Sassy was my very first horse that my family bought from Mount Regis Stables in 2006. She and Charlotte were pasture mates, and so when Mom bought Charlotte, the owner of the farm showed Sassy to me. Looking back in hind sight, we rushed into buying Sassy. My mom had already bought Charlotte, I needed a horse, and Sassy was available for an incredible price. At first, Sassy and I got along well and I was able to handle her quick, fiery personality, but as time went on I realized just what I had gotten myself into.
Within the first two weeks of bringing her and Charlotte to our own farm, Sassy had an accident. We left her in a stall by herself, and she was so worried that in the end she resulted to jumping out of her stall. Though the immediate repercussions of this event were mild, this event is what ultimately drove us to discover natural horsemanship.
We first turned to Parelli Natural Horsemanship with our two horses, Sassy and Charlotte, at the time. We learned the methods first from a friend, then we found a trainee instructor (Esther Miller, the woman who foaled Woody), and they both helped teach us in the beginning. For the next two years, Sassy and I tried to make our partnership work, but the truth was I was not a good, effective leader for her, and she was not a good beginning horse for me. So, after a couple years of trying, she ended up going to Terrie's farm to live with her and her herd of twelve.
Sassy has been there for almost three years now, and up until the past five months she had been ridden by Terrie only every once in a while. I began to express interest in rekindling our partnership following the summer Harry Whitney clinic, and soon after that Terrie and I made a plan for me to take her to the upcoming fall Harry Whitney clinic in Floyd.
About a month prior to the October clinic, I began going out to work with/ride Sassy again; I didn't want to take her to the clinic completely untouched by me. We had a couple of successful rides, but the extent of our success was walking in a straight line without attempting to buck me off.
I took her to the clinic and boy did things change there. In that 5 day period, Harry and I helped Sassy work through her stall-phobia (she hadn't been in one since the accident), and I was even able to ride her with her feeling good about it. Our week ended with a fantastic long lining session to warm up, and a ride in which I walked and trotted her while she felt pretty good. The clinic did allow me to grow a lot in my understanding of her, but it also was a wake-up call because in the middle of the week her back became sore to the point I couldn't ride her. It was flash back to three years ago when I wasn't able to make much progress with her due to the back injury she developed from the stall incident. It was a blessing I was able to end the clinic with a good ride on her, but all in all the clinic helped me realize Sassy would not be able to do the things I'm now interested in and able to start looking into.
Since the clinic, though, I have been out to Terrie's farm 6 times, and each time I have had a more successful ride on Sassy than the previous time. I have made huge progress with her, and the past three rides I have walk, trot, cantered her with a positive look on both of our faces. I am sure we will have our bad rides, but she is such an interesting horse and I have truly enjoyed my time with her, showing her that humans are not out to hurt her. I hope to continue my work with her out at Terrie's and put more time and rides on her because she really is a cool horse. Sassy holds a special place in my heart, and my ultimate goal with her is to make each of our experiences and interactions positive so that she may begin to think, "hey, this is kinda fun!"
Full Name: Mount Regis Sassy Bee
Nickname: Sassy, Sassafras,
Age: 10 years old
Breed: Quarter Horse (she is a registered 98% Foundation Quarter Horse)
Height: 14.2 hh
Favorite Toy: poles or barrels
Favorite Treat: peppermints
Favorite Drink: soda
Favorite Place: Terrie's farm
Favorite Activity: bossing other horses around