Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Milady Consolation

She sounds very medieval, doesn't she?

Luckily for me, in light of Aaruba's uncertain future career, my beloved Stonewall saddle fits Consolation just as well as it does Aaruba. A couple adjustments to the centerfire rigging, which can be shifted front to back with a couple buckles on each side, and we were good for a quick training ride in this afternoon's unseasonably mild weather.

The difficulty, now, is getting personalities to mesh. Medieval or otherwise, Milady Consolation is a queen of the highest order. She's one of the most strong-willed mares I've ever known...and that's saying something. The descriptor (epithet?) "strong-willed" has been applied to me a time or ten, as well.

Today's ride was one of many reminders: With this horse, I need to pull on my Lead Mare britches and take control of the situation. Consolation isn't going to accept an unworthy leader. I haven't quite convinced her, yet, that I fit the bill. Fairness and consistency are critical, and it's going to take some time -- and timing. With Consolation, I must take even greater care than usual to push an issue only until I've made my point, then stop before she crosses the line between acceptance and frustration.

Mares. Honestly. As a friend of mine said recently, give me a stallion any day!

Ah, well. Consolation is a lovely lady worth every minute of trouble. We'll make it through together.

In the meantime, however, I'm looking hard for nice things to say about her.

Umm...she has a pretty tail? ;-)

PS. Down in the comments, Lori is right. Not all mares are like this. I'll be shocked if SandStorm ever demonstrates a modicum of disrespect, and Ripple Effect is an odd combination of sugar-sweet and iron will. Acey is a powerful mare, but nothing on Consolation. Furthermore, the only horse I've ever genuinely disliked was a gelding. (I'll bet if I'd understood then what I understand now, I wouldn't have disliked him at all. Poor guy.) Anyway, they're as individual as the rest of us.


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Andrea said...

Oh come now - crazy mares are all the rage you know ;D Just ask Gogo! (Or well, she's PRETTY sure that she IS the rage... even when she's raging.)

Lori Skoog said...

The horse I ride the most is a mare....3/4 Trakehner, Berlin. She is nothing but sweet....canters to me when I have her halter and yell to her "do you want to go for a ride." At 24, she is still doing this....of course, we are back yard, not in a performance place. But, she is still a mare and has not given me any static.

Best to Aaruba!

Ashley said...

I can relate. I've been told many times that Mimi and I are birds of a feather when it comes to strong wills (actually, I think the term might have been "pain in the butt" a few times...) but I think that's made us a stronger team. The biggest hurdle to get over was for me to realize how strong and independent she is, and that instead of being constantly demanding, she did much better with some "think time" and a lot of compromising. While she accepts me as Herd Leader (in out little herd of two), she definitely sees things as a partnership, and if she doesn't think I'm holding up my end of the deal, she's not afraid to let me know. But I wouldn't have it any other way. The rewards, when you do form a parternship with these kind of horses, are amazing.

Jackie said...

Give me a strong willed mare anyday. If, and once you do earn their trust and respect, you will have an amazing partnership. My mare has prevented me from making a dumb mistake more than once on the trail.

allhorsestuff said...

I went to your link on the post..nice mare nice dances too! Your final written comment was,
"I Love This Mare"!
I do think she may be wanting to teach you something abour yourself.

Tamara of In the Night Farm said...

LOL, Andrea. May Consolation and Gogo never meet.

Lori, you're right, of course. I've dealt with plenty of mares that aren't like this. :-)

You make good points, Ashley and Jackie, and I do think it'll be a great strength -- particularly for an endurance horse -- once we get over the rough patch(es).

Kac, you're absolutely right. I DO love this mare. I just don't always LIKE her. ;-) Pretty sure she'd say the same about me. We'll get past it.

Susan Catt said...

Tamara, I want to say this. YOU GO GIRL! Pick it up where ever lifes road drops you off and move on forward. Gettin' 'er done with a Spanish Mustang/Barb will be a test to your resolve. They dont have to be mares to make you work for it. But once you got it, you'll know you are on top of the equine world.

Regardless, the fact that you have taken your heart which I know is aching and uncertain, snd turned to run face on into the thunder asking Consolation who will probably be your toughest and eventually most trusted friend to pull through for you... her the thunder and she won't fail you...

...I admire you!


;) S

Esther Garvi said...

Tamara, I can relate. We have two (barb!!!) mares, Arwen and Sahara. Arwen is the most timid thing but the most amazing horse I have ever ridden (beating all the stallion except for one, whim whom she shares 1st position as there would not be more they could possibly give me!). Sahara on the other hand is... tricky. She has good days and bad days. I love her, but I don't always enjoy riding her - not that we fight, but you can feel how she'll only give you those 80%, or 90% - leaving you to feel THRILLED when you reach those 95%. And yet Arwen has always given me 200%. If you figure things out with Consolidation, let me know. In the meantime, I work on Sahara. I adore ground work with her and we have so much fun. But when we go out in the bush, I long for Arwen. Who is limping slightly (still) and may never really fully recover. We will just have to wait and see.

Warm greetings from Barb Land in Africa,

Jonna said...

A little late on the comment board but since I am especially partial to Consolation (since I almost bought her before you snatched her up!) I had to say this. If you can get all of that of which Consolation is displaying that isn't always "favorable" WORKING FOR YOU, you will have something absolutely amazing in that mare...

But, since I primarily ride a stallion these days, I have to agree on the comment about stallions.. give me a stallion anyday!!