1. The Intro Horse.
The first horse-related memory I have is of me, as a baby... probably just a few months old or so (I wasn't even a year old yet) being held atop my great-uncles Saddlebred gelding Ole Man by my mum while my great uncle led the horse around the Lot. That's actually one of the 'first' memories I can remember. I also remember my mum riding Ole Man around the Lot with me in front of her while my great uncle was standing at the fence watching. Those times were the only two times I ever rode that horse, as he was retired soon after. Ole Man died about five years ago. He was a great old horse, chestnut with a wide blaze, a complete spitfire in his younger days (or so I've been told), but a gentle friend in his old age.
2. The Experimental Horse
One word; Buttercup. She was slifghtly spookish, stubborn as a mule, and very annoying. I still don't really like her... chestnut Racking Horse with a calf-face, four matching socks, and a belly spot. She crowhopped and bucked at times, but was a pretty good maremost of the time. We still have her, and I still don't like her that much.
3. The Connected Horse
Mo, the saint, the gorgeous Arabian gelding with cancer... the horse that caused me to fall in love with riding. Huge brown eyes, a beautiful face with a star and connected strip and snip, two socks, and a beautiful blood bay color. I rode him for a few years... up until his arithritis caused him to be retired and we gave him away. He put up with anything, never took a bad step, and tried his best to protect his riders. Hard to catch a lot of the times, but gentle as a butterfly and so fun to ride. He'd try his best for his riders.
4. The Challenger
My girl, my beautiful bay mare Gypsie. The first time I saw her, my best friend and I tried to ride her... we were both thrown. She was green, I was green. She was mean, I loved her. She hated men, I loved her. We taught each other. Mo taught me to ride, Gypsie taught me to hang on. She bucked, bit, was and still is gun-shy. Definitely not suited for a green rider, yet now she's one of the safest horses we own and loves little kids. Where she used to hate men, reared over backwards with men, and tried to kill one of my cousins, now she can be ridden by virtually anyone.
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..
My gorgeous gelding Dakota... my sweet, gentle youngster. He was born while I was away from home, and I named him before knowing what color or gender he was. I've raised him and I do believe he considers me as a 'second mommy'... when Gypsie gets after him (still) he runs to me... when something scares him, he runs to me. If I get onto him, he's looks pathetic. At almost four years old, I know him better than I know myself. I can tell what he's going to do before he does it at times. We can almost read each other. He's my baby.
Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)