Well, she is a handful under saddle so I guess her spice has a bit of a kick to it but mostly CC is a delight. She loves to be with people, climbs right under the picnic table umbrella to be with me, and checks out everything because anything could turn out to be a carrot. Her bit of kick under saddle is not cranky. She is very athletic and extremely responsive, needs just a tiny hint of leg and a whisper to the bit. More than that and she will demand her rider back off. I have had a series of trainers for her but all tended to harsh, and the bits they've put her in must be on the torturous side for CC. Fortunately for CC and me, my budget for horse trainers exhausted so it's me and her, and a nice mild bit. Although I majored in horse management for my first college degree (of the associate's type), I am not really the most suitable rider for her potential. I could be but so far am not. After that college experience, I ran out of horse opportunity, did the mom thing, and had a 25 year absence from horses. Getting back into riding when seriously out of shape and prone to injury is quite a different experience from riding as a teenager.
CC was only 19 months old when I bought her. She is now 9 years. We've been through many changes and I learn from her probably more than she learns from me. She especially teaches me patience and kindness. I probably teach her tolerance, and I credit carrots for that. The girly loves her carrots! I often hear other horse folk say not to feed treats by hand because it encourages biting. Cannot prove that by my experience. I have fed carrots and apples by hand to all 5 of the horses I've had and none of them were biters. CC went through a phase at only one barn where she nipped but she was mostly confined to her stall at that barn, and the emotional environment there tended to intense, with crankiness not uncommon. Not a calming place. My girly is an Anglo Arab, a very smart breed of horse. They do not suffer fools gladly, and the best I can explain how I approach CC is ask, don't tell. Treated with respect, she is cooperative. And yes, very sweet though tinged with imp. She makes me smile with that. She is also careful with me. Two events that could have quickly turned disastrous are instead tributes to her inherent goodness. The first event occurred after someone else tried to ride her. He had no riding skills and she had no respect for his tight hand and leg grips. Zero. Zipppp. She bucked, she backed, she just said no. I made him get off and I got on. Since she had gotten away with pretty much everything while he rode, she tested me, tossed in a bit more buck than I can really sit. She didn't throw me but she did unseat me. I ended up in front of my saddle, dumped on CC's neck. A horse's neck is not designed to hold up a human, especially one not quite feather light. The instant I landed on her neck, she stopped. She stood still. She strained to keep her head up. She could easily have dumped me, either softly just by dropping her head, or hard with another buck or bolt the other direction. But she just stood there supporting me for an amazingly long time until I finally got someone else's attention that I needed help to get back in the saddle. The second event was far less dramatic. She had a minor leg injury and needed walking to keep the leg from stiffening up. It was winter and ice formed every where. I was walking at her side, holding her lead. Slip WHOOOOPS feet out from under me WHOOOMP flat on my back. Still holding that lead line attached to her halter. Horses react to sudden with flight response. Get away from the scary then check it out. But not my girly. She stopped. She looked down at me. I swear I heard her giggle. And again, she waited for me to regain ... well, dignity. Picture a spider on ice. Yes, I got back on my feet, turned us around to go back to the barn and WHOOPS WHOMP again. And again she stopped, looked, and just kind of sighed.
I take care of her, she takes care of me.