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Celebrating Mares- Montanas Promise

Kelly shares her story with her mare, ‘Montanas Promise’.montanas promise

“I got her off the race track at 3 years old where I would sometimes help ride her up in the morning. She was little and quite round for a racehorse so her racing career did not even start.

Montana was orphaned at birth and raised with a zebra in Zimbabwe so she was very quick to kick out and wasn’t the easiest in the stables but she soon overcame this with the help of the awesome grooms at the livery yard.

I have produced her as a show jumper and done a few bits of dressage and eventing and she has turned out to be quite talented but very quirky.

My first show out with her was dressage where she proceeded to rear 3 times in hand at the show, bucking and making a big scene.  We were able to put her on the lunge in a ring where she was bucking and kicking out higher than my grooms head and he is about 6 ft.  Spectators commented saying that they wouldn’t dare get on but she wore out pretty quickly and we won the baby class scoring 70%!

Since, we have been the entertainment at many shows.  I have had to do the walk of shame numerous times through the arena to catch her after she has bucked me off.  She will be cantering along like a superstar and in one swift movement she will launch into the air and buck,  I am on the ground before I even know what has happened.  Lucky, it is has always been well timed, just after crossing the finish line or before the bell has even rung, so I am able to continue to ride the classes.  I have been ditched coming out of the arena after a clear and then have to get back on to do the jump off.  My instructor will just laugh from across the arena and most people think I am mad to get back on but in the arena she is very careful. If I place her wrong and we get too close to a jump where she can’t get over without knocking it she will land and buck, telling me off to ride her better.

She has only been competing for 4 years and yet I get told off when I make a mistake!

I love her to bits and wouldn’t change a thing about her as she is actually a real softy..”

What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking of owning a mare/bought a new mare?

“From my experiences I have learned that mares are quite tricky. You can either get a really good one or a very stubborn one.

My advice is to be very patient with mares as they will try to test you. And you need to take the time to get to know them and earn their respect. Once you have that, they will give you their all and you can develop a very strong bond with them.  Montana knows exactly who I am and will nicker at me when I arrive at the yard.  Bribery also helps, my mare is very fond of her food and anything I have she thinks she is entitled to it too.

Mares are usually very clever and need lots of stimulation so their training must be varied and challenging to keep their minds busy.  My mares have been very quick thinkers in the arena which is great when you have to do a bit of improvisation in a round.

I always had geldings,  thinking they are more sane and down to earth, but since owning my first mare I have never looked back..”