Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Princess

I love the show name 'Can't Drive 55', but somehow I think she's going to be Princess Fiona, since it just fits her so perfectly. She is a princess, from her nose to her tail. Usually I would use the term princess in a derogatory manner, but with her, it's just descriptive. She's a sensitive, smart, athletic young lady that likes to remind me from time to time that she is all Thoroughbred.

They were mowing today. Normal enough activity, but Fiona is more sound sensitive than sight sensitive, so she was turning her head to keep an ear and an eye on the activity. Not a big deal, and she was a lady while I curried and brushed. Then the lawn mower hit something (probably a rock, it is New Hampshire) and there was a loud bang. Fiona wasn't the only one to jump, but she was certainly the most dramatic. Jumped forward, hit the cross ties, skittered back and stepped off the mats, lost her balance and left a skid mark on the concrete before she jumped back onto the mats and just stood there shaking. No harm, didn't break the cross ties or run into anything, but she was jumpy for a good fifteen minutes after that. I think she scared herself more than the lawnmower did.

Honestly, I don't mind. She kept her marbles and didn't panic or bolt. Even when she sees the kids in the pool (which still makes her crane her head all the way up), she seems to keep her wits and avoid a complete melt down. It gives me hope for her future as an eventer. We're signed up for two schooling shows, one in September and one in October. We'll see how she does, but I think if she stays in a frame and a 'working' mind set we'll be fine.

I've learned that she's one of those horses that you must ride every step of the way. You can't be balancing your check book while trotting her, or she'll find something else to do. Usually looking around and finding something to spook at. She has a working mind set and the off duty mind set. The off duty mind set is convinced the large rock next to the arena will eat her one day. The working mind set barely pays it an ear flick. Now puddles, those are horrible things. The princess does not like mud. She'll go through it, but she would rather go around. She can be very quick with her feet to manage it.

My trainer is going to be riding her one day a week starting this month. It's a double bonus, since that gives me a day off from the barn, and gives her a training ride. Having my trainer be very familiar with her quirks can only be a bonus. I've moved her to a loose ring snaffle (4.5", such a little girl), and she seems to go better in that. We're working in a long and low frame pretty much all of the time now, building up muscle and teaching her to relax.

The other major accomplishment? Pulling her mane.

No thoroughbred has any business growing this much hair. This has been a project since I got her to get her mane under control, and I think we are finally there. She's good about it, that's the good news. Since it looks like it will have to be a weekly thing. I was having flash backs to ponies from my childhood while I worked until I had an ankle deep pile.

Also, odd fact. The bottom of Fiona's tailbone? Her hair comes in black. She's a very bright chestnut, not at all liver colored, so it's pretty confusing. Where is this black hair coming from? It gives her a dramatic two-tone tail that people can pick out from a distance, but I'm not at all sure how that happened. Not that I mind. I keep conditioner with sunscreen on it just in case. I love the effect, and I don't want it to fade out.

1 comment:

  1. I found you off of a COTH post... I always stalk fellow horse owners if they have a blogger account.

    First, I think your mare is definitely just a chestnut mare. I have known lots of chestnuts with black in their tails. The dorsal stripe??? I'm not too sure, but sounds feasible enough?

    Second, I went back and read your post on the horse you want(ed?) and I have her, for sale, perfect. Only she's in CA. I'll have to send you pictures/info/vids (if you'd want) just because it's so dang crazy for me to stumble on you like this.

    Anyhow, I'll follow along for a bit to see how things go with Fiona, I blog over at with my young TB (who does a very similar gawking thing, I call it her best giraffe impression) if you'd like to stalk me back :D