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Cantering at Sunset

The Mare I Fell In Love With

I’ve been riding Moiya since late Summer 2015, and officially began my half-lease in January. I first fell in love with Moiya when I rode her during the summer last year. Miles was lame and resting, and she saved me from sitting on my ass while all my friends took lessons and went to horse shows. She was a gem from the get-go, and we just clicked (albeit inexplicably, because no one was more surprised than me). Over the winter, she was a bit difficult, especially over fences. But during my lesson last Monday, I got a glimpse of the mare I originally fell in love with.

Moiya Trotting Along

To truly understand my feelings on Monday, you have to know a bit of my background and a bit about Moiya. Moiya is… all of the things I never thought I’d be able to ride well. She’s a hot, sensitive OTTB mare who is definitely a jumper. Definitely. When she’s ridden consistently, and on night turnout, and it’s hot out, she mellows. She’s easier to ride, less opinionated and is happy to lope around small jumps. Over the winter though, she’s a powder keg. Sometimes she’ll flat very calmly, although you always have to be ready for her patented “spook and bolt” maneuver, and her brakes are less… workable.

Cantering at Sunset

But I rode through it. All winter. Sometimes we didn’t jump much, sometimes we worked on all the little things… like not running away from the jump and bending around the corners. Sometimes we even worked on actually going OVER the jump, instead of doing drive-by’s (another move we simply call a “Moiya”). But the point is, we successfully worked through it, with our partnership still intact. We had a yahoo lesson on Thursday, which was the first time Moiya got to jump outside. She thought she was in the jump-off of the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix… over crossrails. Whatever — we worked through it and it was fine.

Sassy Moiya

But on Monday… it was a complete 180* turn. Moiya came out quiet as a mouse, and was just awesome. We skipped the gymnastic, because she’s so small you’ve really got to GALLOP to get the strides, and that just wasn’t something we felt like doing that day. And honestly, Moiya doesn’t need gymnastics — she has great technique and knows how to do her job very well. So we supervised all the baby horses going through the gymnastic and just did some courses afterwards. It was totally worth the wait.

Jumping Moiya

We did a few courses, and she didn’t even peek at the hogsback like I thought she would. Our final course was my favorite:

April 18 Lesson Course Diagram

It started left lead over the “McDonalds”, tight rollback to the blue and purple gate (which I didn’t sit up and turn quite fast enough, and Moiya missed her lead change by a few strides, but I just stretched up and kept my eye up and she fixed it). Then we did another short turn to the brick, followed by another tight rollback to the blue and purple gate (which was MUCH better this time), and then the bending line to the hogsback. Moiya was SUPER — we did all of the turns pretty easily, and she did everything I asked happily. We finished with that, because there was nothing more I could ask of her, or myself. God, I love this mare.


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

25 thoughts to “The Mare I Fell In Love With”

  1. How fun! I love when things just click with a horse, like if any other horse pulled the same stunts it might be scary, but on the one horse you just work through it like no big deal.

  2. She sounds like such a fun mare. Those trickier horses are wonderful, such big boosts of confidence when you click with them and handle it all!

  3. What a good girl! Winter can be rough with a hot TB, but in my experience with Val over the last four years, All of the work is so worth it when the weather gets nice again.

  4. It never ceases to amaze me how horses surprise us sometimes! I have known so many people who were dead set on a certain type of horse, until they found one that they just “clicked” with! Glad you’re getting to enjoy this cool little mare!

  5. You know, Isabel was NEVER the horse I would describe for myself. For a variety of reasons. And yet, here we are. Funny how that works. Regardless I’m so glad to her your enjoying Moiya so much!!

  6. I love being surprised by a horse. So glad you’ve had the chance to ride her. It sounds like she’s really helping you grow as a rider.

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