My beautiful Pearl turns two this week. Honestly I don't know where the time has gone. It seems like yesterday I met the little 3 month old fluff ball that gave me goosebumps when we said hello over the stable door. Now I have a very large young filly who is a bag of opinions.
I groomed her the other day and remembered when I bought her home at 6 months old and I couldn't touch her anywhere past her neck. Now she thoroughly enjoys a good scratch and brush and trusts me. I have taught her to tie up, approach new things with curiosity, I can calm her when she worries, she has travelled across the country twice without so much as a whinny, we have won our first inhand class (we were the only ones in the class but we don't talk about that) we have battled strangles and coped with weeks of isolation, we have worked through some seriously dramatic opinionated behaviour, we can now go and play games in the school preparing her for adult life, she teaches me how to control my emotions, she has taught me that you get back exactly what you put in and despite the bumps we have had the journey so far has been amazing.
Buying a 6 month old Lusitano filly was probably a bit ambitious on my part, scarred from losing a horse very quickly because of other peoples mistakes, I knew I wanted a foal. What I didn't realise was how much work a young horse really is. I was very lucky and blessed with a very quiet and easy foal who was happy to follow me wherever I asked once we had the trust. At about 18 months old like a light switch we had an overnight change. I had a just shy of 15hh young horse who decided she had a few things to say. We had charging at my back when coming in from the field, rearing, barging, dangerous aggression over food, ridiculous dramatics when on the yard without her field mate. It was at a stage where I was wearing a hat everywhere and carrying a whip. I lost my temper, went home crying, shouted at her and once kicked her when she reared up in my face. I felt like shit.
The change came when I learnt that all emotion had to be removed from the situation. I started groundwork sessions with an amazing lady who showed me how to stand up for myself in a way Pearl understood without anger. I had amazing support on my yard and slowly over the past 4 months my filly now respects me. I no longer fear her, we are in a good place. I don't want to wipe her personality out, or not be able to communicate with me through fear of punishment. We are now having fun together again.
So here is to the terrible twos. I am sure she will have many more challenges for me as we move through our relationship and develop her education. However our foundation is strong, each bump we get over is another building block in our relationship and every week she teaches me something new.