By: VeNecia DeCluette
By appearances it’s hard to believe that this sweet lil mare, Star, would hurt a fly.
Much less issue a sound butt-thumpin to a trainer with something like 20 years experience, who hasn’t been ousted from the saddle in roughly 7 years! In fact, had I not been there . . . had I not witnessed the event . . . there is no way I’d have believed that it actually happened! But happen it did!
Kindall, Star’s owner, had been telling Jenn that Star just wasn’t herself and that she was acting a lil odd. Jenn put her through her paces a bit, and she was a lil sticky in some places. The truth is, she was being a little Mare-ish the entire time and Jenn had to resort to putting spurs on to get her to really work. Keep those spurs in mind cause they will be an integral part of this story in just a few moments. This was out of character for Star, according to both Jenn and Kindall . . . “this is a mare who you usually can’t tell is a mare.” So Jenn – and her spurs – worked through those issues, and as the lesson wore on . . . Star was working the pattern a lot more honestly and her turns were much snappier. She was looking pretty good in fact.
Flash forward . . . Jenn has been watching Regina and I work on a few drills for a while and in that time she has been moving Star around to illustrate, but it’s not unreasonable to think that Star had cooled – perhaps even settled into stillness and could have felt like her job for the day was done.
Kindall asked Jenn to “breeze” Star through the pattern, because she’d never really seen her run. So Jenn took Star through once more at a nice lope and as I recall there was a little attitude from Ms. Star in that run. But nothing serious, not even really a hiccup. She kept her in a nice lope as she continued through the pattern again and this time really asked for the first barrel. And Star turned a nice one with some speed!!
She’d rounded the first and Jenn was in serious GO position!
So, unfortunately, were those spurs I brought up a lil while ago!
Bout two strides off the first barrel . . . Jenn gave her a lil go juice with those spurs and me thinks that perhaps they landed a lil close to the flanks.
Cause Ms. Star lurched once and then vaulted a solid 3 feet of the ground . . . she BUCKED twice and then ducked left. That is when Jenn in all of her 100 lb glory was catapulted a solid twenty feet and then rolled another 5 feet to the second barrel! I’m gonna say there was a forward flip with a half turn that would have made any olympic gymnast green with envy!
Jason, Kindall, Regina and I all sat there staring in stunned disbelief! And Star stood not far away in what appeared to be her own version of stunned disbelief too.
Jenn got back up, and got right back on. Kindal decided INSTANTLY to be very careful with spur placement when in the EXTREME GO position. My cousin fell in love with Jenn cause she cowgirled up! And in that moment I decided that Geldings are the rule!
Jenn is okay . . . she’s really sore, back, neck and jammed fingers. But she’ll make it through.
I think the funniest part of it all is the following quote.
Jenn said it just after we’d finished discussing the catapult incident and we were loaded up. We were about to get into the truck . . . and we heard her say this . . .
“I broke a nail.”