Day 3 - Favorite Horse (own/lease/ride) with description about the relationship.
Well, that's easy. My favorite horse is Monty, the horse that I started this blog for and who was my everything. He was not the first horse or the only horse I ever owned but he was the one who was the most versatile and who had the most comfortable connection with me.
Monty was a Warmblood/TB cross. He came from Virginia and was originally brought to the farm where I was boarding my old mare Alta, as a sale horse for another of my trainer's (whom I've nicknamed "the Master") students to try. He watched the horse go and decided this horse was too green for her but he thought he'd be a great match for me. I still remember the phone call at work when he told me to get out to the barn and try this new horse as soon as I got off work.
I thought he was joking, I wasn't looking to buy a new horse. I still had my old, semi-retired mare and was playing catch rider with anything that needed riding. So I went and tried this big gray horse. And he was lovely. Comfortable to ride and with a willing heart. He'd canter up to any jump, and even if he stopped to peek at it, he'd then pop over. Green but so eager to please. I had 2 weeks to try him before he would be sent back to the dealer. I had no idea how I was going to afford 2 horses but he was too good a prospect to pass by.
So I sucked it up. I had some help from my folks but the bulk of it I financed with a small loan and the Master let me teach beginner lessons to defray some of the second board costs. Originally, my intention was to buy him, finish his training, get him out to the shows and sell him for some small profit. I still had Alta, who was my difficult, wonderful, wicked mare and when you spend 20 years with someone, you don't just walk away. She was still my horse, and selling Monty would have been okay as long as I still had her.
Then 2 years later, Alta died. And Monty just became my horse.
And went on to become my best horse.
My Good Horse.
Successful as a show horse, trail horse, hunter pace horse, family horse and best friend. I could TRUST him. I never could completely let my guard down with Alta, but Monty was easy. It never took me long to figure him out and he was what I called my 1,2,3 horse. If something upset him, he only needed to be encouraged to face it 3 times and it was over.
For example, if we were passing a tree and something about it spooked him, I'd encourage him calmly with my seat and voice to go forward. I'd circle around and pass it again, he'd peek, but it was more of interest at that point than fear and by the next circle past he would ignore it and keep going. Knowing this made showing him a breeze as I always knew he'd let go of something that upset him very quickly.
If you have time, browse around on my past posts on this blog and you'll see how much Monty meant to me, and how losing him took so much away. The emptiness is still there. I hope there will be another good horse and more memories for me. But it's been so damn hard.
And because I still dream, here's another "dream horse" that would be a perfect choice for me: