Special Moments With My Horses
 By IggyPogo   •   17th Feb 2013   •   2,117 views   •   5 comments
While all horses I've met have been important and special in their own way, a few have touched me and taught me important lessons. Some have just been so memorable that I'd like to share these special moments.

When I was a little girl, not even seven years old, my mom used to take me to a farm that would put kids on a horse bareback. A more experienced rider would sit behind the horse, and we'd double around, walk, trot and canter. I always requested a horse named Bambi. Even though the details have fled my mind due to almost ten years passing between those days, the experience is remembered as sweet, smooth and the starting point of my love of horses.

Many, many years passed between my last ride on Bambi and my first ride on Radar. Between odd little horse-camps I'd barely ridden and was classified as a beginner. I didn't mind though, and was pleased with Radar. Radar was a massive bay with a lazy streak, but boosting my confidence in riding. I rode Radar for many years and I don't believe we cantered once. One day someone bought Radar and a heart-broken realized maybe it was time to move on.

Special Moments With My Horses

Blue Jeans
As some of you know, I used to work at what I call "The Petting Zoo Farm." They bought horses, trained them and even brought rescue horses back to good health for resale to good homes. Blue Jeans was one such rescue horse. A sweet grey Quarter Horse mare, who was sold unceremoniously after her old owners realized that she was developing back problems from being jumped higher than her physical body allowed. One day we had taken the horses to the lake to go swimming and I got the chance to ride the lovely mare for the day. We saddled up and went for a trek around the lake when I suddenly noticed a large log lying ahead. The log was about eighteen inches high, practically begging me to jump it. I began to slow Blue Jeans down, but her easy-going confidence made me nudge her into a canter instead. The big mare broke into her smooth gait, and in one easy leap was over the log and cantering on. My first thought was, "Wow, that was easy! I'm so glad I stayed on!" It had happened. Blue Jeans gave me the jumping bug.

Ah, Rascal. That little... well, Rascal. He was something else alright, a small bay pony with enough personality for the whole barn. I'd ridden him once before and found him comfortable enough, so the next time I arrived at that particular ranch I made the decision to ride him bareback.

Not a good idea.

I'd ridden bareback only a handful of times and Rascal was one of those horses that liked speed. Long story short, I had my first fall ever, but it actually boosted my confidence and made me a better rider. My fall didn't hurt, although it looked dramatic. After I came unglued from my pony's back he behaved calmly for the remainder of the ride. Almost as though he felt sorry for what he did.

Molly and Strawberry
In 2010, I became so incredibly lucky to be given the chance to lease two amazing mares. Molly, a chestnut Quarter Horse mare, about twenty-something years old and very sweet, and Strawberry, a moody little roan Florida Cracker mare. Those two really taught me a lot. Molly taught me how to let go. We had an amazing bond and I really loved her a lot. After my fall from Rascal, I was wary of cantering bareback and didn't do so for many years. But one day Molly had enough of just trotting and broke into a smooth canter. After that I was no longer afraid to fly.

Pretty soon the barn raised to my dad's attention that Molly was getting older and I was getting bolder in my riding. I was extremely reluctant to let go of Molly, and even more apprehensive when I realized Strawberry was my only other option. Nothing I had ever seen about the mare stroked me as special, and when I started her lease, her cranky attitude scared me off. Strawberry was a boss. And then one day before a ride when she was just as grouchy as usual, I started using T-touch, a method learned from a Heartland book.

Strawberry was hooked. She loved the mini-massage. Soon I lead her from her stall to the arena and turned and held her bridle, staring into her eyes.

"Today we canter." I whispered.

Strawberry stared solemnly back at me and when I started the ride I got a little nervous. But just when Dad was about to tell me it was time to go, I turned her around the corner, closed my eyes, and squeezed. Strawberry lifted up and we flew, me and that little horse. I've ridden only three horses since her with gaits to compare, one was a Florida Cracker (Listed down below). Strawberry was the first horse I had to create a bond with, and the experience really helped me. I loved her, and was devastated when I had to give up the lease. Little did I know I would meet my best friend in few short months.

Special Moments With My Horses

Oh, Spanky, spunky-wunky! He was that one in a million pony, the kind you're lucky to know and will never forget. I rode him for two weeks. His owner had been on vacation and my instructor at my old English barn noticed he was getting restless. I was given the chance to ride him, despite several warnings from one rider who'd been alive for about half the time I'd been riding warning me he would be hard to handle. My little egotistical self ignored her, and good thing, otherwise my nerves may have transmitted. We walked, trotted, cantered, jumped and did more on that pony in one day than I'd done in two years. I was hooked, and for that precious time his owner was away, I was rarely seen away from Spank's stall. I obsessively groomed him, just generally hung out in his stall, and soon he looked for me and greeted me with a nicker every time I appeared around the corner. To this day I haven't had a horse greet me with a nicker, no matter how much I've bonded with some.

I only rode her twice, once saddled and once bareback. He is my best friend, of course, but is young and likes to remind me that I'm not the best rider in the world. We were camping and my amazing friend (Jett1234) agreed to ride Pogo while I rode HoneyBee for our last trail ride of the particular camp visit. I never really told anyone before this, but I wanted to ride HoneyBee because she reminded me so much of Strawberry. Same breed, size, and gaits. On the ride we started out just as the sun was peeking out over the horizon. Everybody else was far ahead and I wanted to catch up. But it had been years since I'd last cantered bareback. Taking a deep breath, I nudged the mare, and then... we flew. I'd missed that special feeling so much, just skimming across the ground, hooves beating the ground rhythmically, and my body moving easily with the mare's.

I still had it!

Joy flooded through me, and that one ride on HoneyBee was enough to remind me during the difficult times that no matter what, I still had it. I could fly!

Oh, geez. Saving the best for last. My best friend, my brother, my confident, my 'Bugaboo', my reason for waking up, smiling, crying, breathing, and dreaming. This little bay has given and took more than any other horse that came or will come into my life.

I simply love him.

He is a bay Arab/Saddlebred cross, and I worked hard to earn the bond we have now. Yes, it was love at first sight, but our trust and bond grew slowly. Sometimes he will refuse to leave my side, particularly while he's in trouble with his owner. He will trot beside me as I jog and sometimes try to help with the stalls. Other times he'll pick a side of the pasture and refuse to leave, giving me the "I'm a horse, not a puppy" treatment. He's lovable and frustrating at the same time. Both of us have gotten into immense trouble together, our personalities occasionally melding together perfectly. We're the perfect team, but at other times our personalities will set themselves against each other, resulting in frustration. We're frenemies to the core, until one of us apologizes - usually me, but lately I've been rising up in our herd's little pecking order. I don't even know how to explain how much this horse has changed my life, but then again, our story isn't done. We still have many more adventures ahead.

Special Moments With My Horses

Special Moments With My Horses
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Stories      Horse News More From This Author:  IggyPogo
Thank you so much for posting this! :D
However, there are a few things to clarify...
Radar was ridden by another rider, not bought. He stayed at that particular stable even after his retirement.
Also, I noticed that a few of my sentences were switched around or even deleted. Why is that?
  Feb 17, 2013  •  2,665 views
An Arbian/Saddlebred Cross is a breed called a National show Horse. Great article!!
  Feb 17, 2013  •  2,673 views
i luv pogo, rascal and blue jans XD COOL ADD
  Feb 18, 2013  •  2,747 views
Love It! Pogo is too cute! :D
  Feb 18, 2013  •  2,917 views
Foxchase Farm  
Pogo is just the cutest thing :D Love him!
  Apr 25, 2013  •  2,144 views
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