That's an excellant story :) I actually have two letters I need to write....For the two most important horses in my life. Excuse any typos...
I found you in the worst condition. You were so skinny, so full of worms. They said you were fifteen...But you were not. You were nearing twenty with so much life left. I couldn't leave you there once I saw how skinny you were, so I traded my beloved favorite barrel saddle and got you for myself. I was too young and stupid to know anything about getting you up to weight, so Mom helped me. When I rode you, you would run off and ignore my signals. You bit me when I tried to get on you. But I didn't give up. I just kept fighting you until I got what I wanted. I loved you because you had the nastiest personality in the world; And so did I. We meshed. Even on our camping trip when you spooked at everything, ran away with me, and crowded other horses I loved you. When I got the opportunity to send you to training, I cried when I left you there because I couldn't bear the thought of not seeing you every morning before school even though I knew it was just a short time and I would still be riding you. I guess I was just emotional. But I remember taking a lesson on you...Hearing my trainer's voice when we finally nailed your very first flying lead change. You did it perfect....Like you'd been doing it all your life. No questions asked. I remember exactly what she said. "Yee-haw girl, we'll make an Eq. horse out of him yet!"
And so we got you ready for equestrian team...Gave you all the preperation an training I could afford. But it still wasn't enough to prepare you for my nerves. I tried to hold it together, but I couldn't. Our barrel runs were horrible. Our dressage and stock seat even worse. You were scared because I was scared; I had been competing all my life, but I had never felt a horse respond like you. But you made it up to me in the bareback games that night, during the dollar bill race. You listened to me so well, you made your gaits so easy to ride that night. You won me $50 that night. No, it may not have been a big 1D Rodeo check, but it was money YOU had won me. And I used it to buy you a custom halter and a bag of treats. Two months later we placed first in an endurance ride. I cut up my prize logo'd shirt and made it into boot covered for you.
Thank you baby. Thank you for teaching me how to fall, and how to feel pain. Thank you for teaching me how to train. You've taught me everything I know. Many horses cae before you....But you're the one who stuck the most.
Love your one and only girl,
- Michaela. And, the second one...
I've only been with you for one summer and the fall. Since June. Almost six months. But I knew the minute I went to look at you, that I had to ride you. We had to win.
I had been out to your owners a few months before looking at a differant horse for my friend. She wanted an equestrian team horse too but was scared of the power the horse posessed. She wasn't ready, but I wanted that horse. I rode her and knew she could be a winner. But, I couldn't afford her.
At the end of the season I considered selling my second horse. I called your owner, asking if that sorrel mare was still available. When she said she wasn't I was heartbroken; but, the saving sentence was this:
"But, I have this bay mare who's been patterned...."
And so I came to see you. When I saw you I wasn't sure. You were big, fat, out of shape. But the second I sat in the saddle and rode you I knew you were some kinda barrel horse. I just wasn't sure what kind yet. So I started coming down once or twice a week to ride you, and fell more and more in love. We advanced to taking lessons at the barn together. I got you back to work. I didn't know how to ride you; my other barrel horses felt so differant. They were so...Automatic. I never really appreciated it until I rode you. I had to help you more. I had to drive you. I had to plan every single step. I'll never forget when I stepped on the gas for the first time; I wasn't supposed to. But that's the sweetest kind of reward, the kind you were never supposed to get.
I made my first real run on you yesterday. You made it like a champ, tight turns and fast stretches.... I know you were scared of that gate when we went back towards it, but you push on past it because I told you to and you trusted me enough to listen. That was the biggest moment for us; Because you never did anything like that before. If you were scared, you took off and didn't give a dan what I had to say.
Thank you Bailey. You're just like Rebel. You taught me how a barrel horse really rides. I thought I could ride before, and I won a lot...But I never had to really train for it. I never had to help my other horses, just point them and tell them when to turn.
Love your "Fearless" partner,
And to both of them....Thank you for keeping me together when I wanted to stop living. When people in my life passed away. When I had to step up to the plate and I wasn't comfortable enough to do so. When you both came into my life, and I was nowhere near ready....But I knew I had to make you both mine. Thank you for letting me be me when no one else would.