The Horse or the Sport (aka My Little Satan)

There is a lot in a name….

Of course I am the Bad Eventer that had a horse with NO NAME for….. about a year.
( A Horse with No Name)

Before and After – yes that really is the same horse

One night at 3:00AM I read most of a COTH thread on “The Horse or The Sport”. The question was if your horse doesn’t like, won’t do, can’t do your sport of choice……do you change sports or change horses? It was interesting that almost every response was definitely in the “change sports” category. Almost everyone said keep the horse and find something else to do with it. (I guess I have a small collection of pasture ornaments due to that very same sentiment.)

But, in my quest to ride in the Rolex better, I’ve changed horses a few times.

Last year I found myself in the interesting position of my coach telling me I needed a new horse.

I had gone through 3 horses in 3 years.

The first I ruined just didn’t want to play this game.

The second was a Super Star, but is now comfortably retired.

The third, I lost to colic. (Horses will definitely break your heart.)

Most sane people would give up at that point….. but I’m pretty sure we’ve established that I am definitely not most people, or sane.

The fourth got me to my first Prelim.

And we did WELL!!

And then my coach says, “Sell her!”


He had a lot of very good reasons.

And after being rather persistent persuasive about the issue, I decided it was time to find something that could keep moving up. After all, Prelim was a goal, but not THE goal.

It seemed like the perfect time to sell her. Imported, fancy, pretty, completely sound, 7 years old, and experienced at Prelim with an amateur (and a BAD ONE at that.)

So I packed her off to be sold.

And here is the rest of the story………

When I bought this mare, she was a bit of a bargain, because she was nearly unrideable.

A pro was competing her (and doing well) but she had so many “quirks”, she had a dozen “work arounds” I was warned about.

She had dumped a couple people that had come to try her.

You couldn’t even put a saddle on the horse safely.

You’re ready to rush out and buy this one right now – aren’t you?

So the seller is running down the list of evil things the horse does……………….

My response…………………yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m not worried about any of that.

All I want to know is………………

Will she jump a trakehner?

She said, “Yes.” And I wrote the check.

Come on, you already knew I was nuts.

Fast forward a year, and we’ve worked out pretty much all of her issues. She’s behaving like a sane horse, and competing well (at Prelim).  So off to boot camp she goes to find a new home.


Do you believe in soul mates?

They say some dogs are “one person” dogs and they will never bond with a second person.

I think it’s very possible that I’m the only Bad Eventer in the world that this mare will put up with.

I’m not sure what it is, but I can be hanging off of her upside down screaming and she will still…………… jump the trakehner.

But, she’s not so good for anyone else.

My helpers can’t even catch her in the pasture. But she waits for me at the gate.

She does wild mustang maneuvers if someone else saddles her or even tries to put her boots on. For me………..she usually stands there.

Now don’t get me wrong. She’s hot, she’s challenging, and she still scares me occasionally. I decided when I got her back and started riding her again that her name all along should have been………. Satan.

The interesting thing, is as long as I call her Satan and expect evilness from her she is pretty damn good……..

I could wax poetic about sports psychology but I think it lowers the expectations enough that if she is anything in the realm of angelic it’s OK.

So “My Little Satan” is back home, and I guess she’s staying.

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3 thoughts on “The Horse or the Sport (aka My Little Satan)

  1. Me

    Bad eventer + crazy pony = awesome eventing team! Great story and you know what they say – everything happens for a reason…

  2. Beka Burke

    I love the horses that are little demons to all but one. I think it shows personality and intelligence. I'd be interested to know… does your trainer think Prelim is this mare's max or could she slowly move up, too?
    (I'm in the "drop all competitions and start trail riding with the occasional crossrail" category.. I love my OTTB and his arthritic bones!)

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