Saturday, October 3, 2009

18 Months & a New Adventure Unfolds

"Do you remember me?"

It's hard to believe that 18 months ago I'd just returned home with Sandy. The ugliest horse in the pens, I called and told my friend Lea. We'd prayed so hard for the right horse, and I have to admit I turned my eyes up to the heavens and asked God why the perfect horse was the ugly one.

It took six weeks for me to get on Sandy. It probably should have taken longer. If Curt had had his way, it certainly would have been another month. But I watched the other trainers, all riding in the first couple of weeks, and I thought I was falling behind.

Sandy wasn't really ready. He was still scared, nervous, and snorty. And ugly. Jay showed up like clockwork to help out, promising he wouldn't let go of the horse if things went wrong. There is no better anchor than Jay, who used to hold onto his father's race horses at the track when he was a kid. The man knows how to hang on...and it was a good thing because we did go for a scary ride in the round pen one day.

They wouldn't let me off the lunge line for weeks. It wasn't until the day before I left for Sacramento that Curt let me get on without someone hanging onto that snorty, homely colt of mine. Golly...we were all such a scared group, the lot of us!

God was right, of course. This frightened boy was perfect. He taught me how to be a leader when my horse was afraid. And he taught Darling how to ride. There's not a person who see's the two of them together who can believe this horse's snorty beginning. But you do...because you were here with me.

Darling, of course, has graduated to Steve Holt! and wants to be a jumper, putting dear Sandy back in my hands. He's come a long way...but we have a long way to go. I was recently asked if I was going to apply to do the makeover again in Albany. I thought about it, but decided no...I'm not. Not this year, at least. I've got other fish to fry. Oh, I'm hoping to make it down to the Expo with a mustang, alright...I'd like to try the Extreme Cowboy Race instead!

Sandy and I, we've got a lot to work on. We need to get his spins going, and we need to practice picking things up, like scary tarps, and carrying them at a lope across the arena. Sandy needs to get brave and do the things Steve Holt! does without thinking about it. I need to get braver, too. I've seen the cowboy race...they stand up on their horses and ride bareback (but not at the same time, mind you.)

Yesterday I practiced my bareback riding skills. I should say former skills...I used to stick like velcro and jump 3'4'' without a saddle. Not anymore! But riding my trusty Sandy, I know it can be done, because God gave me the perfect horse.

And you know...all I see is beauty in him now.

My prayer was just a Speck of Sand...but God listened.


Shirley said...

It is so lovely to have a horse that you feel is right for you, and I hope you and Sandy go on to do many wonderful things together.

Paint Girl said...

What a wonderful story about Sandy. I know you and Sandy will be an excellent pair. Can't wait to hear everything goes!

cdncowgirl said...

It is a blessing to have a horse that you feel that connection with.

Remember now that I just got all caught up with your blog (and IN your blog - I love it!) But when you brought Sandy home and commented on how ugly he was I just didn't see it. Sure he wasn't going to win any beauty contests but I just didn't see him as all THAT UGLY. And after he filled out, got some muscle and grooming he was much better looking than when you picked him up. He may not have that pretty head that Steve Holt does but he is a nice looking guy.

Tracey said...

Thanks, ladies!

Sandy is a special kind of guy. Nothing in particular that you can put a finger on...he's just special. People fall in love with him everywhere he goes, from trail rides to fairs and everywhere in between. I've had more people wanting to buy him than I can shake a stick at.

He's really too small for me, as horses go, and I don't know how long he'll hold up as a riding horse for me. More on that subject later...

Shirley said...

What a wonderful story. Love to hear about mustangs.

mrscravitz said...

You know, I never thought Sandy was Ugly! He has a beautiful face, and I love the stories you write about him. He is so BEAUTIFUL!

Tracey said...'re so sweet, Mrs. Cravitz. BTW, I wish you were closer; I'd love to do the Umatilla Trail Class!

Lea and her Mustangs said...

I told you he was not ugly from the day you got him home. AND I don't think he is too small either. So there. He is an awesome horse.

wilddunz said...

Well, as I've always said--the messiest desserts always taste the sweetest :-)

Good luck with the ECR--I always watch thinking--I can do that! But one little fuss over a creek crossing and I realize just how much I have to learn, ha ha.

Tracey said...

Well, Lea, for YOU he may not be too small, lol! My legs droop down a good deal on my petite boy.

Wildwunz, you are so right about the water hissy fit! Lucky for me the one I'll apply for is indoors, so no water obstacles. Sandy doesn't like to get his toes wet, you know :)