August 14, 2016

Coming to Terms

When I first got Ypke back in 2012, I was a teenybopper. I had about three riding lessons under my belt and was a total beginner. Starting out, she was a complete saint. I could ride her bareback out in the pasture on a loose rein with zero issues, despite my floppy hands and inexperienced seat. Ypke didn't bat an eye at anything. She was about as close to beginner-friendly and bombproof as a horse could be.

Throwback to when I tried her out. 2012

But then, after about four months, something changed. At the time I was confused as to what happened, but now it is crystal clear: I was inexperienced, had zero confidence, and to make matters worse I was tiny. I didn't know that at the time, but she sure figured it out.

It started out small, but gradually progressed. While leading her and asking her to halt, she would take a couple extra steps before stopping. When I would attempt to pick up her hoof, she would refuse and begin to paw. Whenever I was leading her, she would try to drag me towards the pasture gate. As I rode, she completely ignored me and did whatever she wanted to do. Ypke was too smart for her own good, and she realized I wouldn't do anything about it.

Pro tip: If you don't know how to properly hold reins, you aren't ready to          
buy a horse yet. (Though I don't regret the purchase!) 2012.

As I was working with her the other day a sudden realization hit me: the constant struggles had been gone for awhile. While of course not everything is sunshine and rainbows, I can actually fully enjoy riding now and not have to worry about every little thing being a constant battle.

Ypke is definitely the kind of horse you have to earn respect from. Maybe it was the clicker training. Maybe it's because now I'm 5'10" and not a 4'10" teenybopper. Or maybe it is because I finally decided to have some confidence. Somehow, I think I must have finally earned it. It took over two years, but it happened.

I look sold on her, but she doesn't look too sold on me. 2012.


  1. Mares! They have way too many opinions. I'm glad it all worked out.

  2. Glad you were able to keep on and work through the problems to have a better relationship today!

  3. aw what a sweet post - sounds like you two have grown a lot since coming together!

  4. Well done, can I add an article please on horse insurance

  5. your perseverance paid off, that's for sure! you both are a great team.

  6. It's not mares -- it's *Fjords!* My gelding is a major -- fill in the blank wlth frustrations. I would love to hear more about your clicker training experience. My Fjord has responded well to it -- a mind is a terrible thing to waste! -- but he's still a challenge to be on equal footing respect-wise.

  7. Thank you for an awesome article on the horse. Can you let me to post an article on Horsebox insurance.


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