Tonight was my first ride on Misfire and I was a bit wary because of the things I had heard about her. She’d been abused and was a handful to ride, yet she was well broke and had been ridden in parades and shows.
We took her into the top pasture, which is currently closed off to the herd to let the grass grow. Her little herd is in the back pasture, which runs alongside the top pasture so her buddies could run along the fence and scream about the fact that she’d been taken away. I got her tacked up and started with lunging. I couldn’t really be sure this mare was even broke to ride so it’s better safe than sorry. She lunged beautifully, so it was obvious she’d had at least some training in her past. She was very nervous and spent a lot energy calling to her buddies and trying to get away. She paid very little attention to me so it was time to just mount up and ride.
Her attitude didn’t change once I was in the saddle. She didn’t care that I was up there – she just wanted to be back with her herd. NOW. We spent a lot of time just doing circles and figure eights, making her think about where her feet were going instead of where her friends were. She reacted very well to leg aids and I was able to guide her with just my legs for the most part, while keeping her from taking off back towards her pasture with my seat and hands. She’s obviously had a lot of training at some point, I think it’s just been a long time since she’s been ridden.
After about 20 minutes of just walking, bending, and circling, she finally relaxed into my hands, stopped the jigging, and slowed her pace. It was now acceptable for us to go over the hill and out of sight of her herd mates. This mare just needs some mileage put on her and I think she’ll be a great mount for someone.