When I took in Cinnamon she was terrified when her owners had tried putting a saddle on her. They were told she was broke when they got her, but it was pretty obvious that she wasn’t. She knew nothing about ground work and had very little interest in people in general. She was skittish and difficult to catch.
Since coming here I’ve done nothing but feed and groom her. She was pretty good for the farrier on the front feet, but horrible on the back. She doesn’t even like her back legs touched, so we’ve been working on that now and again. She’s much easier to catch now, and sometimes even allows me to catch her in the field even if I don’t come armed with cookies. Her overall attitude has taken a major turn for the better and she seems much more relaxed and at ease with humans.
Maggie was here today, dressed to ride, and feeling pretty confident after the first Maverick ride. I joked with her and said if she wanted a challenge after Maverick, to try riding Cinnamon.
It was obvious that Cinnamon was just waiting for something to hurt. When the girth got too tight her eyes widened and she danced around. When it came time to put on the bitless bridle, we could tell she was expecting some big shank bit and curb strap – which got us both thinking that maybe she really was broke to ride.
I gave Maggie a leg up since Cinnamon would not get close enough to the fence around Maggie – she knew what was up! It was so obvious that this poor little mare has not had a good experience with people in such a long time.
But once Maggie was on board, Cinnamon was fine. She knew her job. She knew her leg cues, had good brakes, and stayed relaxed throughout.
Maggie only rode her for a few minutes at the walk. Just enough for Cinnamon to understand that she’s not going to be pushed too hard or hurt every time she’s ridden, and going for a ride can actually be a good experience.
After the June event, I’ll put some saddle time on her and see what she knows. Maybe even go for a trail ride or two. :)