Early on in her tenure at SAFE, we marked Violet as brave. Not long after first stepping off the trailer, she was already leading the way on walks across the property, supporting her decidedly more nervous half-brother, Scotty. Her energy was self-assured, even in the face of a new environment, and we expected to see that only continue to increase as she entered into our training program.

Indeed, as Violet’s education both on the ground and under saddle grew, so did her confidence. It has been, all things considered, a relatively quick and mostly uncomplicated restart for Violet thus far. So when Lexee, who has been working with Violet, decided to take her out to the outdoor arena for her first ride in that space, we were mostly certain it would be a success. As it is with horses, nothing is ever 100% sure, but Violet’s cool nature paired with Lexee’s supportive presence seemed about the best combination for a positive first experience.

And it was! Positive, that is. First rides in a new space for a horse on the greener side of things are typically just a lot of bending and walking — no flying changes quite yet. Usually it is nice for a new horse to have the company of a buddy for their first few rides, but the way it happened was that Violet’s first was by herself. Having the support of her rider in the new space was enough for Violet, who took the experience in stride. She was definitely curious about the sights and sounds happening on the outside of the arena, but easily bent down in the few moments when she began to get a little too excited. Her first ride in the outdoor wasn’t particularly eventful, but that is exactly how we like it! After a few laps around the rail at a walk, Violet had officially checked another box on her training checklist.

I’d say there’s no stopping this mare, but that would be a lie — she is actually quite receptive to being stopped when asked, even in new environments!

Check out a clip of her first ride below: