Posted by on 11 January 2014 at 8:20 am  Horses, Personal, Sports
Jan 112014

For the past two months, my horses have enjoyed the company of Dixie, a very agreeable four-year-old paint mare. I borrowed her from my friend Cyndi Meredith when Lila was in treatment for her chronic pain problems, particularly because I wanted a horse to foxhunt. Although Dixie is mostly western-trained, I suspected that she would be quiet out hunting, and Cyndi wasn’t riding her much. So my taking her for two months was a lovely win-win.

Dixie turned out to be a great hunt horse — quiet beyond her years. After she did so well, I decided to take a few lessons with my trainer Martha Deeds to get her started over fences. I’ve never started a horse over fences before, so that was a nice education for me… and fun too! She’s darn cute over fences, and she seems to really enjoy herself.

Cyndi wants to sell Dixie now, as was the plan all along. Until that happens, she’ll receive more western training from Cyndi. She’d make a lovely all-around horse, particularly for a young teenager. She’s got much to learn, but she’s so quiet, easygoing, and willing.

Last night, I put together these videos for Cyndi’s prospective buyers, and I thought I’d share them with you too. Dixie has been a really fun project for me, and I’m a bit sad to see her go. However, I’ve got to focus my attention on my upcoming month in Aiken, which is approaching fast!

First, Dixie being vacuumed, including in the face. Yes, you read that right. When it’s too cold to bathe, but your horse needs to be clean, vacuuming is the way to go! Most horses are scared of the vacuum, but Dixie was nonchalant about it from the get-go.

Second, Dixie loading and unloading quietly from the trailer. She’s an extremely easy loader, as you can tell from her loading herself before I was ready.

Third, highlights yesterday’s lesson with Martha. It’s flat work at the beginning, then we jump! She’s really cute over fences — and fun to jump too! I hope that whoever buys her wants to continue that with her, as she seems to enjoy it. We had her in a new bit — a Gina Miles Full Cheek Double Snaffle Bit. It wasn’t too strong, but it helped elevate her front end. Oh, and I almost forgot: This is Dixie’s third lesson with Martha — and just her fourth time over fences. So she’s doing remarkably well.

Fourth, highlights from foxhunting with the Arapahoe Hunt. This was actually the last day of the four-hunt “Rendezvous” in November, so the field was about 80 horses. That’s huge. Dixie was completely unfazed, as you can see from this video.

In addition, I didn’t hesitate to put my mother (an accomplished horsewoman, but she no longer rides except when visiting me) on Dixie, as well as a complete novice, on Dixie. She doesn’t spook on the trail, even when alone. She gets along with other horses, and she has good manners on the ground. She’s remarkably sensible, eager to please, and just plain sweet. She deserves the best of homes!

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