Wednesday, November 3, 2010

11/1/10 Romeo with Ease

Mo has a way with me. It's almost hard to capture in print. I suspect a video might show some facial expressions for us both that may come closer. But I'm going to try...

I walked towards his pasture, halter in-hand, and Mo nickered at me, his head through the pipe fence. "Yeah, buddy. You're up today. Ransom's on holiday. You ready for this?" He slid his head back into the pasture, licking and chewing.

He trotted alongside my quick long steps back to the trailer, his head at my shoulder. He knew enough of my body language meant business. I could almost hear him snickering at Harley as he jogged by. "I get to show you what it looks like today. Watch close, little one. This is how you get the GOOD cookies." Romeo tacked up a complete gentleman, and accepted the western bit a little easier than normal. Showoff in full mode, I see...

I walked him to his pasture, got out to the middle of it, and hopped on. Mo doesn't need lunged out, just walked enough in the saddle to tighten the cinch. We walked quite a while, and as he started lowering his head, and letting out heavy happy sighs, I squeezed him up. It wasn't long before we had a pleasant jog, neck reining various sizes of figure 8s all about the pasture.

I gave him a walk break, and admired the sharp south-east breezes and clouds rolling in. Cold front coming in that night, the wind whistled through the trees and brush. Romeo's ears flickered at it, but we both knew it was nothing to worry about.

With a little kiss, and a hearty kick, Romeo burst into the lope. He wanted to fly, and I obliged. Since we've spent so many hours loping and galloping around his pasture, I didn't spend much effort directing his feet. He knew were to go, and as long as he didn't dart to the barn, I left him alone.

And with the wind blowing my hair all about, the trees and weeds bending in the gusts, Romeo's little mane flapping with each stride, I laughed right out loud. THIS is what I love about this little horse. I haven't ridden him solid in over two weeks, and our last five rides I can remember, were bareback, and we didn't break out of the jog. But yet, even in the gusty weather, deer bustling in the shadows, I had him going as fast as his legs would carry us, totally, absolutely carefree.

And in that moment, whizzing around the arena, I glanced at Harley, and found him watching intently. I looked across the fenceline at Ransom, and he picked up his head from grazing, long enough to watch us briefly, before settling back on the grass.

Little Mo, you're no show horse. You're too slow for dressage, and too fast for western pleasure. You hated to jump, but carried me through a three-show series so I could learn. I'm not into cows, so who knows if that's the talent you hide. You're too little for halter, and still too small for reining. You were shot at by your last owners, so I know mounted shooting isn't in our future, either. But I can put anyone on you, any day, any time of the year no matter the season, and you're always the same. We won't wrangle any blue ribbons from rated judges, and folks can tease your legs aren't quite straight, and your neck shows just how much you cribbed as a kid. Nevertheless, Romeo, canter us on, across the green pastures, through the weeds and mole holes, choosing every hoof fall carefully, protecting yourself, and me. I know if I sold you, I'd have one heckuva dressage mount in the barn, for your worth is high. But sweetheart, I just can't do it. You'll carry my kids around some day, and any of my friends that want to ride. With happy tears, I tell you, you're not going anywhere. Rest easy, Five S Romeo, for you've found your forever home.


Yankecwgrl said...


Anonymous said...

Priceless. How many people find out, after they've moved on to the big show mount, that the best horse they ever owned was the steady little one they gave up?

Jennifer said...

I recognize that Romeo doesn't have a show future. At least not in anything I have easy access to.
And I'm okay with that. Now, someday, might he tackle an open show with a child, just for the experience? Maybe ... Will he ride a dressage test or two, just for the comments of movement? Yeah, perhaps.
But I won't force him to be something he's not. I'll enjoy him for the peaceful little blessing he is. My barefoot, easy keeper, bareback or saddled, bitted or haltered, he's always the same.