Ozzy King of the Horses

 

From Beginnings to now.

My horse that I picked out did arrive.  And at first no one could approach him, he was scared of his own shadow, let alone human contact.  But as the weeks progressed, so did his trust with me.  He was still terrified of everyone else out there.  During the 2003 Kelowna Fires we had to evacuate the horses from the property.  This was really a great thing in the long run.  Oz as well as 2 of our other horses went to our Vets facility in Winfield (Thank you Dr's Wales!!!) I believe most of the horse population was also invited to keep their horses there also.  Because of the constant in and out of strangers, new horses, new people, new surroundings - Oz was instantly forced to deal with the scariness of the situation or just shut down.  We were evacuated for 5 weeks.  Once we were able to head home, Oz was pretty much cured of his "stranger danger".

Over the past 5 years I've owned him, he has been allowed to grow up and be a horse for the most part.  Over the past two years I started to concentrate on breaking him to ride.  In 2005 we did about a half dozen rides on the property and along Mission Creek walk way. 2006 we showed him at the local gymkhana which he loved!  It was his first show experience, we did everything at a walk or trot, but other then barrels he loved the play and having something to show off to. 2006 was also our first year at Armstrong IPE, I was extremely nervous as to how this horse would react to all the strangers, people wanted to pet him, balloons in his face, rides with lights and noises whizzing about.  We did halter class and about 2 riding classes that year.  Oz was amazing, never once did he bare his teeth, attempt to kick, when he went out to stretch his legs, he would literally be 3 people deep all around him.  He loved the attention, he thrives on it! And he started to make some fans.

2007 we moved him to a boarding facility in town, as there had been some changes within my life (no longer had the husband or the farm), we met up with a coach at that barn that started to give us lessons.  Oz had pretty much been a couch potato all that winter and early spring, so we had a late start to the year.  We concentrated on getting his flat work better, and my own equitation skills up. (I have been around and owned horses all my life, but never a single lesson)  We competed in one local show at Lanyard Stables in the green rider / green horse division... with 4 other girls, who were all under  10 yrs old - humbling experience to be beat by a child that is 20 years younger then you.  And again off to the IPE we went, obviously to compete in halter, but also in the new draft riding classes that IPE graciously put on.  Again the experience was great, Ozzys fan club grew and grew, and with every day I relized how special this horse is.  We had a great deal of people, adults come up to him and pet him, help groom, and bring him treats that said they were terrified of horses, but there was something special about Oz that their fears disappeared.

Fast forward to today.  Ozzy has changed barns yet again but this barn he is currently at is amazing! Our new coach, Brianne has a complete understanding of this boy and his talents and his quirks and personality.  It is only May and we already have two shows under our belt this year, with a very full May.  Ozzys new career is to move into Hunter / Jumpers, as flat work bores him.  Yes draft horses can ride and yes they also can jump.  When Oz is done with this direction he will show me, as he's shown me so much other things and we will move onto something else, but right now we are both loving this and we have nothing but success ahead of us.