• Theo

Carrie and I

I have always been horse mad. Literally, for as long as I can remember, I have had a great affinity with equines. It wasn't that I wanted to be some great rider or competitor. I just loved being around them. No-one in my family was that interested in horses but thankfully, my parents supported my dream.

I began horse-riding from seven years old at Stourport Riding Centre and loved it. I learnt so much and it was the highlight of my week. At eleven, my parents agreed to get me my own horse. This is where the story truly begins. Rather than getting a ridden horse, I ended up with a filly. Carrie.

Unbeknown to us, Carrie's mother was never successfully broken in. When it came to training Carrie, she proved to be more on the challenging side. Mares are notoriously more difficult to handle than geldings, but Carrie is definitely her own free spirit.

As I was a child and had never had to train a horse, we encountered numerous behavioural problems. The people who were supposed to train her did not succeed and in fact, caused a number of issues with Carrie. She became totally unmanageable. You couldn't even lead her in from the field without problems.

We then enlisted the help of a horse expert who specialised in natural horsemanship. He seemed to perform miracles with Carrie. She was calm and almost kind. She behaved well and the guy that was riding her had great fun. She was trustworthy. Then it was my turn to start riding her...

At this point, I was thirteen and had lost a lot of confidence in riding because of some other issues and bad falls. The moment I sat on her, she didn't behave. She started reversing, getting agitated, and felt like a live wire. Turned out that the guy who was riding her would let her gallop as much as she wanted which meant when I wanted to walk, she wanted to run.

Anyway, after a few years, I moved her back closer as I wasn't getting to see her much and I missed her. The trainers' circumstances had changed so it just seemed like the right time. The original guy who rode Carrie wasn't there any longer so the trainer brought in someone to school Carrie and that didn't go so well.

Bridling Carrie was a problem since the first place we were at, so when I practiced riding her, it was bitless. We just walked around, occasionally trotted but she was uncomfortable. She wasn't confident and neither was I. She also had picked up a habit of spinning around the opposite way you asked (which seemed to have come from the schooling as she never did that before). We got the trainer back for a lesson but it didn't go well, to say the least.

By this time, I had university to attend so she became more of a pet. Once graduating, I was determined to start working with her. I employed someone to exercise her and potentially train her while I was at work. Carrie and the lady didn't seem to get on too well and in the end, it just appeared to be wasted time. I employed another trainer who specialised in confidence issues and problem horses. Again, we didn't really get anywhere. That was when I realised, I could do this myself. That's when we started our own YouTube channel. I wanted to keep a record of our progress and hopefully help others who also may be struggling with their equines and doubting their abilities.

This post is basically just a bit of background information into the story of Carrie and I. I've had her for 14 years nearly and we still have a lot to overcome but the progress we have made in the last year is incredible (in my opinion, which may be a little biased). These blog posts will cover our past experiences as well as regular updates of what's going on in our lives. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel, where you can see the accomplishments and training for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMnwSNdE-aBGp9qs-mmPxwA

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