Friday, April 9, 2010
Yes her name is Strip
About 15 years ago, I took my sister Julia's horses in training, 2 thoroughbreds and one High Spirited Witch of an Arabian. I know that to refer to ones horse as a witch seems a little mean, but she was not my horse at the time and quite frankly she was. My sister wanted to sell her and asked me to work with her. It took several rides for her to figure out that I was not coming off and that she couldn't outlast me or make me mad, no matter what she did, I just laughed and kept on riding until she gave up and did what I wanted. After that she and I would work in the arena, smoothing out her dressage and improving her fence work and then we would head out to the trails for what one person described as some of the most harrowing trail rides they had ever been on.
About 3 months later I was sitting on her in the arena messing around sticking my fingers in her ears and pretending to choke her while she stood calmly and happily as my sister watched in amazement. She couldn't believe the change in the mare and how she seemed happy to let me do just about anything to her. It was that day that Julia gave me Strip, who was nothing I ever wanted in a horse. She is mare, she is grey, she is only 15 hands and she is an Arabian. Being a jumper trainer, I always liked big dark, geldings of the thoroughbred variety and this little crazy mare was not what I had in mind, but she did get me thinking about the trip. After all, Arabians are endurance horses and she was very strong and spirited and after we established who was going to make the decisions in our relationship, very loyal. So I thought that maybe one day we could head out on a great adventure together.
Its been over 14 years now that we have had each other and I would never give up my angel, for while she might be an evil wicked girl to all my students, dropping them on the ground at will, she is her mama's heart and has proven herself too many times to count to be the equine equivalent of a soul mate. The last few years for me have been difficult both personally and professionally. The economic hardships have hit the equestrian industry hard and I have felt the impact myself and about 3 years ago had to have surgery and I am only now starting to feel like I can get back to my normal condition. I have lost some of my focus and passion, but she has always been there for me, waiting to take that trip. So in about a month we leave, off on another harrowing trail ride together, just as it should be.