Meet Areion, otherwise known as Arei (Are-e)!
Breed: Paint / Draft
Discipline: Trails and Jumping
Areion (Are-e-on) was a PMU Foal. For those who aren’t familiar with the term it stands for Pregnant Mare Urine, which means he was byproduct of mares who were kept bred for the hormones in their urine that were used to make human female hormone therapies. At the time he was adopted the industry was in a vastly different form than it now is. Surplus foals came out of Canada by the hundreds, and if they were not in part of an adoption program their fate was grim. Today, regulatory changes and research that led to a decline in this particular hormone therapy doesn’t create quite the crises.
Areion began life in a pasture without human contact. His first human interaction was to be rounded up at four months, vet checked, vaccinated, and put on a trailer. We couldn’t touch him when he arrived a few weeks later–much like our wild mustangs now. As a foal, he came around much faster, and it took about a month to get him used to regular handling. Once he lost his fear, he was super quiet, super friendly, and super smart.
He was only three, however, when Garrett was born, and his training stopped before he ever was introduced to much of anything formal. He’d had kids put on him to toodle around. He’d worked on a lunge line…when he felt like working. But his gentle temperament and sane outlook on life made him an ideal candidate for the kids in the future. Only the future didn’t happen as quickly as we’d once hoped it might.
Garrett earned ownership of Areion in early 2017 after proving his interest in horses by helping care for the orphan, Cardinal. Areion was broke to ride for the first time in August, 2017 at the age of fourteen. To give you an idea of his sanity level, the trainer was on him the first day he arrived. It took two weeks to have him cantering, reliably, in the open field and that was all he received from outside training!
He returned home and Claire immediately began riding him daily. He went on his first trail ride the weekend after he left the trainer’s and did a fabulous job. Garrett was on his back the day after he came home. Areion’s not afraid of anything, but he does have his hurdles to overcome: his groundwork is virtually nil, and his favorite thing in the world is “Whoa”–when he feels like it.
As we move through 2018, Areion must learn better groundwork. He needs to master the concept of lunging and especially learning how to bend on the lunge. With him, it’s not a matter of blowing up or dangerous rebellion, it’s overcoming, “Nope. Don’t wanna. Just gonna stand here. Say, do you have food?” Forward impulsion–forward for that matter, period–is also on his must-dos.
He will continue under-saddle work and bending with Claire. He will continue with Garrett riding him after Claire has schooled him. He will also be introduced to low-level jumping–when he was younger, he’d jump anything put in front of him. We’ll have him on the trails (ideally with Garrett at the reins). Our primary goal for 2018 is to get him to the point where Garrett can ride him for a full lesson and be comfortable taking him on family trail rides.