Have you ever met someone and instantly you felt a connection with them? Not just any ole connection, though. A connection of the heart. That is what I am talking about. Like souls drifting through the ages that have found each other once again. That kind of connection. Oh, it is a beautiful thing when this happens.
I have felt this a few times in my life. From meeting the love of my life in high school but not yet realizing that he was “The One” until we reconnected several years later. Then, it was cemented in my heart, mind, and soul. I knew … without a shadow of a doubt … that I would spend the rest of my life with him. He would be my happily ever after.
It happened again with my horse. As strange as it may sound, I felt a special connection to her when I first saw her.
I will never forget that day.
We contacted the owner who had this beautiful paint horse for sale. Eagerly, we drove two hours to her stables to take a look at this mare.
As we pulled up to the stables, I could not get out of the vehicle fast enough. I was so excited to see this horse. No, I didn’t want to buy just any ole horse or the first horse we looked at. She had to be extra special before I would make her mine. I went into this with my eyes wide open being as realistic as I possibly could about the situation. Even still, I couldn’t help but be excited by it all.
As we approached the stall where she was kept, she looked over her shoulder at me with her eyes reflecting the tenderness in her heart. She allowed me to walk beside her and extend my hand out to pet her plush sorrel and white coat. Yes, she was so beautiful standing there, but it wasn’t her outward beauty that had me sold the moment I laid eyes on her. It was her gentle nature and the tenderness in her eyes reflecting the depth of her willing soul. Just a few minutes of interacting with her, and I knew she and I had a connection.
Ah, but we could not go by looks alone. We had to see how she would ride. I hadn’t had any lessons at this point in time, but I knew how to ride a horse from previous experience on vacations. We always made sure to pick a vacation spot that had a horse ranch nearby. I knew this would be different though, as there is a lot involved with horse ownership than what meets the eye. It is indeed different when you’re on vacation with everyone else doing the work for you at the ranch.
We placed the saddle on her strong back and lead her into the arena. I put one foot into the stirrup and lifted myself up and over her until I was positioned in the saddle. With my helmet on and the reins in my hands, I was ready to see how this mare rode.
We made a few rounds in the arena before I was instructed to “squeeze” her with my legs to make her go into a trot. Having never trotted before, I was nervous feeling as if every butterfly in the world now resided in my tummy. I gritted my teeth, sat firmly in my saddle attempting to use my “seat bones” and squeezed her with my feet on both sides of her rib cage. This mare went immediately into a slow trot around the arena. I felt alive and as if new life had been breathed into me as I experienced my very first trot on this gorgeous, yet gentle, mare. I could contain myself no longer as I smiled as widely as I possibly could as we continued around the arena still in a trot. Joyful laughter escaped my lips as we made another lap around with her taking such good care of me. I didn’t try to lope (Western term) that day (also known as canter in the English world). I knew I would need lessons before I even attempted that, but I was sold. I knew right then and there that I had to have this beautiful girl so I purchased her right there on the spot.
Her name most certainly matches her disposition – Sugar – for she is the sweetest horse I have ever encountered.
I have had the privilege of owning this gorgeous girl with a long, flowing white and sorrel mane with perfectly positioned white patches on her sorrel sides for over a year now. Although we have come to be the owners of several more horses, Sugar is my baby. She is my pride and joy; the one I feel such a connection to still to this very day. I can’t imagine my life without her and find myself telling her repeatedly how much I love her. Oh, yes, I am so thankful to have found this horse and for the connection we share!
This post was inspired by Karen’s Tuesday At Ten.