My first, Lightning. So called because his ruined mouth meant no one could stop him from running. A fast little black Welsh pony I bought for $25 to save him from more physical abuse only to get my own hide tanned a couple of times over the issue. Irony is best served Irish.
My second, a Shetland stud given to me that stood 1/2 the height of my stunted father who had to throw the beast to the ground in order to trim his hooves. Miss you dad. Don't miss the evil Shetland Pony.
The third, Cherokee's Diamond Lady, a registered Appaloosa. I paid $25 a week for her for 8 weeks and then traded something, now what was it? to get a friend to trailer her home. Never could afford a saddle or bridle for her. She taught me and my siblings how to stay put on her wide back. My sister Teresa, only 6 at the time and I rode her for hours, her little arms wrapped tight around my waist. LOVED HER. (and the horse)
The fourth. Red fawn. Is that not the best name? Again given to me by a friend. The same friend who taught me to ride at the age of 8. Or I should say LET me ride this Red fawn horse, a mustang from the wilds of Nevada. We did crazy stuff together. Jumped huge logs, swam across lakes, galloped full on into the rain storms. I fell off this horse most. She was magnificent. How did I not die?
Time out. From age 17-33 no horses owned but always lusted after. Then met and married Keith the man with a small barn. Enter again...horses.
The fifth. Johnny Walker. A seasoned fellow at 15 when I bought him from a horse trader. The first night he ran thru our electric fence and travelled 5 miles away. We had no trailer so after we found him I had to ride him home. Keith followed me in his truck unsure of this new bride and her affliction for horse flesh. Johnny took care of me as he did for the next 13 years. Numerous children, nieces, nephews, friends learned to love horses while on his gentle back. He went slow for the wee ones and fast for the others. I spent years on his back riding over and through all things. My son Colton , nieces Jordon, Bridgette and Micah took to him most. Finally his trail ended and we had him put down at age 28. There will never be another like our Johnny.
The 6th. Odie. Blind in one eye. Again a "gift" from the owner who could no longer afford to board him. We took him for a pasture mate for John. Rode him a handful of times. Then he lost sight in the other eye and needed to be put down. Brand new vet came. Took her FIVE injections. He fell down he got up. Fell down, got up. We thought it hysterically funny after the fourth time. She was traumatized and went into small animal care after that.
The 7th. Sally. Never did we bond. She was big and strong, handsome and stubborn and too much like me for us to ever get past who should be in charge, I gave her to an 11 year old girl who whipped her into show shape in one short summer. How humbled was I?
The 8th. and 9th Nora and Gus. Bought as a pair. One very seasoned and one much less so. Gus was for the others to ride and Nora was mine. It was in year two of owning Nora I realized I knew nothing about horses and stopped trying to train them, instead began to train myself. I attend my first formal clinic with Nora. 3 days with Chris Cox who whipped my sorry butt. It was the greatest accomplishment of my equine life. But shortly after , with 6 bulging vertebra discs "encouraging" me, I knew her quarter horse gait would never work for me into the long term. Last month I gave her and Gus to a riding stable. It was a good decision. I think.
|Mare Nora and I the day she left for her new job at the riding stables. |
Lessons learned on her were about far more than horsemanship
The 10th. Ennis. Tomorrow, I'll bring you up to date on this fine steed. My last?