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.