"One white sock... buy him,
Two white feet... try him,
Three white feet...look well about him,
Four white feet...go without him."
"Chestnut mare.... beware."
"All Arabians are hot headed and crazy"
Judging from the above common stereotypes Jazmine doesn't have much going for her really. Are they really true?
Jazmine was considered to be a miracle before she was even born. Her dam had survived colic surgery and she had clung on in there too. The wonderful vets at the Barn Equine Surgery were deservedly proud of their work.
She was my first foal, and I had been a little ambitious with my breed choice, and while most things were plain sailing, I also have managed to train her to do things that I don't want. From day one Jazmine was handled... A LOT. She was practically 'imprinted' within a minute of her birth when the safest and easiest way to get her from the field to the yard, was quite literally to pick her up and carry her.
With Dina being tricky to catch I was keen to ensure that she didn't teach her foal to be the same. So by the time Jazmine was two weeks old she being caught with her funky little headcollar as though it was the most natural thing in the world. When she was old enough, leading came easily at first although she was quite willing to throw the odd strop usually involving her putting herself on the floor.
She grew up to be incredibly confident and never questioned anything we asked of her. She picked up her feet, tied up, loaded, and was stabled. She was even good with traffic from an early age living next to the busy road. When she was weaned she never looked back as I took her away to join a small herd of foals whereas Dina was distraught. However, leading became tricky, as she would pull and ignore instructions. She was cute and still small so I thought it was ok which was the biggest mistake I made. When Sarah came to see Dina, I took the opportunity to quiz Sarah about the leading issue. I booked a further session for Jazmine, keen that I should have a well mannered mare.
The sessions that I did with Sarah were so useful and of course Jazmine and I practiced loads. I asked Sarah to help me target train Jaz for stretches to help with stiffness in her neck and back. Jaz was very food orientated so we trained her with a feather duster as a target ,and a proper clicker device to keep her click different from Dina's. This proved to be a complete waste of time as Jaz didn't take long to work out what Dina's tongue click meant and I was soon getting two beautiful dished heads with one click each time I went to catch Dina.
I took Jazmine over to Sarah's fields to have a play with her agility obstacles. Jaz was completely unfazed by them, so we tacked her up and took her for a hack in the forest instead. At four years old hacking out alone in a strange place didn't worry her.
After the winter Jazmine didn't seem quite right when she was brought back into work. A through veterinary investigation revealed that she was suffering from grade three gastric ulceration. Why she should be susceptible is unclear although she does have an intolerance to some grain; not your typical ulcer candidate as she isn't a stressy type, she didn't go off feed or hay, nor did she drop condition. Now healed there are lifelong management implications for her. Starting with living out this winter.
Jazmine walked all the way to the vets, heading through the town, past the Post Office and butcher's shop, for her final scope and she didn't put a hoof out of place. This autumn she took part in the firemen's training and was one of the calmest horses there.
I've since lost enough weight to begin riding her myself so it's just confidence holding me back now.
So....back to those stereotypes...