dcamville (dcamville) wrote in sca_horse,
dcamville
dcamville
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First Horse

This was originally written in 2001.
It seemed to resonate with folks then and now, with the arrival of our mustang Jolene and Smokey, it seemed a good time to reflect and review the past. We learn from our experiences. I am more knowledgeable now but I still feel like that new owner everyday!
Enjoy!

FIRST HORSE:

02/10/2001

My active adult riding and horse owning experience
began in late 2001. Before becoming a “horse owner” I was being “instructed” by my then girlfriend and her really great Quarterhorse Rocky. Rocky was in his late teens at the time. He had been a team penner and cutting horse. He was rock solid yet had opinions on a great many things. He was gentle with kids (and idiots like me) yet brooked no tomfoolery on his back. If you tried to rough ride him you were in for it. If you allowed your hands to be quite and your seat somewhat calm he would do anything you asked. In short…he spoiled me. Rocky passed when he was 34 years old. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t cross my mind and heart. I know I’ll see him again when my time comes.

So in mid 2001 I decided that I needed my own horse. Much to the chagrin of my then girlfriend (along with some rather animated discussions),I purchased, for the mere sum of $600.00,a 15.1 hh Thoroughbred bay mare named Phoenix. She was an abused
horse, afraid of the round pen, whips and disliked women in general. I was told she had a lazy streak and no lope to speak of…oh and genital busting bouncy trot. Poor thing was on her way to an auction when I came along. A great "first horse", right? Needless to say there was a heated "discussion" about this particular mare in my
house. God bless the gal for sticking by my side even though she
initially disagreed with the purchase. I figured that, being a guy; I was ahead of the game because Phoenix liked guys! They say ignorance is bliss…and God protects fools. I had
both going for me. So armed with a variety of horse training books I began to work with Phoenix. I found out that she barely knew her basics and had no real training. "Oh boy, here we go" I thought. So I began to work with her just like all the books said to do. I was
ignorant and faithful all at the same time. I did exactly what I was "told" to do in the books. I had no ego about what I was doing and put faith in the experience of others who had already "walked the path" I was now on. By the time a year had passed she would go into all three gates with out much fuss. Her trot was still bouncy as all get out so I learned to post. She worked well the round pen and competed in SCA Games on a regular basis. She was rock on the trail too! I learned her moods and her movements. How best to sit her gates, how to cue her and of course what she needed when we were having a "discussion" about doing something. I basically learned to ride while working with this horse. I was mentally and physically adaptive and flexible. I took two lessons…one English and one
western...that's it...it was all my schedule and budget would allow. By the time it was all said and done. Phoenix was still a bit hard mouthed and needed a firm hand on the reins and definite cues but she was rock solid in the games and on the trail. The flip side is that
she never really showed me any bad habits I was told she had and she had a great disposition. Over half of the authorized riders in the West Kingdom have done their Beginners' Authorization on this mare. She was tolerant and trusting…and when she was done she let me know. Good communication! Phoenix was developing into a solid English style horse and since I really wanted to focus on Western. So, have much soul searching I made the choice to sell her to a good home. Seems it was a good call. Phoenix entered her first show within two months and did quite well from what I hear. Neither
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