This story is so, so good. So honest, so very very Horsaii. This, to me is the whole package. All the love, loss, sweat, contemplation and learning to be honest with ourselves, even if we don't like what we see at first.
I remember praying one night while I sleeping at my grandma’s house that my Heavenly Father would send me a dream about when I would get my first horse. I promised I would stop begging my parents for a horse if I could just know when I was going to get one.
I’m not that religious right now in my life. But I remember so clearly dreaming of a brown horse running around my dreams that night.
When I was sixteen I was given a little brown horse for Christmas. I was crazy happy. He was young, and I was not the horseman I thought I was.
I was still battling a fear of horses. Two years before that I was kicked in the head and it had created a consuming fear that could crush me. I was slowly getting better, but I felt it strongly that first day I spent with my first horse. I felt like a failure.
Because of this fear I often lashed out at my little brown horse when he scared me. I thought that force would help. It didn’t. It made him mad and defensive, and we were at a point where we both needed someone to step in and help us.
After multiple struggles I was invited to ride in clinic with a young guy named Ricky Quinn. I was apprehensive, I didn’t think anyone had much to teach me.
I didn’t take my horse that first day, I was embarrassed of him, and me, so I borrowed another horse. I watched Ricky work the horses on the ground. I was used to lunging horses, but nothing more intricate than that. I watched as he called out how he was asking for the hind end, the front end, the hind end, the front end.
It made no sense to me, but I watched these horses instantly become attached to him, I watched them want to be with him, and most of all, respect him, not pin their ears at him, move away from his pressure. I wanted that.
I brought my own horse the next day. We struggled, but I felt I was getting somewhere. Ricky came up to me at the end and told me very bluntly that it was clear I didn’t like my horse very much by the way I treated him. I walked my horse back to my stall crying. I was crying because I knew he was right. I was crying because my fear ruled over my love for my little brown horse. I felt like I ruined this horses life.
I went to the third and last day of the clinic. Ricky apologized to me. He told him he knew I loved my horse, but my horse didn’t know that. That was the truth that I wanted to hear. But it still crushed me, crushed me more than the fear.
I worked with my little horse for a month more. The clinic had started the hunger for knowledge, but I still knew very little. I still struggled. I decided to send my little colt to a ranch of Ricky’s friend who was skilled and fair. I said I just needed a break from my little brown horse to put everything together with an older horse that was more forgiving.
I never got my little colt back from them. I haven’t seen him since I loaded him up five years ago to make the trip up there.
They love him, he’s a kids horse, and they send pictures of him to me often. I bought the older horse that taught me to be fair and when I wasn’t he bucked me off. I owe that guy a lot, so I sold him to a home that uses him twice a year for pony rides, he’s happy, and still bucks kids off once and awhile.
I go to Ricky’s clinics, I host them for him where I live now, and I am a better horseman than I was. That clinic shaped who I am. I take other people’s horses and turn them into something.
I just bought a little brown this horse this spring. He was a horse that scared me for the first time in awhile. He acted just like my Christmas horse. I called Ricky crying, ashamed that I was and that this horse had come back to haunt me.
He told me I had a choice. I had to either work this horse and become a horseman, or I had to send him to someone else and be a rider.
I went back to the beginning, and 5 months later, this little brown horse has my heart. I love him, and he’s the nicest horse I have ever put time into.
I’m so grateful for the people who are willing to say the truth to help the horse.