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Post by dizzy on Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:25 am

Don't know if there's still anyone on the board that has horses or not, but I noticed it's been almost a year since anyone posted in this section of the forum. So, I thought I'd post some stories on my horses since they're the mane animals in my life. (And yes, mane and tails are spelled wrong, but it is on purpose.)

For as long as I can remember, I've been a horse nut. For those that don't know, horse people are not like other people. And, most people cannot understand the feelings that we have for our horses. I know my parents never understood. They thought that horses were just a phase I was going thru and that I'd outgrow it. So, I never really had the opportunity to be around horses as a child.

To be fair, there wasn't really any place near us where I could have ridden or taken lessons. Plus, I doubt that we could have afforded it. My father worked in a factory and my mom was a stay at home mom. There was no money for extras. Every year, we'd have a big vegetable garden, and my mom would put up what she could from it. To give us spending money from the time we were young, all 4 of us-my 2 older brothers, my older sister and I-had paper routes. I started subbing for my older siblings when I was 8, and had my own route by the time I was 10. My bike was my horse. I had a piece of string tied to the handlebars for reins and in my imagination, we'd go galloping over the western plains hot in pursuit of cows. My dad had build a play house for us, and I was the one that played in it the most. In my mind's eyes, that was my cabin. I had some bricks and flat stones for a "fireplace", and had made a rickety table and chair. If I could have figured out how to make a cot, I would have done so. I spent what time I could in there daydreaming about moving west and marrying a rancher.

I'm not sure how old I was when I went horseback riding w/the church. I know I had to still be in grade school since it was w/the junior youth group. Not too long after that, my parents took me riding. I think I had the same horse both times. This was the only time they did so. The horses very calmly walked out to where they could not be seen from the barn-and stopped dead. Nothing we did could get them to move-until our time was almost up. Then they very calmly started to walk again, back to the barn. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised that they never took me again. But, I did not get discouraged. Every Christmas and every birthday I asked for a horse. It didn't matter that we lived in town. There was an empty lot down the street from me, and I knew it was big enough for a horse. I knew nothing about zoning laws so even if I had gotten my horse, I doubt I would have been able to keep it there. I read every story book I could get on horses. I dreamed about the day I'd have my own horse and, while I can't really draw anything else, I could draw a horse head fairly well. What I didn't know until I got older was that the horse heads I was drawing were Arabians. They had the dished face and arched neck of the Arabians, but I didn't know that.

OK, that's it for tonight. Not sure when I'll post the next installment.

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Post by Sonshine on Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:31 am

Can't wait for the next installment. I have always loved horses and dreamed on one day owning a few. Unfortunately we never lived anywhere that had enough land for a horse. We did get a pony for a while when I was about 10. She was an old Shetland pony and was a very stubborn critter. We lived in a house on a hill and at the bottom of the hill was a 4 lane highway. We didn't have a barn, so she was kept in an old garage. For some reason my Mom was scared half to death of that pony. One day Midnight (our pony) managed to escape the fenced in yard and made her way to the highway. My Mom had to go get her. So, Mom managed to get a halter on her and started leading her back home, but Midnight started getting closer to Mom than Mom was comfortable with. Mom started speeding up, which of course made Midnight speed up too. They ended up running up the hill with Mom yelling for us kids to get in the house. Mom runs and jumps on our picnic table trying to get away from Midnight, all the while, never releasing the harness. My older brother finally took pity on her and took control of Midnight. It was one of the funniest sites watching my Mom running from this pony, with the reins firmly in her grasp.

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Post by dizzy on Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:05 pm

That must have been funny to watch! Laughing And, I was in my 40s B4 I ever got my first horse, but that's a tail for another day.

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Post by Sonshine on Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:17 am

Well, I'll be 55 in November and I'm afraid my horse riding days are over due to health issues. I loved riding horses. I had always ridden western style. Then we moved to New Hampshire and a friend of mine invited me to go riding with her. I was shocked when I saw that the saddle was different from any I had ever seen before, but I figured a saddle was a saddle, so I climbed up on the horse and started to ride. The horse wasn't behaving normal though. I'd pull the reins to the right and the horse just shook his head. I'd pull the reins to the left and again the horse just shook his head. My friend said, "I thought you said you could ride." To which I assured her I had ridden most of my life but the horse didn't seem to want to do what I wanted it to do. That was the day I learned that English riding was different than Western. I never did get the hang of controlling the horse with my legs.

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Post by dizzy on Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:03 am

Well, here's installment #2-Summer camp

When I was in the 6th grade, I got to go to summer camp for a week! (OK, not really a week, but close enough.) There was another girl from the church that was also going to camp, so we went to the same one-Camp Sandy Cove. I got to work on 3 things that I had always wanted to do, canoe, archery and horse back riding! I don't recall having any riding experience other than those 2 times a couple of years B4 B4 I went to camp. I don't recall if we rode everyday or not, but it was only 1 activity. And, during this time we also learned how to saddle a horse, groom a horse, and learned the parts of the horse as well as the saddle. I think we only had an hour total for all of this at a time.

Towards the end of the week we had to demonstrate what we had learned in order to get an award. I had no trouble w/the parts of the horse, saddling, etc that was easy. And, I really wasn't expecting any trouble w/the riding. But what I wasn't expecting was that they were going to ask me to canter by myself across a field! Keep in mind, I had been riding for less than a week! And, I really don't think I was ready for that-I just didn't have that kind of control over the horse.

We started out well, then the horse realized I didn't have the greatest control over it-and it headed for the barn! There was a fence between us and the barn. I don't recall if the horse jumped the fence, or if it just jump a post that they used for a "gate" and was out at an angle. I just remember we jumped. How I managed to stay on, I don't know but I did. But, I also didn't get the award.

I knew one person w/a pony and asked her to give me some lessons. She did, so I learned a bit more-including how to post. The next year I paid my own way to summer camp and once again took horseback riding, canoeing and archery. That year, I had no trouble controlling the horse, in fact they thought I took lessons and rode English. And, I got my award. They had one horse there I would have loved to have owned, a gaited pinto. I tried to talk my parents into buying her, but no luck. Sad

A couple of years later, I worked for the summer w/CEF. We had training school at a local Christian camp. And, they had horses there for the summer camp. Every free period I had, I was down at the stables helping as much as I could. And, as a result, I got to go riding some. None of the other kids went and helped, so none of them got to ride.

OK, that's it for tonight, next time I'll probably talk about JB.

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Post by dizzy on Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:06 am

Almost forgot to say, I've ridden in an English saddle 2xs. The only thing I liked about it was how close I felt to the horse. I have learned some about English riding and have found that even w/my western saddle, I can still use it. Eventually I want to learn how to ride in an English saddle because I want to learn how to jump.

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Post by Sonshine on Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:10 am

I couldn't get use to using my legs to get the horse to turn. I would push in with my leg AND pull on the reins. I'm sure I had the poor horse thoroughly confused. Smile

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Post by dizzy on Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:14 am

I've done that sort of thing myself.

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Post by dizzy on Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:02 am

JB

My Mom's Dad was a preacher and church planter. I'm not sure when they moved up to PA and started the church up there, but I always loved going to visit them. Some of my best memories are from my visits to them. They lived on a winding country road near Orangeville. I don't know when they started doing it, but the neighbors down the street boarded a horse and 2 pinto ponies. And, the owner didn't mind if I messed w/the ponies! One was a smaller pony, the other, about 13.2 hh, just the right size for me to ride. So, when we visited my grandparents, I'd spend at least part of my time down the street on JB's back.

JB was the closest I got to owning my own pony when I was a kid. I spent many a happy hour on his back. And I normally didn't have any problem w/him. The first time I fell off of a horse was off of JB. The saddle slipped and I went off. I got back on.

Another time, we were riding near the pond and I decided to walk him in the water. I didn't know back then that farm ponds were normally dug and that they dropped off real quick! Next thing I knew, we were swimming! He was wet. His saddle was wet. I was wet. My shoes were wet, but I wasn't daunted. I rode up to the barn, took off the saddles and my shoes and hopped on him bareback and barefoot. And, I had my 2nd fall of a horse when I tried to trot. I got back on.

One day, I was told that if I ran up behind JB, I could spring up on his back like they did in the movies. So, I tried it. And sure enough, if I had him heading down hill I could!

Normally JB wasn't any problem to ride. I can think of only 2 times when he ever did anything. The first time was when my older sister decided she wanted to ride. I never thought to close the barn door since JB never went for the barn when I was riding. Well, he did this time! I went running just in time to see her get scrapped off. At least she didn't get hurt.

The 2nd time he acted up scared me. It was when my Grandfather died. After his funeral, the majority of the grandkids were down at the neighbors. And I, of course, was on JBs back. One of my cousins wanted to get on w/me, so I put her in front of me. She was a few years younger, and much smaller so I didn't think it would be a problem. To this day, I don't know what happened. I don't know if she pulled back on the reins, if he didn't like being ridden double or what. All I know is that he reared up. I was fine, I had a good grip w/my knees and I wasn't going anywhere. Then I realized-he was coming over! To this day, I'm thankful that I was riding bareback. I jumped off, and pulled my cousin off. He fell over backwards, and hit our legs. I don't recall if he landed on us or not. I don't know if my cousin has ever ridden again. Her father died just a few years later, and we basically lost contact w/his widow and the kids. Once I stopped shaking, I did get back on.

I never knew the man that owned JB. I met him 1x, and that's it. But, I've always been grateful to him for allowing me to ride and to pretend for a bit that JB was my own pony.

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Post by dizzy on Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:57 pm

Disappointment

I never knew my father's father. He died when I was a baby. But, my grandmother did remarry a few years later. Grandpop Earl (as we called him) was always asking me about my love for horses. He's the only person I can ever recall that really encouraged me to dream. And of course, kid like, I was always expecting him to get me a horse.

Looking back now, I realize how little I knew of him. I don't know if he had any children of his own or any other grandkids. But, that didn't matter. I loved him. When I was about 12 or so, he and my grandmother decided to take a trip down south. I can't remember now if it was North or South Carolina. And, they invited me to go along. Grandpop Earl told me he'd take me horseback riding! My parents gave me permission and told me to behave and keep an eye on the prices on the menu. As I recall, I ate fried chicken basically every night! (It was the cheapest thing on the menu and was on every menu. Laughing )

The trip was a big disappointment. It rained every day. There were some periods of dry, but that was it. I never got to go horseback riding. Other than eating the chicken, I have 2 memories that stick out.

One night, they cooked hot dogs in the hotel room. They had some kind of hot dog cooker. I got sick as a dog. It was over 40 years B4 I'd buy a hot dog that wasn't at a picnic, or one I had cooked myself. The only reason I started eating them was because it was so much cheaper than a wrap if I needed a quick lunch. (Now they don't make the wrap I like, and there's no other wraps I do like, so it's the hot dog or nothing.)

The other was all these valleys smothered in vines. I know know that it was kudzu. But, I had never heard of that, nor seen anything like it. And it was years B4 I knew what it was.

It wasn't long after that that Grandpop Earl died. I hoped he would leave me the money for my horse in his will, but no such luck. So, I had to continue to hope and dream.

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Post by Sonshine on Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:23 am

Sounds like your relationship with horses did a bit of shaping the person you have become. I'm enjoying reading about your experiences. Just a word on kudzu, I grew up in IL, but both sets of Grandparents lived in the south, so I grew up seeing kudzu. It wasn't until the past couple of years that I've learned much about this vine. It has it's good points and bad points. I always get a chuckle out of people who warn others about kudzu taking over your property. Like most wild vegetation, if not controlled it will take over, and quickly, but I've lived several places that kudzu grows right up to our property line and never had it take over. I've just recently, in the past couple of years, have learned how beneficial kudzu is for animals. We actually planted some in kiddie pools, placed a fence around it and have it in our goat pen. They love it and it's healthy for them. Now I'm learning about the medicinal values of kudzu, what I'm discovering is very surprising.

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Post by dizzy on Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:22 am

I know you can bale it and use it for hay. And that even if you do have it growing on your property, if you have grazing animals, they normally have no problem keeping it under control.

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Post by mountainmama on Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:54 am

Thank you for sharing, Dizzy. I'm enjoying your horse stories. My youngest dd LOVES horses and would be thrilled if she could have one.

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Post by dizzy on Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:23 am

If you weren't so far away, I'd tell you to bring her over so she could see them. But, it's a bit far from WV to SJ.

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Post by mountainmama on Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:37 am

Every year my girls go to church camp for a week during the summer. Last year, they offered horseback riding and dd2 was over the moon to ride for the first time.

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Post by dizzy on Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:04 am

Can't say I blame her.

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Post by dizzy on Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:56 am

Trail riding and lessons

It wasn't until after I got married that I really had the time to do anything about my dream. For awhile, we only had 1 vehicle, so I didn't work. And, even after we got a second vehicle, there really wasn't any reason for me to work. So, occasionally I'd go trail riding w/one of my friends. One friend and I went just 1 time. She was taking lessons, so they gave her the more difficult horse to ride. And she couldn't handle him! So, we traded horses. First thing I did was ride him over to a tree and break off a branch. I then stripped off all the twigs and told him not to make me have to use it. I never had any trouble w/him.

Occasionally hubby would humor me by going on a trail ride w/me-normally when we were on vacation. I remember 1 really great ride. We were in Vermont and were the only people who showed up for the ride. The leader realized very quickly that we had some riding experience so we stayed out longer than the normal hour. I think she enjoyed the ride as much as we did.

3 times, I started to take lessons w/someone. First time, I had 3 lessons. Each lesson it was on a different horse. According to her, I was a natural and she figured that in 6 months, she would not be able to teach me anything else. Only problem being, it was much easier to sue someone if you got injured on a horse back then. People would say they could ride, she rent them a horse and they'd get injured and sue her. She finally got to where she couldn't afford the insurance any more, so that was the end of my lessons.

2nd time was when my son was younger. He wanted to take lessons. Back then, there weren't a lot of people doing lessons-or at least I didn't know where to find them other than in the phone book. I finally found a place, but it was a drive. So I also took lessons. This was from a couple. Then, the husband's work schedule changed and they had to stop.

3rd time was a couple of years later. I found a place much nearer home. But, I could only afford to take the lessons every other week. At one point in time, the instructor dropped all but 3 of his students. I don't recall now why he did. The only ones he kept were those that he thought showed any promise. I was one that he kept. I couldn't take lessons all year long because I had gone back to school and it was impossible to find the time when college was in session. The next year they called, wanting to know if I was interested in leasing a horse. As much as I would have loved to have, I had to say no. I needed an operation, and summer was the only time that I could get it done. There wasn't a long enough break during the winter since I was looking at 3 weeks recovery. What I didn't know was that it would be several years B4 I was ever able to get back on a horse and that my whole life was going to change.

OK, that's enough for tonight.


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Post by Sonshine on Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:38 am

What a cliff hanger! Now I'm really looking forward to the next installment of your story.

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Post by dizzy on Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:20 pm

Good! That's what I wanted. Laughing

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Post by Sonshine on Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:10 am

Well, you succeeded. Smile

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Post by dizzy on Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:09 am

OK, since we don't have any hurricanes or Nor'Easters in the forecast, I can hopefully add this next section!

August 18, 1998
There are some dates in history that people know. Dates like July 4th, Pearl Harbor Day, D Day, 9/11, etc. All of these dates are important, historical dates. For me, that date is August 18, 1998.

I was camping w/my children at a local state park. (I was going to say my kids, but I didn't want anyone to think I was camping w/a couple of goats! Laughing ) We needed a couple of things from Wally World, so we got in the car and left. I promised them that I'd get them a special treat. Well, we never got the treat. We had to merge onto a 4 lane road. This road was fairly busy, and we had to wait for a bit. Finally, there was a break in traffic. I started to pull out when someone changed lanes, so I had to stop.

Now, in order to see what was coming, I had to twist in my seat and wait. Finally, there was another break in traffic. I got my foot off the brake-but never got it on the gas. And, I still twisted to look down the road. As you may have been able to guess, I was rear ended. The person's excuse? They thought I'd already left.

At first glance, this was not a bad accident. There was less than $1000.00 of damage to the car. But, I wasn't so lucky. Because of my position, I hit my left knee on the door. All my weight went on my right wrist, then I was jerked back by the shoulder strap. At first, I didn't feel any pain, but by the time the cops got there, I was in pain. I basically hurt all over. Because I had my kids, I turned down a ride in an ambulance. (I'll admit to not thinking the clearest.) I did make an appointment w/my chiropractor for as soon as I could get in.

In that split second, my life changed. If I had been sitting straight, my injuries would have been minimal. But instead, life as I knew it changed. Chiropractor sent me to both an orthopedic surgeon and an neurologist. I was faced w/the possibility of several surgeries. And, since I had already had 5 in my lifetime, I really didn't want any more if I could help it. But eventually, I did have 3 surgeries.

But, the worst injury was something that no surgery would fix. I was left w/nerve damage to my right leg. From my knee down, it constantly tingles. I've gotten used to it over the years so it normally doesn't bother me-unless I over do it. But I also found that most of the things that I loved to do were things I was no longer able to do. I could no longer take long walks. I could no longer ice skate. I've always wanted to learn how to ski, but that's now something I'll never learn how to do. I always wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail-not all at once, but split up over a few years. I'll never do that.

I'll admit that it didn't seem fair. I was already battling the Meniere's, and it didn't seem fair that God would allow something else in my life. But, He promised that all things work together for good for those that love Him. I just couldn't see past the bitterness and depression that at times threatened to overwhelm me.

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Post by Sonshine on Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:17 am

I also have nerve damage. Mine affects my back as well as both legs. I wish mine was just the tingling. Instead mine feels a lot like a toothache that the nerves are exposed. I also have some pretty erradict twitches in both legs, so I no longer drive. But, as you said all things work together for the good to those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose. He also promises he won't allow us to go through more than we can bear.

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Post by dizzy on Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:26 am

Just now getting a chance to update this, so here's the next installment.

The Ride.

The neurologist I saw after the accident recommended horseback riding for therapy. But, I was afraid to try. After all, if I didn't try, then I could still dream. But, there was the fear that this would be just one more thing I could not do. But then one day I woke up and I HAD to ride. I knew of one place in the area where I could go for a trail ride, so I called them up. I explained to them what I was dealing with and asked about riding. They assured me that they'd give me a gentle horse and the guide wouldn't go any faster than a walk, so w/fear and trembling I went.

Getting on the horse was a big step for me. W/in 5 minutes I knew a few things. First off, it felt good to be back on a horse. 2ndly, I could still ride-my horse was lagging and I was able to get it into a trot to catch up w/the guide. And lastly, it HURT! From my hip all the way down to my foot, my leg hurt. But, the pain was not unbearable so I was hoping I'd be able to work thru the pain.

The guide stuck to the plan and we were just walking. At this point, the ride was along the edge of some woods. Then it happened. His horse spooked. I'm not sure what caused it to spook, whether it was because of a branch that was sticking out, or if it heard something or what, doesn't matter. And, he ended up on the ground! He didn't lose his reins, so he's on the ground trying his hardest to get this horse back under control. But, the horse had it's head up and was pulling, trying to get away. Finally, he couldn't hold on any longer and the horse went running for the barn.

During this time, the horse I was riding didn't just stand there. It also acted up. But, I was able to get it under control and get it to stand still. Now, the "expert" was on the ground, horseless and the "novice" was still in the saddle. He looked up at me and says, "I need to take your horse and go and get mine." So, I dismounted. He got on and took off. As soon as he was out of hearing distance, I laughed my head off. He finally came back, on foot, leading both horses. We both got back on and resumed the ride. But for me, this ride was a break thru. I now knew I could still ride. I was sore, but not too bad. Now was the time to move on.

dizzy

Posts : 4019
Join date : 2012-09-21
Age : 58

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Horse Tails or How God Answers Prayers. Empty Re: Horse Tails or How God Answers Prayers.

Post by dizzy on Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:27 am

OK, next installment for your reading pleasure.

The Call

After taking that ride, my desire to own a horse was back full force. But, it seemed like an unattainable dream. Then the call came.

My brother's SIL and I had gone to college together. We were adult students, and while I was a year ahead of her and in a different area of study, we were quite good friends. This was a 2 year school. I graduated, and transfer to a 4 year school. She graduated and went to work. Basically, life just kind of caught up w/us and we drifted apart. About the only time we saw each other was at family get togethers at my brother's. Then I got a call from her. Her words? "I got a horse B4 you did." Needless to say, I was excited, but she didn't know how to tell me how to get to the farm from my house, so we met at a local diner that was kind of between our 2 houses, then I followed her to the farm. And this is the beginning of my life w/horses.

The horse that she had was actually one that she was leasing, an appaloosa named Cody. A few months after that, she got her own horse. By then, it was spring. My hubby and I talked it over, and the decision was made for me to lease Cody instead! And while I still wanted my own horse, I knew I wasn't ready for one. This gave me an opportunity to learn about horses and to ride all I wanted. And, the price wasn't that bad. Plus, she was a calm horse, which meant I could put my kids on her if I wanted to. There was just one problem w/her-she was hard to catch.

dizzy

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Age : 58

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Horse Tails or How God Answers Prayers. Empty Re: Horse Tails or How God Answers Prayers.

Post by dizzy on Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:22 am

It's been a long time since I posted on here, but I actually have some time, so figured I'd add another installment.

The Prayer

One day, I went out there to ride, and it was basically impossible to catch Cody. After all, she was in a 9 acre field, and could move a lot quicker and easier than I could. I was getting quite frustrated, but wanted to ride. The farm owner, RU, noticed the problem I was having. By now, she knew that I could ride just about any horse on the property, so she told me to catch her Arabian, Tami, and ride her. So, I did.

The difference between the 2 was unbelievable. Cody was calm and a plodder. Tami was spirited, but not uncontrollable. Plus, she was shorter, so she was easier to get on. (I'll admit to not liking to ride anything over 15 hands) I loved the different feel of her. From then on, if I couldn't catch Cody, I'd grab Tami and ride her instead.

And, Tami was a much better looking horse than Cody. For those that aren't familiar w/Arabs, there's a grace and beauty to them that isn't found in any other breed. (IMO) Plus, she was my favorite color. I've heard people call this color sorrel, I've heard others call it chestnut. For those that aren't familiar w/horse colors, imagine a horse the color of a new penny.

There was just one problem w/riding Tami. It really made me want my own horse, but I didn't think I was ready. Plus, summer was coming to a close. I talked to RU, and decided that at the end of October, I'd stop leasing Cody. I had no idea what kind of winter we were going to have, and figured I'd wait until spring, then see about leasing her again. The end of October came and went.

One day, I had an overwhelming desire to pray for my own horse, so I did. I prayed very simply for a chestnut, Arabian horse. I told no one of my prayer, but left my request in God's hands. I knew what I wanted, but didn't know if it was His will or not.

Shortly after this, a story broke about a raid by the SPCA on a nearby farm. The guy had a whole herd of Arabs, and he wasn't caring for them properly. They were looking for volunteers to come and help w/the horses. It wasn't far from my house, so I went to help. The condition of those horses nearly broke my heart. Many of them looked like walking skeletons w/skin over them. He didn't own a tractor, so the fields were all overgrown w/weeds. The horses were so hungry that they had taken to eating the stalls. And, since they hoped to get the horses away from him, I signed up to adopt one if the need were to arise. I wondered if this was how God was going to answer my prayer-especially since there was a chestnut or 2 in the herd.

dizzy

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Age : 58

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