Friday, February 5, 2010

Sally's last supper

They say "three heads are better than on." or is it just two ? Maybe it was four. All I know is when I pulled our truck and borrowed livestock trailer into the horse pasture my horses were ALL OVER that truck. I pulled the trailer in to remind Sally how to properly load in order to prepare her for the ride to her new home. Before the truck came to a stop my three stooges had their heads buried in the truck bed. Seems when son Kyle was hauling grain the day before (for our pigs) some spilled in the truck bed. That truck bed was licked clean by the major lip action of those horses. A nice treat for Sally since a few hours later her new owner showed up to take her to a new barn. Filled with oats and in a generally very happy mood she loaded on and off our trailer like a dream. This was not her regular behavior. I believe she knew this new beginning for her was going to be a good one.

Owning Sally has been a huge learning experience for me. (She is the middle head in the picture above.) When I bought her 7 years ago I already knew "everything " about horses. After all I had been riding since I was 8, and I already owned my trusty mount Johnny. But Johnny was the kind of horse anyone could ride. No buck, no kick, always willing to please. An old trail horse from a kids camp.You could've set a flaming Chritmas Tree on his back and he would've behaved. But not Sally. Green broke at four which really meant she had been haltered twice, I had my hands full. It took us 3 hours to load her that first day. Should've been a clear sign then there was trouble ahead, but I wanted her and ignored the signs. She was pretty you know. I struggled on my own for a couple years and then starting reading and attending clinics. The longer I had Sally the less I knew about horses.

She was always one hoof in front of me. When I first taught her to lead she yanked me off my feet, with just a flip of her big strong Quarterhorse head. When I first taught her to lounge she sent me flying and I mean FLYING through the air in front of witnesses no less. Once my nieces saw that I was breathing they laughed hilariously. Special girls those two. Sally taught me then...I needed a round pen. We bought one and her training accelerated. When we began transitioning from jogs into lopes she transitioned into bucking. I never fell during those times due more to my hefty statue than to my skills. Big girls are harder to buck off. Its just physics. The one time I did fall off  it was all my fault. My husband had just dumped lots of new sand into the round pen, the weather was grand, so with him in full sight  she and I went from jog to lope to jog when she slipped in the too deep sand. She fell forward and so did I. Up and not quite over the saddle, I slammed my thigh into the saddle horn. My head hit the ground hard enough to crack my helmet. Note the word HELMET. Always a good thing when riding. I sported  a cantaloupe- sized bruise inside my thigh for weeks

I recovered, but my husband who was right there, did not. He doesn't watch me ride much anymore. He does always make sure I have my cell phone and helmet on me when I do. About that time my trusty mount Johnny, the one I would always ride when I was not in the mood for more Sally work, needed to be put down. At 27 it was time. His demise was short and sweet as we have the most excellent vet. I missed him terribly. After that I rode Sally less and less and less. I bought two new horses last year hoping to get my riding Mojo back but then the farm got very busy. Sooooooo

I gave her to my niece who was also a horse nut. Sally proved too much for her skill level and she came back home. Then I posted an ad for a FREE horse to a good home. Experienced riders only. I interviewed several people. I picked one. The gal already owns four horses, has a 20 stall barn and 7 acres. I spent two hours with Sally yesterday reminiscing about our trials together, explaining how much we learned from each other and how much more riding life we both had left in us. She understood. When her new owner came she could not have been more cooperative. She pretty much leapt into their trailer. I waved goodbye and before she was down the lane I had a bridle on Nora , my 6 year old mare ,and she and I rode bareback awhile. With my helmet on and a couple tears in my eyes. Thanks Sally for a good ride.You taught me well.

1 comment:

  1. I witnessed the bruise, it was impressive. I met the horse, she will be missed.