Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why I Fell In Love With My Horse

Jane, over at The Literary Horse, has asked her readers to tell why they fell in love with their horse.  I read (and love) her blog, so here goes:  A little story about how I met Spider.


Four years ago (nearly five, now) I was the manager of a dressage training facility/sales barn.  Part of my job was riding the sale horses.   There was a little bay Thoroughbred jumper that came through.  His name, I was told, was Spider. 

Spider wasn't that interesting or impressive.  He looked like a jumper.  He moved like a jumper.  While I was riding him one day, someone said to me "He'd make a nice Hunter.".  I'm still not sure if that was a compliment or not.  It didn't matter, he wasn't mine.  He was just another sale horse to ride.  When he sold, I would get 10% of his sale price. 

I never met his owners.  He had been shipped down from Northern NJ.  I never even talked to them.  I never got a clear story of why he was for sale.  Sometimes it was "he was sour" or "wild over jumps" sometimes it was "they bought a new horse and can't afford two".   In sale barns, you never get a good story, anyway.  It doesn't matter why they're for sale, they're just another sale.

One windy day, I was working this little Thoroughbred named Spider in the indoor.  We were on the inside track, several other riders were on the outside.  Suddenly, a gust of wind rattled the wall and two horses bolted past us towards the door to the barn.  Spider spun and started to bolt.  I expected that.  I pulled him up and put him back to work.  He complied without argument.  I was not expecting that.  He didn't really know me.  He'd only been with us a couple weeks or so.  Most horses, in an unfamiliar environment, especially a high stress environment like a busy training/sale barn, with a strange rider and horses bolting would have dumped the rider and high tailed it back to the barn.   Spider wasn't trying to ditch me, though.  As silly as it sounds, I got the impression he was taking me with him.  It wasn't "Hey, there's a scary thing, I'm outta here!".  It was "Hey there's a scary thing, let's get outta here!"  I'd never been on a horse like that before.  I was immediately impressed with this Spider.

As I worked him more, I became more and more impressed with the bay Thoroughbred named Spider.  He wasn't fancy.  He wasn't flashy.  But he had a heart of gold and always tried. 

One day, as I was currying him after a ride, he turned his head to groom me back.  I stopped and looked at him for a moment, then said "Don't get attached to me, you're not mine."  He just looked back at me.  I think he already knew I was his.

I bought him a few weeks later.


Related Posts:
A Story - More about why I bought Spider

10 comments:

  1. That story makes me teary eyed. What a great horse. I'm so glad you found him. For him to stand out in a sales barn really speaks to the connection and his 'special' quality. I'm so glad you found him and listened when he picked you.

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  2. Another great story of love. Then again, apparently, Spider had mastered "The Look" and used it to cement the deal. What a sweet horse.

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  3. Wonderful story - he sounds very sweet, with a big heart.

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  4. Your story just gave me the chills. I love it when a horse just knows who he wants to be with. What a special horse he is.

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  5. i got the chills from that story too, i love reading about horses choosing their people.

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  6. Lovely post. Sometimes they choose us instead of the other way around.

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  7. What a wonderful story. Spider picked you - awesome!

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  8. Brilliant. I love this story.
    Gosh you were working for a horse-dealer. It does not sound so dirty in the US. Is there many training/slae barn?

    Horse dealers always have bad rep here. The horses rarely pass the vetting...

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  9. Awww, I'm so glad I read your post this morning:) What a sweet boy.

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  10. Great story! So glad you found each other :)

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