My Fifth and Sixth Horses
My 5th Horse
While going through all my picture albums, I’ve discovered that I only have one picture of horse number five, a flighty grey Arabian, whose name I can’t even remember. The reason for that is because I only had the horse on a two-week trial basis (about 35 years ago after we moved to the outskirts of Middleburg, PA), and she only lasted two weeks. Why?
This horse, a pretty little thing, was fine to saddle and bridle, fine to walk beside and fine to ride around the barn. BUT … the minute I tried to take her any distance away from the barn, she would balk and rear up on her hind legs. It only took me one tumble off her back to realize this horse needed some work, and I wasn’t the one to do it, so she went back to its owner. It was a shame she didn’t work out for me because she was a very attractive mount, but she was headstrong; thus, she was no good as a trail horse at all.
My sixth horse was a nice looking black Tennessee Walker gelding. I remember his name, Chico, but I don’t even have one picture of this horse. Why?
Well, this horse was another two-week trial fluke.
Was he pretty as a picture? Yes.
Did he stand to take his tack and let me clean his hooves? Yes.
Was he easy to ride? Yes!
“Well, then, what was the matter?” you might ask.
The first time I rode this horse, everything went as smooth as silk. We had a great time out on the trail. When I got back to the barn, I unbridled him and tied him so I could unsaddle him. I loosened the cinch and walked around the back of him, about four feet from his rump (as I had always been taught to do), and BAM! This old boy, for no reason at all, landed a kick on my hip that, if I had been closer, could have done serious damage. Even at that distance away, he gave me a good wallop, which turned into quite a huge black, yellow, and purple hematoma over the next few weeks.
Well, enough of that. I immediately called his owner, who immediately asked, “Did he kick you?” (Surprise, surprise!) The next weekend, the black Walker, unridden after that, went back to his owner, and I was horseless once again and horse hunting for one or two good mounts.
The plain horse fact to learn from all these horse stories is that you never know what kind of a horse you are buying. He/she might look good on foreign territory, he might be pretty as a picture, and his/her owner might sell you a good line. So, when you find one you like, get the horse on a trial basis with the option to return him/her if the horse has dangerous patterns of behavior. And make sure the deal includes your getting all your money back.
Next time, we’ll discuss my favorite horse of all times, Rex.
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