I think finding a horse to buy is more of an emotional decision than a practical one. Yes, price definitely has a bearing on the decision, but more importantly it’s how you two connect when you first meet that tells you if this is the right horse for you.
And sometimes it all happens accidentally. The universe has its way of bringing the right horse into your life at the right time. If it’s not the right time for you, it must be the right time for your horse.
That’s how it was for my horse.
Many, many years ago I was hired to train this horse, Spot, dressage. He was a stallion, and I was told he was quite a handful.
The owner had already backed him but told me all Spot did was act like a bucking bronco in the rodeo. He also told me this horse had an absolute attitude problem and would bite, kick, strike out, and attack pretty much everyone.
My first thought was… with all these issues, you want to me to teach your horse how to perform the delicate, detailed, specific art of dressage? Oh boy!
But I never shy away from a tough job. So, I went out to meet Spot and his owner to see how bad it really was.
When I got to the ranch to meet him, his owner had already put him in the arena. I went up to the fence and saw a fresh, smart, beautiful animal. He was magnificent and he knew it. He pranced around and then came running over to me at full speed.
He ran so fast I thought he was going to crash through the fence. But he stopped on a dime and just stood there looking at me for a second or two. Our eyes met and I just thought he was the most elegant horse I had ever seen.
He must have realized that I had just fallen in love with him as he started to nuzzle my hair and blew in my face. He was playing with me and was so friendly and happy.
I went into the arena, and we played for a bit as I was trying to see what he liked, didn’t like, how he would react to certain things, and find out who he was. He was perfect. He did everything I asked, he was happy to be there playing with me, and he was a perfect gentleman.
The owner was shocked and mad. He was upset that Spot listened intently to every request I made and that I didn’t have any issues with him. It was as if Spot had just proven to me that he had lied about all his bad behaviors and problems.
It was kind of funny as I honestly think Spot did it on purpose.
But it was love at first sight for me and I think Spot knew it as he responded in kind.
After that, I worked with him, trained him in dressage, took him into shows and we did very well as a team. I never ever saw that “bad” side of Spot.
One day I was coming to the stable and found out that another trainer was also training Spot as a Roping horse. He was training him to chase calf, start and stop quickly, and everything else a horse needs to know for those events.
However, Spot didn’t like this trainer and he made sure he knew it. Turns out, the day I showed up, before I got there, Spot had thrown this other trainer. Not only did he throw him, but he waited until the guy stood up and Spot reared up and came down with both of his front hooves onto the man’s shoulders.
Then when the trainer was on the ground, he kicked him and bit him as often as he could before someone came over to rescue the man.
It was a big deal!
After all was said and done, the truth came out that this trainer had been beating Spot with a 2×4 board in the head, a metal shovel, and had taken a chain to his ear twisting it as hard as he could to teach Spot how to stop quickly. He terribly abused Spot and Spot had had enough.
When I saw Spot, he came running over to me and was shivering and shaking in fear and his ear had been ripped almost completely off. He was terrified and bleeding.
Longer story short…
I had to make sure Spot was safe, so I took him into my care and he became my horse for the rest of his life. There was no way I’d let anything bad ever happen to him again. He had been through enough. And I’m sure Spot knew what I did.
I didn’t have my own horses at this time in my life because I didn’t have a place to keep them and was living in an apartment. I was not looking, nor was I ready for a horse. But Spot needed me and I was the right person for him at the right time.
And he blessed my life until he passed at 34 years of age. He was my heart horse and I knew it the second I met him.
My life would not be the same without him and he taught me so much. I miss him terribly.
By the way, after I purchased him, I changed his name to JAZZ. We had lots of fun and adventures together.
So, what’s your story? I’d love to hear it. Please let me know in the comments section, or just in response to this email… how did you meet your horse?
I like to chat with the students who take my courses and hear their stories and adventures.
I often notice so many similarities and beautiful stories. I also love to see how they decide to implement and integrate the concepts I teach.
They all inspire the heck out of me.
You inspire me.
I watch from a distance as you transform your horse and your life with horses.
I love to hear from you as you become a force for good and love and empowerment for yourself and others.
It keeps me motivated.
And when I watch people who decided it was time and ran with what I’ve helped them to see in themselves and their horses, I am totally rejuvenated and ready for more.
Seeing what I teach in action is one of the reasons I can’t stop.
I know what has worked for me and so many others. And I love to watch you work it.
Those who have had massive success from the concepts I teach are not special.
I am not special.
We just decide to continue to move forward daily, even when it’s hard or uncomfortable, or when it looks like it’s not working. We keep trying because of the love we have for our horses and the desire to get it right for them.
The truth: Life is good, and horses are good for you. The universe is on your side and when your heart is in the right place, the forces of good in this world want to make your dreams come true, especially when you decide that this is what you truly want.
Only you can make this your best year yet.
Only you can decide that you will not wait one more day, month or year to make a difference with your horse.
Your dreams were given to you for a reason.
It is time for you to believe in your gifts, follow your heart, and show up for those who need you.
As always, if you need or want any assistance reaching your dreams, check out my online programs or just contact me via email or Facebook.
I first saw a photo of my horse as a 2 year old in a breed magazine. I wasn’t looking for a youngster as I didn’t have the skills or setup to take one on, however I just kept coming back to the photo. After several weeks I asked a friend if he would help out with a youngster if I went to see the horse and liked him. He agreed to help. The horse was 2150 km away on the other side of the country. I flew up there to check him out and somehow just liked his brain – he was the ugliest 2 year old! I decided to buy him and have been on one heck of a learning journey since. When his paper work came through it turned out we had the same birthday! My friend broke him in after a year and that wasn’t as good an experience for the little horse as it could have been. He is the most sensitive horse I have ever had to deal with and I have spent a lot of time on establishing the relationship and negotiating with him to keep him on side. He resents any request that is made too firmly, and I have had to improve my riding skills considerably. If I don’t ask for something correctly he isn’t going to fill in for me. At times I just have to think something and it will happen. I joke that if he lives long enough I will learn to ride him. The trainer I work with a few times a year said he is one of the most sensitive horses and that he is lucky to have an owner who recognises this and takes it into account. It would be just too easy to “pressure cook” him and no doubt there would be a wreck. It is such a joy when he comes trotting up to me in the paddock and will follow me to the gate without a halter. Owning and having a relationship with such a horse is s self-development course! I often wonder what was really going on when I kept looking at that photo, trying to avoid following up on the advert. The universe has its ways of connecting us.
That is a beautiful story. I’m so glad you have figured it out together as partners. ❤️
Well, I had sold a horse as I couldn't afford to keep him (one of my part time jobs had finished and it took me ages to find another one) so I was riding a friends horse several times a week for a year and a half. I was attending a two weeks Living Wisdom course (life skills) and realised that I was ready to save for another horse. I had decided I would stop riding my friends horse, (was no longer as enjoyable to ride as it once had been), save the money I contributed for it's care and lease a horse in a year's time.
There was a horse across the road from our grazing that I had had my eye on for 4 years but was never in the position to buy it. It was a beautiful buckskin. I discussed with the owner (someone I knew) whether she would allow me to pay her off over a year, and if so, could I trial her. She said yes to both. I trialed her for a few weeks but found her quite forward and realised that other people riding her (friends kids) would struggle with her in the arena, so I gave her back. A few weeks back I had noticed a beautiful chestnut mare on trademe for $5000. When I looked again the price had dropped to $3500. Then it said 'offers" as the owner was moving away for a job, so I rang. We negotiated $2500 on the phone and I went up to see her. What a gorgeous horse. I went up twice over the weekend. The first day I took a friend up. We both enjoyed our ride. The next day I rode her and she was all over the place, shying at everything in sight. I said I wasn't able to buy her based on that ride. Would they allow me to trial her? Initially the answer was no, but by the end of the day, I was given permission to trial her. I had her for two weeks and paid for her on the 23 Dec 2015.
The interesting thing is that other people tried her and chose not to buy her. Even on the Sunday morning apparently someone came to ride her and chose not to buy her (I went back in the afternoon, so she potentially could have been sold before I went back for my second ride). They were all wanting to compete her as she was a great jumper. I just wanted to have fun on her.
I have always been partial to chestnuts as I had already owned two over the years before buying Sahara. She is the horse that has taught me to slow down and smell the roses. She is truly a special horse. Very gentle. She was 7 when I bought her. She is now rising 13. She is my last horse. I hope to have her until she goes to horsey heaven. 🙂
Sarah, obviously she was doing a trial of her own with the people that came out. And she chose you to be her owner and the match was made. 🙂 I love stories like that. Thank you for sharing.
I love this story, Teddie. Very heart warming. What a special horse.
He has been and will always be the love of my life.