Monday, August 19, 2013

Mouthy Monday

Whew! Time for a change of pace, don't you think?

This post comes from Kathy, who sent in a light hearted post about the types of horses you meet in your life.

Five Horses You Meet in Life

The Intro Horse - I was born with equine obsession and read/re-read every horse book I could get my hands on during my formative years. My first equine love was the Golden Stallion - one of my favorite horse books.  And, I still have a thing for Palominos.  But I loved all of M. Henry's horses - especially horses from the Misty books. And books about the Lipizzaner stallions.  And all the "Young Reader" Horse Books in the Belfast, ME library (I read every one at least twice).

The Experimental Horse - The transition from imaginary to real. My family rented a pony Stallion named Jethro for one summer up in Maine. He threw me and stepped on me. It didn't cure me. Then my grandfather bought an abuse case from the humane society (yes, just what you imagine). Chocolate (AKA Shenandoah or Little Bit but I called him Chocolate) was the horse I always wanted. I didn't even know that I didn't know how to ride him or notice any faults in him. He was the first Bay Horse in my life. Years (really decades) later, Captain was the second; thank you Patty.

The Connected Horse - TC. Too Cute and his registered name is Mr. Weekend. And he licked my hand so I bought him. But we did bond and, although a little spooky, TC would follow me around the arena when little kids were having their pony ride.  TC tolerated a lot of learning from me. Then tolerated learning from Jaime, then Kale and finally Ivy. With TC, I discovered dressage and really learned about horses - scratches, ticks and horse flies, how to back a trailer, easy boots, saddle fit, farriers, sand cracks, chestnuts and ergots, trail riding and horse shows. The most recent lesson is about paralysis of the left larynx and other old horse things. He connected me with other horse women who are my second family - my yaya sisters.

The Challenger Into each horse person's life, a little challenge must fall. That would be Splash. Pico, although he has spooky tendencies, was fun to train because he likes to be learning (except for jumps of course).  When I was working with him, he could have moved up the levels with a better rider and competitor.  But Ivy needed Pico and I wanted a calmer horse to ride the trail with. Splash is not spooky, but he can be immobile. Beautiful, but the most stubborn animal I have ever encountered. Resistance can be sluggishness, head shaking, dropping the shoulder, bending the neck, above the bit - below the bit, inconsistency, more sluggishness and even lateral moves when working for straightness. The potential of getting to a place with a non-spooky horse who is a nice mover and most important, doesn't really scare me keeps me trying. And Splash is REALLY Trying.

Sister is the Challenger want-to-be.  She has spent way to much time being green and I worked with her diligently for the year plus that Splash was recovering from an injury (with help from Christian, Mallory, Patty, Dawn, and Krystal).  But, the I never got completely past the fear of falling off because she is quick and athletic.  And I am not.  So, as Splash recovered, I moved back to him for my main project and Sister was the part-time girl.  And Splash is my challenger.  And we are making SLOW progress and might try some Western Dressage in 2013.

Your Deepest Heart - The horse to partner with. That could be Diez, that old gray mare. She was never my main mount. But she was Jaime's and Alaina's first learning horse as well as Kale's second mount. An Arabian mare 14 years old when we bought her from a Paint farm in the middle of Quarter Horse country.  Diez spent years packing kids to dressage shows and 4-H events.   Now at 31, she is recovered from founder, and Alaina is riding her lightly, a little. She will not have to get back into serious work. But she is still building confidence and teaching as the lead line pony when small kids visit the Wild O Ranch or when we visit elementary schools to introduce horses to city kids.

TC was my first horse, taught Jaime, Kale, and Ivy about dressage, and holds a special place in my heart.

Its true that Sunny is Steve's favorite.  He was Jaime's 2-Year Old project.  Kale finished his 4-H career with Sunny after moving to Diez from TC.  Alaina has really blossomed with Sunny and, although she is working Sister for drill and jumping, Sunny is her main man.

And Pico.  While riding him toward First Level, I had visions of being a DRESSAGE RIDER.  And then, Ivy took over and developed his jumping and Trail abilities as well as her training knowledge.  She loves him even when he spooks.

My Deepest Heart?  I hope it is Splash.  Although a challenger, he has redeeming qualities.  Perhaps he will develop into my perfect partner. A girl can dream.


  1. Is that a picture of Splash? Really cute! Look at his eye! I bet he tries his heart out to please and is very sensitive. Keep working at it, I bet he WIll become your heart horse!

    Lovely post.

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  3. I think a challenger can also be your deepest heart. I had one. I also think you can have more than one deepest hearts. In fact, at some point I think that's what horsaii realize, horses in general are what we need, what we connect with.

    Thanks for the Mouthy Monday.

  4. Whew ! I didn't have to think too hard this time. :-) I could just enjoy a nice post about the types of horses and stages of horse ownership. I don't know where my reactive (sensitive flower) mare falls in there, but I know that the hours that we have put in together and the great partnership we have now makes her very special to me.

    I will be patient a little longer for the next story from Mugs.

  5. My Challenger is unfortunately here at the wrong time of life for me... We have had an amazing journey so far ~ he has taught me so much, which I am really grateful for.

    Unfortunately, with two small children (two and 4 1/5 months) and a serious lack of time, challenging mounts and I just don't go together. It's sad to say goodbye to him - I really don't want to, but I know that it's best for him and for me in the long run. :'(

    Thanks for posting this though - I enjoyed reading about your horses.


  6. Bonita - I think you've made a wise choice. Every horse that comes into our life doesn't have to be "the" horse. Sometimes it's just the wrong horse.

  7. I've sent along plenty of wrong horses. But the keepers have all had so much to teach me and so much to give. Nice post!

  8. I love the horses that teach us the lessons we did not even know we needed to learn.

    Priceless every one of them.