August 30, 2012

Two Fjord Mares

I headed up to Sedalia to see a gal who has six Fjords.  Several are for sale, two were under five so I didn't want to consider them even though she said they were under saddle.  The 6 year old has been ridden a few times and was told she was pretty calm.  The 15 year old had previous training but has not been used regularly in a while.

What I learned is that this mare, Ingrid 6 years old, has never had formal training.  Both mares are lacking in groundwork basics, even simple things like being lead.  The owner said she basically just put the saddle and bridle on and got up when she first "put them under saddle".  WOW!  This was maybe her 7th ride on Ingrid?  Something like that.  Given that bit of information I was impressed with her behavior but given the asking price and the amount of work and training I would need to put into her I was NOT impressed.

Ingrid did not stand well tied at all and kept pulling back.  The owner apparently tied her with the bridle reins to the post while she rode Sterjna for me to watch.  The mare pulled back, broke the reins and part of the bridle and then ripped it off her head.  Then she just meandered off to the bits of hay left by another horse previously in the corral.  Ingrid was fine and the owner didn't seem phased.  Lots of work needs to be done with manners and behavior in regards to Ingrid for sure.  Yes horses do crazy things and they have their quirks but dangerous things like this need to be dealt with in my opinion!

Sterjna did not stand tied as well but was better than Ingrid.  Sterjna is 15 and had previous training way back and was even cart trained.  She would need minimal training to get back up to par.  I got up on Sterjna and rode at the walk in circles and did some turns, she was fairly responsive but took more pressure than I am used to...could be the training or the breed.  The owner put the bridle back on Ingrid to lead her to the other side of the corral, I guess she dropped the reins and Ingrid stepped on it breaking it, having it snap upwards at her, pull on her mouth yet again and of course scaring her!  A tiny little upset occurred and Sterjna "spooked"; she just stopped and looked and with a little coaxing moved on.  I can deal with that.  I wasn't comfortable doing the trot since the little corral was a bit small and because Ingrid was still doing little pull back antics as the owner got her halter back on.  She was tied on a far end of the corral out of the way but it was making me nervous, I'm not gonna risk it.  I'm close enough that I can come back to work more with Sterjna and see more what she can do.

I think Sterjna has potential with some ground work and then some; but still the price is about a thousand more than I would want to pay for a 15 year old mare that still needs training.  Both mares are a bit pushy and don't lead well, they follow mostly and sometimes you almost have to drag them.  Sometimes I felt their cute little noses on the small of my back, I certainly can't call them unfriendly.  The owner left for a time to drop her dog at a kennel since she was leaving for vacation the next day.

I stayed after dismounting and had the mares tied so I could untack them.  They didn't flinch.  They enjoyed the grooming but would not give their hooves and would eventually pull their leg away and side step.  The owner said they really didn't have their feet worked on much, including farrier work.  Really?  No trimming?She doesn't at least pick their hooves once a week?  I know she has too many horses (her words) and they are in the pasture most of the time but isn't that daily care, weekly at the least?  I lead Sterjna around and tried to work on some leading techniques from Julie Goodnight to get the mare out of my space.  I didn't have the proper equipment but from the little bit of work we did Sterjna seemed to understand what was needed.  She has potential and can learn, seems willing too but I would offer a lower price because of the work I'd need to put in and would most likely pay for professionally to start. 

Very cute though aren't they?  I certainly would like to meet some Fjords that are worked regularly because these gals have just been pasture ornaments for the past few years mainly and doesn't sound like they really received a good basis in ground work before moving onto the saddle. 

I can say they are very friendly and not phased by much.  When I tried to get past the herd of three to lead one of the mares back into the main paddock it was like moving elephants.  They leaned into the pressure or just blinked at me.  LOL.


Camryn said...

They are both to darn cute. But, you don't ride cute do you. Sounds like a second ride for the older mare may be a good idea.

Christie said...

Yes I think so. But that may be a few weeks. I already have arrangements to see two Arabians, two Fjords, 3 haflingers, 2 Arab crosses and then another Arabian still. I think I have some other horses in the works...some haffies and Fjords, a Morgan mix....I think I will see the horses I have on the "list" now and then reassess.

Yes you don't ride cute but it helps when you pay out the nose for them. But it helps even more when you enjoy working with them!! I've only seriously been looking for a month. I've covered a lot of ground so far!! I'd love to know more about your experience with your Haffie, good and bad. Feel free to email me or post here, whatever. Thanks for following!