Candy the Lesson Horse

Candy the Lesson Horse

My friend next door is a dressage trainer and has a string of great lesson horses for her students. Summer is an extra busy time for her, and a couple of weeks ago she asked about using some combination of my horses for lessons. Years ago, Moe and Gina had stints as regular lesson horses in her program, and I trust her judgement in matching riders to horses.

Last week, she told me she put two advanced teenagers on Gina and Candy. I was flabbergasted- Candy’s been great (and my friend knows that), but I didn’t think she’d been doing lesson horse well! My friend assured me that both mares were fantastic. She used Candy again this week and sent me a video.

Candy looks so relaxed and quiet! There’s no trace of the anxious and frazzled horse she used to be. She’s happily poking around on a long rein like a seasoned professional. (Maybe she wants to be a hunter.)

The improvement in Candy is almost unbelievable. This horse couldn’t focus on anything. She alternated between crawling like a slug and bolting like her life depended on it. She never relaxed, and the smallest movement or change sent her into an anxious frenzy. Once she was upset she never recovered during the ride. I was so frustrated with her that I tried to give her away THREE TIMES. THREE! No one wanted her.

Candy still does weird stuff. Sometimes she trembles in her stall like she’s afraid. She’s funny about gates and doors and occasionally bolts through them. But she’s SO much better than she used to be! Now she trots over ground poles instead of stopping or bolting. When the wind blew her saddle pad off while I was retrieving her saddle from the tack room, she stared at it but didn’t freak out. She’s easy to catch and fun to ride. She’s now quiet enough for lesson kids to ride!

I’m so happy that Candy seems content and comfortable. And hey, if she’s quiet enough for the teens, maybe I can pawn her off on Johnny!

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