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Does anyone have any heartwarming horse stories they could share? It could be something that happened to you / your horse, or someone you know, but it should be a true story that has a happy ending.

The stuff going on at my barn has been causing me a lot of anxiety, and I'm hoping to try to counter that with some happy stories.

Thanks!
 

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Well, maybe not heartwarming, but a bit silly. I was 14 and I rode a tiny, chestnut, Quarter Horse mare for my lessons. I absolutely adored her. My mom could barely afford riding lessons and I didn't get an allowance so no spending money. I did manage to scrape up enough pennies to buy a little bit of red satin ribbon. Just enough to hold back my hair with enough left over so I could tie a bow in the mane of the little mare. This little horse loved to jump and we spent most of our lessons jumping courses that my instructor thought up. The mare was the perfect lesson horse until one day.... She went over a jump and started to buck. This had never happened before and caught me completely off guard. When she stopped bucking I was hanging under her neck with my arms wrapped tightly around her neck. My right foot was still in the stirrup (twisted around) and my left foot was on top of the saddle. The mare was holding completely still, I think she was surprised by her antics and the result! I remember thinking, "I'll just pull my foot out of the stirrup, drop down, and then I can get back on." And then my instructor said, "You are not off yet!" and I knew my feet couldn't hit the ground. So I grabbed some mane and pulled and wiggled and managed to get back in the saddle.

I rode that lovely mare for quite a few months after that and she was as sweet as can be. I don't know what got into her that day!
 

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Would it warm your heart to know that a horse that was picked up at a dog food auction as a three-year-old in 1987 made it to the ripe old age of 34 years and 5 months - and spent the last eight and a half years of his life retired at our place with full access to our garden?

We adopted Romeo off my parents when we bought our own farm, which had plenty of grazing - and at that point, the horse was 25 and retired and having difficulty with hay. I thought we'd buy him some more time by having him with us, and we certainly did. He looked amazing again within half a year of being at our place, after arriving lean. In this photo, he was 28:



After that he unfortunately started losing teeth, and it became a bit tricky to get him through the summers without losing condition, especially in the years we were also in drought. He spent a lot of time in the irrigated garden then, and his twice-daily supplementary feeds had grown massive. Here he was looking through the window when we were plastering our house in the 2013 drought:



He looked into our windows a fair bit when he was trying to get our attention - and we'd go out and give him a scratch, or a Weet-Bix:





He'd often stand outside the dining room door when we were eating, or outside the office window when we were working, and if I was in the garden he'd keep me company.









He was allowed anywhere he liked, anytime he wanted, and was completely trustworthy with my garden plants. He always made full use of his access-all-areas pass:



He thought our front lawn was a great place to camp:



He could still socialise with his herd anytime he wanted; this was Christmas 2017.



Romeo also loved the donkeys, who were more sedate people to hang out with when he wanted a quiet day:







A little on his background:

Romeo was born in 1984, the same year the French mare who was my first riding horse died. I was 13 years old. I first met Romeo when he was three when my father returned from a dog food auction with him. We had his full sister, who was two then and who became the family's most successful race mare. The reasons why he ended up at a dog food auction were recounted at length before, on my journal, but essentially he was a foal out of a famous mare whose every offspring were winners, and greedy people bought him, and ended up using an electric whip on him in his training, so he jumped the track rail with cart and driver attached and smashed everything up. (Bwahahaha!)

Stupid, stupid people. He was a horse with a wonderful nature, and was so glad to end up being treated decently. I rode him a lot when I was younger, and he was without any question the fastest horse I've ever ridden. He did 800m in 55 seconds on a regular basis at the pace, which was as fast as the Interdominion horses back in his day, and was faster still galloping under saddle. There was one long sand hill with a soft incline I used to let him run up full speed - the only place I felt that was safe! And it was like sitting in an aeroplane at lift-off - the sudden enormous kick forward that made your gut feel like you were on a rollercoaster. When you ride a horse like that, it's like you're flying. A horse like that is your wings. It's like a hippogriff.

A friend of mine used to visit, who'd show-jumped in England, and she jumped him for fun and said he was just amazing. I once watched this horse casually jump a four-foot paddock fence without a run-up, from a standstill, just to get to the other side where his companion horse was, instead of going back through the open gate! Boing - like a big kangaroo. I was gobsmacked. And he did it without fanfare, and immediately returned to grazing on the other side of the fence.

I've got lots more on him on my journal, especially from last week, where we made the decision that it was kinder to end his life before he got significantly uncomfortable: https://www.horseforum.com/member-j...ys-other-people-479466/page41/#post1970697645


A song for Romeo:





Romeo, October 30, 1984 - March 28, 2019.

Fly free, old friend.
 

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Last spring, a mare came to my previous barn to have her filly. She was very protective of it: When you passed her pasture by yourself and she didn't know you, she'd sneer at you; if you passed leading a horse, she'd kick out at the fence post...once...as in, "This is your only warning, pal!"

I wanted to play with the filly.

One day, I waited until both of them were at the far end of the pasture, away from the gate, and I came in. There was a mare in the pasture next to them, and without paying any attention to mom and baby, I went to that fence to give that mare some loving over the fence. It took mom about 3 minutes to start to approach me, baby in tow, but safely tucked behind her. When she was close enough, I acted surprised and gave her a few scratches, too. Baby really wanted to see what's going on and started to muscle in between me and mom, who started to allow it.

The last thing I wanted to do was to startle or distress the baby, with that mom that close to me, so I took it really easy with her...let her sniff my hand, gave her a little scratch before turning back to mom, etc. As a little filly, just learning to trust the mighty apex predators, she was still rather jumpy at just a couple of weeks old.

After doing this for two or three days, things began to change: I effectively became the baby sitter whenever I wanted. Filly came to the fence when she saw me, I gave her her scratches while she rubbed on me like a cat. Mom, in the meanwhile, moved to the opposite end of the pasture to get a bite of grass in peace and quiet, at times grazing with her face pointed away from us.

After a few weeks, the owner came and took them both home.
 

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My horse is a miracle.

According to vet AND farrier at the time of the injury, there was a good chance she might come back to be paddock sound, but riding was 50/50 and jumping more like 25% chance. If it had been a front foot her chances of recovery would have been less because it's hard to stay off a front foot for it to heal.

In the end the entire heel came away, she lost a solid inch of coronet, and I thought her hoof would be permanently deformed and with a weakness in the location of the injury.

Nope. You can hardly tell now. She doesn't handle being barefoot very well, but nobody notices the scar/odd foot when she's shod. Not unless I specifically pick up the foot and SHOW them. She's completely sound, in work, jumping. Not shy with that heel at all. So long as she has shoes on! But she needs them anyway because she's got horrible feet in general, so it's really a non-issue.

Still can't believe it. Every professional including my coach thought her jumping career was over before it even began.

No, it's not the most impressive LOOKING injury, but she no joke lost an entire inch of coronet band and like half the heel bulb, and then GREW IT BACK.
 

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While I was reclining in a lounge the other day, Hondo lowered his head and stretched out his neck for me to scratch in a favored spot under his chin.


After I scratched for a while, Hondo suddenly raised his head and started massaging my scalp with his upper lip as horses do when doing mutual grooming. After a short bit he lowered his head for more scratching.


That was the most heartwarming experience I've had with Hondo. Happily, he did not progress to scratching with his teeth.
 

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Happily, he did not progress to scratching with his teeth.
Ha, ha! I had that happen to me once...I sat on the lowest fence board, waiting for the mares to be taken in for the night. One of them, a very affectionate one, came over for scratches. While I scratched her neck, she played with the fur trim on my hood, then proceeded to groom my back...with her teeth.

Through a thick sweater and winter coat, it felt awesome! :)

No more grooming for me, though: The girl got sold last weekend. She had finished her training at the farm.
 

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Just in postscript, if you have an old horse losing teeth who can no longer handle carrots, you could grate the carrots obviously. But, you can also sidestep them and feed things like figs, juicy plums, peaches, nectarines. We happen to grow these, so Romeo didn't miss out one bit - he had stone fruit for years. He was very clever about the pips too. This is him demonstrating his plum eating technique about six weeks ago. :love:


He also really enjoyed being groomed, and would always direct me to the itchiest spots. This clip was from a while back when we were still building our house.

 

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Yesterday I had to sit out at the barn waiting to get picked up after my lesson. I decided to take my lawn chair and sit in the pasture by Chase and Bee while they were grazing. I have a bad habit of fainting if I get dehydrated, which I never drink enough water, anyways that part isn't relevant yet. So Bee came over to me and put his foot on the chair and almost flipped me over so I shoed him away.

I was just hanging out in the chair and I must've fainted because when I woke up I was on the ground and Chase was standing over me. Like OVER me. I was inbetween his front and back legs on the ground. At first I didn't move because I thought I could've gotten kicked in the head or something but there was no pain so I ruled that out pretty quickly. Bee tried to walk back over to the area but any time he got close Chase would pin his ears back reach out to bite him. Chase was standing so dead still. I slid out from under him and got some water. When I got back in the chair he wouldn't leave my side. He stood over me and didn't graze, didn't go run off, he just stood there. He also wouldn't allow Bee to come over to me. If Bee got within 10 feet of us then Chase would run him off.

I need to be more aware of drinking water, but I think its cute that Chase tried to "protect" me.... I have a video of him standing there. Don't mind the part where he attempts to bite me, were working on it lol.
 

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BlueEyedPony, my XL TB Oily had a similar injury caused by getting his foot caught in some (mostly) buried old barbed Wire. A front foot, too. He lost about 1/3 of his hoof-wall, and the coronary band above it. I have, IMO, the best equine vet ever, and the best farrier, _and_ they work as a team; how unusual is that? That was about 18 months ago, and as a result of their intensive care, he is totally sound, and has almost completely regrown his hoof. I doubt you would notice the scar if it wasn't pointed out. This on a 26yo, 17h/1200+lb horse.
Oh Sue; I'm _so_ sorry to hear about Romeo :-( I'm dreading the day my elderly Paint horse Banjo fails to come in for breakfast.
So let me tell you about Banjo.
Banjie is (so I have been told) a retired Wyoming cow-pony. When I first met him, he was so lame that he could barely walk; I mean it was painful to watch him. His owners were nice people, but not what I'd call real horse savvy. They had spent a lot of money on vet and farrier, but with little to show for it; he was kept stalled (you can't turn out a lame horse, dontchaknow), he had some weird "corrective" shoes on his front feet, he was lonely, bored, and overweight. His people were in the process of moving out of state, and Banjo was perilously close to being put down. I begged them to leave him in my care, and they were only too happy to have the burden shift to other shoulders.
I had the shoes pulled, his teeth done (it had been a Long Time), his sheath cleaned, and turned him out in the pasture with my critters. Banjo felt better immediately, and spent his days out by the pond sampling the forage. That was, what, six or seven years ago (Has it been _that_ long? Sigh.), and today, at 35yo, Banjo is in wonderful shape for a geriatric equine, and thoroughly enjoys carrying "his" human around in the neighborhood once in awhile; walk, trot, and occasionally at a canter. He remains a tiny bit lame in front; I can tell downhill travel bothers him, so I simply dismount and walk the downhill sections. He is the most willing and sociable being, and he just loves being a horse again. Everybody knows him, and it will be a sad, sad day in the neighborhood when he goes to answer his final call.
Fotos: Banjo trying out his "new" teeth, after our first ride together (about two years after I started taking care of him), and eating a Thistle, possibly his favorite treat.
 

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Oh man. M'boi Trigger. Very long story. He came to us hot, forward, scared, shy, terrified of men, especially loud talking men or boys in sunglasses, sunglasses in general, lariats - especially if you were practicing roping nearby, crackling water bottles, would lose his mind if you tried to touch his ears.

In my novice ignorance, I did everything wrong with him that could be done, and at the advice of people whom I thought I could trust. But they had the old school cowboy ways of things.

He bolted one time on me, I bailed, got wadded up, knocked out for a few seconds, and it scared me so bad I found any excuse to not ride him again for a full year. I found people who would take their cowboy advice and use it... enthusiastically. I let bullies and abusers try to dominate him for almost a year. He would come home with his mouth tore up, having been whipped mercilessly with reins for rearing, and he scared the gentler types who tried to 'ride him down for me.'

He went from shy and untrusting to simply untouchable, uncatchable. Never mean, not a mean bone in him.

He was terrified.

I was resigned to sell him. He wore the same crappy blue halter in his pasture for 18 months - because we couldn't catch him to get it off and we were afraid if we did, we'd never have that leverage - the halter - to snatch and catch him. We had to rope him a few times, and that sent him into orbit, emotionally. He was lost and scared and unfocused, and I made it 100xs worse by listening to all the wrong people.... They're actually the RIGHT people for any normal horse. Trigger isn't any normal horse. He's weird. (Delightfully so).

My husband, NOT a horseman, but someone who's ridden a lot in his life, pulled me aside one day, said: He's bad. He's getting worse. I know what you were told, I know I agreed with them - but you're going to have to try to take him back the other way.

Win his trust with kindness is what he meant.

So. EVERYONE was banned from going in his pasture, from harassing him, riding him, trying to catch him, chasing him with the four wheeler to wear him down and catch him. Don't look at him, don't talk to him, don't feed him. I had to become his go to person.

A month and a half of trying got me no. where. Finally I felt sorry for him, he was lonely in his little pasture, so I turned him out with the rest - there were storms coming in a few days, so I just opened the gate between the two pastures so they'd have access to the big run in shed.

Sarge began to hound him mercilessly. Chased him all over that 40 acres, for hours, unrelenting.

I was planting flowers... saw what he was doing to Trigger. And I got angry. I don't know what I thought I was going to do, but I stepped right thought the wire fence, bowed up, and stalked toward them. They were coming at me at a hard run. I yelled at Sarge, waved him off, and he knew he'd ripped his drawers with me. Trigger... God love him, he's so tender... HID behind me.

After that, I became his person. My weeks of being there with him, for him, paid off. I just didn't know it would until that moment. I put him back in by himself, kept him in the round pen for a week, spent every morning and every evening until dark and sometimes after, just hanging out with him. A friend came over, we round penned him/lunged him a little, and started to work desensitizing him to ropes, lunge whips, sunglasses, water bottles, walmart bags on fishing poles.

He's just. so. weird, but he's my buddy now. It took two years of consistently being there, learning to not be afraid of him (Because then he thinks I'm scared of boogers in the bushes), learning to trust him, and him trust me. We go camping, he's my favorite trail horse of them all, despite him still having no brakes. He rarely spooks, and when he does, I rarely even change my heart rate now - and we just chug right along.


The fact that he came to trust me, despite what we think must have been a bad mishandling of him in the past, his willingness to forgive and trust me after all my horrible missteps, and the fact that he will go wherever I ask him, even when he KNOWS he's right and I'm wrong, and I get us in a pickle from time to time, is humbling.


Below are my favorite pictures of him, because all of these represent a landmark in our partnership:


His first picture. My daughter took this while I was at work and sent it to me.





The day Sarge nearly beat him/ran him to death. He didn't like his picture taken, he wanted to turn his face away. Note the overgrown hooves - we couldn't even catch him for a trim before this day. Note also the crappy blue halter. It's now faded to white... and it hangs off the top rail of the pen - as a reminder to me there's a better way. It will hang there till it rots off, then I'll find another way to hang it up.




Summer slick, dappled and grass fat. I was working on finding a saddle that fit him right. This was later in the summer, after the spring butt whipping by Sarge. I spent a lot of time that day, sitting at his feet, under him, around him, just sitting on the ground as he ate. It was hard to do, at first - trust him to not step on me. He never did, never has.




This one is tremendous for me: He posed for a picture, and he had let a friend braid his mane. He'd held still, never shied or acted nervous that day.




The day last summer when Gina snapped her lead rope at Coffee Mill and ran away from camp, and tracked us for three hours, way behind us, along the same trail. This day, when we rode up and I noticed her gone, the tone of my voice changed, the way I held myself int he saddle changed. He reacted IMMEDIATELY by acting out, being upset. My friend I ride with has been around horses her entire life. Said she's never seen one pick up on his/her rider's emotions and react as immediately as he does. I learned that day to keep calm, no matter what and he will too. At this point, Gina was still missing. I was using him as bait, near the trail head. I'd hoped he call for her. He never did... I taught him too well to not holler when he's with me.








This was last summer's last Big Ride at Coffee Mill... Importance of this photo is that he kept photobombing, not looking away from me or the camera.




Lastly: Our greeting ritual. This was established early on when I was earning his trust. If I don't follow the rules of our greeting ritual each and every time, he gets horribly distressed. He's very well mannered and expects the same of me. He turns, gives me two eyes. I stop whatever I'm doing. Approach, sometimes its me, sometimes it's him that moves first. My hand has to be palm down, fingers fully relaxed. He taps my fingers with his nose ever so shyly, I run the back of my fingers down his face. After that, I can do anything I like around him. Skip a step, and he's nervous and worried for a few minutes longer than if I just took the time to greet him properly.

 

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Oh man. M'boi Trigger. Very long story. He came to us hot, forward, scared, shy, terrified of men, especially loud talking men or boys in sunglasses, sunglasses in general, lariats - especially if you were practicing roping nearby, crackling water bottles, would lose his mind if you tried to touch his ears.

In my novice ignorance, I did everything wrong with him that could be done, and at the advice of people whom I thought I could trust. But they had the old school cowboy ways of things.

He bolted one time on me, I bailed, got wadded up, knocked out for a few seconds, and it scared me so bad I found any excuse to not ride him again for a full year. I found people who would take their cowboy advice and use it... enthusiastically. I let bullies and abusers try to dominate him for almost a year. He would come home with his mouth tore up, having been whipped mercilessly with reins for rearing, and he scared the gentler types who tried to 'ride him down for me.'

He went from shy and untrusting to simply untouchable, uncatchable. Never mean, not a mean bone in him.

He was terrified.

I was resigned to sell him. He wore the same crappy blue halter in his pasture for 18 months - because we couldn't catch him to get it off and we were afraid if we did, we'd never have that leverage - the halter - to snatch and catch him. We had to rope him a few times, and that sent him into orbit, emotionally. He was lost and scared and unfocused, and I made it 100xs worse by listening to all the wrong people.... They're actually the RIGHT people for any normal horse. Trigger isn't any normal horse. He's weird. (Delightfully so).

My husband, NOT a horseman, but someone who's ridden a lot in his life, pulled me aside one day, said: He's bad. He's getting worse. I know what you were told, I know I agreed with them - but you're going to have to try to take him back the other way.

Win his trust with kindness is what he meant.

So. EVERYONE was banned from going in his pasture, from harassing him, riding him, trying to catch him, chasing him with the four wheeler to wear him down and catch him. Don't look at him, don't talk to him, don't feed him. I had to become his go to person.

A month and a half of trying got me no. where. Finally I felt sorry for him, he was lonely in his little pasture, so I turned him out with the rest - there were storms coming in a few days, so I just opened the gate between the two pastures so they'd have access to the big run in shed.

Sarge began to hound him mercilessly. Chased him all over that 40 acres, for hours, unrelenting.

I was planting flowers... saw what he was doing to Trigger. And I got angry. I don't know what I thought I was going to do, but I stepped right thought the wire fence, bowed up, and stalked toward them. They were coming at me at a hard run. I yelled at Sarge, waved him off, and he knew he'd ripped his drawers with me. Trigger... God love him, he's so tender... HID behind me.

After that, I became his person. My weeks of being there with him, for him, paid off. I just didn't know it would until that moment. I put him back in by himself, kept him in the round pen for a week, spent every morning and every evening until dark and sometimes after, just hanging out with him. A friend came over, we round penned him/lunged him a little, and started to work desensitizing him to ropes, lunge whips, sunglasses, water bottles, walmart bags on fishing poles.

He's just. so. weird, but he's my buddy now. It took two years of consistently being there, learning to not be afraid of him (Because then he thinks I'm scared of boogers in the bushes), learning to trust him, and him trust me. We go camping, he's my favorite trail horse of them all, despite him still having no brakes. He rarely spooks, and when he does, I rarely even change my heart rate now - and we just chug right along.


The fact that he came to trust me, despite what we think must have been a bad mishandling of him in the past, his willingness to forgive and trust me after all my horrible missteps, and the fact that he will go wherever I ask him, even when he KNOWS he's right and I'm wrong, and I get us in a pickle from time to time, is humbling.


Below are my favorite pictures of him, because all of these represent a landmark in our partnership:


His first picture. My daughter took this while I was at work and sent it to me.





The day Sarge nearly beat him/ran him to death. He didn't like his picture taken, he wanted to turn his face away. Note the overgrown hooves - we couldn't even catch him for a trim before this day. Note also the crappy blue halter. It's now faded to white... and it hangs off the top rail of the pen - as a reminder to me there's a better way. It will hang there till it rots off, then I'll find another way to hang it up.




Summer slick, dappled and grass fat. I was working on finding a saddle that fit him right. This was later in the summer, after the spring butt whipping by Sarge. I spent a lot of time that day, sitting at his feet, under him, around him, just sitting on the ground as he ate. It was hard to do, at first - trust him to not step on me. He never did, never has.




This one is tremendous for me: He posed for a picture, and he had let a friend braid his mane. He'd held still, never shied or acted nervous that day.




The day last summer when Gina snapped her lead rope at Coffee Mill and ran away from camp, and tracked us for three hours, way behind us, along the same trail. This day, when we rode up and I noticed her gone, the tone of my voice changed, the way I held myself int he saddle changed. He reacted IMMEDIATELY by acting out, being upset. My friend I ride with has been around horses her entire life. Said she's never seen one pick up on his/her rider's emotions and react as immediately as he does. I learned that day to keep calm, no matter what and he will too. At this point, Gina was still missing. I was using him as bait, near the trail head. I'd hoped he call for her. He never did... I taught him too well to not holler when he's with me.








This was last summer's last Big Ride at Coffee Mill... Importance of this photo is that he kept photobombing, not looking away from me or the camera.




Lastly: Our greeting ritual. This was established early on when I was earning his trust. If I don't follow the rules of our greeting ritual each and every time, he gets horribly distressed. He's very well mannered and expects the same of me. He turns, gives me two eyes. I stop whatever I'm doing. Approach, sometimes its me, sometimes it's him that moves first. My hand has to be palm down, fingers fully relaxed. He taps my fingers with his nose ever so shyly, I run the back of my fingers down his face. After that, I can do anything I like around him. Skip a step, and he's nervous and worried for a few minutes longer than if I just took the time to greet him properly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DCsiD-Yq-0
This is just so amazing. I love the story of you and Trigger, it's inspirational and just... amazing. lol.
 

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My jousting partner and I were looking for a second jousting horse for him, as his good horse had died. We decided we wanted another gelding, about 15.2.

MY friend heard we were looking for a nice horse and called me about an appaloosa mare, 14.2. I told her "no thanks, no stubborn appaloosas, NO MARES, and she's too small anyway."

A few weeks later, she called back to say that the owners of this appie mare had made arrangements to have the killers pick her up at 2:00 that afternoon if I didn't buy her. She had bolted with her beginner rider, ran under a barn door, and injured the rider, so she must die.

That was too heartbreaking for a softie like me, so I called the owner. She said I had to be there before 2:00 that day because they already had a appointment for the meat buyer to pick her up at two. She said, "If I cancel with the meat man, you must buy her." And, crazy me, I said, "OK, I'll buy her." Remember my friend had been riding her a little, and she had a good eye for a horse, so it wasn't quite sight unseen.

On the long 2 1/2 hour drive to go pick the mare up, my jousting partner and I speculated about what was probably wrong with her. The owner wanted $300 for her, and that included a beautiful red and black fancy Western saddle and a silver inlaid show Western bridle. Gotta be something wrong.

When we pulled up to the barn, she was tied to the hitching post and she was lovely, just adorable. OK, we said, really pretty, but probably very bad acting. We took turns riding her. She was fabulous, so light and responsive, and quite well trained. The owner said she didn't load. We were quite experienced loading horses, so we figured with time and patience, we'd get her in our small trailer. She walked right in.

She turned into a flawless jousting horse. Although only 14.2, she jumped 4 feet readily. She foxhunted, rode with big groups, rode out solo. She had a lovely Western jog, a decent working trot, and a glass smooth canter. She was an incredible horse. Just an hour away from being in a dog food can.
 

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She was an incredible horse. Just an hour away from being in a dog food can.
It still shocks me that this can happen. My Teddy has low-level but potentially explosive anxiety that has to be managed, but otherwise he is an AMAZING horse, the biggest heart you can imagine, more "try" than I've ever seen, smooth gaits ... just a generally all-around wonderful riding horse. I got him for free because no one wanted to ride him after "the incident" and the barn owner preferred to let him go for free rather than selling him for, probably, meat. So sad that perfectly rideable horses end up as food.
 

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This is just so amazing. I love the story of you and Trigger, it's inspirational and just... amazing. lol.

TY.


My husband keeps saying he's crazy. He may be right. Trigger has some weird idiosyncrasies - Ears are a no touch zone, unless you know the proper ritual to be allowed to touch them. He buck snorts a lot, he talks a lot to me, very verbal. He has a strange little head bob and jiggle he does when he's stressed and trying to figure something out. He'll gripe at me if I get us in a pickle and once we get out. Lots of blowing and snorting and head bobbing, looking back at me. My son ROPED ME while I was in the saddle two weekends ago. Trigger teleported from one place to another place about 20 feet away in 1 second... he stopped, turned, and while I was cussing whoever had thrown the rope (Didn't know yet it was my son), Trigger was giving him a butt chewing too - lots of blowing, buck snorting, head jiggle.



Hubs also thinks "That horse is going to get you hurt", but any horse can get you hurt, if he does, it won't be on purpose. I trust him and I know how he handles things, like... me falling off the wrong side of the saddle because I over-launched... and landed at his feet with my boot still in the opposite stirrup, toes pointed at the sun. He doesn't move.


Every time we go out, he pushes my comfort level. We're jumping logs and creeks and galloping now. And it's amazing that he takes me along with him.


Oh yeah... he gets to mow the lawn... if it's just him, no halter is necessary. He just hangs out, I use a catch rope around his neck to bring him back if he wanders too far. We have no fence around our yard. He could run away if he wanted. He never does. Well, okay. He got a bug up his rear three weekends ago, went down the road, flirting with me. When he stopped, I was NOT walking back. I rode him home.

When it's more than him loose, they all have cowboy halters on. Supes and Trigger mowed the lawn last weekend.

BEST LAWN MOWERS EVER. Also, Supes is looking amazing again.
 

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@AtokaGhosthorse it seems like it's those horses that challenge us the most that ultimately end up being the most rewarding, if we can work through it. Maybe it's because we have to spend so much time working on the relationship, really trying so hard to understand them. I don't know what horses really understand about us and how we try to relate to them; but it seems that they understand when WE are trying, and then they reciprocate that by trying hard themselves. At least, that's been true in my limited experience.
 

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@AtokaGhosthorse it seems like it's those horses that challenge us the most that ultimately end up being the most rewarding, if we can work through it. Maybe it's because we have to spend so much time working on the relationship, really trying so hard to understand them. I don't know what horses really understand about us and how we try to relate to them; but it seems that they understand when WE are trying, and then they reciprocate that by trying hard themselves. At least, that's been true in my limited experience.

Trigger is only one of four 'broken' horses we've had at the house. Sally was rank and rude after she had Outback. Leroy predates her, he was my alternative to Trigger and was far worse in terms of bulldozing along. He would fight me so hard on the trail to 'his way' even if it meant I was going to get hurt, that he'd have a tantrum and throw himself down or plow headlong into a tree because he wasn't listening to me and was fighting me. Sarge was so buddy soured, but sweet... but so big and powerful when he'd spook, that he was going to get me hurt. Trigger, of the four, was the youngest that I'm aware of, and the only one willing to bond to me and behave under saddle as well.


That's a bleak outlook - 1 in 4.



I have told my husband though: Seeing him come alive, the lights come on in his eyes, seeing him come out of his shell, and us coming to a place that I can trust him to run but whoa when it's time, to truly enjoy the ride, even if it's always very speedy given his natural fast walk, has been one of the most rewarding things I've done in my life. Right up there with being a wife, mother, and grandmother.


We've met in the middle - he's made me a better rider, I've helped him become a better horse. We're getting there together.
 

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Yes, I guess that's the flip side: *IF* we can work through it. With my limited experience and just my three, I've only had Teddy (had to work at it but so worth it), Pony (who is moving from mostly naughty to mostly good), and Moonshine (who was just fine, thank you, and didn't need any work). I haven't yet had that experience of needing to break through but not being able to.
 

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Wow, excellent stories! :love:

Go Banjo, Trigger, Appie mare! And well done to their humans! :clap:

Take care, DreamerR! Would electrolytes help you? Good scratching there, @mmshiro! :clap:
 
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