My First Horse
She was considered a "grade mare" or even a funny looking stage-coach horse by the other barn girls. We all decided she was a cross between a Belgian and a Quarter Horse. I didn't care what she was. I just wanted to be with her as much, as often, and as long as I could. I laughed along with my girlfriends as she extended her trot and refused to break into a nice collected canter. It tickled me to pieces that she would stand calmly as we girls talked our teen aged gossip and their thoroughbreds fidgeted and balked. Holly would do just about anything I asked, and I asked her to perform more like a $1000 horse than a $100 auction horse. She was a field horse, not a barn beauty. She was sound as a dollar and there were only two times we asked the vet to look at her. The first was when we pulled a 4 inch rusty nail out of her right fore and the second was when we asked the vet to stick his arm all the way into her to find out if she was pregnant. The nail produced no after effects and the pregnancy test produced a black filly some months later.
Holly jumped everything I pointed her at, and with her big gullumping stride we covered lots of ground in the hunt field. The one hunt class I entered her in was a disappointment due to 8 of us going clean and only 7 ribbons presented. It was beyond the judge to give us a nod as all the expensive horses circled around at the trot. We were the one team excused. It certainly wasn't Holly's fault, or even mine. We had practiced and practiced. It was more a sign of the times where the long and lovely horses were worshipped and the warm bloods were still considered plough horses.
To consider selling Holly to upgrade to a fancy horse was never a possibility, financially or emotionally. Holly was my horse. She was MY horse. I was her girl. We ate lunch together, her grazing on fresh spring grass while I sat backwards and used her big butt to spread out my sandwich and chips.
I learned some valuable life lessons with this mare. I learned alot about myself. She probably taught me more about patience than anything else in my life ever did. And she taught me to know that the nicest looking horse in the barn isn't necessarily the best.