Sarah’s Journey with Pheonix (Part 1)
Sarah and her first horse, Harley were an intrepid team on the eventing scene in the days before husband, children and a business to run took precedence over her sporting life. It was all about being fast and fearless and they were both, the young rider and her 16 hand thoroughbred.
“With Harley it was just a matter of staying on,” Sarah recalls. “There little thought behind the process, it was just cause and effect. The only thing I asked of Harley was speed. I always knew what to expect from Harley.”
Sarah put Harley out to pasture for two and a half years while she had her babies. When she finally got back in the saddle she realised how much had changed for her and for Harley in that time. Harley was 22 years old and had enjoyed his retirement to such an extent, he didn’t want to give it up. Sarah found that she had lost her confidence and dealing with a sour and uncooperative Harley was a frightening and unnerving experience.
For a while she settled for riding friends’ horses but only if they were quiet and docile but eventually the need for her own horse became too much. “I decided this time I wanted to slow things down and change discipline. My eventing days were behind me, I was a wife and a mother; I had so much more to lose now. Those reckless days were over.” Phoenix was very young and with just a little basic training behind him, a very green horse. He was bred for the purpose of western pleasure and Sarah soon realised someone proficient in that discipline would need to give him further training.
Phoenix came back to her with a very rigid set of responses and an intimidating attitude. His responses to Sarah were very reactive and faced with a series of miscommunications, the two soon lost confidence in each other. “Phoenix did not understand what I was asking of him and I did not understand how to ask it. I was making him anxious and as a result he became increasingly aggressive towards me,” says Sarah. “If I asked him to back up, he would rear. If I pushed him, he would bite. I couldn’t load him onto a float and I began to think there was no way we would ever be compatible.”
Phoenix’s behaviour caused Sarah to question her own motives. She knew she needed help and she was not the kind of person to give up. In university Sarah had studied Animal Science, majoring in Equine Science. She knew the biological make up of a horse, now it was time to learn about their psychology
It was through like-minded friends that Sarah first heard about Pete and Eva and their new business, Just Equus. She attended one of their first clinic days, to watch from the sidelines and immediately knew that she wanted Pete to work with Phoenix.
Continue reading Sarah’s Journey – Part 2.
Read More Blogs >>
Watch Free Videos >>
Leave a Reply