Although I have been a horse owner and riding for 17+ years, I didn’t start riding until I was almost 30 yrs and I have only owned three horses so my riding experience is limited to a degree. Also only having one hand and two hip replacements presents its own challenges. My first horse I was lucky to have in my life for 15 years, she was a wonderful partner and it was a heart breaking decision to have to say goodbye due to health reasons.The second horse I owned was an auction rescue. She taught me how to handle, train, and own a difficult horse with many opinions. After investing almost two years into her training and making sure she had the tools to not end up at auction again, I found her a wonderful new home. Bottom line, I needed a safe, sound, sweet horse to build my confidence and teach me to trust again.
My journey with Blame It On The Cuervo began in January 2019. After only having trotting horses my entire riding career, I wanted to “go gaited” and found her in Tennessee, at a gaited horse training facility. Cuervo, or Miss Q, was only 4 yrs old but well started. She has been trail ridden a few times and used in some of their clinics so she had traveled and been put in different environments and situations. I traveled from Virginia to Tennessee to meet her and decided to buy her that very day. Miss Q was still in training so we agreed to keep her there until April. The trainer would start teaching her to neck rein and be very responsive to leg aids, to help with one-handed riding. I traveled back to Tennessee two more times for lessons, before they shipped her to Virginia in April.
Since April I have trail ridden her every possible weekend and have taken her to an obstacle course clinic. We take lessons on occasion and the first month or so we just focused on steering. Before me, She’s been primarily ridden by a trainer with soft hands and soft aids. So compared to that, I am probably the opposite. Thankfully Miss Q is forgiving and always willing to try. My aids may not be clear but we muddle through it together. She has baby-brain moments and will take advantage of an opportunity when she thinks she can get away with it, but she doesn’t have a mean bone or thought in her body.
On 29 June we competed in a Judged Pleasure Ride. Miss Q and I did not place, our overall score was 52 (out of 100) which to me is AWESOME! For only owning her 2.5 months, she’s barely 5 yrs old, and she has never competed in anything (that I am aware of) I’m very proud of her and me!

I plan to compete in another JPR in the fall, and in the meantime – just keep riding!Miss Q is a special girl and I’m so lucky to have her in my life!

Alexandra Holzapfel