The five horses we meet in life. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-14-2010, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
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The five horses we meet in life.

I came across this and thought it would be interesting to think about.
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According to Joanne Friedmann, there are five horses we all meet in life.
[FONT=Georgia,'Times New Roman',Times,serif]1. The Intro Horse.
We each came into horses in our own way, but it was always with a horse leading us. This might have been a friend's first pony, or perhaps it was a draft horse on a farm you once visited It might have been a real-life meeting, or an imaginary one. I was escorted to the party by The Black, Walter Farley's star horse in The Black Stallion series...

My earliest horse-related memory was that of having a big fuzzy white muzzle sniffing my face inquisitively. I don't know what age I was. Apparently it was a friend's draft. Although I was freaked out as hell, I was allowed to sit on her back with a helmet on and be led twice around the paddock. It was amazing being that high. For the longest time after that, I was normally accompanied (in my head) by a huge carnivorous palomino pegasus, but I don't think that counts, lol.

2. The Experimental Horse
Once you had crossed the line between "****, they're big!" and "Wow! Can I try that?" you found yourself face-to-face with the horse that would suffer through your early attempts at figuring out the whole horse experience ... wherever this horse came from, he probably didn't benefit from the encounter as much as you did...

[/font][FONT=Georgia,'Times New Roman',Times,serif] For me, this guy was a middle-aged TB gelding, possibly a cross. A lesson horse. Warm chestnut brown, 15-some hands. He taught me how to ride. He was spooky, had tie-up issues, and was a complete dork...but he was awesome, and put up with my silly beginner ways like a saint. I sometimes wonder where he ended up.[/font]
[FONT=Georgia,'Times New Roman',Times,serif]

3. The Connected Horse
The first horses we meet don't really connect with us, nor do we with them. Those are experiences in survival and tests of endurance. The Connected Horse is the first horse you truly bond with. This is the horse that sounds a chord that lives so deep in you that you might never have heard it otherwise...

He was a horse at the therapeutic riding centre I used to work at. His name was Bobby...a Morgan gelding, retired police mount, little and black with white socks and a thick white blaze. He despised other horses with a fiery passion. It was inordinately hilarious. He was the first equine I ever felt a real "connection" with. No, I never rode him. He had a bad back was only suitable for the little kids. But if ever there was a horse from my past that continually pops back up in my brain, accompanied by melodramatic pangs of the heart...

4. The Challenger
Into each horseperson's life, a little challenge must fall. You'll have read that one final training book, bought yourself a clicker and heading rope, and there you'll stand, arms crossed, assessing the situation as if you actually knew what the situation was. It might be difficult to believe, as you are flying down the aisleway on the losing end of a braided cotton line, but you actually need this horse in your life...

All I am going to say here is that her name was Trinity, she was green and really an unsuitable lesson horse for me but the trainer dude matched me up with her regardless. Young spitfire TB cross who nearly killed me many a-time. She may not have provided me with my first true taste of flying headlong through the air, but man, I nearly gave up the whole "let's learn how to ride a horse!" thing after being partnered up with that nut six consecutive weeks in a row. She had broken her previous owner's arm about a week before I was introduced to her.

5. Your Deepest Heart
There will come a time when you will look at yourself with a cold, appraising eye, and you'll have to be honest about your continued ability to deal with The Challenger and other difficult horses. At that point, you'll seek out the horse that will be your soul mate forever... You'll have bought him the most comfortable, best fitting equipment... Maybe you'll still go to shows and ride - brilliantly or barely - in the Alzheimer's class. Maybe you'll just stay home. Whatever you do, one day you'll realize that after all the money you spent on animal communicators and trainers, you only had to stop and listen and you would have clearly heard your horse's thoughts and desires...

I have not had the pleasure of knowing very many horses. They were all owned by other people, so the relationships I may have had with them were very detached. But about three months ago, I had the extreme blessing of being able to take home my "first". I feel I have lucked out with Lilly. She may be a bit impatient, pushy when food is concerned...and she has an odd habit of giving one or two little crowhops at the start of every ride despite the amount of time I had placed in her warmup beforehand, but I could not have asked for a better horse. She's intelligent, sensitive, sweet, she watches where she's going, she doesn't overreact -- even in frightening situations (I was so proud of her with that dumptruck we encountered the other day! She didn't flip me in the mud! Always a good thing.) I will always have her in mind when evaluating other horses. I feel blessed to know her and I hope everyone has or had a horse they feel similarly about, or will someday.

So have it -- who are your five?

Last edited by Cheshire; 01-14-2010 at 05:22 PM.
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-14-2010, 06:51 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 3,254
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The Intro Horse: I don't remember this name. He was big; I remember that. Incredibly big with huge, long ears and a short, coarse tail. I didn't know what he was at first, then I realized that it was a mule. I asked to ride, but the man who owned him said that I was too small. From that day on, I was committed to riding that mule... One day...

The Experiential Horse: Firefly. Short, stocky quarter horse mare with a sour, grumpy attitude and the roughest gaits in the world. She put up with all my nervousness, twitching, bad riding... She didn't like me; she made that clear, but she did put up with me. Much respect, Miss Fly.

The Connected Horse: Lola Mae. 15.3 hand grade fjord. Bought her at an auction. She had minimal ground skills and, as a former broodmare, had never been broke. I "wasted" about a year with this horse until I was forced to sell her. I still miss her...

The Challenger: Cody. Former show horse; gorgeous chestnut of about 16 hands. All the other students at the barn were afraid of him -- with good reason. He fed from nervousness and knew all the students well. By that, I mean he knew exactly what to do to get them off his back. He would rear, turn a quick circle, and bolt most of the time.
But he was really my only option when it came to perfecting my canter, so my lesson teacher put me on him bareback. He tried all he could to pick at me, but was was determined to win the fight. And the fight went on, lesson after lesson.
Today, Cody and I have come to an understanding. It took a while, but it was well worth it.

Your Deepest Heart: Moon Baby, AKA "Miss Moon". 17 hand black Percheron mare. Though she isn't mine, this horse means that world to me. She's the only horse since Lola that I feel any personal connection to. Everytime I go for a lesson, I have to go and feed Moon an apple and give her a good pet. And riding her is a like a dream; she's one of the few horses I'm not afraid of and feel that I can trust. One day, I hope I'll be able to buy her... Maybe...
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-14-2010, 09:11 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: N. Indiana
Posts: 892
• Horses: 3
Intro Horse:
A 13.2hh Welsh pony called Everlasting. I was from a poor family and she was a friend's pony. She had four and I would walk the two miles each way to go ride after school. We went to pony club and little shows together. She was an absolute COW but she sure taught me determination!

The Experimental Horse:
A 5 yo OTTB mare named Ruffy. She was given to me by a roughneck trainer. I was a teenager and thought I knew all there was to know about horses. Of course, things went reasonably well til I grew up and went away to the army.

The Connected Horse:
Probably Keiran. He was an ISH I bought to compete with in eventing. We hated each other, but we made a pretty good team. Actually the ****** hated everything lol.

The Challenger:
A 13yo warmblood rescue I took in a year or so ago. For all my good intentions we parted ways midway last year. Her doing better and me feeling broken. I almost gave up on horses after her.

Your Deepest Heart:
That would be Buzz. I only got him two weeks ago, but I already know that I couldn't be without him. As soon as he got off the trailer and he rested his head on my shoulder as if to say "Hi girl, here I am, we'll take care of each other." He has filled a hole in me that I didn't know existed. I had all but given up on having a horse of my own that would at least kinda fit, and was focusing on helping other people with their horses.

The first time I rode him, it was like two pieces of a puzzle fit together. I'm so lucky to have found him.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-14-2010, 11:50 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sundre, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 6,285
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The intro Horse: Santos, 16hh Anglo Arab gelding. I really can't say enough good about this horse, he was with my family years before I was born and died at 25 years old when I was 19. Not only was he the saint that I needed to keep me hooked on horses but he also did teach me ALOT. He was awful looking and really not well broke at all, but he had a great disposition, a heart of gold and a huge personality.

The Connected Horse: Koots, Grey QH gelding. I'm not sure what it was about this horse, but I loved him and he is the horse I still think about the most. Unfortunatly I had to sell him only a year after buying him because we had a baby on the way and my hubby was back in school.

AND Kita, gray QH mare. She is something else. She was my therapist. Always there when I needed a hug. She lives with a new family now and does what she loves best, packs kids around all day.

The Challenger: North, bay roan QH Mare. Everytime I rode her I felt like I was starting over at square one. This horse almost turned me off of other horses.

I haven't met my heart horse yet, or at least I haven't realized it.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-15-2010, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NE ohio
Posts: 535
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intro horse/experimental would be a short wide 30 year old pony named debbie and a tall white 30 year old quarter horse named mindy. both were on the same farm and i would ride whoever wasn't in a bad mood that day. i started riding them when i was 7 with no real instruction at all other then what i read from a book.

the connected horse would be the horse i had at horse camp. he was a beautiful palamino named lightning. he was a perfect gentlemen and when my week at camp ended, i cried more over leaving the horse then the new friends i had made. glad i have pics to remember him by.

the challenger i own right now. paul. he is a 6 year old quarter horse and stubborn as i'll get out. he is teaching me to ride all over again. he's a chore to ride everytime i am out there. i would like to say that in a few years, he might move up to my connected horse but for right now, it's a battle of the wills.

deepest heart horse must still be waiting in the wings. i'm 36 years old and won't have a whole ton of years left to ride so i hope i meet them before i'm too old.

Jackie's Sonny Daze
Haflinger Gelding
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-15-2010, 03:05 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gallant, Alabama
Posts: 2,474
• Horses: 8
1. The Intro Horse.
The first horse-related memory I have is of me, as a baby... probably just a few months old or so (I wasn't even a year old yet) being held atop my great-uncles Saddlebred gelding Ole Man by my mum while my great uncle led the horse around the Lot. That's actually one of the 'first' memories I can remember. I also remember my mum riding Ole Man around the Lot with me in front of her while my great uncle was standing at the fence watching. Those times were the only two times I ever rode that horse, as he was retired soon after. Ole Man died about five years ago. He was a great old horse, chestnut with a wide blaze, a complete spitfire in his younger days (or so I've been told), but a gentle friend in his old age.

2. The Experimental Horse

One word; Buttercup. She was slifghtly spookish, stubborn as a mule, and very annoying. I still don't really like her... chestnut Racking Horse with a calf-face, four matching socks, and a belly spot. She crowhopped and bucked at times, but was a pretty good maremost of the time. We still have her, and I still don't like her that much.

3. The Connected Horse
Mo, the saint, the gorgeous Arabian gelding with cancer... the horse that caused me to fall in love with riding. Huge brown eyes, a beautiful face with a star and connected strip and snip, two socks, and a beautiful blood bay color. I rode him for a few years... up until his arithritis caused him to be retired and we gave him away. He put up with anything, never took a bad step, and tried his best to protect his riders. Hard to catch a lot of the times, but gentle as a butterfly and so fun to ride. He'd try his best for his riders.

4. The Challenger
My girl, my beautiful bay mare Gypsie. The first time I saw her, my best friend and I tried to ride her... we were both thrown. She was green, I was green. She was mean, I loved her. She hated men, I loved her. We taught each other. Mo taught me to ride, Gypsie taught me to hang on. She bucked, bit, was and still is gun-shy. Definately not suited for a green rider, yet now she's one of the safest horses we own and loves little kids. Where she used to hate men, reared over backwards with men, and tried to kill one of my cousins, now she can be ridden by virtually anyone.

5. Your Deepest Heart
There will come a time when you will look at yourself with a cold, appraising eye, and you'll have to be honest about your continued ability to deal with The Challenger and other difficult horses. At that point, you'll seek out the horse that will be your soul mate forever... You'll have bought him the most comfortable, best fitting equipment... Maybe you'll still go to shows and ride - brilliantly or barely - in the Alzheimer's class. Maybe you'll just stay home. Whatever you do, one day you'll realize that after all the money you spent on animal communicators and trainers, you only had to stop and listen and you would have clearly heard your horse's thoughts and desires..

My gorgeous gelding Dakota... my sweet, gentle youngster. He was born while I was away from home, and I named him before knowing what color or gender he was. I've raised him and I do believe he considers me as a 'second mommy'... when Gypsie gets after him (still) he runs to me... when something scares him, he runs to me. If I get onto him, he's looks pathetic. At almost four years old, I know him better than I know myself. I can tell what he's going to do before he does it at times. We can almost read each other. He's my baby.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-15-2010, 07:28 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: In the barn whenever possible.
Posts: 1,910
• Horses: 2
1. The Intro Horse
The first horse that I can ever remember riding was a horse on our farm called "Slats". I can remember riding him with my younger brother behind me. I must have been around 8-9 and my brother around 5-6. We were riding around the front yard of the farm. My dad and grandmother was there. I happened to ride under a low hanging magnolia branch. I ducked, my little brother didn't. He went right off the back of Slats and landed right on his back. I remember getting yelled at as my dad rushed to see if he was ok. Slats was a very gentle horse and great with us kids.

2. The Experimental Horse
Carla was my experimental horse. She was a pasture bred qh yearling that had never been touched and she was paired with a 15 yr old that had never trained a horse before. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. I took notes when I watched others ride or talk about riding. I learned. Carla learned. It was an amazing experience for me. By the time she was two, she never knew I wasn't suppose to ride her. We progressed from riding with nothing but a halter/lead rope to bridle/saddle and showing in western pleasure and timed events. She was the perfect first horse. I could lay out in the field with her. I could walk under her. I could pull on her tail. She never cared. I had her for 5 years. It was the best 5 years of my life.

3. The Connected Horse
Lillie is my connected horse. I got her because she reminded me of Carla, but she's carved her own little spot in my heart. She's the first horse I've ever tried clicker training on. I can't believe it's almost been a year since she's come into my life. She makes my life brighter and happier.

4. The Challenger
Haven't had one yet. Wonder if it will be Lyric or maybe Comanche?

5. Your deepest Heart
Carla touched my heart deeply but I hope I have a deepest heart horse that I get to spend my life with.

"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-15-2010, 09:47 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 5,722
• Horses: 3
1. The Intro Horse
her name was bonnie & she was 32 yrs old. when i was 4 i would w/t/c her around a big field & she would go & go until she was tired & then she wouldnt do more than a walk. she was a great girl & the perfect kids horse. my mum owned her since she was 12 [my mum] & bonnie died when i was 5yo.

2. The Experimental Horse
this would have to be blackjack. he was a great old guy, put up with all my silly mistakes ! he would jump & go on trails & everything even though he was going blind [we didnt know it, he was so tough he never let on much except getting a bit spooky] he was so fiesty everyone thought it was crazy that i small kid like me was riding him, but he was the best. sadly he was put down recently

3. The Connected Horse
scout is my connected horse. when my family first got scout i didnt like him at all. i had just had a really bad injury & i wasnt really allowed to ride much when we got him so i sort of held that against him. he was also very tramatized & fearful of people. he finally started to trust me & i began jumping him. he was terrible & so was i ! he would stop at jumps & i would fall off all the time !! through lots of very hard work we somehow figured it out & became very close. we won many events & shows together & i still have him 8 years later =D

4. The Challenger
this would be rhydian, who i free leased for 2 years. she has been back with her owner since last may, but i still miss her every single day. when i first got her all she had done is fox hunt & was pretty wild =D ! she was a very difficult ride, but i always had complete trust it her. everyone thought she was insane, but i never really felt that way when i was on her back. she is by far the biggest challange that ive ever had & she taught me so much. we were so close it was terrible to have to give her back, but it would have been more terrible & extremely selfish to keep her.

5. Your deepest Heart
gypsy ! i knew the second i saw her that she was going to be mine =] ive only had her about 7 months, but i know i could never ever give her up & i cant wait to see the horse she becomes =D we are really perfect for eachother & somehow i found the exact horse i was looking for ! [except i really wanted a chestnut =P ] i have always felt such a strong bond with her its kind of ridiculous

Gypsy & Scout <3
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-16-2010, 09:17 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,260
• Horses: 15
Intro Horse: Apples the fair pony that was given to a theme park. Every time I went for summers on end I wanted to ride her. The first time I met her she wiffled my hair and searched my pockets. I think she was an appy. : )

Experimental Horse:
Handsome, my cousin's pinto pony. I fell off of him a lot. He wasn't trained and he was young. One time an airplane flew over and I had him hand grazing on a lunge line. He turned around and took off and flipped me in the air. Knocked the breath out of me. The next day I was hand grazing him on the same lung line. Happy as a clam. We would take turns riding him down the road. One year a bike marathon or something was going down the road and we set up a stand, gave people lemonade and free rides on him. Then my uncle sold him and he broke the girl's arm.

The connected horse:

Ricky my very first horse. He was a 3 year old Anglo-Arab. We loved each other's company. He was the only one who would run to me on the 70 something acres I had him boarded when I called his name. We taught each other so much. When I got rid of him I went to visit him and he tried to follow me out of the pasture and go with me. He neighed as I walked away. I cried the whole way home.

The Challenger:

My mom's Morgan Quarter Horse, Rookie. He was such a pain. Whenever he was done he would back you into a fence or just flip you off his back. He was a bully. They asked me if I wanted him when they wanted to get rid of their horses and I told them heck no.

Your deepest heart:
Rocky should have been Ricky's twin. He was a paint horse. Almost like a puppy. Would do anything for me. Walked up onto a treadmill the very first time like it wasn't nothing. Walked onto a huge teeter tooter once without batting an eye. One day I fell off him and he ran off. I got up to see where he had gone and he was running back to me. Came to skidding stop and looked at me like "ok you can get back on now". I can't believe I ever got rid of him.
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-16-2010, 10:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 52
• Horses: 0
1. The Intro Horse.
All of the horses at the local retired horse farm-In particular, a beautiful paint mare. I don't know what her history was, but she was sweet, and would follow me along the fence line when I ran ahead.

2. The Experimental Horse
Painter and Angel at my first lesson stable. Painter was an old paint mare with a chocolate and white coat. She had no vices, the sweetest temperment, and would listen to a hair command or an iron one without complaint. She was the first horse I ever rode, I was 7. I also would ride Angel, a tricky little mare that liked to have her way, but was unshakeable.

3. The Connected Horse
Hootie and Ramba. Hootie was a flea-bitten gray pony gelding, probably about 12 hands. He was the horse that first allowed me to have complete confidence in myself. I would spend an hour after the lesson just sitting with him in his stall, talking. Before Hootie there was Ramba. Ramba was a bigger brown mare with long legs and a beautiful face. I met her one day when the horse I was riding on began kicking violently everytime I asked for a trot. I switched horses with a more experienced rider and got Ramba. She was the first horse I ever cantered on. With Ramba there was a sort of unconscious connection. I often felt like she could read my mind, and I trusted her more than I EVER trusted any lesson horse.

4. The Challenger
This was Saphire, my first horse. She was a little half QuarterPaint, half TWH mare. She was barn sour and somewhat unpredictable, and VERY willful, but sweet as an angel. Sadly I outgrew her and had to give her to another little girl who needed to learn important things from her own first pony.
5. Your Deepest Heart
He is an amazing young stallion, named Diamond. I got him when he was just two and a half years old, and only had a few rides on him. He has learned so much, and so have I. I can do anything with him, he is a Super Horse. He helps me with my issues, he is gentle enough to put children on, but challenging enough to give me a jolt when I need it.
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