Beginnings in AZ
Chilly was born to Barbara Rickert of Tucson, AZ on a very cold February morning, hence the name Chilly. After being a baby for a couple of years, Chilly went to a great trainer in Texas to have her initial breaking out. Here she experienced many different situations and had "conditional" training. This is what has helped lead to such a willing and trusting attitude. Chilly was also under a trainer in Tucson for a year preparing her for future showing potential.
Moving to MI
On Chilly's 4th birthday she was in the middle of a roadtrip from AZ to MI. When she arrived on valentine's day she was double blanketed and pretty chilly!
Chilly was first at a different barn during February-April where, unfortunately, she was not turned out (first due to cold, then due to barn owner issues). This, along with a drastic and fast change in feed, PLUS a 4 day trailer ride up from Arizona all contributed to what became a huge ulcer nightmare. Not to mention she had an absess which was treated with bute- leading to more stomach acid production. Her stall at this barn was constantly wet, very dark, and the walls were boarded up so she was not even able to see the other horses (this happened after she moved into the stall).
For more info on how we treated this issue, please go to the Ulcer Horse blog post.
How we workout
I interact with Chilly every day. We ride for about 30-60 minutes (if I am riding) or just work on showmanship, longeing, and ground manners. Every day we do something different so that she does not get ring-sour at a young age. This includes trail patterns, EQ patterns, jumping (small jumps as she continues to grow and connect topline muscles), or trail rides outside. I am a VERY strong believer in letting your horse be a horse- they need time with their friends, time outside, and time with their human in a positive environment. My attitude with Chilly is to treat her like a friend. If she does something "bad" I think of it as her not understanding what I am trying to communicate. The WORST thing you can do to your horse is spur/pull/kick etc when they do not know what you want. Kindness goes a long way and your horse will be much more willing to work for you if they can trust you.