My Horse Training Stories : Cairo My First Throughbred … At 14!
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Ignorance is bliss when it comes to being a non-horsey parent and buying your kids a horse … if they were learning to ride a motorbike you wouldn’t buy them a 250 … but when it comes to a horse you get them a straight off the track 500!!! Or a Off the track thoroughbred (OTTB)!

Sorry if my motorbike references are wrong … like my parents knew nothing about horses I know nothing of motorbikes!! But I still know not to put a kid on a 250 when they are learning !!

Though in saying that a motorbike is not a horse !! if only buying a horse was that easy!

I could barely ride ... the total of my experience was going around the arena on a school pony ... this isnt really riding as you don't need to control the horse to any great extent ...I got my first horse a 15 yr old 14.3 palomino mare at 13 yrs old … she taught me a lot and I was very lucky … I think if my first horse had been a OTTB iImight have never moved onto the 2nd! Though in saying that I didn’t get a typical OTTB … but I did 18 months later my 3 rd horse!

Before I jump the gun about my 2nd OTTB the typical TB – BJ or Black Jack- I will tell u the story of Cairo

Being very tall for my age ( I am now 6’4 … no that’s not a typo and yes I am female) it wasn’t long before I was ready to move off the 14hh Sandy …. Though by now I was much more confident and would hoon around on sandy jumping anything in sight!

In those days looking for a horse meant checking the trading post … that was all we knew … and so I ended up with Cairo a 6yr old 14.3hh TB mare … a rearer as I was to find out …. Now in saying that at 14 the whole rearing thing wasn’t really a problem even though I was still only learning horse riding … as far as I was concerned the straight legged small rears she did when ever pushed to far werent dangerous more fun!! Though I did end up at one stage with a black eye!

Was I scared by this … no … did I have any idea I was in danger … no … did I tell my parents or complain … no! … ahhh the joys of being 14 !!

Cairo was bought privately from a novice lady … I must have ridden her for 5 mins when we went to see her .. and believed everything the woman said… she was then taken to the trail riding agistment property we had been using at the time of owning Sandy who had lived there for years… at the time we didn’t realize this was to cause major problems for Cairo … she wasn’t used to being in with 100 other horses and quickly lost weight … after a couple of months it was time to move on where she would be better looked after…

Where we moved was very different from the trail riding agistment … it was about 50 acres ...one big paddock on a very steep hill … there was about 12 horses there all owned by kid riders mainly from the high school across the road who owned the land… full DIY agistment … we used to leave food there and pay the other kids to feed my horse through the week.. basic facilities including yards and an arena... we had alot of and had our own pony club run by the school and they would run comps and camps on the grounds.

It was very diff place to be … some of the kids had very horsey parent … and where I had never felt comp before coming here was very diff and I got my first taste of the bitchy side of riding … where before it was all about fun!

Over time Cairo put on condition … she was never the most beautiful horse with old halter scars on her nose and a small wiry frame … but I loved her. We started pony club also this year and I used to ride with a friend on her ottb the 45 mins along the road, though kids playgrounds , under road tunnels … like I said no fear … and now I can prob say why we didn’t have probs with our OTTBs at pony club … they were buggered by the time we got there …had a full day pony club ...then rode home … we sure loved our riding ! poor horses

I should prob mention during these times our parents weren’t even aroud they would drop us off in the morning and pick us up in the arvo … dropping some stuff for us at ponyclub on the way home if it was a rally day. .. home was about 45mins away so one parent would drop us off then the other parents would pick us up ... we were only forgotten about once when mum fell asleep after doing a night shift.

Looking back it was Cairo who started my love of mares … we had a really strong bond that I wasn’t really aware of til I moved on … she did stop the rearing and through my own fearlessness became a really good little show jumper reg beating the other kid on there expensive warmbloods …. I was graded Pony club D … but used to nag the instructor to let me do the much bigger course and happily jumped B …

It was then people started pressuring me to sell her … because I was too big … again looking back with hindsight this was bullshit … the mare I have now is only 14.3 … at the time Cairo was going really well … remembering I had really no idea what I was doing technically wise!... I can prob now say I was pressured too sell so I didn’t beat the others on my $800 my OTTB… but peer pressure when you are a kid is a funny thing and I listened and she was sold … the man who bought her was a really nice guy … but heard not long after she had started rearing again and so he had stopped riding her and put her out on his land … I hope she had a good life as was still only 7 at the time.

In some ways horses make the worst pets unlike dogs etc they come and go … and when they go you never really know what happens too them … and are always left wondering …

Next came BJ … and my confidence started to slide ….

Hope you enjoyed my article and found it some use … I am no expert and am just sharing my own experiences as I try to follow my dream of becoming a horse trainer … Thanks Nic


Street Talk

Nic First and formost you are most correct....when it comes to a new horse owner or rider---ignorance can really be bliss (See "Moma's Mink, posted today on Streeet Articles). Secondly I appreciate your writing style---especailly the (...)!! I can only asume you use them the same as I do as a way of showing that your mind is ...thinking. Spell check really love this???!!! So keep riding and keep writing because once the show is over and the ribbons handed out---all that's left is the memories and the long ride home. Pray for me. I'll pray for you. Jim And do not give up...I too was once a Horse Trainer and got paid for it.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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