This page is designed for equine enthusiasts to come together and read about and share experiences they have had. The love of horses is one that is shared by many people so feel free to comment or just read about other peoples experiences and their favorite equine friend.

About Me

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I have been riding horses for 10 years and I am an active member of the United States Pony Club. I own 3 horses and I am an HB in the Pony Club rating system. I enjoy eventing, dressage, and instructing younger club members but love to do anything dealing with horses. Currently, I am studying animal sciences and hope to use this to increase my knowledge of horses.

Monday, March 30, 2009

R.I.P. Chief of the Promise

Sunday was a good day...or so I thought. I got to sleep in, had lunch with my friends, and watched a movie. That all sounds great, right? Well it was until I got a call from one of my best friends back home. Sarah and I met through horses and have been friends for about 10 years. When I get a message from her asking me to call as soon as I get a chance, I know it can't be good.

So, I call Sarah back and she informs me that one of our good friends is having to put her horse down on Tuesday. This news is unfortunately not really surprising to me. This horse is not only very close to the owner but also very close to Sarah. When Sarah was looking for her first horse, she was only interested in borrowing a horse not owning a horse, so through pony club she found Chief.

Chief is a very special horse who has been around for 27 years. If you are familiar with the Indiana horse community, you have most likely heard about or seen Chief around at some show or other outing. He is a tall appaloosa who has the heart of a teddy bear. In his prime, he was shown at preliminary level which is a higher level in eventing consisting of roughly 4 foot jumps. As he aged, he helped beginners learn the ropes and would perform any task he was called to do.

Instructors felt comfortable putting a five year old on him because of his willingness to please. Anyone who entered the barn was automatically drawn to Chief due to his puppy dog eyes and quiet expression. He served two generations in the owner's family and touched the heart of so many others.

Chief will be greatly missed. Anyone who laid eyes on this horse knew he was something special. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Mundt family and Sarah. Thanks for sharing this great horse with us.

Spring Break

Most people who have horses in their backyard would be happy to go home for Spring Break and ride everyday. However, this was not the case for me. As I have mentioned before, I have one horse stabled with my trainer and 2 horses at my house right now. I was excited to get some free time away from school to be able to ride, but I was dreading it at the same time because I knew my horses would be hyper since they hadn't been ridden.

I don't know how aware of this you are, but when you leave a horse for a long period of time and don't ride them they get hyper. Especially if you continue to feed them the same amount of food. So, I knew when I got on I should be expecting a rodeo.

I have been having a particularly hard time with my pony lately because he is enjoying his life in early retirement and he never wants to have to work again. I am slowly trying to convince him that he will work and he WILL be happy about it.

I decided to start my break off by riding my horse who is at my trainer's barn because I figured he had been ridden more recently and it would be good for me to exercise him while I was at home. I was excited to ride until I brought him into the arena and watched every other horse rider combination quickly evacuate. That should have been my sign. I got on and before I could even think about it he was rearing. Now, in all fairness I don't mean like vertical in the air rearing, I just mean his front feet were no longer on the ground.

He does this quite frequently, so I decided to kick him to ask him to walk forward instead of jumping up and be done with that nonsense. We were done with the nonsense until I asked for a nice slow trot and he pulled that same stunt again. By this time, I decided to give up and go into where my trainer was teaching so she could help me through this. Once I did that, he was much better and I had survived my first ride of Spring break.

That all happened on Wednesday and I was in know way rushing the ride on my pony because I knew that would be even worse. Saturday came and there were a lot of younger riders coming over to our barn for lessons that day. I decided it would be a good idea to hop on my pony while they were riding because if he saw other horses working maybe he would think that he needed to work too. He didn't understand that and it only made things worse.

I got on with the older group of riders and was ready for everything to go wrong. I knew that I could expect a buck when I asked for canter, but all I was doing was trotting in a circle. I have had this pony for almost 11 years now so I know him pretty well and I could feel the energy about to explode. He was like riding a pony on energy drinks. I was just trying to work out the energy and not do anything special.

We were trotting the same circle we had been trotting for the past 5 minutes when he decided to make things interesting. Completely out of nowhere, he decides to buck. You must understand when this pony bucks (as seen below) you better give up on trying to stay on him. Some people say it is like he is doing a handstand on his front feet. So of course, I go flying through the air without the greatest of ease. I land on our lime arena floor thinking to myself, "Did that really just happen?" I am sitting there, look up at my pony and he looks like he is asking himself, "Mom, what are you doing down there?"

Let's just say, we excused ourselves from that lesson and I went and worked him even harder. I was looking forward to break being a relaxing time to ride both of my horses and enjoy some quality time at the barn. I never expected to come back to school with my back all scraped up and carrying around a bottle of Tylenol everywhere I went.