Name: Bella (Hells Bells)
Age: 9 (June 9th, 2008)
Breed: AQH/Paint (there’s quite a bit of TB in there)
Owned Since: August 2010
Bella was my first horse, I bought her as an unbroken two year old to work with her and document it for my senior project (2010 to 2011). I brought her home in September of 2010.
We started with working on loading, then onto ground work. This mare was good every step of the way, shockingly. Despite her stubborn attitude she has an overall
willingness to please that made things easy. Until I actually started to ride her. She took a saddle easily, hesitated some with the bit but overall came around. At three years old she discovered that she could rear (both under saddle and when I was on the ground). We worked out of that (thankfully) and just kept pushing forwards. I had a few lessons on her over the years but primarily worked with Bella on my own. Then in 2013, I started her over fences, with the help of a trainer. Then by the end if the year I was working with her on my own. In 2014 and early 2015 we were working on our own as well. Late 2015 brought some serious changes into my life. Along with a dramatic spike in my anxiety that left me at a major cross-roads. I left the farm I’d been working at, I got another job, I moved Bella out to a pasture board farm. I moved from where I was living, a few months later I would move again and a couple months after that I would move Bella closer to my new home. She stayed there through the winter but after some issues with the cows at the new farm Bella’s bags were packed and she relocated to the farm we’re at now in the summer of 2016.
In the past 2 years I have struggled to maintain any sort of steady riding program. For a while the break seemed like a good idea for myself, and therefore for Bella. She really doesn’t tolerate a nervous rider who is unable to give all of their attention to her. So because of my mental health, we took a break. I saw her nearly seven days a week and would play around with her but we weren’t working. Spring of 2016 I dove back into it and she came back into shape quite nicely. Summer of 2016 I started college (gasp) annnd we struggled again to maintain any sort of regularity. Since then I’ve set more “plans” for us as far as how much I want to ride, what I want to work on, and we’re sticking to it as much as the weather permits.
Bella herself is a bundle of energy. She (still) hates to stand still on trail rides. I love riding her though and even when she’s out of shape she works hard to frame up and travel correctly. She still, particularly when she hasn’t been ridden much, gets stuck on her leads and it doesn’t matter which one you travel on first, that’s the one she wants to stay on. She’s super brave over fences, very honest, and the more she’s “in work” the less spooky she is. There is so much missing in this quick write-up. We’ve competed (hunter/jumper), we’ve gone on quite a few Hunter Paces, she’s trail ridden quite a bit with friends and I trailering places. But this is already long, I’ll work that stuff into some other post.
I am also riding a second horse, although unless I can confirm that I’ll be able to manage of the two of them more long term I’m waiting to post any sort of “about” for him. But, here are some details I can tell you: His name is Skipper aka Bella’s Boyfrand. He’s an Appendix QH, typically used for trail riding (I will mostly be not trail riding him). He’s been wonderful with me, very honest and willing to try, despite being herd bound and quite nervous/spooky. We’re currently just working on building trust and confidence (and working off some of his belly).