Thursday, September 8, 2016
We have been riding with Shari and her lovely Bella all summer. I don’t think a weekend has gone by that we haven’t ridden at least once, We have seen such a transformation--it brings great satisfaction.
She is, by nature, a very spirited horse, and nothing will change that. No one wants that to change--that is just Bella. We never wanted her nature to change--just some of her behaviours.
She spooked a lot in the beginning. The difference now is how fast she forgets whatever bothered her and caused her to spook. Many times, we don’t know what makes her jump, but now as Cole and I trot behind, we watch her jump--and then she just keeps on going her merry way.
She used to get very nervous with traffic and bikes. Remember that scary ride across the ford when the bike scared her? Now, she has been just watching the bikes as they go past. There is no panic or even nervousness.
She used to be very strong on Shari’s hands--now Shari is riding with a loose rein much of the time. Her head carriage is higher than most horses because she is a National Show Horse, but her neck is now relaxed.
She barely dances around anymore. We can trot towards home with Bella in the lead, and she doesn’t race. Instead, she goes at a speed that even poky Dante is happy to match on the way home.
Bella loves riding with her boys. Shari keeps her horse down the street from us, and when she rides over to our barn, Bella gets so excited! She also seems to truly enjoy herself out on the trail.
Shari also rides her by herself, and they have been having wonderful rides together. All three of us are so proud of Bella. It has been a team effort. Shari played the hardest part. She had to ride Bella through all her shenanigans, but she needed someone to do it with.
Ellen and I--well we understood. Bella acted a lot like Cruiser did in his younger days--and he turned out to be one of the best horses ever. We did whatever we could to help Bella succeed. We knew when to ride quietly and when we could increase the speed. We also understood that spirited horses like Bella need to move out on the trail. Trotting can do wonders with a hyper horse. Shari needed riding companions who were willing to get out and trot--and Ellen and I just love trotting! Shari needed companions were willing to ride out on the trail regularly, too. She certainly found the right people with us!
We expected Bella to improve with time, but that doesn’t take away the satisfaction of seeing it with our own eyes.