Thursday, January 15, 2009

Starting a Young Horse Part 14

I feel like I am in a deep freeze, and much of the country is feeling the same way. Winter is not my favorite season and for the last 3 years I have managed to spend them in sunny Baja, Mexico. Due to several reasons, I am not going to be able to do that this year, and this winter is reinforcing my attitude toward cold weather. I just don't do well when the thermometer reads 1 degree!:o) Oh well enough about that, I have lived here all my life, so you would think I should have adjusted a little better.

Back to the subject.....In just a few days the owner came back to see his horse. He walked into our stable very friendly, and asked, "well I see my horse is no longer in the round pen, how is he doing?" I told him he was doing great, would he like to see him? Of course he did, so I went to the stall to get him. The horse walked slowly out of his stall by my side and into the crosstie, (ever the gentleman). I saddled him and led him back to the center of the barn. I mounted him as he stood perfectly still. I asked him to walk off and then to come up into gait. Without a glitch his horse made a perfect demonstration for him. I then rode him outside and around the barn, back inside and then out again. The owner seemed unexpectedly surprised. (I really think he had both barrels loaded thinking I would still have the horse in the round pen.) He was afraid I would be the only one able ride the horse, but I had covered that too, by having my Dad work with me. I told him he would be fine and asked him if he wanted to ride, but he declined. I think he was worried that there would be the same unhappy ending as he had before. He told me he would be after his horse in a couple of days, and I just wilted. I had developed such a bond with this horse. He had taught me so much. I asked him what he was going to do with him, that I really felt with a few more months of work he would be great in the show ring. That is not what he wanted to do with the horse, his objective was to trail ride, and I assured him he would be great for that also.

After a couple of days the owner came for the horse. I thought so much of this horse that I offered to buy him, but the owner wouldn't put a price on him. I had to be happy with that because I knew that he would be well taken care of, as far as being fed and clean, but I knew I was going to miss him greatly and I did. I asked about the horse often, and was told several times that no one ever rode him. The owner took him home, turned him back in the pasture where he had started from a couple of months before. It always felt like such a waste to me, but I will always remember some very important lessons from this experience.

On a different note....My Dad is recuperating from an operation, and with the weather being what it is, I think this is a great time to corral him long enough to put a pen to some of the experiences that he has had with horses. Believe me when I tell you he has had several that are worth reading about. A few people over the years have asked him to write a book. He is just much too active to set that long, so now may be the perfect time. I am giving him a couple of days to rest and then.... be sure to come back and read the blog, because you won't be disappointed.

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