I don't know if you all remember Jasper. He was my rescue toward then end of last summer. Jasper hadn't had it very good. He's six now I think. When he arrived at my place he was 5.
Jasper was one of those hard luck kind of horses. He is a sensitive guy. Well, the 'trainer' (use the term very loosely) couldn't get on him when she started him. She decided it would be a good thing to tie up his leg, and then get on. You know, make him stand still, and teach him a little humility. Yeah, cuz you know it always works really well to scare the shit out of a young horse when you're starting them. Now in my little simpelton's mind, I'm thinking if the horse is panicked and can't stand still for you to get on, he's probably not ready to be ridden. But hey, what do I know?
So, the woman got on, with the leg tied up. Can you imagine how scary for a young horse. It's tough enough for a youngster to figure out how to balance with us on them, let alone try and do it three legged. Well, I guess she loosed the rope, and made about one lap around the arena. Guess what he did? He bucked her off. I know, you all are so shocked.
Well, this poster child for humanitarian of the year award is now pissed off at him. She heads to the house and gets her husband. Tells him to dally this colt up, and drag him around the arena for an hour. I have no idea if the was off another horse, or a vehicle. I do know Jasper has some nasty scars. Like major road rash scars. Nasty old rope burn scars on the left hind (hmmm wonder which leg she tied up?) and other assorted lumpy scars.
This incident had a lasting effect on Jasper. If you stood next to him and lifted your left leg, he'd jump, blow sideways and sometimes almost fall down. He was sincerely scared. I found that if I stood on a mounting block...no problem. I could put weight in the stirrup, swing a leg over and sit on him. We wandered around twice, no pressure. Getting off the first time was a little instense, but the second time was no problem.
Well, an ex-student really wanted him. I was fine with that. She asked me what I wanted for him. I told her I'd just started Iris the Virus and if she would ride her, put some time on her, get to canter...Jasper was hers. She was incredulous. "That's it, are you serious? Really?" I said, "Yeah, Jasper needs a person, and I need Iris ridden. I'm short on time, I know how you ride, it will be a good combo." They couldn't pick Jasper up, until they got rid of this WB they had. They couldn't give him away. Great. I said no problem, just start paying for his food, and when you sell the WB you can come pick up Jasper.
This goes on for about 2 months. The girl calls me and says, "You want that warmblood?" I said, "No." She says, "We can't get Jasper, until the WB leaves. We don't have room for him." Well, two days before Jasper had one of his less frequent panic attacks. A young student, 9 or 10 years old went through Jasper's pen with the wheelbarrow full of hay. No big, this happens every day, twice a day. On her return trip with the empty wheelbarrow it scares Jasper so bad, he falls down.
I was never worried about Jasper doing anything mean. He really doesn't have a mean bone in his body. I was however, very concerned that he could panic, and hurt somebody. Well, a small somebody.
One afternoon we were riding in his pen. The young student's father was holding Jasper. Jasper is pretty timid at this time. Really wants to be social and friendly but very worried about making that jump. He is standing a little behind the man. He put his head on the man's shoulder, and slowly, very slowly does a turn on the forehand with his head on the guys shoulder till he is facing him. Very quiet, very careful... "Hello I'm here, would you love on me." I almost cried. Swallowed hard, (it's just not cool to weep in front of students and parents, you know) and told the man to pet him. Poor horse. He wanted to be okay he wanted to be a part.
Well, after the falling down because of the wheelbarrow, and my concern over beginners in and out...I said, "Sure, I'll take the WB." Well, you all know the WB as Top. The kid never did get Iris to the canter... (typical..dont' you think?) lol
Well, after this long winded recap...here's the point of the story. The ex-student didn't keep Jasper. She sold him...made a nice profit on him as a matter of fact. She wasn't very forthcoming with the truth about him though. Well, the woman that got him loves him. She's just going really slow, and he adores her. He looks like a different horse. His face is soft when you see him, he's relaxed. I am so pleased this is working out. And the coup de gras....she took Jasper, now called Cody to Cuneo Creek last weekend, for a campout and trail riding. He loved it, she loved it. Jasper/Cody led on the trail rides, quite the brave horse. What a good boy. What a great home, and owner.