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A Split Personality & Horse Calming Supplements

When I rode regularly, I was always astounded at how different horses’ personalities were. I wasn’t fortunate enough to have my own horse and so rode several different horses at my riding stables. My favourite mount was particularly fascinating.

I had started my riding lessons in Bristol, but we moved to Kent when I was just eight years old and I had to find a new place to ride. Happily, there was a good riding school within cycling distance of my new home. I took a few lessons and after a couple of months I was asked to ride a very athletic looking horse called Be Bop Deluxe! Boppa, as he was known, turned out to be quite a character.

Favourite Horse

The first time I rode Boppa I knew that he was the horse that I wanted to ride every week. He wasn’t a big horse, but he was powerful, quick an agile. He was a superb jumper, especially against the clock, and he was definitely my preferred mount when show jumping. Boppa could turn on a sixpence and had an amazing ability to get us out of trouble if I made any mistakes.

Bad Behaviour

Boppa was extremely responsive and a joy to ride. So, you can imagine my surprise a few months after I first met him when I started to hear other people refuse to ride him. I asked one of the instructors what was going on. I was shocked to hear that Boppa was known to be a temperamental horse prone to bucking people off. His general behaviour was skittish and most of the riders at the stable didn’t want anything to do with him. No wonder I was able to ride him every time I asked!

Horse Calming Supplements

Boppa, as it turned out, had a split personality. If he liked you then he was a dream horse, if he didn’t, he turned into an unruly monster. The staff at the stables had tried everything to calm him down. He had been given horse calming supplements which had improved his behaviour when he wasn’t working but he persisted in getting tetchy with most people when it was time for a lesson.

Bucking Bronco

One day I was at the stables helping out when I saw a teenager try to mount Boppa. He turned into a bucking bronco and dumped the poor girl on the yard floor. When the instructor tried to get hold of him he went ballistic. I asked if I could try to ride him. I mounted without any issues and took him down to the outside school where we jumped a great round without incident.

Be Bop Deluxe was an enigma. The horse calming supplements continued, and a horse whisperer was summoned. Boppa’s behaviour did improve after that but he continued to reserve his best efforts for a select few of his choosing. I was one of them and won many competitions as a result of his exceptional athleticism. I rode him for five years without a single problem. Strange!

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