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Those moments our horses make it all worthwhile...

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  • Those moments our horses make it all worthwhile...

    We all have moments as horse owners...you know the ones. Moments we question why we spend countless hours away from our families, sweating or freezing in a barn, riding 500 20-meter circles, paying board bills...farrier bills...feed bills..., spending countless hours on the Internet hunting for the best feed, supplement, training technique etc, hand walking our injured horses hoping they will one day recover, crying over this mishap or that...those moments we question why on Earth we torture ourselves. I always jokingly say I'm selling my horse and buying a 4-Wheeler. I'm going to put a mane and tail on it and ride it in 20-meter circles and down the trail...it will never go lame or get hurt or break my heart.

    But then you have these moments...those moments that make it all worthwhile. Maybe your horse takes his first perfect step in half-pass or jumps his first 3' fence or does his first lead change. Maybe it's as simple as you found a rhythm in the trot. Whatever that thing you've been striving for suddenly happens and in that moment you smile and say..."THIS is what all the blood, sweat, tears and money is for".

    I have lots of those "moments"...or honestly I wouldn't ride! Today I had one that just solidified my love of horses and why I have mine. I was REALLLLY sick and couldn't get out of bed for a week. I haven't seem my darling little pony in 8 days. Today I drove to the barn and walked in. She was in her stall eating her hay and she looked up and saw me. She screamed like she hadn't seen me in a year. I got to her stall and opened the door. She was standing there waiting for me. As I walked in I told her I had missed her and I was so sorry I had been gone. I was petting her neck and explaining I had been sick when she took her head, pushed me into her neck and wrapped it around me. She closed her eyes and squeezed me so tight. I put my arm over her head and my cheek on her cheek and we just stood there for over a minute...me wrapped tight in her neck with out heads pressed together. That was my ultimate moment in all my years of riding that said "THIS is why I pay your bills, eat Ramen noodles for a week so you can have a saddle fitting, freeze and sweat and cry. THIS is why I do it". What are your "This is why I do it" moments?
    Please excuse the typos...I'm always on my iPhone and autocorrect is not my friend. Yes I mean mares autocorrect...not mates.

  • #2
    Aw got to love those quiet moments.


    ps. hope you are feeling tons better too!
    A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!


    • #3
      I had one last week. I hadn't been out for four days because of New Years. My horse was out back in his paddock. I went back there, took his muzzle in both hands and kissed his nose and he began talking to me in that low nicker that he saves for when I've been away. Told me all about his holiday and how much he had missed me. He is the most vocal horse I've ever known. He has so many tonal inflections and it just goes on and on. Very endearing.


      • #4
        I know exactly what you mean. One of my many moments was last night. I was out feeding and I go to Zephyr's paddock with her hay bag and grain and she's standing there looking off in the distance and the phrase "Look of Eagles" popped into my head. She looks at me and touches my arm with her nose, just the slightest touch and continues looking into the distance. I wrapped my arms around her neck and gave her a hug and told her I loved her.

        Then I had a dream last night that I sold her.
        Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


        • #5
          Is somebody chopping onions in here? *sniff*

          Last night, crazy physco, afraid of everything Willow actually stepped (and stood) on a tarp. I know. Not a big deal to most, but she looked at me and I told her that she'd be fine and she stepped right on, then shoved her head into my chest for some star scratches! She's actually starting to trust me, and not see me as the person who makes her work. I'm finally starting to feel a twinge of what will be an actual REAL partnership. Finally! I thought that it would never happen, honestly. It's a huge weight off my shoulders since she's been such a challenge for almost a year.


          • #6
            For me the Why Moments lately have been on the ground, since the crapalicious weather we've been having and early sunsets make riding problematical.

            For my WB it's when he takes his nose out of his feedbucket (this one is a FoodMonster!) to nuzzle me.
            Time taken from stuffing his face is a Biggie & always makes me smile.

            For my Hackney Pony it's the fact that he is now quite the mannerly little gentleman.
            He came to me nearly 3 years ago a wild, untouchable mess.
            Now he has greatly improved ground manners and has learned to "kiss" my hand goodnight when I ask.

            So when I haul on the umpteen layers it takes to do nightcheck these days, these things are what get me out the door.
            *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
            Steppin' Out 1988-2004
            Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


            • #7
              I have one every evening when I feed... or when I put them out after a day or two in stalls... Love it... or when they nicker when they hear my voice, or nuzzle me when I give them a kiss good nite... or... or...


              • #8
                Every time when my Formerly She Who Will Not Be Bridled or Have Her Ears Touched (she used to throw her head up and I would have to get on a stool and proceed very, very slowly, calmly and deliberately) puts her head into the bridle herself, tolerates any clumsiness on my part and wants me to scratch her ears on the insides, it warms the cockles of my heart. So basically anytime I put the bridle on these days.

                And when my gelding, who was off for a tendon injury for two years (two bouts of stall rest, two rehabs), gallops around the paddock and looks as sound as a bell of brass, even if I know that he might be off again....


                • #9
                  I broke my arm Dec 8th (fell off my horse when he bucked when a flock of guinea fowl flew into him). Hadn't been to the barn since Dec 8th & Jan 4th...doc finally said I can drive.

                  I called my guys...horse stayed at the end of the field, my mule trotted up and originally had a "where have you been! look...he then looked worried and started gently nudging me and nibbling my jacket. He didn't want to leave and just stood there with his head against me. Very sweet.
                  "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


                  • #10
                    I had a similar moment with my heart horse who passed in 2001. I was crying in his stall about something or other, don't remember what, and I was standing with my back to his neck talking to someone. He wrapped his neck around me. It was so obvious that he was hugging me.

                    These moments are priceless!
                    Ride like you mean it.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by scrtwh View Post
                      I have one every evening when I feed... or when I put them out after a day or two in stalls... Love it... or when they nicker when they hear my voice, or nuzzle me when I give them a kiss good nite... or... or...

                      Whenever my little guy comes up and snuffles in my ear, or plays with my hair, or gives that happy-voice "HEY MOM!" nicker... yeah. That's the good stuff. That's why I love horses. It makes me sigh and smile and fills my soul up with good things. Our horses are really magical, aren't they?
                      Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



                      • #12
                        Tonight. It was cold and my mare and I had a great ride. I looked at my retired gelding and decided he needed some love. Let him drag me to the ring, watched him roll, watched him play with a puppy and almost stomp him!! But he was HAPPY and we enjoyed our time together.

                        A few months ago with my mare... I was having a really, really bad day and just sat on my trunk pondering life for a bit. Even though she was still not quite comfortable yet with kisses, she just kept putting her soft muzzle against my face and asking for kiss after kiss after kiss after...

                        On any given day... His loud whinny when he sees me. And her rolling moo!! (Not sure why she moos, but yes, moos are for people and whinnies are for horses.)

                        Love my beasties!!
                        Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                        • #13
                          When I hear my gelding nicker or call from his stall as I enter the barn before I can even see him. Then I get to his door, open it and those times when he just sets his head in my chest and sighs. Love that.
                          Last edited by dreaminOTTB; Jan. 7, 2013, 10:04 PM. Reason: Spelling


                          • #14
                            When I bought my current horse I could barely ride him. I switched from a horse with nice smooth gaits to one with very bouncy/springy gaits and he was still very green and wasn't good at maintaining his own balance. There was a Saturday when I had a really miserable lesson. I don't know how many times I lost my balance and crashed on his back or accidentally banged him in the mouth.

                            I knew the only way for me to get better was to continue to ride him but the last thing I wanted to do was torture my pony. I was also dealing with the fear of always feeling like I was 2 strides from falling off. On that Sunday I went out to the barn but did not have the best attitude about it. All I could think about was how I was torturing my horse and how the rides were hard on me too.

                            I went out to the pasture to get him expecting him to see me coming and turn tail and run the other way. Frankly, I would not have blamed him. He must have seen me walking to the gate because by the time I finished closing it and turned around to look for him I saw my spotted pony galloping to me. I gave him a scratch on the neck as usual and he put his head down for his halter.

                            I was practically in tears by the time I made it to the barn. He had to know I was going to ride him. How he could greet me so enthusiastically after that last ride I will never know.


                            • #15
                              What a sweet post! Mine was back in May when we soared over 18 Novice xc fences RIGHT out of stride. Didn't muck up a single distance, it was the most exhilarated I've EVER been on a horse. Fantastic, best riding day of my life, bar none!


                              • #16
                                I had one just today!

                                I got a fresh off the track TB in August. He was thin, food aggressive, and grouchy. I've spent months giving him tons of turnout, good feed/hay, supplements, gentle grooming, ulcer treatment, regular hoof care, dental care, and removal of a huge bean. Still he needed time to realize he's no longer in pain.

                                Today when I walked into his stall, he walked over, pushed his head against my chest and sighed.

                                He is a totally different horse. I knew he had it in him! I'm glad I saw that spark in his eye and took a chance on him.


                                • #17
                                  not even my horse

                                  With my horses at home, I get to have lots and lots of little quiet times with them, the nickers and nuzzles and moonlight visits and of course, horse-hugs. But I have to say one of my more special riding moments was on my first foxhunt. On top of being a total novice to hunting, I was riding a borrowed horse, and hadn't done a lot of jumping in a few years. So, for the first hour, I was out there fussing with this mare, trying to get distances and tempo right--not the easiest thing when galloping 4-abreast towards a fence. So many of the jumps felt like *work*-- we just weren't clicking.

                                  And then. We were cantering through the woods, and I was focused on not getting thwapped (too hard, anyway) by the tree branches. A large coop loomed ahead-- we were to jump out of the woods and into a wide-open field. Being distracted by branches coming at my face helped us both out, because I didn't have time to prepare for the fence, or to try to "manage" this poor saint of a foxhunter. And she just sailed over it in perfect stride, and I sailed over it in perfect balance, and me and the horse both went "There!!! YES!!" A rider who I didn't know jumped it right after me, caught my eye and smiled as we cantered off together across that field, and that was the best compliment you could ever hope for. It was this simple but totally magic moment for me.


                                  • #18
                                    Mine is every time the farrier comes or the vet is working on him he'll bury his head in my chest for the duration of the procedure. Always hits my 'awww' button.
                                    It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


                                    • #19
                                      The one that originally secured my love with horses is when my old lesson horse would run up to me in the field when I called him.

                                      Recently it is "She who shall not be caught without 20 minutes of chase time first" now comes to the gate to see me as soon as she hears the car. Course with these past two months off due to weather we'll see if she remembers who carries the treats
                                      Telling a worrier to relax is counterproductive. Then we worry about relaxing.