Today I think I'll introduce my first (and favorite, but shhh...don't tell the others) baby, Midori. I've had her for a little over 3 years now. She is a 6-ish year old unpapered quarter type mare. I got her as a trail broke, barely knows anything horse, but she was just the perfect fit for me. I had been horse shopping for over a year and hadn't found anything that was totally floating my boat. As soon as I saw Midori's picture on Dreamhorse I knew I had to have her. Unfortunately the road to actually owning her was a little long and bumpy. I made an offer on her the first day, went out to look at her a few more times, including putting a down payment on her and negotiating a satisfactory contract that included a pre-purchase exam and 30 day trial period with a money back gaurantee. Long story short, she failed her pre-purchase exam miserably. I still brought her home for lack of time and agreed to return her the next day. I put her in a small pasture with my boyfriends horse and the day I was to return her, she had gotten out of that pasture into the larger herd/pasture and had a huge gash on her foreleg. Seller wanted to make sure it wasn't going to be a scar or anything to worry about before she took her back so I kept her while it healed. In that time I decided that I was totally head over heels for this horse and could not take her back. I talked the seller down in her price and gave up the 30 day money back gaurantee and I had my new partner in crime. Drama, drama, drama! I love how fate stepped in and I got "stuck" with my perfect dream horse.
We have definately had our share of ups and downs together. When I started working with her, trying to get her ready for drill, she loved to run off with me. Made for some interesting rides at the snobby recently turned hunter jumper barn I first boarded at. Ick! A couple months into boarding there a spot opened up at the cozy, small back yard boarding facility that I had really wanted to go to. Once we were there, things really started falling into place for us.
There was the one clinic that I still laugh about. It was just a short, Tues evening, free 10 minute lesson with big shot trainer kind of clinic. He was sort of focused on flying lead changes, but when he asked me what I wanted to work on I said, well, basics...brakes and steering, just plain control, I have nothing. (This is when we were still boarding at the super snobby HJ barn and not getting anything accomplished because I was afraid of the snotty looks and rude comments, not that I have anything at all against HJ's, but my experience at this particular barn was not a good one) So Big Shot Trainer says ok, lets see what we've got, go lope a circle around me. Me: um, really? Lope a circle??? BST: ya, just a little one, right around me, I want to see what she does. Me: ooook, you asked for it! So I put Midori into a lope and get about 3/4 of a circle done when she decides that she wants to head back to where the other horses are standing. I was fighting her to go right and continue on the circle, she wanted to go left and visit her buddies. She ended up going straight to the wall and I won, she ducked right and stopped. Luckily I held my seat, though I'm not sure how. So BST says, interesting. Lets try it again, this time yank on one rein with all you've got. So I head out in my circle. As we come around to the side her buddies are on I try to keep her in the circle but she is having absolutely none of that this time. I grabbed the inside rein with both hands and pulled with everything I had, she just braced against me, dropped her shoulder and plowed right into the group of horses. Interestingly, she went around the side of them and ended up rear ending one of them. So after we collect ourselves a little bit, make sure everyone is ok, we head back over to the BST. I know he was laughing at me. The screaming "oh SH**" as we slammed into the horse might have had something to do with that. So he gets me doing some bending exercises, at the walk. He said we needed to go back to basics, work on our steering, control and brakes. Duh! Isn't that what I said at the beginning?!?
Anyways, rear ending that horse definately still haunts me, but also reminds me just how far I've come with Midori since those days. Once we moved to the new boarding place, we really started clicking and things came along very quickly. I think that clinic was in December or January and I drilled on her that season and she is a fabulous drill horse. I have had 3 wonderful drill seasons on her and this summer we started working buffalo and went to two cutting shows. I just did the green/green class, which doesn't even require going into the herd, but I won my first time out. Wohoo! Got 3rd at the second show, both out of a class of 9. That was a great way to start! This winter my bf and I are going to do a small reining series, again in the beginner class that doesn't even require a flying lead change, which is good because that one eludes us. Midori has turned into my pretty darn broke awesome horse that I love to death and can atleast take a stab at just about anything on.
After drilling for 4 years and watching all the horse/rider partnerships and getting to know everyone, you realize that horses are generally a pretty accurate reflection of their riders. It's actually really comical to watch any horse and rider team that has spent some time together. If the horse is crabby, pins his ears or threatens to kick, you can pretty much bet the rider is a bit crabby to. The laid back dopey horse that just does what he's told, goes where he's supposed to and doesn't give a crap about the horse pinning his ears and threatening next to him also has the most laid back rider that is just a bystander with the team, doesn't really make any waves or have any input, but does what she's told and helps when it's needed. Midori is generally pretty good natured and tolerant, but has no problem pushing an unruly or new horse around, showing them how to drill and occasionally gets a little bitchy and pins her ears if she's just fed up with someone threatening her or being dumb. Hmmm....sounds familiar. Plus she is a strikingly gorgeous dark brunette, which just *has* to be an accurate representation of me to. LOL But really, check out this mane...
This pic is from last spring, I'm pretty sure it's even longer now. I keep it braided because it's really high maintenance and gets incredibly tangled with just one shake of her head. This summer it was whipping me in the face as we were hauling butt thru our drills. I think I need to do something about it, but I love it long and don't want it to look unnatural. I'm certainly not going to pull it, though I think that look could work on her. I guess we'll fit in nicely at the reining shows this winter though, huh? :)
Alright, since I've effectively wasted my whole morning now bragging about my pony, I suppose I'll publish this and get to work cleaning my house. Or something...