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MadamKing 07-18-2011 08:43 AM

Old Jesse - The Life of a Teacher
My first REAL horse - an upgrade from pony to horse, Jesse was the best teacher in the world. My mother was also a horse nut and bought him as a "17 y/o ex riding school horse" for Christmas present for nine-year-old me and a companion to her old warmblood Sultan. We would later find out Jesse was 32 at the time of purchase. Jesse won me my first ribbons, including Champion Children's Horse, he taught me not only to ride, but to care for horses, and how to stay on. Many a night I would crawl onto his back crying and he would plod around the pasture for me. I would take a blanket and curl up on his back with my arms around his neck and he would nicker to me when I came to see him.

Even into retirement, he would still happily carry me up the big hill to the other horses where I would mount my desired steed and pony him back down the hill in case he lost his footing. As time wore on, he couldn't make it up the big hill with the others any more, so we let him live around the house and garden, eating roses and sticking his head in the door for Sunday morning pancakes. I sold my pony and became the proud owner of a glossy chestnut Thoroughbred, Phoenix, who died 6 weeks after we bought him. When my thoroughbred got really sick and the vet was called, old Jesse held him up, letting Phoenix lean on him for support as his legs slowly gave way.

Jesse was always there when he was needed; for a cuddle, a lift or something to make you smile. A talented and intelligent trick horse, Jesse would rear on command and I would ride him up hills and do a Man From Snowy River rear on him. Jesse would put his all into everything he did. Before his real age was discovered, he would jump 1 metre (3 ft) for me, gallop for ages, race my friends, chase the sheep and give the show judges an imploring look which would make even the stoniest judge go "awww, I think he deserves a ribbon".

One of Jesse's favourite tricks was to jump the fence and visit our neighbour, who would, if Jess appeared at the right time, feed him a mash along with her stock horses. We would get a call saying "Jesse is over again" and not five minutes later would the old boy be seen plodding back down to our farm, and placing himself back in the paddock.

As I got older and learnt more about horses,

To be sorry but I started writing waiting up for my boss to come home with two racehorses and he got back and now its bedtime.


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