Hello and welcome back to the blog!
Today I am writing an exciting post all about my new share horse- Echo. I have been so lucky to be able to find her and I already feel so much more like myself now that I am riding again. I am still trying to get into a riding routine and it is still much less than I would like to be riding but it is a start.
Echo is an 8 year old, chestnut, thoroughbred mare. I was definitely slightly concerned when her owner matched me up with her because I’m more of a gelding gal and a chestnut mare is like a whole sub-category of mare.
She has quite a sad story- she was owned by a person who did not look after their horses and she had been tied down from her bit by bailing twine at a young age. This has impacted her since. Her now (lovely) owner, bought her, her mum and her dad all on the same day (of course we all know, horses are like chocolates, you can’t have just one!). I thought it was so cute that she bought all three of them, and they have never been apart since. While I thought this was nice, I was also worried for Echo’s independence, especially because she is very close with her mum (Honey).
Echo has quite small eyes, which from my studies of reading a horses face, I know this means that she is a slow learner and easily confused. Don’t get me wrong, she is still clever, she just takes time to work through her worry. She is also quite sensitive too. She does have quite large and undefined ears and a lovely square muzzle which makes her dependable. So, for me, my initial understanding was that she will be a dependable horse but she has to trust you and you have to take it slowly with her.
I rode Echo for the first time one evening and she was quite tense, especially in trot. She seemed very unsure of me and thought I was going to pull on her mouth. She has developed a bit of a fear of being pulled which is completely understandable given her history. She did settle down more but not to the point where I felt she was comfortable with me.
Fast forward to the second ride and my main focus was on encouraging as much relaxation as possible and to let her learn that I won’t hurt her or ask her to do anything she is not able to do. We definitely achieved this goal. For the first five minutes, Echo was pretty forward and she shouted on her mum a few times but as we started working, she settled down and was working beautifully long and low. By the end of the ride, I was walking and trotting around with my reins at the buckle and we were both super relaxed. Her owner has definitely put a lot of work into her as she is very responsive to subtle aids.
I feel like we reached an understanding on this ride and I felt like I could trust her more too, even on the ground. When we were catching her she did a great big buck and did not want to be caught which made me wary of her, but in actual fact she is a complete sweetheart (though a brat to catch at times her owner says!). I do hope she will start to catch better once we get to know each other more.
I’m really looking forward to working with her more. We don’t really have any major goals because I know that I will be looking for a new horse in the coming months, but I will be happy if we are both enjoying ourselves and if we can be working nicely in the meantime.
So that’s my little update on Echo, I hope to post more about her and other topics in the coming weeks.