Monday, January 16, 2012

A Horse Is A Horse?

We picked up my horse on Saturday morning. It was really difficult to get him on the trailer and it took almost an hour for the ladies to coax him in. I didn’t think too much of it- maybe he had had a bad experience with a trailer in his past.
The ride to our side of town was relatively smooth. We got him off the trailer and into his pasture without much trouble. I bought him a pretty horse blanket because it was cold outside and my friend and I went back to see him. We got him out of the pasture and tied him to some crossties in the barn to groom him. I was in the middle of brushing him when he suddenly got spooked by something and tore the crossties, backing up into a grassy area. After the incident, he was completely calm and I was able to walk up to him again, but he had shaken me a little.
I started noticing more and more that he likes to nibble on things- jackets, hands, lead ropes, etc. At first I didn’t feel very concerned, but it gradually became more apparent that Sonny is a very orally fixated horse. For those of you who do not know my history, an orally fixated horse is exactly the opposite of what I want because I was bitten badly on the cheek by a horse when I was a teenager, prompting my parents to not let me ride anymore. I still have a scar.
I kept thinking that he must just have been nervous, being in a new environment and all. However, on the second day he ripped the crossties out of the wall in the barn again. He could have seriously hurt someone! Then, he bit my friend on the hand. Not maliciously, but it was hard enough to leave a mark. At this point, I felt certain that I could not keep this horse.
Then I got in the saddle and all was forgiven. He is such a gentle horse under saddle and it was just an easy ride. Exactly what I had been looking for- attentive, relaxed, and gentle.
I am so conflicted. Sonny is wonderful to ride, but I am anxious around him. Because I am anxious around him, he is more anxious around me. A vicious cycle. I keep thinking that I should just conquer my fear and power through. However, when I take a step back and honestly look at the situation, this is not what I wanted. I wanted a horse that I could be around without fear. One that would help me regain my confidence, not make me feel even more insecure.
Sonny is a beautiful horse, but I don’t think he will stay mine. My search may just have to continue. I feel foolish for buying a horse on a whim because the price was right and the first impression was good. I’m afraid of being judged for this by the already very skeptical ladies at the barn. However, I am even more afraid of ending up with a horse I am too uncomfortable around to even ride. Hopefully, I will make the right decision.

1 comment:

  1. He's a lovely horse but do what feels right. If you think you can develop a trust with him by riding him more, stick with it. Not every relationship is easy. :). But go with your gut. And forget judgement from others!