From Fear to Partners, This is my Trail Horse: Lily

By Teri Purdy

This is my horse Lily.  A friend gave her to me when she was 3 1/2 years old, she was only green broke but seemed calm and responsive.  I had never owned a horse before but had ridden many bomb-proof horses so I thought it would be just fine.  Six months later my life changed dramatically.  Lily bucked me off resulting in four pelvis fractures and a bulged spinal disk.  During my recovery, a friend introduced me to some Natural Horsemanship Training videos, which I was very skeptical of, but watched anyway since I had nothing better to do, Once I recovered, I began trying some of the methods on Lily, and I’ll be darned if they didn’t work! 

It took me at least six months of ground training before I would even think of sitting on her, and believe me, that’s all I would try initially, I was terrified she might move! Six months later we were riding in my arena, but very limited as my fears were tremedous. Lily had become very dominant and aggressive, but by using the training methods over time I was able to become a “herd of two” with her and establish myself as the alpha.

We’ve come a long way, and it’s been an incredible journey.  Lily is now 8 years old and we are working at the higher levels of the program.  On the ground Lily will respond to my suggestions of just pointing to direct her what to do, without a halter or lead rope. She does a lot of fun tricks and works obstacles completely at “Liberty.”  She has become a true partner. 
We have recently been able to get out riding on trails including city traffic and accomplish a very large goal for me, participating in our Horse Town Obstacle Course Challenge with 200 other horses and riders in a public arena, complete with a stadium of onlookers.  Lily did a fantastic job, scoring perfect 10’s on 5 out of 10 obstacles!  This was a huge accomplishment for us, and I am so thankful to those friends who stood by us and encouraged me to keep trying and to not give up on my dreams!  I can’t imagine my life without Lily in it!

Teri and Lily are from Norco, California.  Many thanks to Durvet Apple Wormer for sponsoring “This is my Trail Horse”.  Lily will receive a gift from Durvet.

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