Wow! What makes you appreciate your horse?
There are some rides you take that make you really appreciate your horse!
The paddock where I agist my horse is a good 10 minute ride from the indoor arena (at trot). The other night I had a jumping lesson at 6:30pm-7:30 so by the time I rode out of there it was pitch black. Not only that but it was absolutely pouring!! There was wind and there was no moon in the sky cause of the rain so I could barely see a thing. But my horse Candy (who's just 4) barely batted an eyelid and we trotted all the way home with no lights in the pitch black and howling wind and rain without any problems. I couldn't help thinking the whole time how good she was! I had a feeling she had a better idea of where we were going then me! I was so proud of her, it really made me appreciate how amazing she is!
Does anyone have similar stories?
I remember the first trail ride I went on with my first horse. My riding instructor decided to take the class out of the arena, and we were riding down a gravel road that led to some gravel-pit land behind the barn property. One side of the road was owned by my instructor, and the other side by a neighbor who grazed a few cows on his property. As we rode down the road, the cows took notice of our passage, and ran up to their fence to investigate. The cattle did reining style sliding stops up to the horses, mooing the whole time. Every horse, including my instructor's shied big. My pony didn't do any more than look with interest, even when one of the bombproof lesson ponies literally ran into him trying to get away!
Every horse has at least an instant where he prooves he's worth his wieght in gold. Even the ones who don't necessarily glitter. :wink:
Horses are amazing animals. My Mustang Dobe can be a lot of horse, more than many people can handle. Not because he is hot (he's not) but because it only takes the slightest cue to get him going and he is pretty quick on his feet. I took him to the lake by my Mom's house about a month? ago just for fun. I asked my mom if she wanted to go for a ride in the lake and she kept refusing. After we had been there for a while and it started to get hot, I asked her again and she finally agreed. She turned 56 in August and has had Multiple Sclerosis since 1993. She recently had another exacerbation where she lost more feeling in her legs and lost more muscle control in her whole body. She is not a horsey person at all and has not even been on a horse in almost 10 years (and never bareback). She was a little nervous at first because Dobe can be a lot of horse sometimes. I helped her climb on bareback and she walked him around for a minute. He acted like he hadn't a care in the world. He was perfectly content to just stroll along at a nice slow walk and if she started to get off balance, he would slow down more and move sideways to stay under her. :grin: I just sat there watching as a smile crept its way onto her face. She has never been comfortable on a horse and to see her relax enough to let go of his mane was just amazing. I went and got on Denny and we spent the next half hour or so just walking out into the deep water and talking. He never once went faster than she asked him to even when Denny got excited and got a long way ahead. He just continued to plod along. She was concerned with falling off but she never even came close. It was just incredible to see her so relaxed and laughing on a horse........... bareback.......... in the middle of a lake. :grin:
i think the proudest moment with my old horse was when we were at a show... we had to ride in the outdoor ring..... the day was perfect, warm and sunny with little wind... but when me and p.d. had to do our drssage test it started to poor and it was thundering so hard it scared me! :P but we went in the ring andsaluted the judge, and i just started laughing, it was just like me and p.d. to be the ones dancing in the storm, everyone was running around trying to catch stray umbrellas andsheets and everything else while trying to get to cover. well, that was the best ride i ever had on my horse, he collected and did everything i asked without even flickering a ear at anything blowing around us, now i have little rain drop marks on my saddle from everytime we rode in a storm. now i have a different horse and she isheadshy (we are working on it!) but me and my instructor were standing in front of her talking and something scared her so she pulled back and started flipping out but all of a sudden she lunged forward and stuffed her head into my chest and just stayed there...it felt like she was saying sorry for doing that :)
My horses never cease to amaze me. Zierra has proved her worth time and time again, and even 10 years later, she still has the ability to put a huge smile on my face. Training her was the biggest testement to her nature - I've worked with horses all my life, but I'd never trained a foal from birth. When she was born, there was nobody to train her, nobody would help me, and being a teenager, no way to send her to a trainer. I made more then my fair share of mistakes, and as a young spirited Arab, she just continued to work with me. We have such a strong bond, it's an unwritten code between us that we always have patience for the other during learning things. She's such a powerfully honest horse, she's taught me so much, and the way I'm able to communicate with her just amazes me. I can always trust her to get us through safely, and she always does the same. That mutual trust just creates such an unstoppable force, it's unreal.
Jynx is quickly becoming the same. We hit some major roadblocks along our journey, with her training and care being incompetent at best for the first 2 years of her life. She came to me as the boss, and within a matter of months, she's turned into an affectionate little goober who constantly looks to me with that hopeful look in her eyes that she's done the right thing. All it took was some good old fashioned communication and patience to unlock her abilities, and the intelligence in her just astounds me.
I think the major key is to always be humbled by your horse. A lot of us seem to forget the sheer magic in how horses respond to us, and stop being impressed by it. I've learned not to "expect" things of my horse - if I ask and they don't know, simply find a different way of asking. The eagerness to please is what keeps me working with horses - that thrilling moment of asking the right way and having them look at you with that look of satisfaction and recognition and being SO eager to do it now that they know what you're asking. I don't think I could ever stop appreciating the little things that so many people overlook.
Often, just sitting on Crows back and feel how he carries me, makes me smile :)
Or on good days when I really notice how he follows my moves vbefore I hardly know what I'm doing.
When he makes a sudden halt in the middle of a galopp to ''save'' us from a scary car or something that havn't been there before, and he still makes that lovely stop whith his butt underhimself and his front raised, so that I won't fall off forward. Or eben changes his weight to either side to catch me when I lost balance.
When he trots and I just can't make him stop - untill I start sliding to the side and bounce off and he imediatly slows down to a slow walk untill I get my balance right :P
When I noticed those playing deers and wanted to get closer, and he carried me there one step at a time, it felt as if he was reading my mind on when to walk forward, turn a bit or stop, since I'm not aware of have doing anything to show him what I wanted.
When he comes running towards me in the pasture, showing off and then trotting up to me to lie his head in my arms and just stand there :3
When I've been unfair to him and he still forgive me in a heartbeat.
I appreciate Dacke for being such a calm and gentle horse, allowing anyone to ride and still give them something to fight for (he won't let them ride anywhere if they let him eat instead ;) ) and for letting me bring friends on the trail even if they can't ride.
I'm amazed by how well Sólon responds to the training and trust me when I'm out with him, a yearling and still won't do anything more than flick an ear when a big tractor working with wrap hay, is driving just feet away. :)
My horse is always proving her worth to me. =]
I like to take my horse to the nearby coffee stands, and we have to ride along a pretty busy road. We were coming across a street, and a huge semi was taking a left hand turn, and you know how wide those suckers have to turn. I have always been terrified of semi's. They're big and scary and can cause a tremendous amount of damage. So it looked like it was coming right at us, and Ricci, being the amazing girl she is, stopped walking, faced the semi and SNORTED at it, like she was daring it to get any closer to us. She was definitely protecting me.
There was also our first jump, which was much too big and much too solid for out first, but oh well. She hesitated ever so slightly, I gave her a squeeze, and we SOARED over it. It was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had.
And for those days that Ricci loses her marbles, Gracie always steps up to get the "best horse ever" award. I was riding Ricci and ponying Gracie, [Gracie is only 1] and we were walking along the road for the first time, and Gracie was doing amazing, even though Ricci was throwing a fit. We got to this one spot and Ricci REALLY threw a fit, she wasn't going where I wanted her to, she was spinning and popping up for a mini buck or rear, it was just ridiculous. And my yearling, who wasn't even a year at the time, just got to the end of her lead rope and stayed out of the way. She didn't try and act up, she didn't try to escape, it was her first real time on the road, cars and trucks and buses were driving by, and she just waited for Ricci to get her head back on so we could continue. That filly is fearless. =]
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