This little mare was my #2 horse. She was my first horse's baby, probably # 6 foal or something. Her daddy was supposedly a son of Poco Bueno. That's a straight line to the big guy. She was born in August of '64, when I was gone. About 12 years later I repossessed her and enjoyed her spirit and willingness until I had to sell her 5 years later. She was your typical little bitchy mare and I loved every minute of her attitude.
She never had the chance to reach her potential, yet she was a fine, flashy ride. She turned heads when we rode along the roads. I still miss her.
I was up in Monterey last week and had the pleasure of visiting my friend who is riding a beautiful Hanoverian mare for a woman. This is one of those perfect examples of a very well trained horse with abilities that have been tapped beyond Dressage. She has not exactly reached her potential but has had every opportunity to with wonderful schooling. She is jumping and showing and enjoying life at a lovely barn. I watched her float through transitions.
Of course reaching potential is not what owning a horse is supposed to be. You should be able to enjoy your horse without keeping it in training, trying to find everything the horse is capable of doing. Sometimes just keeping them healthy and happy is enough.