I was not raised on a farm. The few times I’d been on the back of a horse, I had come off, and not by my choosing. Every way imaginable a horse can get you off his back short of bucking you off, I’ve experienced. So when my farmer-ish husband started talking about getting horses, I was nervous. (How about a pool, instead?) He continued the talk of having horses. Maybe I could just pet them. Maybe Farm Guy would never notice I didn’t ride them. Maybe I could just sweep up at the barn, muck stalls, brush horses, comb manes, and stuff like that. If I worked hard enough, there would be no time for the “fun” he talked about in riding them. Right? Not quite.
These big powerful animals are intimidating. And dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. I’m a book person, so I ordered books off the intranet to study horsemanship. I learned a little about their care, how to protect myself so I wouldn’t get run over, and stuff like that. Did my book study of horse course 101 teach me how to ride? No. I needed (and still need) lessons for that. I think I mostly confuse a horse when I’m riding. Must be why they try to get rid of me.
(No, this is not me. Farm Guy has our daughter riding Davy. I’ve still never ridden him, y’all.)
When our first horse came to our pasture, he was not happy. We’d ripped Davy away from his friend on a hilly Tennessee farm and brought him to this flat land with no friend. He sulked. For days he hung his head in depression. Feeling sorry for Davy, I went to the barn to take my chances with this huge beast – all 16 hands of him. Given my history with horses, I was petrified. Horse course 101 said I wasn’t supposed to show it, or he’d sense my fear, so I was trying real hard to fake being calm. I talked to him, brushed him, talked to him while I brushed him, and brushed him while I talked to him. He was the cleanest horse when I got done, y’all!
It was a successful first session. I came out of it alive! Surprisingly, I had (somewhat) bonded with Davy that day. Every day thereafter I would try to spend a little time with him. No riding, just talking and brushing. Still very clean, Davy was ready to meet his new pasture mate, who was on this day due to arrive. A friend of ours needed to find a new home for a beautiful black Tennessee Walker mare. He had asked if we would be interested in taking her. Would we? A horse? Of course! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the nod to Mr. Ed!) We had visited this mare in the pasture where she’d lived alone for several years, and the first time I saw her, I loved her. But I was still scared of her, and she apparently was scared of us, never letting us get closer than 15 feet before running away. And, was she ever beautiful to watch when she ran!
Back to the story of the day she arrived at our place, Davy had his head down, eating grass, oblivious to our action around the barn. He noticed the sound of gravel crunching in the driveway and looked up at the truck and trailer approaching. This was not of much interest to him, so he went back to munching. Then he heard her nervous winnie. That got his attention, y’all! We were apprehensive of how this new match would turn out. Would they get along? Would they fight and kick each other? This also was not covered in horse course 101. Time would soon tell.
When Scarlet came out of the trailer, that voluptuous mare suddenly had Davy’s full and complete attention! The bubble over his head read, “Ooh-la-la!” He pranced with excitement. (And that poor girl seemed nervous, y’all.) Getting her inside the gate was the challenge, since that gelding suddenly thought he was a stud. He was all over that gate trying to get to her – forget who might be in the way – run over them! I got out of the way and left this job to the men. They did not need me in their way. Neither did Davy. And besides, none of this was addressed in horse course 101!
OK, so, happy ending – no one got hurt, and they did not fight and kick. These new farm creatures were instant companions, and we stood watching the synchronized pair running in patterns throughout the pasture, side by side. A beautiful sight, those two! I still love watching them run and could go the rest of my life not riding, just watching. Fascinating!
Thank you, Lord, for creating these beautifully majestic, powerful animals and for allowing us to have some to enjoy.
P.S. Could I still put my order in for a pool?