Let me try to explain…

why I was so scared about loosing Gen when he fell on Friday.

Gen means so much to me. Not only is he my first and potentially only horse, but he is also my once in a lifetime horse. Some people ride their whole lives and never find the horse that is perfect for them. Gen is perfect in my eyes and he always will be. I love him so much.

As a horse crazy kid I always dreamed of having my own horse. I spent countless hours thinking about it and wishing and hoping. In all that time I never actually thought I would get a horse of my own. I had always leased as needed and figured that would be just how it was for the rest of my life. Sure, I would always close my eyes and dream of galloping my own horse through the field, but that was always just a fantasy.

I think every horse person dreams of having a bond with their horse that is like no other. I mean, movies like War Horse, Flicka, Black Beauty are all based on these amazing human horse connection. I tend to be a bit on the cynical side of that sort of thing. Or at least I used to be.

Then I found Gen.

Gen loved me long before I loved him. He chose me as his person. I was in grad school and couldn’t afford a horse. Gen thought otherwise. He worked hard to make me fall in love with him. He has always been better for me than he was for anyone else. Sometimes in very dramatic fashion. I think it would make anyone feel good to see a horse rearing and carrying on with someone else suddenly stop and stand like a statue as soon as they saw you. He always would always try to do what I asked of him, even when it was hard.

His personality is a perfect match for me. I like having a needy attention seeking horse who in the same breath is also very brave and never is afraid of anything. Gen trusts me implicitly and always has. Can you say the same about your horse? I know that Gen has gone against his better judgement on several occasions to do things because I want to do them.

I also know that no matter what Gen would never hurt me intentionally. Even when Gen was in a blind panic during a lesson and wanted to dump me just to get away, he wouldn’t do it. When he would be carrying on having a grand time bucking and leaping around and I would start to get unseated he would stop. I cannot tell you the number of times that he saved me from coming off, even going from being out of control to a dead stop because he wanted to take care of me. Sure, he can give me a hard time (especially when in a bad mood) but he always knows to stop before he hurts me. Even on the ground if I slip he will drop his head so I can grab his neck for support.

Gen might not care at all for himself (which is why I don’t trust him that he could just be ridden at the walk) but he has and hopefully always will care for me.

My horse loves me. In fact, I might even say that he adores me. I have been told many times that my horse is a much softer, kinder, and gentler horse when I around. That his eye changes along with his manner as soon as he hears my car.

Because he has put so much trust in me I feel like I have to make sure that he is okay. Like it is my duty.

Yes, I will admit that I panic about him more than I need too, but I can’t help it.

I almost lost him.

The thought of loosing him again is enough to bring tears to my eyes.

I love Gen.

He is perfect for me. Not only in mind, but everything about it. When I rode him it was amazing. His gaits matched me completely. We have the exact same walk. I could sit his trot like it was nothing because it fit my body so well.

I have made every big decision in my life since 2005 with him in mind. He means so much to me. It is almost like he carries my joy around with him. The only thing that I can guarantee will make my day better if it is not going right is a trip to the barn. I know that very few people will truly understand this post. Most people will think “but he is just a horse”. He might be just a horse to you, but he is not to me.

He is my proof that dreams do come true. My hope that there is a God because I have no other explanation as to how out of all the horses and people in the world we could find each other. Gen is my permission to still believe in miracles. Gen is my hope that some times things work out just the way that they are supposed to. Gen is, without a doubt, my once in a life time horse. Even retired I couldn’t imagine that there is any better horse in the world.


8 thoughts on “Let me try to explain…

  1. You’re wrong if you think your relationship with Gen is unique. Sorry. I had the same thing with Fletcher. I thought the same way as you as a kid, both that I would never get a horse of my own and that I wanted a relationship with a horse like in the movies. Although Fletch was not my first horse, our relationship was super special. Notice, too, that he was not my last horse (but he’s also not out of my life either). I’m saying this because one day Gen will be gone and I’m afraid for you because you will need to move on. Gen is not “just a horse” but he is a horse and sometimes that is how you need to treat him – for his benefit.

    • Let me start this by saying that I love you heaps! I have seen you with Fletch though and I cannot help but disagree…it is not the same. Maybe I just didn’t do a good job of putting what Gen means to me in words. I was the only person that could ride Gen. He never tolerated other people well before or after I got him. He flipped over on multiple people and hurt them. Not me though. He is and always will be my horse…and only my horse.

  2. I’m sorry but you’re wrong. You never saw me with Fletch when we were in our hay-day. Fletch was better for me than others (except maybe my trainer and even then he just did it because he had to – with me he did it because he wanted to). He would holler and carry on when he heard my car. He protected me from dangers (real or imagined). I always felt that if an ax murderer ever came to the barn that I could go into his stall and he would protect me till death. I think the difference is that you and I are different – I gave Fletch up. I understand that you can’t give Gen up. But don’t ever diminish my relationship with Fletcher.

  3. I am fortunate in that I have had TWO “forever” horses–my first one, a QH named Uncle Nestor who was “born broke” (or so it seemed) and the horse I have now, an OTTB I call Huey who is a chestnut with four white socks. I gave him his name NOT because that’s a common barn name for these big youngsters who race–I did not know until several months later that he WAS off the track–but because he looked like he outgrew his “red onesie,” like the cartoon Baby Huey who was born with his T-shirt is too small. Huey was not very trusting, but now he, like Nestor who was a sweetheart from the beginning, and Gen and Fletcher has come so far and done so very well.

    You are both VERY good stewards to your horses. In Gen’s case, caring for him, loving him, making sure everything is PERFECT for him, and his falling was a scary event. I can wager he learned from that fall and will be much more careful–not only of YOU but of that situation. We each have our own stories to tell about our “special relationships,” and while I’m not going to say mine is the same or better than anyone else’s, just understand NONE of us who owns a “forever” horse can forget the feeling we get when we arrive at the barn and they know we are there.

  4. I’ve seen you and Gen together and you do have something truly special. You are very, very lucky to have each other. I don’t know of too many people who would have made all the sacrifices you have made for him, and who would still get so much joy and be so grateful to have this horse, even when he is just an expensive, beautiful pasture ornament. You’re right. It is a miracle.

  5. The above comment sounds SO rude. OMG. Your relationship with Gen is special! It’s wonderful and heartwarming and I loved reading this entry. Is it the ONLY special horse relationship out there? No. But that doesn’t make it any less unique and AMAZING. Sheesh.

    Ozzy picked me long before I even liked him. He is my once in a lifetime horse and the horse I care about more than any other. He does things for me and with me that other people couldn’t dream of trying with him. He trusts me and I trust him. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m so glad you too have such an awesome relationship with your horse. That is part of why I love reading your blog so much.

    It’s amazing that you put your horse’s well being first and foremost and I respect that so much about you. I would never give Ozzy up. Not in a million years. His endurance career is probably over and I can’t afford another horse, but you won’t see me trading him up. His welfare comes first!

  6. I totally understand how you feel about Gen. It is possible to have a special relationship with your one and only “forever” horse. I also strongly believe that a horse can love you. You and Gen are a pair, he is your soul horse. I’m sure when he fell you were very scared, it’s very hard to deal with his illnesses/clumsiness at times because he means so much to you.

    The reason I can relate to all this is because of my Erik. He picked me like Gen picked you. He would be mostly horrible for anyone else but great for me to the point of my trainer remarking “how come he does it for you but not me.” I just smiled and said “because he loves me and not you.” Barn folks always commented to me how much he loved me. I felt the same towards him, we were a match and he was ‘my’ soul horse. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dusty, Blue, Donnie and all the other members of the herd. It’s just not the same. I still miss him, it took me a long time to actually stop crying all the time but I am an adult and had to move on. Knowing how special I was to him and he to me I do have lots of fond memories to make me smile.

  7. You don’t have to explain anything. 🙂 I know how much you’ve done for Gen and have seen for myself how the two of you are together… Finding your heart horse is a pretty amazing thing. It’s like that Skin Horse quote from Velveteen Rabbit — you see the most beautiful things in them long after they stop holding value to anyone else, because as far as you’re concerned, they will ALWAYS be perfect.

    You know I fret over Willie about as badly as you do over Gen… Any time he gets a tummy ache, or the smallest cut, or feels the littlest bit under the weather, my imagination runs wild and I start thinking the end is nigh. Thankfully we haven’t had nearly as close a call as you and Gen did but it’s still one of my worst fears… I’ve had nightmares about losing him that leave me shaken for days.

    I’m lucky enough to have another horse to keep me busy as Willie eases into retirement, but even though I love Jabby in his own way, I don’t know if we’ll ever have the same sort of relationship that Will and I have. He has his own reasons for being a good match for me, but WIll is definitely my soul-pony. I couldn’t have imagined a better horse for myself even in my wildest Saddle Club daydreams.

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