|Original heart horse.|
Today marks the 4 year anniversary that I lost my first horse. Tomorrow will be the 5 month anniversary that I lost Piney. It’s little anniversaries like this that make me question myself as a horse owner. I lost two horses in 4 years. They were both 12 years old.
My first horse was a Palomino who’s registered name was this blogs namesake, Good Time to Review. He was the most beautiful palomino’s Ive ever seen. The funny thing was I thought he was the ugliest thing I’d ever seen when I first met him. A friend of mine was managing a barn that belonged to a family, so it was private. She would often trick me into coming and helping her with the horses after a long night of *ahem* consuming large amounts of adult beverages. I would crash at her place and she would wake me up bright and early with a “get up, we gotta feed the horses!” I did learn that the best thing for a hangover was to clean a bunch of horse stalls. Works almost every time. We’d usually go home and crash for a few hours. Finally she rewarded me for all my hard work, by getting the ok from her boss to let me ride one of his horses. She had planned on going on a big group trail ride with the Universities Rodeo team who she was friends with. She brought along one of the horses that I wasn’t too incrediably fond of for me to ride. He was a pissy and UGLY palomino named Charlie Yellow. (There were two other horses at the barn named Charlie. Charlie Red, and Charlie Brown. It’s bad luck to change a horses name). She unloaded him from the trailer and we tied him up to a hitching post. Apparently something was wrong and he flipped out and when I turned around he was pulling back from the hitching post. I remember thinking Awesome…can’t wait to ride this horse. Especially since I haven’t ridden in forever. But the rest of tacking him up was un eventful, and I hopped on, even though I was a nervous wreck. I started riding, and he was being a crap head. Prancing and fighting the whole time. I was not having fun, and he wasn’t making it fun for me. Then my friend looked over and said, he was a western pleasure horse, give him his head. Sooooo sure enough…gave him a bunch of rein, and I had an awesome ride. Walk, jog, lope, flying lead changes…yes when she told me he could do flying lead changes, I tried it...out on the prairie. You name it, he could do it. Apparently he was bought when another girl was managing the barn and the owner was interested into having a barn full of western pleasure horses. She did a great job filling his barn with awesome western pleasure prospects and show horses…but she got fired I think shortly after her ex husband came by and threatened to shoot all the horses. Securtiy around the barn got super tight after that too.
Anyways later on that same ride, we came to a bridge and I saw all these girls fighting with their horses trying to get them over the long, narrow wooden bridge. They had been riding since they were fetuses but were having a hard time. I thought, what the heck, I’ll give it a go and see what happens. I excused ourselves past and then sure enough, it didn’t even phase him and we clip clopped right over, followed by the girls who were quite rude to me earlier in the ride, when I asked for a bit of advice on what to do when Yellow was acting up. I believe one said “if you can’t handle your own horse you shouldn’t even be on this ride with us…”
I left that ride with a love for that ugly yellow horse. I say he was ugly because well, he was. He’d slipped on some ice the previous winter and knocked out some of his front teeth. His butt was a sooty, dirty looking color, that no matter how hard you scrubbed it wouldn’t come out. He was missing a large chunk of mane where he’d rubbed it off on his feeder. His attitude was what really made him ugly. He was a crab ass. Everytime you walked past his stall, he’d pin his ears and try to bite you. After having so much fun on the ride with him, I made it a challenge to try and sweeten him up. I started by talking to him when I was at the barn, and I would always offer to be the one to take him to and from his paddock. My friend talked to the owner and I started helping out at the barn more. So that ment that I got to see my yellow buddy more often. The time I spent with him worked. And he quickly became one of the barn favorites. The owner even told me once that he was thrilled with how much he was starting to like that palomino. Yellow started to be referred to as my horse and I was allowed to ride him anytime I wanted to. He even started to look a lot nicer. The following year after I started playing with him, his coat lost the sooty grossness, and he was shiny with dapples. When we went places I’d get complements on him all the time. I even had a few people throw offers at me. Big offers, offers I was probably stupid to have turned down.
A few years later I got to the barn to do chores on my Birthday and I saw a big fat envelope on the table with my name on it. I opened it up and there was signed AQHA Transfer papers. Yellow was mine and it was official.
|Someone feed that girl a big mac...sheesh I was a twig.|
|Yeah, I know the cheek peice is twisted...I paniced because the new fancy bit I bought for pictures was making him crazy, so I had to quickly switch back to my snaffle and I messed up the bridle.|
Well life takes us down different paths, and I ended up moving Yellow to a few different barns. Near the end, he had gotten kicked out of a friends place because he was being a bully to her pregnant mares and not allowing them to eat. I moved him to a barn close to town temporarily. I had decided that owning a horse at that point in my life was too expensive so I wanted him to go live with a family that would use him and enjoy him. I’d worked out a free lease with a family that was a friend of my dad’s friend. They couldn’t take him just yet so I boarded him until they could come and get him. Well I will never forget that phone call December 19th 2008. But then again how could you forget a phone call that included the words “your horse is dead”.
The owner of the barn I was boarding at called to tell me that yellow had died, but he wasn’t sure what happened. He went on to say that the night before he was doing just fine but when they went out there that morning he was dead. He also went on to say that he’d had about 5 other horses die in the last few years and that the next one that dies he’d be getting a necropsy done to find out why. In hindsight I should have gotten one done. But I was too heartbroken. I didn’t even go out and see him after he died. I felt like I had let him down and I really, really didn’t want to see my beautiful boy like that. They told me he was on a trailer covered in a blue tarp. That was what really killed me. Blue tarps were the only thing that scared him.
Shortly after yellow died, I needed horses. I needed to be around them. So I looked on craigslist and found a barn that needed help with pm feeding. I started working there and it wasn’t long after that the barn owner started talking to me about her friend who had all of these retired racehorses that I should go look at. They were free. So obviously I went out there and got Piney. If it wasn’t for Yellow passing, I would never have ended up at that barn, and then with Piney. Everything happens for a reason and I need to remind myself of that. Yellow taught me everything that he could on this earth. Piney taught me what he could. I guess each horse enters our life for a reason. I just wish mine didn’t leave so soon…
|One of my favorites.|
|This was the result of my awesome feeding program. Didn't need to use Show Sheen!|
|The "shack" that the owners of the barn I worked at lived in...he wanted a lake...so he built one...|