Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My First Love

October marked the 6th year that I have owned Roxy. What a journey these past 6 years with her have been. I have had so much fun learning from, and teaching Roxy. We have both grown so much, changed, developed, maturity, and become great at our sport. It makes me terribly sad that at just 10 years old Roxy is no longer perfectly sound.

Barely into her prime years, and she's going to live with a stifle injury for the rest of her life. Thankfully it's not bothering her. We went on a trail ride, and I really pushed her, I felt terrible. We did a lot of hand galloping, and some steep inclines. But the next day she had zero swelling, tenderness, and was not lame. Today I lunged her, and she was so funny! While Dolly was obidient and well mannered, Roxy was prancing around. Her tail was held high and as floated around me. I have no clue what type of fancy trot it was, but I know that I enjoyed watching her do it. She bucked, and played with Dolly, and despite the fact that she was misbehaving I loved it.

I remember the day that I got Roxy. After my mother's year long quest to find me a horse, we finally settled on Roxy. A gorgeous dun mare, with loads of personality, and tons of potential. She also needed more work and training then we understood. I spent the first 6 months of horse ownership galloping entire trail rides with older women on experienced well broke horses. My filly was hardly 4 and 1/2 and I rode her in a full cheek snaffle bit. I ruined her. She didn't stop, she hardly steered, she had no clue how an arena horse should behave, and she had absolutely no ground manners. We needed help, so we reached out to my current trainer. Her barn was about a half hour walk away from where Roxy currently lived, so I trail rode over. My mother drove beside me the whole way, as the trail was the side of a road.

Soon after our first lesson, my mother and I moved Roxy to my current barn. This is when My mother fell in love with Dolly, but this is not Dolly's story- it's Roxy's. Roxy was obese, crazy, and had one speed GO FAST. So naturally I thought "Hey let's do gymkhana! Why not make the hot crazy horse that doesn't stop even crazier?" Well Roxy was really good at gymkhana. And my trainer wanted us to calm her down, so we also did flat classes. Roxy makes a divine English horse, but lacks in the western pleasure aspect. Despite my own disappointment in my mare, we always placed really well.

 Since stopping showing, I have spent the last few years loving my horses, collecting more, and always trying to remember that Roxy altered the path of my life. I am especially thankful for this little green mare, had I bought a finished gelding who knows how bored I would have been. Roxy has been feisty, sassy, and a challenge. Although some days I wanted a perfect, quiet horse, Roxy has always been what I needed. Now that I've learned from my challenging Roxy, I can really appreciate horse with a personality like Nova.

The first time we took Roxy anywhere was to our old ranch's Halloween show. We have not a single photo of me riding her, as I spent most of my time on my seasoned lesson horse Peaches Deck. 

Our First show was at the ranch down the road. 

My first blue ribbon! Awarded to me at the show my trainer put on for all her students. 

Roxy dreaded training for western pleasure, as this photo clearly depicts.
I spent a lot of time lounging around on his mare. 

My little girl looking quite dapper. 

She runs fast patterns.

Can't beat Roxy (or most appys really) when it comes to speed.

Roxy makes such a great trail mount. Point her in a direction and she goes over or under anything in her way. 

She makes for such an awesome mount in terms of working other horses. She ponies anyone, she acts around others with confidence that rubs off on them. It's just awesome to have a mare like this when I work so often with problem horses and babies. 

Our most recent adventure. Heading on a trail that I would rate at a 7/10 Roxy is an awesome mare! 

So I'd like to thank Roxy for all the times we've almost slammed into the rail trying to stop, the times we made my mother cringe thinking we were going to hurt ourselves, the blue ribbons, laughs, cuddles, snuggles, and all the sweet horsey things she does to let me know that she doesn't choose to kill me today. I will have Roxy until the day that she dies, hopefully in her old age she'll calm down enough to be the horse that my future children learn off of. I would love for them to hold the memories of her that I do. 


  1. I was wondering how you got Roxy to calm down. I have a horse that always wants to go. She stops for maybe 3 seconds then goes again.

    1. Roxy currently has the best stop on the ranch. We spent a LOT of time in the arena just sitting. To this day, everytime she stops I back her up. I put a great slide stop on her that way. Between sitting around, and backing up tons I calmed her down. Oh! I also gave her time to go fast, showing her that there is a cue for it. We did basic reining pattern. Small slow circles at the lope, then large fast ones at a gallop. That's how I fixed her speedy lope, and taught her to lope on a loose rein. Hope that helps!

    2. It does help. I hadn't really thought about teaching her that there is a cue for going fast.
      Right now we are doing one rein stops to get her to stand still. It is working, but it takes a good 10 minutes for her to stand still for 10 seconds.

    3. Hmm I were in your shoes, I'd take a step back. A horse's natural position is standing around. So what could be making this mare so hot? Is it her diet, previous handling, does she need a good free lunging before training, did she get moved too fast and miss something in her training? Those are all ideas I would toy with. I'd love to see a video of her in action and offer my support. I saw your blog, I assume you're speaking about Coffie?

    4. Her name's Ana. Coffie is one of the quarter horse fillies we got this summer. She's still too young to do any serious riding.
      Her diet consits of corn, mollasses, oats, and some kind of bran. And because I know nothing about proper horse feed I dont' know how that effects her. She gets alfalfa and cornstalks and grazes in the non-winter months.
      We have considered lunging before riding and she has amazing endurance. And you can get her calmed down without having to wear her out with lunging, but eventually I'll want to not have to do lungeing before riding.
      I don't know about missing anything in training. In fact I think she was extremely well trained. She just doesn't really remember how to do what she was taught though.
      As far as I know she's never been abused, and certainly doesn't act like she was.
      There is a video on my blog at http://typicalhorse.blogspot.com/2012/04/new-training-plan-with-ana-2nd-time.html
      It's at the bottom. It's just gound work. I'll try to get a video of her being ridden, but no guarantees, my computer can be a pain sometimes.
      Oh and then her breeding probably has a big thing to do with it... She's an Arabian/Saddlebred cross.
      But even with her breeding she should still be able to be calm.

    5. Ok, I put a video of my sister riding Ana back in 2011. I'll try to get a more current video today.

    6. There's a video of my sister riding Ana on my blog. I'll see if I can't take a video of Ana today.

  2. awww reading this is so sweet and bought a tear to my eye. I am so glad that you found the horse for you 6 years ago, and that to this day you still love her and have fun with her :) I love how you managed to calm her down !

    1. She's always been a wild one. I am just as in love with my horsie as the day I brought her home! It a very different love from Nova and Blossom's too, Roxy is a special mare. :)