Hi From Tarsa and Starlick

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Hi From Tarsa and Starlick

Post by Tarsa on Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:53 am

Hi, i am Tarsa and Starlick is my 26 year old Arabian gelding. Some people believe that we are sent the horse that will teach us whatever it is that we have to learn. I don't know if I am a beleiver of this theory, but Starlick has deffinately been the horse that has taught me to look outside of the box my riding instructors put me in. I started my riding career as an adult. All those "Mummy I want a pony" were never listened to, so when I went to work at 17 I got to sit on a horse for the first time in my life. They say it is easier to learn to ride as a child when you don't know that you can get serously injured. Well I was never what you would call a brave rider. My first horse was the sweetest arabianX mare that ever put hoof on this earth, but sadly she came to me late in her life and was with me for only a year before she passed away. After many tears I started looking for my dream horse, a second Imppy but the gods or fate or whatever/whoever it is who sends you horses to teach you something send me Starlick. He was 10 years old then and of course I rode him shod and bitted. After all that is how you ride horses, isn't it? Starlick was and still is a very sweet human centered horse on the ground but he had no brakes and very little steering and only one speed, flat out, he also stargazed so badly that that my riding instructor said laughingly if it rains he will drown. We worked on getting Starlick some brakes, but a lot of the time the only way to stop him was to run into the bushes at the end of the arena we used. Starlick also had a "habit" of rubbing the side of his face against his leg when I rode him. The longer the ride the more frantic the rub would become. I was convinced there was something that was worrying him but my riding instructor kept saying "no it is just a habit like biting fingernails". For 5 years I rode Starlick trying to find a bit that he would be happy in but never found one. In my tack cupboard there are at least 10 bits and I borrowed many more from friends. The final straw came when I was trying yet another bit, that a horse dentist said would fit his mouth better. He shyed at something and I touched the reins and we were off. Bolting down a narrow winding bituimin road. This was a nightmare ride, I hung on and prayed to any god that may have been listening that I could stay on him, not meet any cars and get him back under control before he killed us both. After 2kms (1ml) we came to an area that I knew the local council had been using to dump mountains of wood chip that they had made when pulling out unwanted trees. I haulled with all my might on the left rein and managed to turn Starlick enough to head him up a woodchip mountain. Very soon he was belly deep in wood chips and could not move his legs anymore. I stepped off onto the chips and together we sat, Starlick buried in chip and me on the chips. We were both pantting and terrified. After about 10 minutes I had calmed my nerves enough to dig him out from the chip mountain and together we walked home. Starlick's head was hanging down as if to say "I'm sorry Mum I really didn't mean to do that I just got frightened". I decided something had to change and it did. I had read about Dr Cook's bitless bridle in a horsie mag and thought about sending to the US to get one but then at a horse conference I went to there was a local saddler's version of the Dr Cook. What did I have to lose? So with my friend David for moral support I put the bitless bridle on Starlick and started walking beside Starlick around the arena. Turn left, turn right, stop. All seemmed fine but I didn't want to take the leap and get on him without a bit. How could I control him without a bit. Finally David just said "For heavens sake get on him". So heart in mouth I got on. I rode at a walk, turn left, turn right stop over and over, until again David said "put him into a trot" "But I might not he able to stop him" "Well run him into the bushes like you always do" So with heart even more in my mouth I asked for a trot. For the first time ever I got a nice easy trot, he turned when I asked, he slowed when I asked, and he stopped easily. I almost cryed. It was as if Starlick was saying "Yes Mum, why didn't you do this 5 years ago?" Sartlick didn't need any time to learn to be ridden bitless, it was me who needed to learn that I could control a horse without a bit in its mouth. As I am sure you will have guessed the frantic face rubbing disappeared immediately never to return. Poor Starlick was obviously trying to tell me his trigeminal nevre was be being irritated by the bit and being a kind animal didn't just buck me off. I feel very sorry for all the pain I must have caused him. He also lowered his head, he is an arabian so his natural head carriage is high but it was no longer nostrils to the sky.
From Tarsa ans Starlick in Australia
11 years later I would never think of putting a bit back in Starlick's mouth, he is also taught me about barefoot but that is another story.

Tarsa

Posts : 3
Join date : 2012-08-14

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Re: Hi From Tarsa and Starlick

Post by Cyndi on Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:15 am

Welcome here Tarsa and Starlick!!!

Thank you so much for sharing your story! It is quite a journey we embark on sometimes, isn't it? When we buy a horse, it is easy to think that 'a horse is a horse' and that you just do what everyone else does. Who knew just how far we'd come and how much we'd learn from our horses? Good for you, for listening to Starlick, and finding something better for him.

I believe very strongly that my mare came into my life for a reason, and I into hers. I've had her for four years (like you, I started out as a mature rider...but she was green when I got her), and she has taught me so much. I was aware of bitless bridles before I bought her, so I've never ridden her bitted.

Something hasn't seemed right with her for a long time, and thankfully I've been 'listening' to her. Recent tests have shown that she has high levels of heavy metals, so we're embarking on a detox program. We are expecting positive changes. But alas, that is a whole other story, like your barefoot story Wink

Feel free to start a "diary" in the "members only" section at the bottom of the home page. I think it's called "Training Diaries". You can talk about anything and everything you feel like, in regards to life with Starlick (or anything else, I guess). I look forward to reading more from you.

My name is Cyndi, and I'm from Canada. I have a wonderful 'little' (14.2 - 14.3 h) mare named Fanny (no snickering!! Fanny means something different here than in Australia! lol). She is half Canadian Horse and half Newfoundland Pony. You can read all about us in our diary...if you ever feel like wading through oodles of posts!! Shocked
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Cyndi

Posts : 780
Join date : 2008-08-09
Location : Ontario, Canada

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