Archive for December, 2009

five horses you meet in life

This has been floating around the internet, and has prompted me to come out of my rather long hibernation!

1. The Intro Horse
We each came into horses in our own way, but it was always with a horse leading us. This might have been a friend’s first pony, or perhaps it was a draft horse on a farm you once visited It might have been a real-life meeting, or an imaginary one.

2. The Experimental Horse
Once you had crossed the line between “Darn, they’re big!” and “Wow! Can I try that?” you found yourself face-to-face with the horse that would suffer through your early attempts at figuring out the whole horse experience … wherever this horse came from, he probably didn’t benefit from the encounter as much as you did…

3. The Connected Horse
The first horses we meet don’t really connect with us, nor do we with them. Those are experiences in survival and tests of endurance. The Connected Horse is the first horse you truly bond with. This is the horse that sounds a chord that lives so deep in you that you might never have heard it otherwise…

4. The Challenger
Into each horseperson’s life, a little challenge must fall. You’ll have read that one final training book, bought yourself a clicker and heading rope, and there you’ll stand, arms crossed, assessing the situation as if you actually knew what the situation was. It might be difficult to believe, as you are flying down the aisleway on the losing end of a braided cotton line, but you actually need this horse in your life…

5. Your Deepest Heart
There will come a time when you will look at yourself with a cold, appraising eye, and you’ll have to be honest about your continued ability to deal with The Challenger and other difficult horses. At that point, you’ll seek out the horse that will be your soul mate forever… You’ll have bought him the most comfortable, best fitting equipment… Maybe you’ll still go to shows and ride – brilliantly or barely – in the Alzheimer’s class. Maybe you’ll just stay home. Whatever you do, one day you’ll realize that after all the money you spent on animal communicators and trainers, you only had to stop and listen and you would have clearly heard your horse’s thoughts and desires…

Which had me smiling and in tears at the same time. My five came very easily…

My Intro Horse was a dear pony called Cricket. She was small enough that at four I could reach to tie the cinch knot myself, and patient enough to let me do it. She never intimidated me, unlike some of the bigger horses I occasionally lessoned on. A fantastic mother…she’d often put up with babysitting me and her own foal at the same time. And she treated me to my first ventures into the show ring.

I rode as a youngster, but when I was six we left the farm and I didn’t ride again until I left for college. I had many good lesson horses, but my Experimental Horse was another saintly mare I had the priviledge of leasing for a summer. She was game for anything, and that we did. She was the first horse I galloped across a field on, the first horse I fell off of, the first horse I trail rode alone on….the list goes on. I’m blessed to still have her in my life, since her owner remained a close friend after my lease ended. Chey Chey is 18 now, just as sassy as ever, and turned out every day with my own girls.

Sigh…the Connected Horse. After Chey, I continued riding lesson horses and took on a project horse, but several months later I finally found myself purchasing my first horse. He touched me to my soul and forever changed my relationship with horses.

Har har…the Challenger! Not a bad nickname for the Snow pone!! After losing Kai, I decided to buy myself an opinionated, green, pony, mare. Does it get more challenging than that? 😆 We had steps forward and steps back, she intimidated me and made me immensely proud. She’s better every day, and still a challenge. After our first two years together, I put together this scrapbook page:

At this point, my Deepest Heart is most definitely still my Kai-man. Far and away. He may always be. But I’ve got many more years of riding and horses ahead of me. I’m blessed with two wonderful horses who are still young. I’m game to see where they and others take me.

Share yours!!


December 27, 2009 at 10:39 pm 2 comments

A few words on how horses haven't managed to kill me (yet...)
December 2009