Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Five Horses We Meet

I found this on a public horse forum I frequent, and thought it might be interesting to share here. Feel free to copy and paste if you wish.

1. The Intro Horse.

We each came into horses in our own way, but it was always with a horse leading us. This might have been a friend’s first pony, or perhaps it was a draft horse on a farm you once visited It might have been a real-life meeting, or an imaginary one.

There were two horses that were my "first rides" or "intro horse" I guess you could say. My first memory of a real live horse was my Aunt's brown Quarter Horse. I got to ride her with my cousin for a few minutes. I remember thinking how big and scary she was, but still had the urge to get on. But throughout childhood when I longed for a horse, there was my imaginary Shire. He ran on the edge of the road along our car as we sped down the highway. I would see his heavy footfalls and his powerful strides in my mind, always running alongside the car.

2. The Experimental Horse
Once you had crossed the line between “Darn, they’re big!” and “Wow! Can I try that?” you found yourself face-to-face with the horse that would suffer through your early attempts at figuring out the whole horse experience … wherever this horse came from, he probably didn’t benefit from the encounter as much as you did…

I had many experimental horses. All of J's Arabians. I learned how each horse is vastly different and required a different approach. Rocky who taught me very much, Taffy who taught me patience, Vilya taught me the necessity of a soft hand, Betai taught me how to ride a rocking horse lope (best lope Ive ever ridden to this day), and finally Muneca who taught me the benefits of longing a fresh horse before getting on.

3. The Connected Horse
The first horses we meet don’t really connect with us, nor do we with them. Those are experiences in survival and tests of endurance. The Connected Horse is the first horse you truly bond with. This is the horse that sounds a chord that lives so deep in you that you might never have heard it otherwise…

Well, it must be most obvious from my last series of posts, that my connected horse would have been Koalt. Koalt was the first horse who I truly bonded with - this was from both sides. I learned what it meant to truly care for a horse, and the incredible feeling when a horse tries their hardest for you in return.

4. The Challenger
Into each horseperson’s life, a little challenge must fall. You’ll have read that one final training book, bought yourself a clicker and heading rope, and there you’ll stand, arms crossed, assessing the situation as if you actually knew what the situation was. It might be difficult to believe, as you are flying down the aisleway on the losing end of a braided cotton line, but you actually need this horse in your life…

Well, this horse is also the number 5 horse. Ive faced a lot of challenged with Milo. Not all necessarily bad, or with me trailing on the end of a cotton line, but Milo was the first horse who truly challenged me. And challenged me on a dominance level. He just two years ago was quite unruly and downright dangerous in the round pen. He would rear and charge. This was difinetly a challenge as I had never dealt with a horse like that. But I pushed back fear and rose to the occassion showing Milo that he is indeed NOT the boss horse. But there have been other instances with Milo that just have had me scratching my head in wonder as to what to do.

5. Your Deepest Heart
There will come a time when you will look at yourself with a cold, appraising eye, and you’ll have to be honest about your continued ability to deal with The Challenger and other difficult horses. At that point, you’ll seek out the horse that will be your soul mate forever… You’ll have bought him the most comfortable, best fitting equipment… Maybe you’ll still go to shows and ride – brilliantly or barely – in the Alzheimer’s class. Maybe you’ll just stay home. Whatever you do, one day you’ll realize that after all the money you spent on animal communicators and trainers, you only had to stop and listen and you would have clearly heard your horse’s thoughts and desires…

Milo has morphed from a dominating, challenging horse to what I would consider my "heart horse". I think he has put himself in that position because of the challenges that we have gone through. We both learned and grew together from the setbacks, the disagreements, and the challenge. But all of that made me open my eyes. The experience has taught me how to push aside what I might "see" on the outside, and really listen to what is going on with my horse. The understanding between Milo and I is something I havent had with another horse. Thats not to say we cannot grow even more, heck, daily as I learn more and more I feel that I truly know less and less. It is all a learning experience, and I plan to have Milo by my side through it all.


Kate said...

Snow, and then Noble and Promise, were my connected horses. Lily and Maisie were challengers, and so is Dawn, and Pie is a heart horse for sure. Not sure yet what Drifter will be.

Mare said...

Buck and Able were the Intros. Cappy was the experiment. Annie, oh Annie was both the connector and the challenger, as was Flip..Missy is forever my heart horse:)

Oh how accurate this is...especially the part about "Your Deepest Heart..." I think for me especially their came a time when I wondered how much longer I could go on with my Challenger, because she was a sassy, snotty, heck of a mare for sure...Thankfully life works in strange ways...

Thanks for sharing!

Rising Rainbow said...

My first challenger was probably Rhythm. From the day he was born it was clear I had my hands full. I sure wish I knew how he was doing.

Heart horses I have been lucky enough to have Scandalous and Solidare and there are others I have that deep emotional bond with.

Cool Post.