There have been few horses that I can actually call my own. I have owned quite a number of horses, but these few have actually been for me.
There was Spud. Spud was the little fuzzy black pony who showed me what it was to love a horse. He was my pony from the first that I can remember until I was about 5 years old.
Then there Pepper. I only had her for a short time as she passed away from complications of colic. I'll always picture her as the horse in the videos of us gaming-my pigtails streaming behind my head as we gallop across the arena.... straight out the exit gate, knocking the gate attendant down on our way by!
Next was Diamond. Diamond and I won all of the trophies, belt buckles, accessories imaginable. I always laughed and said we were so good at the gaming events because Diamond was so lazy that he knew the faster he ran, the faster he could be done and go back to eating! I still get a kick out of Diamond how I could never get him to go into the irrigation canal, but once he was in, I couldn't get him out!!! Diamond really taught me how to ride. I learned balance, grace, and all of that other good stuff.
JJ was next... oh boy JJ! He taught me the skills that I find myself relying on over and over again. He was like a freight train. I learned to hang on and just make it until he tired out. Funny how that has become a skill! I was in 8th grade and I remember him taking off (again) and we were flying at a full gallop along this ditch that follows the highway. When we got up to the place where we turned to go home, he ran up on the highway and cut in front of the guy that I babysat for. (he was turning so he wasn't going very fast when we ran in front of him thankfully) I'll always remember his face when he saw it. It was a look of surprise and of question. Needless to say I learned the importance of control and a sweaty horse. That day JJ and I continued our ride for an additional 2 hours of lots of running. My mom was starting to get worried because I was gone so long, but soon here I came down our driveway on a very wet horse. I think that was the last time he ran away with me.
Finally my mom decided that JJ wasn't a trustworthy horse and she was always worried about me when I was out riding JJ, so we sold him. I almost didn't have another horse because by this time I was starting to prepare for college. My mom and I always looked through this catalog for a well known auction in our state and enjoyed picking out the horses we liked. Sometimes we'd try to guess how much they'd sell for. I picked out this sorrel with a nice write up and said he's the one I'd pick. I had a track meet or something that weekend so I couldn't go watch the auction, but my mom called that evening and said, "I hope you really liked that horse you picked out because he's yours!!!" Breeze, my long term companion, came home and we fell in love!! (Well, he fell in love with me because I loved him the minute I read his ad in the catalog) Breeze taught me an amazing amount of horsemanship. Breeze was the first horse that I had truly understood collection and fancy footwork with. He traveled with me through college and my journey to Washington. He is unable to handle the strenuous riding that I do these days and is currently in semi-retirement. I hope that I can find him a place to be loved and enjoyed. I know that he will be able to teach someone all of the wonderful things he taught me.
I am now with my current stallion, Achilles. His registered name is Hadda Lotta Pep. I found him at a sale as a young colt. He was the spotlight of the sale. We brought him home and have been on our journey together now for 5 years. I am looking forward to spending more time with him and getting him trained for reining. I am sure he has many lessons in store for me.
I have loved each horse. I have many wonderful memories of them all. I mention the struggles that I have had with each, not because I had many struggles, but because those struggles were what formed me into the horsewoman that I am. It is the challenges that I overcome that give me the confidence and skill to train other horses. I am thankful for each horse and the timing of each one. I feel that each horse came into my life with impeccable timing. Thank you Spud, Pepper, Diamond, JJ, Breeze, and Achilles.