We all hear, “Girls, and their horses”. Well, that statement couldn’t ring more true. Beginning at a young age I had horse fever. I was raised in a family where horses were not a way of life, or a passion for either one of my parents. Luckily, my grandfather raised Paso Fino horses so summers spent at his small farm in Lebanon, Oregon were my get away. It wasn’t until my 8th grade year that I finally got lucky enough to have my very own horse.
My First Horse
Brandy was a horse with spirit, and lots of it. She was left out to pasture and had just had a foal, so needless to say, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My first ride, other than when I saw her for the first time, was out behind the equestrian center in Washington where I was boarding her. They had this great outdoor eventing course, so I thought it would be a great place to start. We got not even 200 yards away from the barn, and she did one of the quickest pivots she’s done in the 13 years of owning her and took me along with her, right back into her stall. My parents were completely mortified.
Through years of hard work, dedication, and a few amazing trainers along the way, we were able to get her mind settled and back to the calm, happy, and healthy horse she is now. There was a point where I didn’t get in the saddle for three months and we just focused on ground work. Her mind would get so clouded that she would panic almost immediately when it came to working her. In those three months, Brandy and I bonded more than we had in the saddle so when it came time to finally get back in the saddle, she was a totally different horse; calm, cool, and collected.
Horsin’ around through High School and College
We competed a lot through my high school years once my family moved to Sisters, Oregon from Northern Washington. We competed on the Oregon High School Equestrian Team in 2006 and 2007, and in 2008 we went to Oregon High School Rodeos. After high school, I took her along with me to Wyoming to go to school for Equine Riding and Training. Looking back on our years together, some years were extremely good and others were a definite struggle. But, I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world!
Getting My Mare looking great again
Last year I decided to put her in a care lease since I was not using her much anymore. I was contacted in the fall this year about taking her back, and of course I did. What I wasn’t prepared for was her condition. She was close to 200 lbs underweight and her feet had not been done in what looked like months. Working here at Horse Guard was a blessing in disguise and we started her immediately on Super Weight Gain. Fast forward three months, she is now back up to weight, her feet are looking incredible once again, and her coat has its shine back. She’s back to the Brandy that I’ve known all of these years.
Owning a mare like Brandy has taught me a lot about myself, and of course a lot about owning horses in general. Not one horse will learn the same, nor will they have the same tastes in food. The one, biggest point I’ve learned owning horses is being open minded is your key to success.