Sunday, April 6, 2008

My Love Affair with Horses

I've loved horses for as long as I can remember. Some of my first memories are of playing with my plastic horses and sitting on a rental horse named Jughead. By the 3rd grade, I'd read all the Black Stallion books. In fact, my early love of horses probably played a large part in my becoming an avid reader. I read every horse book I could get my hands on. To this day, I have an extensive fiction and non-fiction horse library.

In jr. high and high school, I wrote a series of stories about a race horse (my own version of The Black Stallion). I drew countless barn plans and mapped out elaborate farm designs for the fictitious farm in my stories. And like every other horse-crazy kid, I drew countless pictures of horses. I had a large model horse collection and went the model horse showing route. I even attended some "live" model horse shows.

In my teenage years, when most girls discover boys and forget about horses, I still longed for a horse. I didn't get one until my senior year of high school. The horse was so barn sour, I couldn't ride her anywhere and sold her within a year. That still didn't dampen my love of horses.

In college, I started taking weekly lessons with a local dressage trainer and continued those lessons until I graduated. A friend of a friend of my sister's gave me an Anglo-Arab mare. Felice had been an event horse and had developed navicular at an early age. She'd been nerved in front. As long as she was shod correctly, she stayed perfectly sound. That mare loved to jump. If she could find something to jump, she would, even going out of her way to do it. Of course, I tried to avoid jumping her because of her front legs. Eventually, the cost of having a horse and going to college became too much. I gave her back to her original owners.

After graduation, I continued to take dressage lessons. I bought a thoroughbred who was the sweetest thing on the ground and on the trails, Ram Ruler. Unfortunately, Ram's poor brain had been fried from too many years of racing and "cowboy" polo. If you put him in an arena, he would get tense and literally freak out. He was not dressage horse material. A few years later, I sold him as a trail horse.

Then came Moses Malone. I leased Moe from a pregnant teenage girl for a year then purchased him. He was a five-year-old Morgan/QH cross, a chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail. I love that horse. We did everything together. I showed him in western and English pleasure, jumped him, and eventually took him to Prix St. George in dressage. He was the world's best trail horse. You could loop the reins around the saddle, and he'd just saunter along. Moe is still going strong at 29. At 23, I leased him to a couple of nice men who rode him once in a while and mostly have him for a pet. He's living the good life on their little farm.

That brings us to Broker (bad choice of names). I bought Broker from a 'friend.' The third time i got on him, he proceeded to dump me and broke 2 ribs and my collarbone in 2 places. This horse had serious problems that didn't come out the first two times I rode him. Needless to say, he went down the road. The horse bucked and reared like a professional. Three different trainers tried to cure him with no luck.

Last but not least is Gailey. Next time I'll post about my trials and tribulations with my first warmblood. She's been a challenge, but I love her, and she'll always have a home with me.

1 comment:

Kit Ehrman said...


Moses sounds wonderful. Is that him in the photo? How I wish I'd had a horse like him when I went trail riding!