Reminiscing About My First Horse, Fancy
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and because of that, I was reminiscing today on some of the things in my life I am grateful for. The memory that popped into my head was of my first horse, and our journey together.
The day I met Fancy, she looked rough. She was rocking a mohawk, with major parts of her mane rubbed out, and she had spots on her shoulder rubbed raw from an ill-fitting breast collar. She was dirty, and anxious from being in a stall for too long.
That is what I see when I look back at pictures. But my memories tell a different story.
In my mind, I walked up to a stall with the most perfect, dazzling white horse you would ever see. She was something out of a movie: long mane and tail, her ears perked forward, and tall and lean. She whinnied when we approached her stall, and I was sold.
Our first ride was rough. I had only been riding for a short time and had barely loped a horse, let alone knew how to do a sitting trot or post. She was excited and was anxious to run, so there we went, bouncing around the arena while I just prayed to stay on. And she kept me on, no matter how annoyed she was with the inexperienced rider on her back. I was in love.
The next day we had a vet check and then we bought her. January 1st, 2014, she was delivered to my house and quickly became my best friend. I loved riding, and she loved having a green rider who she could ever-so-casually take advantage of. She taught me how to barrel race, and that I better learn how to hold on or I would come right off. She gave me confidence and won me a buckle.
But most of all, she taught me what it means to truly love something. There were days that I did not want to ride or go outside and feed, I would have preferred staying in bed or hanging out with my friends, but it was worth it to go outside and see my girl waiting for me. Every ounce of energy I gave to her, she returned to me. Every bit of love I gave to her, she gave back to me ten-fold.
She was always a handful, but she took care of me. She challenged, taught and protected me. And for that, I have made a promise to always protect her.
She lives at home with my parents, and is now about 19 years old. She is no longer as energetic as she was just four years ago, and she would rather hang out with the other horses than go to a barrel race now. But I have promised her that no matter what, she will be mine. I will always have a home for her, and she will be treated like the princess she believes she is. Other horses have come into my life, but she will always be the one who taught me how to ride and how challenges only make you stronger and better in the end. There will never be another horse that could possibly even come close to taking her place.
First horses are something special that cannot be replaced. They are the ones who inspired a love for horses in us, the ones who have loved us through it all, the ones who have helped us grow. Whether they are with you still, passed away, or helping someone else grow, it is easy to remember the feeling they gave you on the first day you met them. The magic you felt when you realized it was your horse, and the love they gave to you every day after.
So today, let’s all take a moment to reflect on the horse that first changed our lives and be thankful for the opportunity to love them. Share with us the first horse that you loved or that changed you in some way in the comments. We would love to hear about your stories!