When the Wrong Pony is Right
 By mosquito   •   25th Sep 2010   •   3,173 views   •   6 comments
I’ve written a few articles for Ponybox, but I haven’t sent in any stories about the special horses in my life. There have a been a lot of horses that I’ve owned, trained, ridden or just cared for, but there are a special few who have really made a mark on my life. This article is about the most special of the3m all, my pony Amyr Calypso.

Arabian HorsesWay, way back in the 1970s, when I was a little kid, for some reason I fell in love with Arabian horses. I loved all horses really – I was a typical horse crazy girl – but Arabians really captured my imagination. I was lucky enough to be able to take riding lessons a lot, and even to have a pony (Kanga) for a year when I was 9, but I was never able to get close to real Arabians. I studied them like crazy I stayed up all night reading back issues of Arabian Horse World, mapping out pedigrees, and scouring used book stores for books by Lady Wentworth and other early pioneers of Arabian horse breeding. You might have read my biography of Raffles that was one Arabian that I really admired. Many years later I was lucky enough to go to Egypt and see the beautiful Arabians bred there, but back then I had to make do with pictures in magazines and books.

In 1982, when I was eleven, my parents decided we would stay put long enough that I could have a pony again. We didn’t have a big budget, but we tried some very nice large ponies. One day an Arabian appeared in the ‘for sale’ pages so we had to go and take a look. Imagine my surprise when we turned up at the riding school to find a ten year old flea bitten grey Arabian who was a great grandson of – guess who – Raffles!

The trials couldn’t have gone worse. Calypso bucked in the arena, bolted when we went out in the field (he had a severe phobia of paper), and on my second trial there was nothing I could do that would get the bridle on that pony! There was something about him though – I never felt scared, never felt like I was going to fall off, no matter what he did. Somehow, despite his problems, he just seemd right. My parents knew very little about horses or I’m sure they never would have let me pick him, but pick him I did, and Calypso came home with us.

For two years, here is a catalog of our ‘issues’

Took off just when I was remounting after closing a gate, and bucked me off neatly onto a barbed wire fence.

Bolted with my riding instructor, who was casually riding from the arena to the stables with a loose rein and no stirrups – someone handed her a piece of paper and that was it – they were off!

Learned how to wait until I was struggling to tighten the girth then would step to one side – right onto my foot.

Deciding that the open door at one end of the indoor arena had dragons behind it. After two months – yes, two months – of schooling when he’d finally pass it quietly, he decided that the door at the other end was really the problem.

Best of all – our first dressage show. We were late because he wouldn’t load into the trailer, and when we were walking around the arena before we went in, he spooked at the judges, caught the arena chain in his legs, took off, and pulled the chain out of the ground all the way to ‘B’ and ‘E’. When we eventually did our test, he wouldn’t go in the half of the arena closest to the judges, so we did the whole test in one half of it! Even so, we got a ‘9’ on our halts because he stopped so sharp!

Let’s just say with Calypso there was a lot to learn. But the most important thing he taught me was when your intuition tells you there is something really special hidden inside a horse, have the patience and the perseverance to seek it out. I spent hours and hours with Calypso, riding, grooming, schooling, trail riding, and just sitting in the field or on the edge of his box. One summer, he fell sick with flu, which turned into pneumonia. The vet didn’t give him any chance of survival. I sat with him for three straight days, icing his head and neck, making cocoa for him (he seemed to like it and it was all he’d drink) we even built him a sling when he couldn’t stand, just like Raffles had when he broke his leg! After he got better, everything was different between us. He never stepped on my feet, never ran off, never refused a jump. After his illness, he trusted me completely, and our power struggles were over.

What did we do together? We did one day events. We did a 25 mile competitive trail ride. We won ribbons against highly trained hunter ponies in shows. We won in dressage. We won in jumping (he had an amazing jump). Whatever I asked of him, he gave it. He best times of all were not at shows though. Like going swimming in a local reservoir with no tack – I couldn’t swim at all and he always took care of me! Or riding bareback in from the fields. When the other horses wouldn’t come in for dinner because the weather was too nice, I’d walk out, hop on him with no bridle of saddle, race around the other horses until they were all wound up, and then we’d gallop back to the stable with the herd right behind! Calypso taught me a lot that has helped me in training many horses since him, but most of all to have patience and to always treat a horse with respect, no matter how mad he may make you!

Arabian horses

Calypso stayed with me until I went to college. When it came time to sell him, even though he was now fifteen years old, everybody wanted him. He stayed at my boarding stable for a while, and then went to a new home. I wish we could have kept him, but as is often the case when kids go to college, ponies need to find a new home. He’ll be long gone by now, but I hope he had the chance to teach other young riders the importance of trusting in that special horse, no matter how frustrating and obstinate they might seem at first! If you really believe in your horse, your patience will pay off in the long run!
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Stories      Horse News More From This Author:  mosquito
Prarie Rose  
Calypso sounds awesome. You're lucky to have had such a great horse.:)
  Sep 25, 2010  •  2,467 views
What an awesome horse, greast story!
  Sep 25, 2010  •  2,474 views
Mystic Magic  
He is stunning, I am glad he ended up working out for you.
  Sep 26, 2010  •  2,766 views
Looks like a VERY fun pony. Sad to hear that college forced a sale....I know how that feels. =(
  Apr 21, 2011  •  2,495 views
All That Jazz  
Great article! Calypso really does have an awesome jump o.o
  Sep 16, 2011  •  2,470 views
Cruisin Past Curfew  
What a sweet story :')
  Jan 19, 2013  •  2,642 views
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