Friday, February 5, 2016

Love Is In The Air

Valentine's day is just around the corner, in case you didn't know. Personally, I find it an incredibly dumb holiday and Bangor and I plan on making dinner at home, watching a movie and avoiding everyone else like true hermits. I'm excited.

All the advertising and valentine fervor got me thinking about things though.

You know, stuff, and things.

Everyday, I write down something that is meaningful, or something that I appreciate. Yesterday I wrote down simply, "Bacardi".

And no not the alcohol.

I mean my horse.

And then I thought back to a year ago today and how much I truly DISLIKED my horse.


I  don't think I have admitted this openly before, but I now realize I didn't enjoy him a year ago, when I'm honest with myself.

Fake smile (he almost killed me on this ride, literally)
I dreaded the thought of riding him and absolutely hated it, he was awful on the ground, shredded his blankets (still does), destroyed his hay and bedding every night, broke through fences, wouldn't load, wouldn't let me halter him, hated things on his legs, hated being brushed, hated being touched in general, I hated the thought of dealing with his attitude, spooks, bucks, bolts, rearing and general sass, and he was a giant pain in my ass. I didn't enjoy any of it. None.

Was not fun
I kept telling myself to just be patient and wait it out, but I rode him with tears in my eyes, everytime and I began to question if it was worth it. Over and over I questioned my ability as a caretaker, owner and rider and why this horse simply was not connecting with me. It was tragic and I hated it.

Perhaps it wasn't meant to be like I had hoped.

I knew it wouldn't be as magical or as easy as my love and connection with Yankee, but I have never met a horse I DREADED riding and almost hated. It was truly horrendous and I questioned everything I knew about everything. It was a relatively dark time.

Fast forward to a approx 6 months ago.

For the first time in almost 2 years, Bacardi nickered to me as I walked in the door.

My heart literally exploded with joy. He was recognizing me as HIS person. This was amazing. This incredibly hard headed, nervous, delicate, talented, wonderful gelding was calling out to me and it melted my heart.

I started to feel something for him. He wasn't just another pretty face in the barn he was MINE.

Then, he really started to improve under saddle.

Nothing magical happened, I simply moved to a different barn with an indoor arena.

Who knows if this was the answer, but it worked. Nothing changed besides the location. Same grain, same hay, same supps, same level of care.

I tried not to focus too hard on the fact that he was doing so well outside of my barn walls and let it be a positive thing.

Whatever flipped his switch, I didn't care. He was connecting with me, slowly but surely.

I no longer completely dreaded riding him and actually looked forward to it! I was happy in the saddle and not as frustrated. He was improving every ride and acting more like a real, adult horse.

And here we are today.

I wouldn't say that he is my heart horse, that will always be Yankee. But I absolutely have love for this big boy now and am HAPPY  & proud to own him, not bitter and embarrassed by it.

I literally never thought I had the capacity to love another horse like I love my Yankee, but its possible!  Now, I go to the barn on days when I don't even plan on riding or don't feel well, just to see his cute face and stuff him full of peppermints. I love visiting him and hearing that soft wuffing nicker he gives me when he sees my face...literally one of the best feelings in the world. The joy I feel on his back now is incredible, simply because I didn't think I would ever get to this place. I adore this horse completely and I can't believe it.

B is my valentine, who's yours?

(PS Bangor as my human Valentine)


  1. Awwwww, this post is adorable :) Glad you and B are in a great place and that you're really working together as a team! There's a quote that goes something like, "the best horses aren't the easiest horses"....something to that extent, which I think totally suits you and Bacardi. I also really love that you write down something every day that you appreciate, what a great idea!

    Roger is definitely my Valentine, forever and always.

  2. I am so, SO happy for you and B! Your posts lately just make me smile - you have fought long and hard for this partnership, and it's just amazing how much progress you've made with this horse!

  3. Awwwww! All the feels! That moment when your horses recognizes you and nickers is just the bets. Riley knows the sound of my voice and it still warms my icy cold heart when he picks his head up and saunters over from across the field. All the blood, sweat and tears have really paid off for you guys!

  4. aww yay Bacardi! his transformation from last winter really is remarkable <3

  5. I've totally been there with one of mine! My heart is happy that it turned around for you!

  6. :-) It can be such a process. Glad you guys are in a much better place together (and I don't think you're going to die every time you ride now, yay!).

  7. This post almost had me in tears. I'm so happy for you!! Even though you didn't say it out loud I kind of guessed your feelings toward B back in the day and I'm glad you stuck with him. To be honest I probably would have given up if I'd faced all the things you went through. You deserve a huge pat on the back for your perseverance and dedication. I think B's nicker was that huge pat on the back. :D

    I don't celebrate valentine's day (heck half the time I don't remember or notice it), but your plan sounds amazing from a fellow hermit haha.

  8. I LOVE that you admit to not always loving your horse. I had a horse with a bad attitude before the one I have now and it was tough knowing not every ride is enjoyable. I felt like a bad mom! perfectly said in this post though!

  9. So happy everything has turned out so well. Bridget gets to be my horsey valentine - she's grown on me so much over the past year and gets to have Best Pony status like Bacardi :)

  10. I love the feeling walking into the barn and hearing Libby nickering at me. We love our ponies, and although sometimes we hit hard times, they know how much we care for them.

  11. Ries has started turning into an old grouch. Hm. I may need to stuff him full of more cookies