The New Horse
After the loss of a horse in a freak accident, I found myself shopping for the elusive replacement. Opinions, ideas, and advice swirled around me like a night fog on Halloween. How do you sort out the feeling of confusion and disillusionment to find a new horse?
There is a point in life, different for each of us, that is constantly under re-assessment. That point is, “what type of horseman/woman am I?” As I have aged I have found I am not willing to do what I would have done 25 years ago, shoot I am not even willing to do what I might have done 5 or 10 years ago. I don’t want to train, I don’t want to make excuses for bad behavior, bucking, rearing, kicking or craziness.
Sometimes this realization is a hard pill to swallow. However, swallow it you must if you are going to seek a horse that can be your partner at the current stage of your life. Grab a glass and begin the process.
After knee surgery and a few falls that have some lasting effects, I was searching for a sane level headed horse for trail riding. Gelding, not too big, color not a must, but black if I could have it. Good gait, good stride, good temperament. What we all want right?
So you sift through the ads, looking at endless pictures and videos, searching for the right combination of personality and price. Something that grabs you, that makes you want to do the drive and take a look.
You read ads that say, “experienced rider only”, which translates to, “he will kill you if you aren’t paying attention.” Anyone who can ride can ride this horse, which translates to, ” a rearing, pawing, fit throwing 1200 pound animal with you on his back!”
Horse folks love to come out and “kick the tires” of the new horse. They peer into the mouth with flashlights, have you move the horse down and back while solemnly examining each footfall. The new horse needs groceries is a commonly heard statement. Groceries? Does he need to make a trip to Wal-Mart or the Farm Store?
23 year old looking for a new home. I don’t even know how to translate that one. On one hand it makes me sad, an older horse not in a forever home. I am a sucker for old dogs too. I wanted a horse old enough to have some sense and young enough to be able to do whatever I might fancy. My body is 63, my mind 27. Enough said.
Yes he was cute, and personable. What does that translate too? A horse that can get out of any enclosure you put him in unless it wrapped up like Fort Knox.
A horse that stands with both front feet in the stock tank and muddies up the water until it is undrinkable. A horse that nibbles the farrier, the vet, and your back pocket if you are not looking. He is entertaining if nothing else. If you happen to be someone who knows him, he is a very endearing horse, even though he is a stinker.