Friday, April 24, 2009

THE ODD COUPLE

Jesse came to me as a gift. Kathy and I had met while playing on a bank softball team She was going back to college and could not keep up with her horse like she felt she should. She knew I was an animal fanatic, and decided to entrust me with her friend. Jesse was a seven year old, registered Quarter horse gelding that had been used to run barrels in competition. As can happen, Jesse was "ring sour" meaning he was on strike and no longer could be dragged into the ring for barrel racing. He had the stubbornness of a mule.






When Kathy posed the proposition of me becoming Jesse's new owner, I was thrilled but also scared. I hadn't ridden or cared for a horse since Trigger when I was twelve years old. There was an over 25 year horse-hiatus there. She took me to meet him and for a trial ride. Jesse was a small horse but a bunch bigger than Trigger had been. But like Trigger, to me, he was gorgeous. Unlike Trigger, he was gorgeous to all who saw him. He was a handsome sorrel, with a white snip on his forehead. Big gentle eyes assured me that all would be well. I climbed aboard my new horse and trust me, it is just like bicycle riding, you don't forget. Fear dissolved into love.






Jesse, like any herd animal, wanted a herd. None being available, I became his herd. He followed me every where. If I were gardening and started to feel around behind me for a tool, looking up I would find a garden claw dangling from Jesse's mouth as he watched me. Often as not, he would wander off with the tool which cleverly made me quit what I was doing and pay attention to him.


This is Jesse in his supervisory capacity.




His love of company showed the most if I hosted an outdoor party on my acreage. As with all parties, people gathered in groups of mutual interest or attraction. Jesse would wander from group to group, sticking his head in for all the world like he was contributing to the conversation. I know he enjoyed the company but the bigger draw were the Fritos and soft drinks. He loved them both. I once saw a poor girl who was unfamiliar and frightened of large animals, running for her life with Jesse in hot pursuit, Fritos flying everywhere. Only yelling for her to drop the bag ended the chase. That might have been the first time as an adult that I peed my pants laughing.









Knowing I could not throw daily parties to satisfy his herding instinct, I decided to get him a friend. A girl at work had a pony that her children had out grown and wanted to know if I would take him. I was thrilled but again scared. (Why do these emotions always seem to run hand in hand with me?? Think I need go to the land of Oz in search of courage.) However, if they did not get along, it could be really ugly. Still I gratefully agreed and went to meet Prince.






Aww, he was so cute. He was black and white, small and with a typical pony attitude. Ponies really do not care to be bothered and have mastered the "eye roll". He did not like having his lunch interrupted and reared up as I tried to load him in the trailer. Delighted, I realized that even "short stuff" me could man handle the little guy. What a feeling of power.


Loaded up, we took the trip home for the meeting of equines......


12 comments :

  1. I hope price has settled in and is happy at his new home. There are a lot of princes who end up in dog food so this is a kind of miracle.

    I laughed out loud reading about Jesse after the Fritos. That was funny just reading it.

    I love horses and think, next to dogs, they are as close as friendship gets between living creatures. Horses are herd animals like dogs are pack animals and as such both are social, like people. I am so happy Jesse has someone to follow and that you give him the attention is rightly deserves.

    Living in such wonderful places, so different from where I have lived, you might enjoy a look at The Hamlet of Gordon, Ohio. It is where I was born and raised and it is how small hamlets used to be and this one still exists.

    The Hamlet of Gordon

    ReplyDelete
  2. Patti, you apparently have a way with animals of all kinds! Even men...LOL

    I will wait - none too patiently - for the rest of the story. I know there is more.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh Patti, I cannot wait to here the REEEESSSTTT of the story (as Paul Harvey would say)....

    I'll bet the two of them did GREAT together... Jesse and Prince---Best Friends FOREVER....

    Thanks for a wonderful post. I love horses --but have never been around them much...
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  4. You do tell the best stories, patti. I've learned to love horses after being around my step-daughter who is a very kind and gentle trainer. I am still intimidated by them; they are so big, and I am so little. But they are also quite magnificent, good creatures. One look in their eyes says it all.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Delightful story, Patti. Can hardly wait for tomorrow's installment.

    Hope you're having a great day.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Abe,
    Thanks, Totally agree about horses. The animals used to living in groups do bond the best with humans.
    I will check out your Hamlet. One of the towns in Ohio I lived in had one traffic light 60 years ago and sitll only has one traffic light today. I adore small towns.

    kenju
    Yep, there is more. If I wern't such a long winded sort, I could tell my stories in one post. Posting too long a story I fear would cause the eyes to glaze over of my readers. Brevity was never my long suit. See ya tomorrow.

    Betsy,
    They are grand animals aren't they. Their size and strenght coupled with gentleness is wonderful. The Rest is coming.

    robin
    your step-daughter sounds wonderful. Too many trainers think you should "break" a horse by forcing them to obey your will. The Horse Whisperer fostered the kinder, gentlier approach. So glad she is an advocate and lucky you being able to witness that.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh no! Both my father and brother were hurt when we tried introducing a new horse to my horse. We ended up having to keep the horses in separate pastures. I hope you had better success!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jewels
    I see you understand why I was hesitant to accept Prince. Remember, Trigger had really been beat up when I got him. A horse is like a motorcycle,you stay around them long enough, you will get hurt. Hope your father and brother weren't hurt badly.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just read your response to me, Patti, so I went and got links to two blog posts we did on Indigo (Roger's daughter) and her horses:

    Link OneLink TwoI hope they give you some idea of Indigo's love and empathy for horses.

    ReplyDelete
  10. robin,
    Thank you so much for the links. What a beautiful place she has and you can easily see the rapport she has with the horses. Bless her for working with the mustang. Most people think an untrained horse and a wild horse are the same thing. Not even close. Was so pleased with how slow she was taking him. Thanks again

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lovely post, and... like all the rest, I am on tenderhooks for episode 2!

    Regarding the quest for the meaning of the mysterious English Jelly lumps, as far as I can work out, the nearest American equivalent would be Jell-O desserts. I don't know if Jell-O comes in lumps (like the English ones) that you dilute with boiling water, or as crystals, or in some other form!

    Out of interest (and the origin of this probably is), why is the name Arkansas, pronounced Arkinsaw? As an ancient Brit, I am very used to words being pronounced completely differently to how they look on paper, in fact..., it is probably more of a surprise when they aren't!

    Best to you, P.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Peter,
    Thanks for the clarafication on Jelly Lumps. Our Jell-o comes in crystal or powderd form, no fun there.
    I once worked with a girl from England and we had lots of fun with words and how different the meanings were for same sounding words or phrases.
    I agree, "Arkansas" is a dilly. Think it has a lot to do with the heavy southern accent spoken by the natives here. I am sure glad I don't have to learn English(or at least our corrupted version of it), as it is often an illogical language.

    ReplyDelete