I had the pleasure of working with Bella’s mother some time ago. She seems to throw offspring with shorter legs and powerfully thick bodies. They tend to be less willing to flex laterally than many horses, but bend at the poll very willingly. They start out as bold babies with little interest in humans, but as they get a little older their curiosity, which is considerable, causes them to interact more and more with the people in their lives. Eventually this makes them very willing work and eager to please.
Bella was a fine example of all these traits, as I discovered early. As she was born a month early, in our pasture, with no help from anyone, we have had the pleasure of her company from day one. I handled her from a young age and was able to begin using my “Hands-On” methods well before she was weaned. I began her round pen work at just 3 weeks of age as she had by then developed and interesting problem with attempting to kick people as she ran by them. Fortunately even at this age she had little problem being separated from mom, at least as long as mom was outside the round pen.
Before she was 6 months old she was halter trained, would stand tied, pick up her feet for trimming, vet quietly and load into a trailer happily. She did seem to have a deathly fear of fly spray for some reason and it took some time to get her over that. ;> She was also moving off of pressure but would stand and let you touch her all over. We were able to free lunge her, changing her direction and telling her which gait we wanted with verbal commands and hand signals. Basically, everything I ask of a young horse before I can put a saddle on them.
So off she went to the pasture to continue to grow with only periodic tune up sessions to help her hold on to what she had already learned.
Fast forward to late this spring when I started working the now 3 year old Bella on the short line with bit and saddle in place. She took to it so quickly that she was had her first rider by early summer and is currently learning to walk, trot and canter with rider.
That’s brings us up to date with Bellatrix.