Gina the freak

Moe is enjoying some time off- well, whether he’s enjoying it is questionable; he whinnies at me every time I go in or out of the tack room next to his stall as if to say “Pick me! PICK ME!” I think he had a good time charging out of semi-retirement.

I’ve been riding Gina this week. You may recall that during and after our last show, she was acting pretty pissy about the dressage saddle. I checked out a Sommer Esprit from work (I’ve checked it out before, but haven’t written a test ride post on it) that has bigger panels and a slightly wider tree to see if she acted more comfortable in it. She was great for our dressage ride on Monday- super soft and pleasant, and moving without any of the stickiness that’s usually present during the first 10-15 minutes of any ride. She’s been under a lighter workload while I was in Oklahoma City and then while I was riding Moe, but I was a little surprised she went so well.


Today I got to the barn a little early and planned to jump. The jumps were still out in the arena from last week, but were set to tiny crossrails about 12″ tall. On Monday, I could hardly get Gina to go over them at a walk. She became very anxious and agitated, but eventually walked over them without any problems and I praised her effusively and dismounted.

I was planning to keep them low (2’6 and under) and just send her back and forth over a crossrail, a vertical, and an oxer until she acted like they were no big deal. After setting the jumps, I caught G and brought her in. You may recall that I switched Gina to a rope halter a few weeks ago- she’d been pulling back and breaking halters and lead ropes left and right, sometimes over very minor things. Gina’s had random spurts of being completely untie-able since I bought her, and I thought a rope halter would solve the problem. I can say with certainty that after today, the rope halter was completely worth the $10 I paid for it. Gina was acting cracked out crazy when I brought her in- blowing and snorting and spooking at god-knows-what. When a saddle pad I had on the fence flapped, she lost her shit and pulled back. We’re talking sat-down-on-her-fat-ass pulled back. The rope halter held firm and Gina quickly stopped moving and eyed the lead rope suspiciously.

Props to Amanda @ $900 FB Pony for reminding me that “Damn Gina” is a thing.

I let her sniff the offending saddle pad and after she settled down, I continued grooming her. I was picking out her left hind hoof when something spooked her again and she pulled back, hard. I jumped out of the way while Princess Pony flailed and pulled and flailed until she finally stopped, blowing hard. I retied her halter, which had slipped a little, and tacked her up.

At this point, I was thinking our jumping session was going to be terrible. The wind had picked up, the sky was darkening with an oncoming storm, and my horse was acting like she’d just done some meth in a Wal-Mart. But on I went, because I’ll be damned if I’m going to get up at the crack of dawn and drive 45 minutes to the barn and have my horse intimidate me into not riding. Plus, I figured we could always revise the plan and stay in the indoor, or work on transitions, or any number of things.


Once I was on, Gina was surprisingly good. Sure, she was tense and giving some things (e.g. horses in a nearby pasture) some serious side-eye, but whatever. I pointed her at the crossrail and over she went. No stops, no runout, no acting like a weirdo. We jumped the crossrail four more times. Then the vertical. Then the oxer. No weirdness at all. Just up and over- she even ignored my terrible riding. (I couldn’t manage to get on board with Gina’s distances today, at all.)

Gina looking buff. Or fat. You be the judge.
Gina looking buff. Or fat. You be the judge.

Gina’s such a freak. She’s spooky and jumpy and not very reliable. But days like today make me think that my faith in her is not totally misplaced, even if she is kind of insane.


Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

15 thoughts on “Gina the freak”

  1. Not let her intimidate you out of a ride, great way of putting it. And I love the ‘did meth on Wal-Mart’ , aptly described crazy mare behavior I’ve come to learn the hard way.

  2. It must be going around. Rambler was a total freak on Saturday for Sarah. I was so pissed at him. He even got baby Sherwin riled up briefly. Maybe, they are predicting cooler weather to come???! $$!!! $$ wouldn’t that be amazing!

  3. She’s such a pretty girl… even if she is a meth-head.
    She sounds an awful lot like Jamp. He’s quite literally afraid of his own shadow. And he knows where it appears and waits for it! Then he runs away. EVERY. TIME. But I suppose if they didn’t do that garbage, some beginners would have them instead of us!

    1. LOL I’ve always just thought that Gina would be dead in a ditch somewhere if I didn’t have her, because no one else would put up with her shenanigans!

  4. lol damn Gina! she looks super majestikal while freaking out about the potential existence of other horses tho. these mares, they really are something else. glad you had an awesome ride tho!

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