Volunteer trainer Laura McCorkle has been spending some time with Sophie over the last few months. Here is a little about what Laura has to say bout this young mare:
“Sophie is a lovely, willowy, long-legged teenager — with all the good and sometimes aggravating qualities that implies! She is athletic and willing to try new things, but like most teenagers, she can be a bit short on attention span — always checking her texts, saying hello to friends, or being drawn by some shiny object on the horizon. She’s also pretty sure she already knows EVERYthing and doesn’t need you telling her to settle down and pay attention, or put more effort into the tasks at hand.…On the other hand, with some patience, effort, and firmness you can get her attention and break through the layer of attitude to a quiet, friendly, companionable horse who is a good learner and truly enjoys working with and for her handler. Once she aligns with you mentally, she is quiet and LOVES making you happy.
The other day we were doing some Liberty work in the arena, and at first she was very focused on wanting to simply run back and forth along the fence line by the barn — calling to her buddies and really seeing me as simply an annoyance. I placed some obstacles along the fence to get her attention and make her pay a bit more attention to her feet — and also, frankly, just to see what she’d do! In her state of distraction, she knocked a couple of poles and a small chunk of log — clumsy and out-of-whack, not seeming to know or care were her legs were. Then she came to the barrel I’d placed on it’s side, directly in her path. She didn’t even SEE it until her front feet were about 3 inches from it — she stopped dead with all 4 feet together like she was standing on a circus ball, her neck and shoulders stretched out over the barrel. She teetered there for a couple of seconds, then got a very self-satisfied look on her face, and SO EASILY picked herself up and popped over the barrel as if she weighed no more than a butterfly.…no awkwardness, no fear, no overjumping, no straining — just an elegant little bounce and she was off! The next time she came to the barrel, she decided to go around it, but there was not a bit of fear or avoidance — she was clearly just smart enough to have figured out it was simply EASIER that way. She is going to make a really nice little horse for somebody!”