TBL Nation Presents Rider Profile: Jerry Cromarty
RIDER: Jerry Cromarty
HORSE NAME: Bella
BREED: Connemara/Sel Francais Mix
I fell in love with Bella before I even saw her. Her ad posted on the Page Mill Pastures website by her previous owner looking for leasers for her four horses, Bella was included. The description of Bella's abusive past and nervous demeanor saddened me but once I saw a picture… this 16.3h 12 yr old gray Connemara/Sel Francais mix was stunning! I knew that helping her was going to be my next goal.
At the time, I hadn't been riding for very long at the time - just taking weekly English lessons at a nearby barn and doing some basic jumping courses- so I contacted her owner and asked to perhaps start off by leasing one of her other more “compliant” horses to brush up on my technique and horsemanship. After lots of hard work on my equitation and balance, was finally allowed to ride Bella. She was just as amazing as I had imagined! since then I have been completely in love with her. Even though she can become a little unhinged at times due to her past abuse, I have managed to slowly turn her mind around day by day to except me. I bought her six months I first rode her, and it was one of the best decisions of my life.
So the training begins ..
The very first thing I implemented with her was pasture life and consistency. That meant getting up every morning at six AM rain or shine to bring her in from the pasture and feed her, whether I was sick, tired or had stayed up all night. To this day I haven't missed a day of feeding and it has been over a year. I try to be as consistent as I can to go after school to feed her and exercise her too. As we all know, upkeep is not cheap! So I work a lot during the week to pay for her care. All of my efforts have paid off, her temperament has changed dramatically since I bought her... it used to be that she would drag me around when I was leading her and she had little respect for me. Now we have built up a trust to the point where I barely need a halter and I can trust her around small children and strangers.
People called her “Crazy” but to me it was a challenge that wasn’t at all bad! Yes, It can be frustrating, and sad, and sometimes as well as annoying. But Bella has taught me a lot about being patient and I continue to fall more in love with her every day. I hope that in our future we will be comfortable and easy at controlled gaits and that she will completely trust and love me as much as I love her.