that Hey this isnt so bad really, it will be wonderful.

    Good luck but take care.

  6. This stinks. I was really hoping while I read that his time with Amy was going to have totally fixed his problems. I hope no one got hurt during all those short rides.

  7. Oh man! Glad no one was hurt first off. Good luck!