Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Arabians, the Quarter Horses, and the Journey Part 3

The story begins here.

An older gentleman opened the door and greeted us with a questioning smile. He said he had seen us feeding the horses and asked what we needed. I played with my small hands and asked if there was any way I could exchange barn chores for some time with the horses, explaining my one lesson at the Hunter facility as reference. He kindly said he thought we could figure something out, and led my Brother and I to the barn.

He would let me groom horses and learn how to lead them, but I didnt get to ride just yet. I was happy with that. Just filling my nostrils with their sweet scent and spending time with the amazing animals was all I could bargain for with my empty pockets.

He toured his private facility for us, even saying he could find something for my Brother to do. My Brother wasnt interested in riding, but figured it would be fun to hang around the farm. J showed us his big beauifully custom built barn. It had about eight stalls on the perimeter and in the inside there was a tack room, a large open area for the tractor and a hay loft.

Almost every day after school my Brother would drive us through the winding trails and to this gentleman's farm. I was learning how to take care of horses, but more excitedly, how to lead, groom, and pick out hooves.

My Mother naturally started taking interest in where her children where going to almost every day, and from a landmark at the end of the road, we barely were able to navigate her to the property via roads. My Brother and I had only known how to get there from the trails.

Mom met J and his wife and decided they were safe, kind people and we were allowed to continue going there.

I continued to learn more about his beautiful Arabian horses, and J soon decided that I could learn how to ride them. I was ecstatic. He had me learn on a gentle, yet sparky, gelding named Rocky (LJ Shai Prince). Rocky was a chestnut with roaning on his sides and a large, broad, dished face with a wide blaze down the center. He was about 14.2 hands high, and had an adorable white patch just where his tail tied in. I learned how to longe Rocky through J's help, and how to tack up a horse entirely on my own. I always took great pride in not only the cleanliness of the horse before I rode, but also the precise location of the saddle and that everything was rigged up properly. If anything was incorrect, J had me re-do as necessary before riding.

J was able to teach me the basics of riding, but he was really no equestrian - it was his wife who rode. But they had an Old Cowboy who resided with them. Old Cowboy trained Arabain horses in California, and was hired by J and his wife to come to Washington and train their Arabians. They had a very modest breeding program and had a few young horses (including Rocky) to be broke. Old Cowboy came up and started the horses. J and his wife discovered though that Old Cowboy had no familiy living, and no one to look after him in his old age of mid eighty. They decided to have him live with them and help look after the farm. And as it where, teach this young horse crazed girl to ride.

The only problem was, Old Cowboy scared me.

Part 4


in2paints said...

I'm enjoying these stories!! Reminds me a lot of my horse-less childhood days. :)

Rising Rainbow said...

I was a horseless child too. Living in Seattle no less. No place anywhere nearby with horses. I'd have loved to have such an experience. You were one lucky kid even if that old cowboy was scary. LOL