Thursday, March 28, 2013


On Monday my farrier came out and re-shod Jingle, as well as two other horses. Neither of their owners could make it out, so I was on horse-holding duty of the day. Mac and Finn were pretty much angels for the farrier, and then... there is my horse. Jingle is just exceptionally untrusting of people sometimes, and when someone is filing his toes, or pulling on his legs, he instantly goes into "get away from me mode!" - he starts hopping around, pulling back from the farrier, etc. It's definitely not as bad as it used to be, but it can be pretty annoying at times.

I was explaining to the farrier that I get really disappointed and sort of, ashamed, when Jingle is "bad" with his farrier, dentist, etc. because I have a personal belief that how a horse is with others reflects on how his owner trains him, allows him to get away with things, etc. I also commended him on how patient he is with Jingle. 

I switched farriers two shoeings ago, because my first farrier lives in Edmonton, and I didn't like feeling as if I was dragging him down to Calgary just to shoe one horse. It was a bit of a curve ball for Jingle, however, both hot-shoe, and both are patient with him (even if it's in slightly different ways and techniques) and that was really key for me. I won't go near a farrier who rushes, or thinks hitting a horse with a rasp, will get them to quiet down.

Anyways, we had a long discussion about Jingle and his trust issues. He clearly trusts me, and he's comfortable around lots of people, but he hasn't always been like that, and I often see that scared, untrusting horse come out in situations like getting his feet done, or having his teeth done. My farrier brushed off all my worries about being a "bad horse mom", and mentioned that Jingle was much better this time than he was last, and next time he'll be even better. It may take us longer than the other horses, but in a couple years he'll be an angel too. It was comforting. I try to surround Jingle with people that have this philosophy of horses because I think, in the end, it'll make him a better horse to be around.

Me? Bad? Untrusting? No... Mahm is terribly confused.

Then, after that long morning, my friend Sarah, and her two kids, Abby and Ben, came out to explore around the barn. Abby had ridden at the ranch I worked at, but only for two years, and she was a bit of a timid kid. I jumped on Jingle first, but I had put his halter on underneath his noseband, and he wasn't exactly listening to me. He decided tap dancing was a better solution. haha. When he finally starting getting it together, I threw Abby up there and away we went.

We did some walking around....
I was a little worried Jingle's forward, quick walk would freak her out, but she was fine.

Then we did a lot of trotting just on his lead-shank. He did awesome, and so did she! I was so proud!
She's become such a confident little horse-girl, and Jingle was totally calm and collected as he trotted around me. What a difference a couple years can make for both humans and horses, hey?

My favourite shot of the two of them, this one is going on the wall.

For some of you, you may remember my dentist once telling me Jingle will never be my "show horse", and me breaking down into tears, just wanting him to be a sane and happy horse who could one day pack around kids. Well... 7 months later, and here we are.

So, all in all, a great day. From discussions about trust-issues, to watching my horse pack around a ten year old without any issue, or worry. I was a pretty proud horse-mama.

Thanks for all the photos Sarah, you're a wonderful photographer!


  1. Hi Sarah,
    This post really hit home for me. My paint is much like Jingle. Not in appearance but in personality. He has those same trust issues, and it is taking a lot to get him to come back from that. He came to me with so much baggage, but for some reason I knew I had to have him. There is no way I would put a kid on him yet, he is still just so unpredictable. I had the same experience as you, too. I was told he would never be anything but a trail horse. I cried, and then set out to prove them wrong. We are getting there, but it is a struggle.

    I can just imagine that you were beaming that day! That is some good work in just 7 months. Well done!

  2. My name is Louisa, Sarah was the photographer :)

    Our horses sound like kindred spirits! If it makes you feel better - Jingle has gone from skittish and unpredictable, (mostly on the ground - not in the saddle as much), to a pretty calm, relaxed horse this last couple years. He still has his moments, but in this past year he's started using his brain and thinking through situations, instead of just reacting - it's a wonderful change. However, we have our bad moments too, lots of them, even just a couple weeks ago I was leaving the barn in near tears. So it's always an ever-evolving learning process with tons of ups and downs for us haha.

    Good luck with your boy - you'll get there, don't you worry! I still don't think I'd let a kid lope alone on Jingle anytime soon, but I bet you the next time Abby comes out she could walk on him alone, and maybe next time trot. Baby steps! & thank you for the compliment :)