Heat surged into my face as my heart sank into a searing pain--pain coming from a sense of loss and hurt pride. Keeping my head down in
fake concentration to the supper I was making. Embarrassment comes rather hard to me, as they say everybody struggles more with either jealousy or pride, and mine is definatly pride!
Karissa had come home from work saying how our niebor had told her he seen my horse weaving all over the road the other day. "You're gaining a reputation, Julie!" My brother announces when he heard the story. I'm pretty sure he was also referring to last summer when, after getting off my horse to tie my shoe two miles away (She was nervous and jumpy, thus keeping me from wanting to do it in the saddle) and I let go of her rope for just a teensy tinsy little bit--basically long enough for my horse to realize it and take off running down the road as fast as a horse can go towards home, and I, trying to look like a casual walker out for a leisurely stroll start heading home. A niebor that I knew from BSF stopped by and offered a ride, so I admitted to her that my horse took off without me :p Meanwhile, another neibor who seen me head out came to the conclusion that I must have been thrown, so he takes off on the 4-wheeler to catch my horse. Dad happened to be coming home from town at the time, and wondered what in the world our neibor was doing holding a riderless horse that look suspiciously like mine, only to find out it had our brand on it! Oh, and I didn't mention that I lost both stirrups in the process, so later spent two hours on the 4-wheeler driving back and forth, back and forth until I could recover all the pieces. Perhaps Joe was also talking about last year when I hopped off my horse to discipline my new dog, who stopped where some neibors were working on their fence and wouldn't 'come on' with me, and the little teeny tiny moment that I let go of my reins gave my horse just enough time turn her head away and...yup head home as fast as her legs would carry her. Grrr Whatever the case, I don't think the fact that I'm gaining quite the reputation could be argued against.
"Don't these neibors know ANYHTHING about horses? Of COURSE she was weaving on the raod, she was scared of that backhoe bucket and I was trying to get her to walk up to it. I mean, that's the reason I took her out in this 50 mph wind was because she gets so spooky in it and needs to be worked in it more. But, they ARE from CA!"
So many people who's never had a horse see movies and dream of the perfect horse that, not only can run for miles on end, but loves it. They have no idea of the time and effort it takes just to teach a horse to willingly walk away from the barn, or to stand still ground tied when you jump off for a minute (Believe me, I know THAT takes time!) They think a horse lives and dreams about what a wonderful relationship he can have with you. And, I have to say that there is NOTHING more wonderful than having a beautiful realationship with your horse!
What many of our newer neibors don't realize is that I used to have that!
His registered name was Secret Weapon because of the story about a baseball player that was so short they called him their 'secret weapon' because no pitcher could pitch inside his strike zone, because he was short.
Later we started calling him George because a friend came out to ride him and said he reminded her of a guy named George and the name stuck ;)
Dad had given him to me as newborn foal. He didn't realize it, but to me it was a miracle because he'd always said that he wasn't going to give horses to the girls-they could ride his--God answers prayers though, even when they are sometimes selfish, and at a point in my life I didn't think I could LIVE if I didn't have my own horse!
He taught me patience. First off because I had to wait at least three years to ride him, and next off it was the first horse I've ever trained from the start. I realized there was a difference between just making the horse obey, and actually teaching/training a horse what something means from the beginning.
In a way he was my soul mate. I spent MANY hours just being around him, doing school on his back, taking a nap between his legs when he was lying down (NOT something I would recommend btw! I was young and stupid at the time) teaching him how to kiss and bow--only to later have to 'untrain' him in those areas because I never knew how to teach him to do it only upon cue. (Yeah, farriers generally don't like it when your horse tries to lay-down/bow when you pick up their feet!)
He knew how to tell what I was thinking. Eventually we were able to go saddless and bridleless anywhere I wanted to go, and many times we would go down the the road beside the lake and canter galore! I learned to read his every thought also. He LOVE to do a slow collected lope on ANY new road we took. It was kind of our trade-mark =)
He did have his quarks. Because I'm hardly ever able to go up in the mountains he never really was a good mountain horse. He had quite the personality, and he became quite 'companyized' He learned it was pretty cool to do dumb things when inexperienced people tried to ride him...gaining a reputation among those.
But he also taught others how to ride. It was so awesome to see younger kids get so excited when they ran for the first time, or to put my little siblings on him bareback and they could just ride around the house and know he wouldn't kill them :p
Eventually I decided that maybe I should sell him because I'd 'adopted' a wild horse and never really had the time to train her. It was a hard decision, and one that I would never ever do again, but we all have our weak moments, and because he was smaller and did have a hard time keeping up with the other horses I thought I would like a horse with a little more endurance, along with the fact that he was worth more since the new mare I bought was basically worthless since she was only green broke and still so spooky. I sold her to a wonderful lady who's riding style reminded me so much of my own. (He was basically a one-mans horse, thus being great at reading my mind, but not quite as certain what others expected when others rode him) She fell in love with him right away, and he seemed to be able to 'read' her just as he did me. I am ever so grateful she was the one who bought him, because he was so special to me, and I don't think others with different styles would have been able to appreciate him nearly as much.
Since then I have been able to spend more time with my 'wild' mare, and have to remind myself that it took seven years to get George to the point he was at. At times it's hard not to panic, because I don't want to wait that long! Along with the fact that she is a very alert horse and tends to spook easily it may take longer---if she ever does get to that point. We've had good times, and then we've had bad times. (Obviously!) I love her though, and am looking forward to the day I can ride her to town with cars and motorcycles whizzing by and her not make one peep :-)
Still, every time I see picture of a horse bowing down, or kissing, or relaxed while their rider takes a break. Someone standing on their horses back. A bombproof, spook-less horse, someone running bareback. I just can't help but think....
"I used to have a horse like that!"