Belle is an Arabian – about five years old. She was a rescue. She and her father were brought to a barn where we used to board. In fact, it was their second time being rescued from neglect. We’ve had her now for about two years.
This is Belle. Isn’t she cute?
Since Belle was malnourished at least twice in her life we waited to ride her. And frankly for any horse we believe it’s best to wait till they are five or six to start riding seriously. It does take that long for a horse to be fully grown. Recently, my daughter Rachael got on her. Before she actually got on though, we spent months, walking and trotting her with only the saddle on. We would hang on the saddle or put one foot in then out. We got her used to the mounting block too. Then Rachael got on, while I lead them around with a lead rope attached.
She doesn’t seem to have too much trouble with a rider. She tends to go very slow as if she’s afraid you might fall off if she goes faster. The problem, we learned the hard way, is that she gets scared when other horses get too close to her. She is a horse that is at the bottom of the herd hierarchy and runs away from other horses, or skips, or bucks.
Since she is a very small Arabian, and we really didn’t have any riding plans for her, but just wanted to give her a loving home, we’ve decided to try driving with her. It’s something we’ve never done before and will require a lot of training from the ground, but we are going to give it a try. We’ll keep you posted as we move forward.