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Sally came from a long time friend and horse dealer, Connie Pass, with her brother (half brother? Full brother? Stable mate?) Tony (both 4 years old in that spring/summer 2009). Connie bought them from a stable in Indiana that just had too many youngsters and not enough time. (What a concept.) Connie called Amy (who, as usual, tried to convince Connie she wasn’t interested). Amy agreed to look…then agreed to a week trial (these two knew nothing—not riding, not leading, not being handled). By the end of the week, Amy still couldn’t decide. Chris and Amy were looking for bigger, level headed, talented horses for lessons and showing, but breaking horses takes a long time before they’re even sort of usable. Sally is a 2005, 16hh, grey American Sporthorse (some combination of warmblood, thoroughbred, and draft) mare with some paint markings on her. She moved well, had a quiet eye, and seemed to learn quickly. After deciding to buy both horses, Amy went to work with Sally on grooming, handling, lunging, and then to riding. Amy was continually impressed with Sally’s progress. She would be a little spooky in new situations, but tried to behave and just needed a chance to look at things for a minute. By that first fall, Sally was cantering courses up to 2’3” and learning about flying lead changes…though it’s hard to get her moving fast enough to be balanced for them! Sally spent some time with Ashley showing her, and dabbled in vaulting (she’s got a GREAT canter). The summer of 2012 she started showing some hock soreness, and X-Rays revealed a genetic degeneration in her hocks that would hopefully fuse in time and improve with work. Our vaulting team took her down to Lexington that summer as a backup/practice horse at the American Vaulting Association National Championships, but the vaulting circle was hard on her hocks and she wasn’t sure she loved people canter up to her for the mounts. Her hocks were also possibly going to limit her ability to do and be competitive at the bigger jumps (over 2’6”) and do her flying lead changes. So we’ve moved Sally back to the lesson program. Chris taught on her mostly, and she was an asset to our program. She was still a little Spooky, but nothing unreasonable. But as the years went on, Sally seemed to be losing her confidence and getting spookier. The levels she would physically excel at were struggling to ride her spooks, and by summer 2014 she gained a reputation (not a very good one). Kendra decided she had some time just before our fall horse show (thanks to Sadie for spraining her ankle…) and picked Sally up. We needed to see if some consistent riding by a more advanced rider could help Sally find her confidence again. Kendra rode her at our fall LMHJA horse show and jokingly changed her name from “Mustang Sally” to “Must Tame Sally.” There were some “discussions” about a scary fence or two, but she got better with each course. Kendra decided she wasn’t done with Sally (and Sadie was still lame) so she kept on her through our November and January IEA shows. Kendra was, sadly, inducted into Sally’s “club” of riders she dropped in the dirt, but Kendra was able to ride more spooks than not. At Winter Camp 2014-2015 Sally was the BEST behaved of all the horses used and earned her old (good) reputation back. She was also a star for both IEA shows. We still have to watch her hock soreness on occasion, but we’re excited to have our Sally back since she is such a wonderful lesson horse. She’s significantly lighter than when we first got her (as greys tend to do). She may always be on the lookey side (monsters live underneath the standards of jumps, you know) but there are lessons to be learned on those horses as well.
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