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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Farley The "Wonder Horse"

Farley is becoming quite well known in this small community. On Saturday, when I rode up to have the vet check her teeth, she exclaimed, “it’s Farley the Wonder Horse!”

Now mind you, this is not my regular vet, although she works in the clinic where I take Farley for her wellness and general health stuff.

My stable owners regularly comment on how sweet she is, how she’s kind she is to fences and gates. How she lets me ride all over hill and dale, bareback and yodeling at the top of my lungs on a loose rein. The theme of the conversation is how “atypical” she is for an arab.

And then, at the dressage clinic on Sunday, a women came up to me afterwards and said with surprise “this horse did Tevis?” I responded “yes”, and then was asked whether I had tailed her up all the hills. I didn’t, explaining that I had been battling knee problems all year, as she continued to look at Farley with even more amazement since she had obviously had to carry me the entire way! I suppose that Farley does look pretty scrawny compared to the big thoroughbreds and warmbloods usually found at the dressage events.

Do I think Farley is a very special horse? Absolutely. But I don’t think she’s necessarily exceptional in any of the ways I think most of her “fans” think she is.
  • I think Farley is good on fences and gates because she has a job and doesn’t have the time to be bored.
  • I think that short horses are more studier for more miles and harder miles, and therefore 14.1 hands is the perfect size for a Tevis horse, or an endurance horse (especially when the rider is only 5’1!)
  • I think with a bit of luck, a rider that has a willingness to learn and a stubborn streak, coupled with an “average” willing horse – almost any duo can do the miles required in endurance.
  • I think any horse, (even arabs….) become calm and trustworthy when handled consistently and are given a job that they understand and enjoy.

How is Farley exceptional? Farley is exceptional to ME because she takes care of me when I can’t take care of myself, whether emotionally or physically.

What brings tears to my eyes when I think of Farley is not the many many many hours and miles we have together. Nor is it her accomplishments over the last 3 years which are many.

  • It’s how she got me through my first 100 mile completion, even as I was passing out, sick, and so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
  • It’s how she lets me hop on bareback and wander around when I’m having a bad day.
  • It’s how she took matters in her own hands/hooves at the end of Tevis to make sure we both got through safely.
  • It’s how she lets me cuddle with her two or three times a day as work continues in a down spiral.
  • It’s how she puts a smile on my face E.V.E.R.Y. time I climb on her back, no matter how bad my day is.
  • Its how she helps me go to sleep at night – lately my eyes and brain won’t shut off, until I focus on the rhythm on her canter when I ride bareback.

This is why she is my special, exceptional, one-of-a kind horse. Do you have an exceptional horse?

I’ve made a decision at work and followed through with it. Now it remains to be seen whether this will help or hurt, but at least it was something. And at this point, something was better than nothing. Time will tell, and in the meantime the 2/3 of my life that constitutes horse, family, friends, and boyfriend is going splendidly, so that's what I am focusing on.


  1. She sounds very special, and a great comfort when times are tough. You are right to appreciate all her excellent qualities - but the consistent treatment and work you do with her also is part of the picture.

  2. I'm pretty sure my mare is exceptional - especially the way she's bonded with my son. I was head-over-heels in love with her BEFORE she started taking such good care of my son, now it's so much more.

    I consider Estes my equine soul-mate and I get the feeling Farley is yours :)

  3. Y'know, I really think Arabs are given a bad rap. As long as they are handled and exercised properly, they are the best horses! I also have an "exceptional" Arab mare who lets me do absolutely anything to/with her, who I can put any kid on and feel safe, and who can do just about anything I ask her to. Of course I know of another one who has been spoiled her entire life and gets away with everything, and never gets ridden, and I hate dealing with that horse. She is horrible! But can you blame her?

    Glad you and Farley are doing well!

  4. I feel the same way about my horse, Harley. He has been my horse for nearly four years, but I still feel excited like a little kid when I am tacking him up and getting ready to hop on his back. The look in his eye tells me that he feels the same way. We just have so much fun together.

  5. It's funny because Minx was my soul mate. Instantly. Farley has wormed her way into my heart gradually, and it was about a year ago that I realized I would not be selling her before school like I had originally planned.

    Val - I feel EXACTLY the same way when I drive up to the stable. I can't wait, I have butterflies in my stomach and I'm literally bouncing my truck seat as I pull in the drive way.

  6. My sister had an arab that she got for next to nothing because it was "impossible". We found out about it through our faarrier, she was close to foundering as she was a 5/5 on the BCS and was too smart for her owner.
    After getting the weight off my sister had a few momnets with her where they went head to head and she had to out smart Lani, but once Lani realised that my sis was in charge, well, there was nothing she wouldn't do.
    I think the biggest problem for arabs are stupid owners - often they are smarter than their owner and can outhink them so get a repuation for being difficult.

    The only time we had issues with horses and gates/fences was when one of the new horses was cobalt deficent - and was chewing the posts for the cobalt in the tanalising compound. Sorted out the mineral issues and the proplems went. We also had 3 horses in a 15 acre paddock, so they weren't short on space.


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