Mine isn't documented quite as cutely either but I met my horse (he's my first one too :)) at a therapeutic riding center in CO. I had been volunteering their diligently for over a year and I went from side walker to horse leader to camp counselor to riding instructor. I was taught everything from health issues (and I'm STILL learning!) to feeding to farrier to shots to training to riding. I helped to train all of the therapy horses and rehab a few as well.
Apparently the DAY I arrived at the therapeutic riding center, I saw this big ol paint and asked her if I could ride him. I don't recall this, I have a horrid memory anyway, but the owner told me that she saw there was some sort of connection. A deep one.
He was loved by everyone because he was "pretty" but everyone was scared of him because he had no trust in humans nor faith in himself. He was a big train wreck and everyone that got near him ended up with broken ribs, bruised feet, concussions, road rash, sprained limbs.. you name it!
His past was dark and all I know was the result of it.. a very scared horse who would rather go to all lengths including destroying himself, than accept a person within a few feet.
Well this horse was the owner's personal horse. He wasn't in the program, and every time they tried he would end up hurting someone.. never on purpose.. just trying to get away. The owner was too busy to work with him and so she set me the privilege of free lunging him, with a whip. He would cut corners and he made me so angry because everyone loved him and he acted like such a jerk (I was ignorant if you couldn't tell..) so I decided that I really didn't like this horse.
The owner's boyfriend took an interest to him and he'd sit out in the pasture and this horse would come up to him and then run away. After awhile, he let the guy pet him, which was a HUGE step for this horse. He'd feed him cut up apples and whatnot.. so the owner gave the horse to him.
They soon got married and within this 4 month window.. the guy tried his best to ride him but they weren't clicking. I watched as this horse dragged him up the sides of the arena, and buck a few times and charge without listening to anything. I didn't think they were a good pair.. but I kept my mouth shut.
Then one day a girl that took riding lessons (she was bi-polar and a volunteer just to clarify) was given the chance to ride this horse. I didn't agree with it because the horse was such a damaged individual and being bipolar, she didn't always have control of her emotions.. which was a HUGE thing for this guy. So I watched as she led the horse out to the arena. I was cleaning the barn and noticed she left her camera in the barn, so I finished cleaning up and headed out to give it to her. I saw this horse lunging in the outdoor.. when I got closer (I have bad eyesight hence the ugly specs lol) I saw the saddle was on his side and he was panicking.. and as I got closer, I saw the prev. Owner hunched over the girl taking lessons.. who was lying on the floor in agony.
I approached and the prev. Owner told me to catch that horse, bring him to the barn, re-tack him, and hop on and school him. So I did..
And when I got on.. he was wound up but soon settled down. Being a majorly beginner rider myself, everyone was shocked. From then on, I would school him once a week not worrying about contact or speed.. but just lots of transitions and forwardness and lack of resistance. I literally was carting him around, I didn't know what I was doing.. but he was happy.
Fast forward a few months, and I begun to half lease him (secretly because the girls at the barn were ridiculous about him..) and I had my share of falls as I learned to develop a seat and HE learned that I wasn't trying to kill him. Me being the most worrisome and startled person ever.. it was the most bizarre match!
On november 23rd 2010, I was walking up to the barn and the owner of the place gave stomping towards me. I freaked out and asked "WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM?!" and began to power walk towards his stall. She stopped me and her frown turned into a smile and she said "after talking with (her husband), we've decided that Sky belongs to you. He is now your horse" and on September 8th 2011, the brands were changed in my name.
We were both SOOO green and soo lost.
We're learned so much together.. how to walk (I'm serious..) trot properly, that poles were not snakes, how to go on trail rides, how to relax, how to tie, mounting from the fence/block/floor/rock/wood palate, riding with others, riding alone, leg yields, staying ON the rail, riding long and low, riding with impulsion and contact, bathing, lifting and supporting his own feet, TRUST, soooo many things... and now we're working on cantering.. :)
He's my soul mate, the best friend and the best partner. He cracks me up with helping me open gates with his nose when my hand is full or nudging my in the back when his face is itchy and he doesn't want to be rude.
And the best part of it all? My parents didn't even KNOW I had a horse until a week before his brands were changed ;) And they were very supportive about him. They love him too :)
Winter fuzzies when I met him:
And for recent pictures you can look at my barn or from today below :)