When I was 14 I met the love of my life, a 15.1 AQHA sorrel gelding named RJ. I leased him in exchange for barn chores, at my best friends house. We had 3 wonderful years together, and he taught me so very much. His neck caught so many tears, and his ears listened patiently to my every problem.
Shortly after I turned 17 I was riding the bus home from school. My friend leaned in to me and said, "It sucks we are selling RJ today, huh?" It was the first I had heard of it. I asked what time he was leaving. She wasn't sure but didn't think he would be there when we got back.
As soon as the bus stopped at our stop, I hit the ground running. It was 3 blocks, but I swear I ran it in 30 seconds flat. I jumped the paddock fence and nearly dropped to my knees when I saw him standing there. I was so thankful I at least had a chance to say goodbye to him.
I heard the truck pull up, the trailer rattling up the driveway, but I didn't dare look. I walked up to him slowly, talking to him. I told him how much I loved him and would miss him as tears poured down my cheeks. I wrapped my arms tightly around his neck and cried, my face pressed into his mane. Then he reached down and with his head pulled me tightly to him, his face cradling the small of my back. It was the single best moment of my life, my wedding a close second.
I never did see him again, but I will always love that horse. And I will forever be grateful to him for all he has taught me, and for the love we shared.
I have a lot of great horse moments but the greatest was the joy in giving.
My niece is a horse fanatic like her mom and me. Their family horse had died from old age about year before this happened. We had a standardbred trainer offer to give us a couple of his horses that weren't fast enough on the track. I told hubby that I wanted to get one for my niece if either was suitable. One was a nasty mare that snaked her head out of the stall and tried to bite if you came anywhere near. PASS on that one. The other was a gelding who seemed pretty calm. He came home with us for a few days so I could assess his manners and he was a good boy. Loaded him up, stopped at my sister's and picked her and my b-i-l up, next stop was my niece's place.
She came running out of the house asking who's in the trailer? What are you doing here? Why are you bringing one of your horses to my house? Man, she just kept babbling while we were all shouting HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY. Had to tell her he belonged to HER about 3 times before it finally sunk in and then the waterworks started (all the way around, even her dad who doesn't much care for horses).
BEST MOMENT EVER!!!
His name is Val, of course and I think he's about 26 now. She still has him and still loves him with all her heart.
I don't know why I remember this so clearly, but if I could pin the moment when I fell in love with my horse, it would be this one. When I was 14, I bought my first horse, Baby Girl. I got her for Christmas, and it rained all week. It was miserably cold, but all I wanted to do was ride my new horse. One day, the air warmed, and it was dry and clear outside. I saddled up and went for a ride. My favorite trail was a winding, hilly path through the woods. We started at a trot, but soon Baby Girl picked up a canter, and then a gallop. We galloped, hitting flying lead changes and skidding around the corners. Quick, but I never felt out of control, and she never felt unbalanced. It was as smooth as a dance. We ran out of trail and slid to a stop. We stood quietly for a minute, caught our breaths, and ran back again.
That picture is just gorgeous by the way!
I first saw my mare in a stall and fell in love. I remember asking the riding instructor when I was going to ride the "red horse" and instead being shifted off onto an old grey arab, who was nice. After taking lessons on him they put me on the red horse who was called Doll and I was smitten. At my age she was my black stallion haha. Well they got rid of the lesson horses, including her (I leased the grey arab until his owners finished their fence). My other riding instructor bought her and sent her off to a trainer in Kansas to fix her canter (which is still today the roughest thing) and help 'fix' her hit and miss leads and attitude problem. I was devastated. I gave up the arab eventually and was down in the dumps that my lesson horse was gone and any hope of buying her was out the window. In the meantime I searched with my parents for a suitable horse and found none that I liked. On my birthday, in the middle of ice cold january, my family picked me up early from school, drove me out to the barn and told me to go look around. I did and wandered over to her old stall and saw Doll laying down, covered head to hoof in christmas ribbons, bows, and wrapping paper. My instructor came over and told me "The trainer said that she was a god awful horse and sent her back" (which was true, the guy even banned her from his barn, I still have the paperwork haha) "So now she's yours". I don't think my feet touched the ground and I launched myself into her stall, around her neck and was clambering all over her, bawling (I was like 10 so cut me some slack). To this day I honestly think I slept in the stall with her that night. My parents only say that it was adorable to watch me find my better half.
I might not be a believer in the black stallion thing, but she's stood with me through thick and thin, she always grounds me when I get to overzealous in something, and she is truly my partner. The only other moment was when I broke my leg and right before my surgery went out to the barn to see her (I hadn't seen her in about 2 months). I was out in an open area and she dropped her nose, sniffed my leg and then lay down like she did when I was a kid and I'd go curl up with her. I couldn't refuse the opportunity and I spent that entire day in the same position with my mare and a book. Every day she reminds me how amazing the right horse and rider match can be.
When I was nine years old, we had a dairy farm of about 300+ cows and heifers. I had been taking lessons since I was very little, but that was my horse fix as I did not have one of my own. My mother was scared of horses, and my father only saw them as hay burners. One day after a long weekend of camping with my friend and her family, I came home to a shed placed out in our front field. I looked at it, and I got so excited, but I didn't say anything or ask. Every day I took all of my toy horses out and played in the shed and the new growth in the field poked my bare feet. It was about a week before I finally asked my dad what was that shed going to be for, and he said it was for heifers. I inconsipicuously went up to my room, stared out the window at the shed, and cried.
I felt so stupid for thinking it might be a horse shed, and hated that the heifers needed a new barn in our front yard. I didn't say anything about it, I just loathed the heifers in silence for a weeks. One day we were testing milk, and I remember that day I stayed out and helped for most of the day. Usually I would come out during milking for a half hour, then retreat back into the house for breakfast. Once we were done, both my parents said they wanted to talk to me. The said they didn't plan on telling me, but since I was so helpful that day they told me I was getting a horse. I was elated.
Back up a month or so, at the barn I took lessons on, they had gotten a new horse. A gelding, two or three years old, that was going to be broken in. I was simply captivated by that horse, and would always go and pet him over the fence before my lessons. One day my trainer told me if I improved riding the lesson ponies, I could ride him. I started trying so hard, focussing and progressing up to the canter until finally, I could ride him.
Riding him was... less than a dream come true. To put it simply, he was an ***hole, and I wanted to give up. When I cantered him, every lesson I was so scared and cried begging not to have to do it. He didn't lope like the lesson ponies, he cantered like a bat out of hell. He was never out of control, and now I realize that none of it was really his fault. He was a bored three-year-old with sharp teeth and a poorly-fitting saddle. He was hurting, but as a nine year old, I didn't have the intuition, and nor did the adults.
When my parents told me I was getting a horse, and told me who it was, I was still overthrown with joy. When I took my lessons I tried so much harder, my trainer even remembers the light that went off. I wasn't wasting my time on someone else's mean pony, I was wasting my time on MY mean pony. After a few more weeks of lessons, we took him home, and thus began a painful chapter of my riding career.
Now to me as a young child with parents who had no horse experience, things were a little rough. I took lessons every week, but that didn't change that I as a nine year old had more horse knowledge than my parents, and that wasn't much. Years down the road, he is a happier, much more understood horse, with seven other horses keeping him company. My mother has her own horse she rides on occassion, who also serves as my broke horse that I never got as a child, and my father has his team that he plays with doing field work after a failed expedition trying to break out a four-year-old as a green rider. (Almost as if history repeats itself..)
Long, but hopefully amusing story. Now my gorgeous pony gets his teeth floated and has a properly fitting saddle. And we realize that just because someone has horses and gives lessons, doesn't mean they know horses and should be giving lessons. (Who lets a nine year old ride a two year old?! Who lets a not particularly talented, chubby, poorly balanced nine-year-old ride a two year old with an active mind who wants to go, go, go?)
And I almost forgot, but looking at pictures and relieving the moment my filly was born. I get chills every time I remember seeing her mom standing in the corner of the stall, not moving, not tromping over and yelling at me for her morning grain. The most beautiful little filly, red dun, laced butt with her momma's big head and sturdy legs. The night before I had felt like such crap, when I didn't know where my future was going and didn't even know if I had one, but she made it all okay. Sometimes we don't need to know what is coming for it to be great. Now I look at that fuzzy monster and relieve it, and she is just as beautiful as the day she was born. Can't believe in a few months she will be year old, but she'll always be my little filly.
The moment when I finally swung my leg over my filly's back. Looking back, I shudder at how careless I was, and even more so, the adults that were supposed to be in charge of me. Never mind that, though. This filly was the very first foal that I had ever come in contact with, not to mention her momma was my favorite horse out of every single one standing out in the pasture! I was only nine, about to turn 10, when that filly was born. She was the sole purpose of my existence. I taught her how to lead, then began picking up her feet, load into the trailer, and, without realizing what I was doing, taught her how to flex, move her hindquarters away, and even how to lead at liberty! Not to mention, she received baths on a regular basis, and was groomed at least twice a day. Fast forward a couple of years when I finally got the okay to start saddling her. My filly was by then used to all of this craziness, so she didn't even flinch when I threw my saddle onto her broad back for the first time. Of course I didn't ride her then, I just walked her around, letting her get to feel my saddle strapped to her back. (This is one of those shuddering moments, lol.) Finally, one day when she was three, I decided that she was ready. Without putting any tack on her, other than a halter and lead rope, which is hardly tack if you ask me, I led her up to the flatbed trailer, and without thinking twice, launched myself onto her back. Lucky for me, she just stood there and fell asleep. That was one of those moments that goose bumps race down your spine, spreading rapidly to every limb you own. A huge smile lit my face, and adrenaline turned the pit of my stomach to ice. I'll never forget that moment, as dumb as it was. To this day I am so sorry that we had to sell her. That horse gave a whole new meaning to "worth her weight in gold."
Here's a picture of us. I don't even think she was a weaned yet in this picture. me and nel.jpg
When I met Link. I remember looking at him and thinking "that's him?" He was overweight, looked very short in the stall, and had a dull winter coat. Nothing like the summer semi in shape pictures from the ad. But even with his owner and my mom standing beside me in front of the stall he stuck his head over and nudged me. I wanted him for sure that moment even before riding him. 2 years later he's still in my barn, my second heart horse that qualifies as my dream horse. Posted via Mobile Device