I figured Ez was about due an introduction of his own, so here it goes:
Ezhno (also known as JMJ Rockin Champagne) is a 15.2hh APHA amber champagne tobiano palomino gelding. He was born on May 29th, 2009 and I bought him on September 12th, 2016. I found him on Dream Horse, went to see him after a full day of showing, decided he wasn’t the one, thought about it for three weeks, and then purchased him while I was on a trip to Las Vegas for my 21st birthday. I picked him up a few hours after my plane landed and started riding him the next day.
Before I purchased him, Ezhno was a trail horse/pasture puff. He’d had five months off and was just being returned to work—he’d only had three rides on him when the Trainer and I came to see him. He was out of shape and green in the arena, not to mention a scuffed up from being the low man on the totem pole out in the field. His last rider was his owner’s timid twelve year old daughter, who was afraid to pick a fight with him about his lazy tendencies, so they wanted to sell him so they could buy a finished horse for her.
His owner’s sister was bringing him back into work. She was riding Ezhno in a training contraption that ran from his nose band down to his girth, so the first thing we had to do (besides chopping off the monstrosity of a mane he was sporting) was give him a crash course on how to balance without a head setter to brace off of. On top of that, he didn’t move away from pressure, he lagged behind my leg, he couldn’t get his left lead, his turns on the haunches/forehand and his sidepassing were nonexistent, and he mistook dragging his nose in the dirt for lifting through his top line… he was a mess!
But despite his lack of experience, I made the decision to purchase Ezhno because of his personality. He subtly tests boundaries on the ground and he can be a bully under saddle (he seems to think that because I’m small, I’ll be just as easy to intimidate as his last rider—nice try, buddy), but his good qualities are overwhelming: he’s patient in the cross ties, he waits while I wiggle my way up onto him whenever we ride bareback, and even when he’s very very angry (like, for example, if we’re fighting over his lateral work), there’s never a moment where I feel nervous or unsafe when I’m on him. Plus I’m a sucker for an opinionated tail-swisher; I love to dig some sort of work ethic out of a “lazy” horse.
I put Ezhno into training with Ready to Ride for the month of October so that Trainer-M and Trainer-A could work their magic on him (and make life a little easier for me). He’s come along quickly since his first training session, and on October 17th, 2016, I officially took him over his inaugural cross rail. We attended our first schooling show together in November (and another in December), and we do two lessons a week so that I can supplement his training when I ride without my instructor.
Ezhno’s favorite thing is to be outside; after a particularly hard ride, he likes to walk around the track or go through some of the obstacles out on the trail/cross country course. He loves turnout—AKA Outside Time—and when we’re alone in the arena he gets worried when other horses go by, like he thinks they’re leaving on a trail ride without him! He’s great to take on the trails because he’s not afraid of many things, and when he is they’re never what you expect him to be afraid of—like a Shetland Pony in brightly colored tack or turning around in the wash rack.
Owning him is the best journey I’ve undertaken in my life!