Hopefully each and everyone of you in the horse world has met and partnered with a horse worth its weight in gold. If you haven’t it’s sad because having a special horse is a great gift. I’ve had two horses that were worth their weight in gold. Both were older when they got to be like that. They don’t get to be like that if they’re mistreated so I take a bit of pride in that. I also give credit to the people before me in the case of one. They didn’t screw him up and for that I thank them.
Both the horses were appaloosas. Yes, everybody jokes about appaloosas. You may have heard the term “appa-loser” or some such thing. I think people say stuff like this because they’re jealous or trying to be cute. Appaloosas aren’t any more this way or that than any other horse. In my humble opinion.
The one horse started out a handful and you had to bring your brains to class. In his younger days he was kind of like a mule only more so. If he didn’t want to do something he let you know. You had to be the leader, be determined and take charge of the situation. You couldn’t wimp out. But you above all you had to be fair. Not arbitary. Not thoughtless. Getting rough wasn’t going to cut it.
That horse was a good teacher and in the process of him teaching me his inner gold began to shine through. As he got older he became the “go-to” guy of the bunch. Maybe he didn’t walk out so fast but you were sure of him with a beginner. He still had things to teach but they weren’t at freeway speed. When the hill got too steep we found a place for him at a therapeutic riding school. They gave him a nickname but he’s still the same old guy as before and worth his weight in gold.
Here’s to the good-un’s!
Dusty Giving a 92 year old woman a ride at Project Ride in Elk Grove, California