I have a lot of horses...currently 8 1/2 to be exact! Each and every one is very different. One is easy to work with on the ground, but a pill to ride; one is very laid back and only took 4 months to completely break to both saddle and driving a buggy...and then there was Dominus Villa. His name means Master of the House. His trainer worked with him for over a year and told me, "Julie, I think he is the most difficult horse I have ever broke." Dominus was shown at a very prestigeous show and prior to going in the ring, the trainer told me he had no idea what was going to happen in there. Thankfully, Dominus was a good boy and did not take one step out of place. This was one of his show photos.
Well, I am not a professional trainer. Over the years, I have learned (the hard way) that it is much easier to stay ON a horse (or as horse people say - staying WITH a horse) then to come off of one!! well, Dominus gave me a real run for my money. He hated to canter to the right. All of the misbehavior you see in these pictures is from me asking him to canter to the right~!
Also at this time, we had just learned that Don was ill. I believe he had just started his chemo. Every time Dominus reared .. or bucked ... or just jumped up and down.. I would think... "What happens if I get hurt and cannot take care of Don?" That is the worst type of thought you can have if you need to deal with a horse behaving badly! I was not mentally in a good place to deal with him.
...so I stopped riding him. I would bring him inside to groom him and one day he cow kicked (kicking out sideways) at me as I was brushing his tail. That was it! I was DONE with him. I took him out to the back pasture and let him go telling him, I am DONE with you! I even told him that if we got hungry and had to kill 1 animal on our farm to eat... it was going to be him!
.. well, for the next 2 months, when I took feed to the horses in the back pastrue, I had to watch him. He would try to run into me and bully me. Ironically, I noticed with all of this hateful attitude towards me, he was the lowest horse in the pecking order of the back pasture horses! After those 2 months, he started to try to befriend me. I IGNORED HIM! For almost two years I totally ignored this horse. Other than feed, meds and hoof trimming, he received no attention from me.
Thank God Erica came along. Erica is a friend of mine who is very used to 'strong' horses. She took a liking to Dominus and approached me about leasing him. I laughed at first.. but when I thought about it.. realized it might be a good fit. Erica has been working with Dominus now for 3 weeks. She says he has not acted a fool with her at all.. and in fact, he follows her around like a puppy dog! I am so thrilled and can not wait to see them in the show ring some day. Erica.. you may have saved this horses life! Not that I was really serious about eating him.. but if I had to sell my horses, I can only imagine where he might have ended up!