Our youngest horse, “Dezzie” (short for Desert Rain), is a now 4yr old mare and ready to be broke out. Since she’s close to full Appaloosa, she will not be fully grown until about 6 years of age. Because of her slow growth, breaking her out (teaching her to ride) can not be done at a younger age, or we’ll risk back and leg disorders down the road.
We’ve had Dezzie since she was two, and she came with zero training other than lead rope walks.
All too often, a horse is trained incorrectly, and it’s hard to teach them the CORRECT way to do something. It took me over a year to teach Moisie to lunge correctly (he’s still working on his trot, no where near close to a canter). It took me 3 attempts to teach Dezzie to lunge at a walk, and we are now trying to trot.
Then I made the heart-stopping choice to climb onto her back. . .
And she could care less!
After the first two rides of only five minutes, I knew this horse would be a breeze to train!
I had even walked her down the road (all by herself) to the neighbor’s rodeo, and she could care less. Sure she was cautious and curious, but she didn’t freak out or lose her cool. And it was her FIRST TIME away from the yard!
So, just like before, I worked her through her lunging exercises and was just getting ready to hook-on her reins and turn-on the video camera (wish I’d had it on for lunging too!), when who should wander over, but Mia, our young boxer dog.
I was somewhat surprised, but not really since the other young boxer female had just been out a few minutes ago. I looked over and saw Erik standing by the dog fence, and decided maybe I should leash her myself so I didn’t have to deal with any surprises while riding Dezzie. She had apparently slipped out of the gate when Erik tried to put the other young girl back in .
Just as I was reaching out to string the lead rope around her neck, the dog suddenly lunged at Dezzie!
Dezzie stood still as a statue not sure what to do, but still very curious about her new entertainment. So she reached out to sniff the dog, who promptly tried to bite her face.
Still on her best behavior, Dezzie shot her head back up and looked at me in surprise. That is, until Mia began trying to bite her stomach and legs. Dezzie kicked impatiently at her, but little by little as Mia became more aggressive, she began to panic and dance about in the small arena with Mia nipping right along after her.
Finally Mia gave up and scooted out of the arena, and I managed to coax her close enough to me to loop her.
Erik had finally walked over by this point and hauled her off a bit too roughly and began berating me for not grabbing her sooner (like I wanted to get in the middle of a dog attack).
Dezzie ended up with only a slight scratch on her nose, and a bit shaken up, but over all ok.
She WAS a bit sketchy on the cats who kept wandering into the arena, but no blow outs.
Bottom line is, you just never know what’s going to happen!