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


  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.

  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.

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

  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.

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

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

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

  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...

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

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


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