Friday, July 31, 2009

Has your horse changed since you first got him?

I thought this would be an interesting thing to think about. A lot of times, horses are sold from one lifestyle into another. For example, they were a lesson horse but they became someone's one-on-one trail companion. That's a pretty big change from a horse's standpoint. Lesson horses in particular (depending on how much they're ridden) don't really get close to anybody because so many riders come and go. And a lot of them are ridden so much that you never get to know their personalities because they're so tired and bored all the time (and probably sick of people by the end of the day). I took lessons at a barn years ago where the horses were saddled all day, and ridden at least three times a day by rank beginners. I would be tired and bored, too, if I was a horse.

When I first brought Victor home, he was passive and stand-offish. He would accept my companionship, but he would never seek it. He was also extremely selfish and lazy. It took months for him to warm up to me. I don't think he had one-on-one attention before, although I'm not sure. It was like he put up a six foot wall of crap between us like he thought I was going to up and leave sooner or later. But once he figured out that I was there to stay, he really changed. He used to dislike men a lot (no idea why), and now he doesn't. And he doesn't run from me in the pasture like he used to. He even comes to me all by himself sometimes. He doesn't pout after workouts anymore, either. Thank God. I used to feel like a total asshole when he did that. Even though he was just being a wimp.

When I was out of town for a week, I came back and both horses came right up to me. I was touched. =D I knew Norman would, but I wasn't sure about Victor. (Hah, you missed me Victor, I know you did.) He's still the eccentric, independent, British aristocrat he's always been, but in a nicer way.

So tell me- have any of you guys had similar experiences with your horses? Did your horse have a different lifestyle before you bought him? And how has it changed him, if he's changed at all?


  1. I have never owned a horse, but the horses I've ridden have changed, a lot. Oliver, the buckskin I used to ride used to be such an ass because his owner let him walk all over her, but once I started to ride him, he got better. It's all been positive changes.

  2. My mom's Friesian mare came from a home that wasn't too loving, for 4 years of her life she was left in a pasture with "The Queen Of The Bitches" mare, no lie this mare was down right nasty(6 years old and never been broke). She got picked on daily by her. She was given a diet of hay stretcher, round bale hay and beat pulp. She was quite overweight for her age(she was 4 then) even is she is Baroque style. When we brough her home her attitude had changed from a quite girl from looking at her to a distant and mildly aggressive mare, with a mean attitude. You were going to bow down to her and thats the way she wanted it. She never liked getting touched, bit me once, and would constantly pin her ears back, and have an over-the-fence conflict with you. I was scared of her, and sadly my mom's dream Friesian wasn't turning into a dream. We had an idea that she was drugged upon visiting since there was some issues with getting the bloodwork repot back. (now she was sound and a-ok nothing was wrong with her but getting the bloodtest report was tricky, there wasn't any red-flag issues about this horse)So moving a year ahead nothing was progressing and really this mare to me didn't have a hint of Friesian on her looks, more like a percheron with tipped ears and feathers. Now we showed her many times the we wanted to love you and care for you and be your friend but nothing woudld go through to her. She was skiddish of whips, and there may have been a hint of abuse in her last home. This past April we decided to send to her an all-Friesian farm for training, to people we trusted very much.(She's 6 now). They showed her discipline and love, and her eyes were starting to open to a new life filed with love. The training was a complete success and a now a horse I'd be afraid to ride before is now a obedient(spelling?) girl. After brining her home we noticeda change, a change in her attitude and her temperment. We can pet her and love her and she loves us back, when I work in a ring at liberty she becomes my compainion and is welcomed with pats and rubs and she accepts them and loves it. I can go up to her with confidence and she can do the same with me. She just needed to find her person and eveyone says its me, and I believe them. She's being guided with love and understanding now and its been great to be with her, Now she looks like a Friesian, and acts like one and has the loving temperment they are famous for. She may have her mare moments of Pissy Mare Syndrome-ness but she comes back around and we are very proud of her. ^^

  3. Wow, sorry for the long response!

  4. Wow, that's an awesome story, Mel. It's amazing what good treatment can do for a horse. I saw the vid of you riding her, and she's gorgeous!

  5. Thanks! Yeah she's come along way and she's still going strong. Yeah you did thanks! I'm so glad her previous owner wasn't the breeder, ugghh. A classic case of those good ole' backyard breeders who shouldn't have access to a stallion. She has a friesian stallion whose probaby not registered or has a crappy lineage and never been to keuring ans a evil paint mare who i mentioned, who is lets see 9 now and who knows if even now she's been backed, When I last saw her, 6 years old and not broke. I'm thinking she is just a glorified lawn ornament. she had a foal and well the foal is cute but yeah. This lady was just a wack job. >.< I've talked to Jaz's original breeder and she was the only foal born that year so she got lots of love and attention and was super friendly, yet put into the hands of a wack-job and wala! a non friendly horse.