The Stormy Diaries – Bringing Up Baby

Stormy at Saguaro Classic December 2013 Sweet Savannah Storm is an Arabian/Saddlebred mare. She is six years old and the first horse my husband and I have ever raised from birth. I bred her dam, Sweet GA Brown to my trainer’s stallion, Aspen’s Bolero, and they produced the loveliness that is Stormy. Or should I say, the cantankerousness that is Stormy. This is a mare with LOTS of personality. She was born in the midst of a summer thunderstorm, thus her name, and it’s a name she has properly lived up to.

Stormy is the youngest and nosiest horse in my small herd. It’s not unusual to find her in a predicament. One of her favorite past-times is to insert half her body into my tack room looking for objects to play with or snacks to eat. Once, when exploring the feed room, she got all the way in, freaked out, and somehow bulldozed her way out, leaving buckets and grain bags sprawled in her wake. We have since put a lock on that door because she’s figured out how to push the door open and get in. Even after her harrowing experience.

Stormy has encountered much of the wildlife that lives near our property on the Rio Grande. Once, because of her curiosity, she met the wrath of a wandering porcupine. We found her with about 60 quills in her nose, looking very surprised, insulted and indignant. Removing those was fun! The vet saved the quills for me in a little glass jar. Whenever I see them sitting on the shelf, I can’t help but chuckle.

Because she was the baby of the property for so long, and because she is so darn cute, Stormy has been a favorite of passers-by on the ditch bank. When I took her to my trainer’s farm for some schooling for two years we got many concerned inquiries of Stormy’s wear-abouts. What happened to her? Was everything ok? Had we sold her? When she came back completely grown and much more mature, it was clear that little Stormy had not been forgotten. One of our neighbors has made it a practice to bring her carrots almost daily. The others horses benefit from this ritual, but Stormy knows she is the culprit of this neighborly generosity.

Despite this mare’s big personality, she has been a dream to train. For the first three years of her life, my husband spent many hours learning natural horsemanship techniques and worked with her on the ground, bonding with her, teaching her manners and exposing her to all the things she would have to deal with as a show horse. He even took her to a competition and showed her In-Hand as a two year old and they won Champion in both their classes.

It was obvious that it was time for Stormy to get some more advanced schooling so we sent her to my trainer’s barn where my trainer worked with her on the basics of Sport Horse and Dressage. Stormy was shown a few times before I took the reins completely and now we are embarking on her show career together. Stormy has made wonderful progress and has taught me a great deal about bringing up a young horse. Sometimes it’s difficult for Stormy to keep her opinions to herself, but she is generally very eager to please and easy going. As well as Sport Horse and Dressage, Stormy is embarking on a career in Western Trail. I’ll be sure to keep all of you posted on her adventures.

Thanks for reading my post and please tell me of your experiences with training a young horse. It is definitely character building!!