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Hallelujah, my pants are brown!

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hobbyhorse23

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Just a quick note, I had a wonderful time tonight. I went out to get poor Kody out of his pasture and lunged for once, and my Arab Spyder was up at the fence immediately nickering and neighing and calling for me with his eyes all lit up and hopeful. (This is the horse who took five years to make a sound at something other than food.) My heart melted and of course I got him out first. I ended up grooming him for the first time in a long time and went "Wow!" He always looks SOOO different after he's been groomed, it makes no sense to me. But there he was in his annual few weeks of true shiny short summer coat he gets each July now, and gaining some weight and just generally fit as a fiddle and raring to go and it made me so happy.


We took him and Mom's 30 year old out on the road on a lead and went for a walk as they were too hyped to just graze peacefully.
I took Mom's old man from her and we went for a run since he was dragging her down the street. Then I looked at Spyder, grazing so nicely and TROTTING around and bright-eyed and not limping...and I made Mom give me a boost up. Yes, it was probably suicidal with no helmet and a lively horse on a concrete road, bareback and only a halter. But I've had this horse for 13 years and know every way he can spook, I haven't used a saddle in about five years now and he listens to a halter just as well as a bridle. Mostly, he listens to ME. It helps that he wants me up there these days and I actually feel safer where he can't run me over spooking! LOL. So dumb or not, I did it. Some moments just have to be lived.


And my old man, my partner, my friend, lifted his head and walked out up the hill towards home and asked me. And I said yes. And for the first time in several years, he lifted into that effortless canter of his and flew up the grassy verge of our street, tail and head high and me laughing all the way. I felt like throwing my arms out to the side and yelling for joy. That's my BOY!! I feel like a centaur when I'm on him we move together so well. And it's been so long since I've felt like that. I quit riding him when he not only stopped asking to run or prance for me but couldn't even be coaxed into a trot because it hurt too much.
It made both him and I too sad so I avoided the situation where I would miss it. But today, he wanted it. He's got a permanent bow in his left front, ringbone in both front feet and arthritis in both hind, and his hamstring on the left haunch is damaged in some way that makes his rump hollow there and him feel very funny to ride up a hill at a walk. Muscles twang in all sorts of odd places. But canter him and for a moment it was years ago.

So tonight the seat of my pants is brown, my horse is happy, and I am glorying in having both a new relationship to explore and grow in with the young horse and an old and deep partnership to relax into and cherish with the old horse. My world is complete.


Leia

P.S.- For an actual update, Spyder has not choked again since that most recent incident. He is now getting a very small flake of hay three times a day, completely soaked and hand-crushed by me, a can of Senior SOUP fed twice a day and 1 cup of soaked beet pulp pellets with his Senior at night. We're probably going to up the beet pulp but I want to see how he does on this amount first. Both he and the other old horse seem to love the stuff and both seem to be putting on weight and pooping more even though they've only been on it a week and a half so far. But I swear Spyder's ribs are getting some padding finally!
I'll let ya' all know how it turns out. Pictures soon now that he's cleaned up and gorgeous.
Oh, and I finally found a veterinary equine dentist who will be coming out August 3rd to do a complete workup on Spyder. So cross your fingers all continues to go well!
 

AppyLover2

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What a beautiful story. I felt your exhilaration. The wind in your hair and your horses muscles rippling beneath you. Some times the small joys are the best.
 

rabbitsfizz

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Oh Yes. That brings back memories alright!!! I used to ride Amira once a year- I could not take any more- she was fine, and I always did it with a piece of baler twine round her nose as I always have a bit in my pocket!! The mare was virtually uncontrollable in a double bridle, but perfectly fine in a piece of string!!(I did try her in a bitless but that was no go !!) I love the way you say he "asked" you- I remember that, too, I really think, once you have ridden an Arab- well nothing else quite matches up, does it?? I have been offered quiet horses that I possibly could ride but, quite frankly, I would not bother. If I can't do exactly as you have described I think I would rather not ride at all. Beautiful story. Thankyou, Leia.
 

ChrystalPaths

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Believe it or not..I've got tears. Your story was so wonderful I could feel the wind, hear your laughter, see your wonderful horse have that joyful burst. There is nothing more precious than a memory and now you and your horse have a very special one. I hope he lives a long and wonderful life. Sounds like you are doing everything perfectly.
 

ClickMini

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Leia,


Now where is that bugs in the teeth icon when you need it?

Thanks for a lovely story, you brought many memories back to me and for many others, I am sure.

Spyder, you go boy!
 

Dr. Pam

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*sniff* I read this early this morning on my way out and it made me all happy weepy mushy. (that's a good thing) I could feel it all! So glad the old man is doing better--always happy to hear about him.
 

MInx

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What a great way for me to start the day! A wonderful story of lovin' life! Thanks for that, Maxine
 

REO

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Wow! That was so wonderful and I'm sitting here with happy tears in my eyes!
 

SunQuest

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Oh Leia!!! I so understand you!!!

My Arab mare, Starr, I used to ride with nothing but a halter and sometimes a bareback pad. We were best together that way. It is like it is a partnership when the horse doesn't have a bit in it's mouth and a saddle on it's back. I would rather ride bareback any day of the week. Alas it has been YEARS since I have been on a horse. Our mare passed away at 18 years of age in 1994 and I think the following year I was on our retired jumper, and he just wasn't the same. I miss Starr. Actually, I was truelly safer on her back than anywhere else and she ALWAYS took care of me as long as I considered her my equal. My last ride on her was down the edge of a road comepletely bareback with my Aunt leading our first mini. I remember the day well! It was early morning in late summer. Coming towards us was a great big milk truck with 2 super shiny bright tanks. I thought for sure this mare would bolt and run as the truck went by as she was known in her earlier days to be a bolter and to run away from anything that spooked her and to run when ever she felt like it. It took years to work with her on that and many a pro's said she should be destroyed because she was dangerous. I didn't give up on her, and well we clicked and we would both communicate on a silent level. She never ever knowingly hurt anyone, but she just wanted respect from us. Anyway, the truck slowed way down, but the super bright reflection from the sun on the shiny metal along with the loud semitruck engine noise caused Starr to spook. In a split second I thought I would be dead and she would be chased all the way home and hopefully would not get hit by any vehicle that may happen along. Well... Starr did a roll back spin and turned 180 degrees and then stopped dead in her tracks. There Starr stood and physically trembled in one spot. She knew I was off balance and that if she went any further I stood a high chance of falling. So she protected me by putting her fears last. Gosh... now I am crying... This mare and I were definately partners and freinds on a really deep level. I so miss the feel of her under me and there will never be another that feels the same. This was the last ride I took before the weather turned nasty for the winter. Soon she came up lame and during the winter months if I tried to get on her it was as if she couldn't hold me up. Then the following spring she became deathly ill and we lost her to a petuitary tumor (sp?). It was her final gift to me and boy do I miss her so much!

Enjoy your gift! It is so hard to watch them grow old, but there are days where you can see and touch their youth for a short time. It is there gift to you and one you will always treasure. And thanks for sharing!
 

hobbyhorse23

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Aw, Sunquest. I get it, I really do. Spyder and I have had those "hold it together for me baby, my life literally depends on you!" moments as well and you feel so astounded by their trust as they stand there shaking in their shoes with those big bodies just vibrating.
Some horses are either too young, too damaged, or too self-absorbed to "hear" us when we try to treat them as equal spirits, you just can't get away with it with them. But there are others whom you can't get through to until you DO.

Spyder and I weren't always this way, although I've always treated my horses with respect and acknowledgement of the fact they have their own personalities and preferences. But five years ago we had an incredible breakthough experience and the lady who authored it gave me a stern lecture and then mentored me with him for a year, and nothing has ever been the same since. I mean it when I say my horses ask me for things. I have taught both of mine (big and little) that when they do what I ask, I will do things back for them if I don't have a good reason not to. They know to accept "No" gracefully, but they also know they are free to ask. Spyder's walk was flat footed and he was in no way pulling on the halter, but I knew his whole body was asking a question. My answer was to gather up the lead, pull him together for a second and ask for that canter. That was his "yes," and he went joyfully.

I'm so glad my story brought back good memories for many of you. It's important we remember these old ones when they are gone or past using! We owe them that as much as a comfortable retirement.

Leia

ClickMini, I love your line. "Spyder, you go boy!" That just sums it all up.
 

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