Let me tell you about this horse.
First of all-I didn’t want him. He was over at the Girl Scout camp near our home-Camp Meriwether. A friend had gone over there to pick up or drop off some barn cats-I forget which. But she saw a nice looking gelding-a little on the thin side in a paddock by himself. Being the person she is, she asked about him. Naturally, he had a story.
At that time, he was called Jazz, an Oldenburg/Thoroughbred, 5-6 years old and had been brought there from the Girl Scout camp up in the mountains. It seems the Horsemanship Counselor wanted a crack at working with him-the counselor up there had had her fill of him. Now this, in and of its self is odd. The Girl Scouts normally do not take horses until they are 10-12 years old and dead broke. This horse was anything but.
Prior to the Girl Scouts, he’d been at a couple of riding academies in Atlanta-why, I’m not exactly sure, because he was certainly not a lesson horse. Possibly he was taken in ‘for training’ by somebody who used the 90 day training (torture) methods. This guy is not one to try those with. The more you try to make him submit, the harder and faster he will come back in your face-to the point of being dangerous.
I got his story of his breaking-some body took a heavy western saddle and threw it on him when he was two (way too early for a warmblood), jumped on him in a round pen, and rode him out. This idiot had him jumping 2.5 foot fences by the time he was 30 months old.
It’s no wonder this horse was defensive-everything people had done to him either hurt or was against his will. He rebelled and, by golly, he meant it.
By the time I got over there, he’d put that counselor in the hospital. So when I went out to work with him with only a halter and lead rope, she was certain I’d lost my mind. He was fine putting the halter on and getting out of his paddock. Then the other horses started coming up to the fence and he got rowdy-big time. Rearing, kicking, cow-kicking, snapping, striking, trying run over me, coming sideways at me-he was going to scare me and get his way. I simply turned him around and twirled the end of that lead rope. He BACKED the entire length of the lane (about 200 yards) to the gate, backed through the gate, backed through the yard, backed through another gate, backed through another area, backed through the arena gate, then stood while I took the halter off. I worked him at liberty and on lead for about 90 minutes. When I got done, he walked back to his paddock on a slack lead like a totally different horse.
I worked with him for several months-then the Camp Manager laid the law down-either he went to auction, got put down, or I came and got him. I went and got him.
He’s not a bad horse. He is high-spirited, highly reactive, very opinionated, and, I think, nobody taught him horse manners. He’s mouthy and can be pushy. But I’ve also had him try to help me train the foals. If I ask, he’ll try. Just don’t pick up a whip and try to make him. He hates that.
And it seems that he’s decided that I’m his human. With this kind of horse, you just have to go with it. By the way-I changed his name to Redford because he is one handsome red headed dude.