Monday, November 28, 2011

Challenge #4 - A horse that impacted your life

Meet Shorty, aka General Counsel

When I started riding again in my 40s, after about 15 years off, I rode school horses for a while and then was offered the lease of Shorty, a 17h TB who had retired from a career of doing the Open Working Hunters.  
Shorty taught me how to jump.... and how to fall.  You do not lean on a professionally ridden 4ft horse.  You find yourself sitting on the other side of a jump on the ground. 
I taught him about trail riding (not hard, he was pretty savvy about the world) and cross country, which he had never done and LOVED. 
I full leased him for over 6 years and loved him madly.  He retired to pasture, kudos to his owner. 

Other than being a teacher, Shorty introduced me into a world that changed me from someone who enjoyed horseback riding into being a Rider.   Although I had competed my Quarter Horses in my 20s, I was a product of backyard training, occasional advice from helpful pros and no training facilities.  I trained reining patterns on the ditch roads in Albuquerque. 

The world where I leased Shorty was a world of serious Hunter, Jumper and Eventing competitors.  
I watched pros training and teaching all day everyday.  I was riding with people who rode 5-6 days a week, year round.  When I left Shorty standing for a week one time, I received phone calls to see if I was ok and a serious chewing out on my next trip to the barn.  
I had never been in this sort of environment before and I soaked it up like a sponge.  
By the time I bought my own horse (Scotty) my thinking about my life had changed.  I defined myself as a rider.  My daily schedule included time at the barn.  The horse became a priority, not a luxury.  
Regardless of finances, or lack thereof, a horse was a necessary part of my life.  Other things could be given up to make this happen.  

Hardships have come with this shift in priorities, but I have never regretted it at all.  I am a rider and will always be.  Thank you, Shorty.


  1. What a sweet tribute to a handsome horse! And it is nice to learn more about how you became interested in riding, too. :)

  2. What a good looking guy. Very nice to hear about him.

  3. What a cool horse. Thanks for sharing him with us <3


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