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A special Bond?

This is a discussion on A special Bond? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        09-20-2012, 04:13 AM
      #31
    Foal
    PS. Sorry for the LONG post! I tried to shorten it as much as I could..
         
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        09-20-2012, 04:56 AM
      #32
    Foal
    Sorry for the multiple posts but I am just so excited to share my story with other horse people!

    Here are a few pictures of me and Stormy..
    6210_1136529939177_1405200395_30491737_4822399_n.jpg


    6210_1136529819174_1405200395_30491735_7400151_n.jpg

    This was taken on my last visit before losing him for 6 years.
    6210_1136530179183_1405200395_30491743_4881802_n.jpg
         
        09-20-2012, 09:36 AM
      #33
    Trained
    No offense but...we've established Stormy didn't respond well to brute force. That isn't quite the same as saying with good training he wouldn't make a good horse for lots of folks to ride.

    Lots of folks own horses and ride them without ever trying to get inside the horse's mind. And lots of horses are submissive enough that the people get away with it. Seems like an incredibly boring way to ride to me, but it was my spooky mare who taught me to treat her (and other horses) as thinking, feeling individuals.

    Yes, some horses and some people find it more natural to get along, just as some dogs and some people are going to be easier for a given individual to know. Our two geldings accept me OK, but they don't feel any great attachment to me either. The mare & I have gone thru a lot together. She trusts me more than any other human and it shows. But she is still a horse. If we were being pursued by orcs, she wouldn't try to dump me and then run. She'd run for both of us. But if I fell off, she wouldn't return to save me. And training her takes work. I can't just put a collar around my neck and have her pull a plow minutes later.

    Although the Lord knows it would be a lot easier if I could wave a Palo Verde branch next to my head, and then ride her into the desert a minute later...

    It isn't the idea of bonding that offends some of us, because I think all of us have horses we mesh with better than others. They are individuals and not ATVs. What drives us nuts is when we see a movie and a little girl enters a stall with a wild, angry stallion, and AT THAT MOMENT they become friends for life. More typically, at that moment her life ends...or at least an injury follows.

    Yes, we can have a special bond with certain horses. No, that bond isn't like the movies...
    smrobs, Speed Racer and Tarpan like this.
         
        09-20-2012, 10:39 AM
      #34
    Started
    I have known many horses like your Stormy. I agree it was a matter of gentle training. But often times horses pick their 1 human - other's they'll be good for because they have to, but only one they really want.

    I'm going to tell this story I've told so many times before, but when I see them together I am always amazed.
    At our horse rescue about 4 years ago a local miniature horse rescue needed to rehome one of their welsh stallions to another rescue because he was too violent for them to handle. We took him as he was small and a quick gelding would do him wonders. So we did. He remained fairly violent after his surgery but just seemed miserable. We called up the other rescue and asked what could have happened to make him seem so miserable? They said "well, he lived with his mom his entire life" 9 years at that point. We said "well can we have her too?" They told us they'd be happy to if they could get her on a trailer.
    It took 6 men 5 hours to herd this wild pony onto a trailer. She had lived her entire life wild on their property - no handling what so ever, just bred a few times.
    We, the adults at the rescue, couldn't get near her, we had to leave a short lead on her halter to be able to catch her. We'd have to look away and slowly back up toward her. Then she would follow us frightened to wherever we lead her. She was a tiny pony, just barely over 10 hands, and built like a little mustang.
    That's about all the work we could ever get with her, we would have to tranque her to get her feet done.
    One of the young volunteer at our rescue decided she wanted a pony of her own more than anything in the world and the day she saw this little mare she decided that one was to be hers. So she sat in the pony's stall whenever the pony was in there for quite a few days. She was only 11 at the time. But eventually the pony would come over to her and let her touch her nose. Eventually the little girl could pet the pony alll over. And soon could use brushes of all sorts and finally got the matts out of her mane.
    Then one day we asked her to go bring the pony in from the paddock, it was taking her a while so we went to go check. She was out there - not having trouble catching the pony like we would - in fact the opposite. The pony was following her everywhere she went. All around and over the pony followed her. Over the next few months and years they worked together. Now the pony follows her over jumps and tarps and all sorts of 'scary' things.
    The little girl is too big to ride the pony now, but she can lean over her and give her big hugs. She's even taught the pony to give her hugs back by wrapping her head around her.
    The reason I see this as special is not because it took a very special little girl to be able to do that with this pony, and a very special pony to be able to work with that little girl. I don't think the pony would have come so far with other trainers, adults just horrified her, she needed someone who was eye level at first.
    Even still if an adult reaches into her stall to pet her she explodes and gets as far away as she can. The pony will occasionally reach out to pet humans, but if you turn to look at her or reach in to pet her back she'll jump away.
    They are special, but I think most horse people have that 1 horse who's like that "just theirs". It's special, but not unique.

    Here's some pics of the little girl and her pony :P




         
        09-20-2012, 01:23 PM
      #35
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    No offense but...we've established Stormy didn't respond well to brute force. That isn't quite the same as saying with good training he wouldn't make a good horse for lots of folks to ride.
    This statement doesn't offend me, it irritates me. Did you stop reading after I said I rode him for the first time? If it wasn't for me, chances are this horse never would have been ridden by anyone because he'd be in the canned food you feed your dog.

    To attack me and dismiss the bond that I have with my horse, who you only know through one post on an online forum, is both rude and offensive. No one has the right tell a person that their bond with ANYONE - be it a horse, dog, cat, monkey, lion, or even another human being - is not real.

    Mine is not a theatrical, movie inspired relationship. Nor did I ever state it to be so. I simply told my 11 year long story of a very special horse who I have never stopped loving and who obviously has never forgotten me.

    'No offense' but it seems to me the people who dismiss special bonds, are the people who have never felt them.
    Critter sitter likes this.
         
        09-20-2012, 01:31 PM
      #36
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AshsStorm    
    'No offense' but it seems to me the people who dismiss special bonds, are the people who have never felt them.
    Please point out where ANYONE on this thread has dismissed that special bonds exist?

    The objection some people have is that slobbing human emotion all over and anthropomorphizing the animal to the point where it's ludicrous does nothing to dispel the silly, fairy dust, woo-woo, mystical garbage put out by Hollywood.

    There's nothing magical about your horse remembering you, especially if you had a strong bond. Horses don't forget special companions any more than humans do.

    Oh, and first rights of refusal are not legally binding, so while the person who sold the horse wasn't very nice about not contacting you, legally she didn't have to. Glad it all worked out for you, and you got your horse back.
         
        09-20-2012, 01:45 PM
      #37
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
    Please point out where ANYONE on this thread has dismissed that special bonds exist?

    The objection some people have is that slobbing human emotion all over and anthropomorphizing the animal to the point where it's ludicrous does nothing to dispel the silly, fairy dust, woo-woo, mystical garbage put out by Hollywood.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    No offense but...we've established Stormy didn't respond well to brute force. That isn't quite the same as saying with good training he wouldn't make a good horse for lots of folks to ride.
    What else is he implying?

    Where in my post did the "silly, fairy dust, woo-woo, mystical garbage" come in?

    I share my story, which is still ongoing, and I get a 'no offense, anyone could have done that'? Seriously?! I interpret this as dismissing my bond with my horse. How else should I have taken that?
    Critter sitter likes this.
         
        09-20-2012, 03:09 PM
      #38
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
    I got a HUGE laugh out of the scene in LOTR when the horse came back for wounded Aragorn, and laid down so he could get on.

    It didn't help that I was with other horsey friends, and while everyone else in the theater was ooohing and aaahhing at the touching moment, we were all snorting with laughter.

    The horse they were going to use initially didn't work out. He laid on the dummy every.single.time. Lined up his little butt and squished the prop that would have been Aragorn.

    I laughed because it was darn cute.
    thesilverspear likes this.
         
        09-20-2012, 03:20 PM
      #39
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AshsStorm    
    ...I share my story, which is still ongoing, and I get a 'no offense, anyone could have done that'? Seriously?! I interpret this as dismissing my bond with my horse. How else should I have taken that?
    Well, how about as someone expanding on things. No, I do not believe you are the only person in the world who was capable of bonding with or teaching Stormy. I made my comment based on yours:
    "The barn owner was the 'cowboy' type and decided one day that Stormy wouldn't make him money if he couldn't be ridden. So they hired a trainer. 3 grown men held this terrified horse down while they put a saddle on him. As soon as the trainer got a foot in the stirrup, he spun around in circles, leaped into the air, and then stood, frozen. This happened 2 more times before he was deemed 'the devil' and was to be sold right away to the first person with cash. There was also talk of selling him for meat."
    This may come as a shock to you, but I've got a mare who wouldn't respond well to that approach to training. Lots of horses would not. That doesn't mean that you are the only person in the world who could ever work with Stormy. If you think it does and therefor took offense...well, take offense. Wait, you did that already...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AshsStorm    
    ...To attack me and dismiss the bond that I have with my horse, who you only know through one post on an online forum, is both rude and offensive...
    You have an odd idea of what constitutes an attack.
         
        09-20-2012, 05:11 PM
      #40
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AshsStorm    
    Take it from me.. There is such a thing as a special bond.

    When I was 12 years old, I volunteered at a local barn. It was my job to ride the 'problem' horses that the owner would buy and sell. I would ride anything... Until I met an unbroken, abused buckskin named Stormy. It took me 3 hours to catch him in the pasture and get a halter on him. After handling him for the first few minutes, I could tell he was just terrified of everything I was doing.

    I spent the next several month gaining his trust and eventually became the only person who could handle him. The barn owner was the 'cowboy' type and decided one day that Stormy wouldn't make him money if he couldn't be ridden. So they hired a trainer. 3 grown men held this terrified horse down while they put a saddle on him. As soon as the trainer got a foot in the stirrup, he spun around in circles, leaped into the air, and then stood, frozen. This happened 2 more times before he was deemed 'the devil' and was to be sold right away to the first person with cash. There was also talk of selling him for meat.

    Much to my surprise, the barn owner then asked me if I wanted to give it a try, as a last ditch effort. I was terrified but agreed. They tossed me up on his back and for what seemed like an eternity, we just stood there. I felt as though we were one being. His back molded perfectly to my body and we just walked on.

    From that moment on, I was the only person who could ride him. It took some time but eventually, I could get on him bareback. People were amazed.. Hell, I was amazed! I had never had such a bond with anyone - human or animal. I would often take him out on trails alone, just to spend time together. I would sing to him and sometimes, just sit on the ground while he grazed, watching him in awe.

    The barn owner ended up giving Stormy to me. We spent 5 wonderful years together and became inseparable. He was my whole world. I could move my body a certain way and he'd instantly know what I wanted. When my best friend moved out of state, I was so upset that I went to the barn in the middle of the night and sat between Stormy's two front legs and cried while he nuzzled my hair. He would also protect me from other horses if they came near me and protected me all night when I fell asleep in his stall.

    Stormy was my soul mate.

    When I was a senior in high school, my parents would no longer support me or Stormy. I cut costs as much as I could and got a job at Petsmart making minimum wage. But it wasn't enough. Soon I was a few months behind on my board and saw no other option but to sell my precious horse. I sold him in November of 2006 to a woman who lived about 3 hours away from me. I've replayed that day in my head a thousands times and it never gets any less painful. Stormy refused to get on the trailer and I refused to help them load him. I sat in the car crying while he fought like I had never seen him fight before. Eventually they loaded him. I remember looking up and seeing his eye peeking through the trailer window, looking for me. He was whinnying to me. He knew what was happening. As I watched the trailer drive away, I looked at the money in my hand and could not fathom how anyone could see this stack of paper equivalant to the best friend I had just lost. I knew then that I had made a terrible mistake.

    I went to see him in March of 2007 for my 18th birthday. When he saw my mom's car, he ran to the fence and followed us all the way to the gate. His new owner told me she had a hard time catching him. He was such a good boy when I rode him. It was hard to say goodbye but I made myself believe that he was better off without me.

    6 months later, the woman tells me she sold him. She broke our contract of "Right of First Refusal" (which gives me the right to buy him back before she could sell him to someone else). Not only had she broken our contract, she also REFUSED to tell me where he was, or even a general location. She told me that if I contacted her again, she'd file a harassment charge against me. Being young and not so knowledgeable, I thought I would have to have money to take her to court and that there was nothing I could do.

    Every day since then, I've searched for him. I've called every barn I could find to ask if they'd seen him, I posted ads on CL in several states, I stopped to look at every buckskin I passed, and I spent many sleepless nights on CL and other sites hoping he'd be for sale somewhere. Not a day went by that I didn't think of him. I have felt like a piece of me is missing and have tried to fill the void in every way I could think of.. but nothing has ever come close.

    A few weeks ago, I woke up at 4am thinking about Stormy. It was such a strong feeling that I couldn't go back to sleep so I opened up my computer and searched Craigslist like I had thousands of times before.. Except this time, I saw my baby staring back at me. He was for sale about 15 miles away from my house! I emailed the seller and then paced around the house all day until she emailed me back. I immediately called my mom and we went to see if it was really him.

    I knew it the second I saw him. He was across the pasture when I yelled "Stormy!" and he came GALLOPING to the gate! This was like a scene out of my dreams! My mom and I looked at each other and I thought I was going to throw up, cry, and pass out at the same time.

    To make an even longer story short, I found my horse after 6 years! I bought him yesterday and every time I go see him, he runs to the gate and follows me everywhere! His name had been changed to Dillon, he had been bought and sold a lot (current owner had him only 6 months) and they tell me they usually have to go catch him in the pasture.. They've never seen him act like he did when he saw me.

    I'm still in shock but could NOT BE HAPPIER! Our bond is just as strong as it was 6 years ago.. as if we never left each other.
    omgI am tearing up after reading this. I wanna see pictures.. This happened with a dog I had to part with and reading your story made me smile Thank you I needed a smile today.
         

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