Day 04- A ride that impacted your life
I guess you could say that every ride impacts my life in some way or another. But the ride that most impacted my life the most was the first time I rode Yellow. I had been away from horses for a while. I had had a lease that went extremely sour. I’d taken a horsemanship university class with a professor who went out of his way to make me look and feel like an idiot because I wasn’t born in the saddle like the rest of the girls in class. Rather than helping me out, he made me the example of what not to do with horses. I was at a point in my life where I’d pretty much wanted nothing to do with horses.
I’d ran into an old friend of mine who was now working at a private barn and I ended up going out there a few times to help her with horse chores. One day she asked me if I wanted to go riding with her and a big group of girls she knew from college up in the sandhills. I actually didn’t really want to go as I felt I was pretty rusty in the saddle. But I went along because I never could say no to my friend…mostly because I was too scared to say no to her. Hahaha
The horse she had me riding was the meanest, ugliest palomino I’d ever seen. Every time I went by his stall in the barn he’d bare his teeth at me, or reach out and try to nip me. His ears were always pinned back and he just looked pissed off at the world. My friend assured me that once he was saddled up he was a good boy. I took her word on it.
Once we go there and got the horses unloaded, she tied them up to a hitching post while we got our saddles. Just as we were coming back to the horses Yellow had gotten his halter stuck on a piece of the hitching post and was flipping out. He was stuggling and then reared up once he was free. “awesome” I thought. “I have to ride this monster? This may be my last ride EVER!” But we calmed him down and tacked him up. Then I hopped on.
The group started along and I was now riding a prancing, dancing horse. He was flipping his head, and piaffing in place when I tried to hold him back to wait for my friend. Me and yellow had some difficulty communicating at first. I had no idea what he was saying to me. The bitchy girls on the ride with us were of no help to me either when I asked what I should do. One girls actually said to me “if you can’t handle your horse you shouldn’t even be on this ride!” My friend was having her own issues with her horse whose only speed was fast. So I didn’t want to bother her. I then just tried to figure out what he was saying to me. I gave him his head, and had nice long reins and he calmed down. A light bulb went off in my head; my friend told me once that he was a Western Pleasure show horse when the barn bought him. So it made sense that he wanted a nice long neck and low head. From then on out I was in heaven.
Once I figured him out I had the time of my life. He was the best trained horse I’d ever been on. When I asked for the canter he did it. No fighting, not asking two or three times. I even got some flying lead changes out of him, when I asked.
About halfway through the day we arrived at a little river with a wooden bridge over it. I sat and watched as the girls who were complete bitches to me struggled to get their horse over it. Not one of their horses would cross. I figured it wouldn’t hurt for me to try, so I pointed him at the bridge, and he crossed right over. No hesitation, no asking numerous times. He just walked right over it. The girls behind me couldn’t believe it.
I fell in love with that horse that day. And I regained my love of horses and riding. After that day I started spending more time with him around the barn. I managed to sweeten him up and he no longer pinned his ears, or try to bite you when you went near his stall. I spent hours brushing him and talking to him. And he was always my first choice to ride. The owner of the barn was impressed at the change in Yellow. He had been ready to sell him because of his bad attitude but yellow had become one of his favorites now because he was so sweet. Two years later Yellow was my horse, as he was given to me for my birthday from the barn owners. He was my dream come true, and I miss him every single day. His life was taken from him too soon. But I know he’s up there waiting for me and in the mean time he nudged me towards Piney. Who he knew would take care of me.