perditaPerdita has been with us for four years now and it has been quite an adventure.  When I first met Perdita, I could see that she was curious, smart and friendly but a little stand-offish.  There was also something very intriguing and irresistible about her that made me want to take her home.  I quickly learned that she came with baggage that resulted in some challenges including trust issues and dramatic reactions to things like being wormed, putting a bridle on or just touching her face or ears.  Being a rookie horse owner, I knew I needed help right away.   I worked with a trainer and slowly began to gain her trust and become a better leader for her.  There have been many challenges along the way including bucking and rearing.  I’ve made plenty of mistakes but I’ve learned from them.   There were times when I wondered if I would ever be enough for this mare and if I would ever be able to have safe and pleasant rides with her.

After years of learning (mostly on my part), Perdita and I are finally in a place where I feel confident and knowledgeable enough to be a good leader for her.  Therefore, she is becoming more and more willing to follow my lead.  The bumps, bruises and shaken confidence along the way have all been worth it.  I can now ride without anxiety or fear and Perdita is calm and willing, no longer frustrated by my poor leadership. This new phase of our relationship has made me fall in love with her all over again.We are looking forward to peaceful trail rides and meandering walks in our pasture.

Perdita has come to trust me and has become a silly, playful girl that steals my heart every day.  Having her in my life has taught me patience, self awareness and a big dose of humility. In the end, I’d like to encourage those out there who are working to build a relationship with a horse that is challenging, to not give up.  But to be patient and look first into yourself for causes or barriers and seek help from professionals.

Lastly, to those of you who have helped me along the way, I can’t thank you enough.  Including my trainers whose patience is never ending: Aubreanne Dockter and Leanna Giles.  To Drew Fitzpatrick, Cindy Werronen and the many fosters and crew of MHARF who got Perdita to me.  I am so thankful.

Sincerely, Catherine Master

Perdita face

Perdita with her "foster sister" Blackberry

Perdita with her “foster sister” Blackberry