I don’t talk about Whisper much because this blog is mostly about my adventures that I drag Amber along with me (although she likes the attention). But, I figured I should formally introduce blogland to Whisper since I’ll be riding her a little more this year, and showing her for my mom. She originated from Tennessee, was trained for A circuit western pleasure, but flunked out of the program. And that allowed us to luck into grabbing her.
Registered name: Fistfuls Conclusion (not the most inventive name ever….)
Breeding: Whisper doesn’t have as much Foundation in her as Amber, but her bloodlines go back to Conclusive and Impressive, and on her mom’s side she has a lot of TB hunter blood. I find that very interesting since Whisper is technically 78% Foundation (yup, did the math on her, too haha) and though there’s only a 10% difference between her and Amber, she definitely looks more TB than the typical stocky QH.
Nicknames: Whisp, Whisper-doodle, Doodle-bug, Sweetheart, Honey
Breed: Quarter Horse
Born: March 2002
Favorite things: Alfalfa, grain, face scratches, pawing ever so politely, laying down and napping, turn out, and being ridden
She hates: any type of medication no matter how much molasses, blankets, and being cooped up
When my mom was horse-hunting, she was looking for a very dependable bay gelding. We had been looking at another horse, and when it sold, the lady told us to just hear her out, and contact this guy she knew who had a horse for sale. We almost didn’t look at her because she was a mare. But there she was in these pictures, following this little seven-year-old girl in a giant pasture. So we got videos. She was only four, and the trainer had his seven year old hop on her, and lope her in this huge pasture. We knew we had to snap her up.
Since then she’s been a huge part of the family. My mom adores her to death, and Whisper adores her. Whisper isn’t as open about her personality as Amber is, but I like to think that after all these years, Whisper is learning by watching Amber that it’s okay if she leans into scratches. It’s okay if she wants to press her face to us so we’ll love on her. It’s okay if she wants to be playful on the lunge line. And consequently, she’s teaching Amber to be more vocal – Amber nickers now! – and hopefully a little sweeter though I doubt that’s happening lol. (Unfortunately, Whisper has taught Amber how to paw. Thankfully, since I don’t say anything to Amber about it, she doesn’t do it much)
Whisper was the horse that got me into western, and took me to a lot of shows. I’ve won plaques with her, tons of ribbons, and she’s been an absolute trooper for both my mom and I going to the local shows. She really has influenced my expectations and desires in a horse – a good-brained one, one that is kind, respectful of space. Things that I never knew you could teach a horse, she showed me that you could – putting her head down to bridle, not being girthy, being ground-tied, and so many other things.
Whisper is a very very sensitive mare, and gets offended very easily. Because of that, Whisper tends to get very nervous and she’s also not one to trust easily, either. If you break the tenuous trust she shows you, she doesn’t really come back from that. I’ve been working with her for the past 2 years, helping her re-understand her training and to come trust me more and through that trust my mom better as well. Recently, she’s just started to show improvement, and I know that’s because she really trusts us now not to take advantage of her. So now, if I have to school Whisper a little firmer than normal I will give her that scratch on the wither, or small pat on the butt to “soften the blow” if you will, she absolutely trusts me to correct her, but also that I’ll always come back and be soft with her. After reading so many people’s blogs that have OTTBs or even ones that didn’t race, it has given me a lot of insight actually into how Whisper is and how she thinks. She’s QH, but a lot of her has been influenced by TBs. Since she’s so sensitive, just that bit of reassurance that I’m not upset and that she’s okay really helps her to thrive.
I honestly think that’s why she flunked – she’s not the most trusting or forgiving horse, and since she gets nervous so easily, she doesn’t travel well at all. She internalizes a lot, and it doesn’t show in misbehaving like acting out, she just gets very mouthy, extremely tense, and her brain will go into a place that sometimes you can’t reach. When not given a lot or any reassurance, her attitude quickly goes downhill. And I think her personality type is just not suited to a trainer’s operation, where 1 or 3 people may end up riding her and/or there may be a lot of shows. She likes her one person (my mom), and I think the other reason she and I get along well is because she’s had a relationship with the both of us for almost 12 years. However, that flunking meant we got an absolutely marvelous little mare. Even though she’s actually not that little – she’s at least 15.3.
Being in the backyard seems to suit her (though she’s not fond of not having a horse next to her). Our place is quieter and more peaceful in certain ways, and I feel that with her being more comfortable and seeing us all the time, she’s getting to be more expressive about how she loves on my mom. It’s very sweet.
Unfortunately, she gets a lot of judgment from people when we mention Conclusive or Impressive due to HYPP. She’s double negative, but people still sometimes tend to think she has the plague. They get very nasty about it too, so we don’t say too much to anyone anymore if they ask her breeding. Judgment also comes up a lot because she’s western pleasure trained, even though I’m trying to help her understand a better collected, more natural lope. She’s got an absolute heart of gold, is the perfect match for my ammy mom, and has a lot of talent to do the job my mom wants – a nice, slow, smooth ride. Any time when my mom has been getting back in the saddle after knee replacements or when she hasn’t ridden in a while, Whisper always makes sure my mom is safe. She’s not spooky, and is consistent every day. Plus, she literally has the best smelling nose ever. And it’s smooshy. That’s really all that matters, right?
I do still love to ride her. It’s nice to hop on a horse that’s old enough and trained in 1 thing long enough to where she knows her job. I do “train” with her a bit, but it’s a lot less now, and it’s nice to be able to relax my brain and not think about all the things as I ride her. Just like Amber, she always gives 110%, and desperately wants to please you when you ride. She’s really the horse that instilled my love of mares, and has always reminded me how to be a better, more sympathetic rider. With her, “less is more” is pretty much the answer to everything, and I’m so thankful to have ridden a horse like her since 2006.
Whisper will always technically be my first horse since I am on her papers as part-owner, and I will always have a special place in my heart for her. She’s still going strong, and looks better than ever now, and I know my mom will continue to have a blast with her for a long while!