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The epiphany of a 12 year old girl...

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  • The epiphany of a 12 year old girl...

    One of my students is horse shopping right now. Her gelding has an old injury that makes him hesitant to jump and they've finally decided he needs a dressage only home, so we're looking for a lovely packer for her.

    We went to a local hunter show today to try a horse that was in from an hour or so away. I knew she was an Appy. I love Apps. My kid loves Apps. I was warned that many found her a little... overly appy. Great! My kid LOVES color.

    Her description, age, experience all sounded perfect and I was very excited to see her and ride her.

    So we got to the show and eyeballed ALL the grey horses in the arena because we knew she was mostly white. We were hoping and guessing and waiting for our lovely appy to be seen.

    And then we saw her... she is ALL APPY. She has leopard spots on her skin, but her coat is all white hairs! She needs a little bit of weight and was definitely on the homely side. So we watched her for awhile and she started growing on me because of her kind eye, sweet disposition, excellent work ethic, lovely manners- everything as she was described. My kids mom noted the same thing and we tried to get the kid excited, but she couldn't get past the color. We were having a hard time getting excited as we waited for her class to go so we could finally try her.

    And then I saw her jump. I fell in love. What a good girl! Brave and forward and totally unconcerned- she just cruised around and was SUPER! Just a lovely ride all around. My kid was still unconvinced.

    So, finally I got to ride her. She was certainly outclassed by the horses around her, but she has an easy, smooth trot and a fun, balanced canter. And the girl can jump! I put my kid up with a smile on my face and sent her out to ride her.

    She's a timid kid- totally overwhelmed by a horse she doesn't know in a hectic hunter warmup and the arena is a mud pit. She asked the mare to trot and slowly her mouth turned up in a little smile. I convinced her to trot over a cross rail or two and the smile got a little bigger. Then I asked her to canter. We had to pow-wow and discuss because she really didn't want to. I convinced her and off she went. She was supposed to pick up the canter after one gate and canter around the corner to the next. She picked up the canter. And kept cantering. And cantering. And cantering... two full circles later, I asked her to trot and come on into the middle. She was grinning from ear to ear.

    I asked how she liked her and she said the sweetest words I could ever hear from a kid- "You know, I'm starting to think that color doesn't matter so much. She's AWESOME!"

    We have to ride at least two more to get some different experiences under our belt, but we sure did love that little appy mare!!!
    Big Idea Eventing

  • #2
    That's a story that makes me weepy. Good girl. Good coach. Good pony. Awwwwww. Please let us know how it turns out.
    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


    • #3
      Great story! You are a super coach and role model.


      • #4
        That mare you are talking about is Freckles, isnt it? haha She is ridden my TTU's equestrian team! She is so loving and jumps ANYTHING! Def. needs weight, but is such a fun horse!!!! I say go for it! LOL
        ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
        R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor


        • #5
          Pics? I want to see how appy this appy is! Sounds cute. Lucky kid!


          • #6
            "No good horse is a bad color."

            If she buys the horse, get some t-shirts with that slogan and pass them out. A tie-die maybe! For you and mom, too. Maybe when appy comes home the first time everyone wears their "good horse" t-shirt. Just an idea!

            Congrats on many levels even if they don't buy!


            • #7

              Here is a link to the website IDK if I am aloud to post this lol but her name is freckles!
              ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
              R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor


              • #8
                I like that mare. Muscle her up with some dressage work and she'll be pretty, not homely. Looks like a good jumper too.

                Never discount the love of riding you can get from the ones that make you smile every time you get on!
                "We don't ride the clock. We ride the horse." Reiner Klimke.


                • #9
                  What a sweet story! And good on her to know that sometimes looks don't matter all that much. I know you need to look at some more but I hope this girl winds up with this kid!
                  When life gives you lemons. . .say &%^# you lemons! And throw those lemons back in life's face so that it will be afraid of you and won't try that crap again!


                  • #10
                    Great story, cute mare, and a cute jump. I agree that a little dressage and a little weight could fancy her up nicely. You might be surprised what she could look like in a year. (a little Ultimate Finish is a nice way to shine up a horse and add a little weight, in our experience).

                    I'm glad your student 'got' what was nice about her. It means you've been teaching her well.
                    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                    • #11
                      Great story. I like the horse- she's so "appy" she's cute... Sounds like she has a heart of gold.


                      • Original Poster

                        I'm excited about her. We have another, older, horse to look at who has had ALOT of experience on XC and doing horse trials with all kinds of kids, so it may be hard to pass him up, but we did click nicely with Freckles. I'm loving those photos of her jumping, too. That is her disposition to a T- "I GOT IT!"
                        Big Idea Eventing


                        • #13
                          Go with the app! They are the most AWESOME horses (of course I AM prejudiced! )


                          • #14
                            When my mom was going to buy me my first horse, we looked at two appaloosas. My first thought when I looked at the gelding was "Oh, not him. He's SO ugly!" It was February, and he was hairy and just plain icky to look at. Blue roan with blanket and spots, fat neck, big head, not much mane and tail, the typical "throwback" ugly type. He was seven or eight, had only been ridden western. They threw me up on him (had only been taking lessons for a couple of months) and I ended up popping him over some cross-rails. My mother was sold on his temperament so we bought him. He ended up being the best horse ever. I showed in hunter, western, over fences, trail, barrels and poles, and even drove him. Won a ton of stuff on him on the regional level and even placed him in the top ten at the appaloosa world and national shows as a youth. I only had him for four or five years so that I could move up to a "nicer" horse, but I kept track of him. He did some eventing and eventually ended up at William Woods University. I bawled when I found out he died at age 23, eleven years after I sold him. I thank god that my mom was able to see through the initial "ick" factor and see the diamond in the rough.
                            It's not about the color of the ribbon but the quality of the ride. Having said that, I'd like the blue one please!


                            • Original Poster

                              We went and looked at Freckles again today. She still really likes her- I think she has the "click" factor with her. She hasn't said FOR SURE yet, we rode another, more experienced horse that she liked, but didn't LOVE and she said she'd like to ride another handful- a friend of mine has three who fit the bill, so we're going to go try the three of those and see where she stands after that. I'm thinking Freckles will be "it" but I want her to be SURE.

                              She did jump her about 2' today- the biggest she has ever jumped (the kid, not the mare...)! And it was no problem!! That was fun!

                              ETA photos:
                              http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5...klescanter.jpg ('scuse the chairseat)
                              Last edited by eponacowgirl; Oct. 7, 2009, 01:01 AM.
                              Big Idea Eventing


                              • #16
                                That gave me goosebumps! Sweet story, and a good trainer to instill such priorities in her riders.


                                • #17
                                  Oh, she is CUTE!!! We had a lesson horse at my barn that was a leopard App! He was like a toothpick....all angles and long and thin!!! But he CLEANED up... He knew his job and he did it... even when reins broke and the poor kid went around with only one rein!! A saint!!

                                  And drawstraws... I had to laugh... I did the same thing! The first time I went out to catch my now mare, but a lesson horse at the time... I saw her and said "OMG that is the ugliest horse I've ever seen"!. But she blossomed into a gorgeous girl who moved so well. I always got compliments on how she was a nice mover and had such "presence" at shows! And she taught me soooo much. Still have her too and she is going on 26 years old and still likes to try to buck me off some!! But it's a buck of love

                                  Appies rule!!!!

                                  Good luck with the horse shopping!!! Freckles is awesome!!


                                  • #18
                                    What a cute appy! I love all her mottled skin. Well your little girl is going to have fun keeping all that white clean.
                                    Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


                                    • #19
                                      She's adorable! Well, both of them are!
                                      Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

                                      You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.


                                      • #20
                                        The smile in the first pic says it all! Can't wait to hear the update.
                                        Talk to the Hoof