Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Big Red

On that sunny April day when you and I first met, I was a broken girl. In less than a year I had gone from one of the leading riders on the CBHSA circuit to a nobody. After my latest debacle with Tank, the same day I found out my uncle had died, I was a human traffic accident and all anyone could do was stop and look, not knowing what to say or how to help. I trusted no one, refusing to let myself fall in love with another horse ever again.

I remember the day we met so well. My trainer, had brought in you and two other thoroughbreds in an effort to find me a horse I could trust. She had said that the three of you were in bad shape, neglected and abandoned by your previous owners, and bought by your current owners at a sheriffs sale. However, she said that despite your mistreatment all of you were loving, trusting horses.

Seeing the three of you made my heart ache. Ben, a bay ex-racer was the thinnest to the eye. His hips and withers jutted out and his ribs, every single one, could easily be seen. It was a if his dull brown coat had simply been draped over a few coat hangers. Harvey, the other ex-racehorse, and a golden chestnut was the best looking of all of you. He was thin in build, but his head was held higher and he seemed to carry the most weight of any of you three.

Your attitude made you blend into the background, and your then dull, dirty, rusty brown looking coat did not help matters. You clearly had the bigger frame, but like Ben you to were merely a ghost of you are now. You were loving and you were kind, but somehow I looked right past you.

I remember grooming and riding all three of you. Ben...Sweet, old Ben was as honest and as kind as they come, but I needed a horse who could take me to the next level, and unfortunately a stifle injury limited his ability to jump a fence higher than 2 feet tall. Harvey was the flashy one. He possessed the natural chrome and flash that made a show horse stand out in an arena. You, in contrast were, at the time, rather plain, but like Ben you were kind and you were willing.Your kindness is what made my decision. You were not flashy like Harvey, but you were willing, and somehow you found it within yourself to trust me.

After a few months you began to blossom. Your dull, rusty brown coat transformed into a beautiful, vibrant copper. To this day you remain the reddest chestnut I have ever seen. You also began to fill out, not only putting on weight, but muscle. In fact, after a couple more months, you were so muscled up that many people thought that you were part Quarter Horse, instead of a full Thoroughbred. You began to learn to show and jump and move like a show horse. After your transformation had been completed, you were one of the most impressive horses I had ever seen.

I remember our highs, and I remember our lows. It took us a while to figure out that instead of a show horse, you were an even superior trail horse. I remember, a couple of months ago, at Dills Auction Trail Ride, our little ditch experience. It was one heck of a steep ditch, but all you did was eye it for a couple seconds before beginning to march down to the center. On the way up you climbed steadily, but half way up you surprised me, and several others to be sure, when you decided to leap the rest of the distance to the top.

Despite our bad moments, I have so many other fond memories of my Big Baby Bear. So, tell me why when it came to choose you or Majec I chose you to put up for sale? Somewhere along the way, you swept me off my feet. You made me love you more than I have loved any other horse. But, as I said earlier, I need a show horse, and a show horse you are not. I wish I could keep you, I really do, because to see you go this weekend will rip my heart even more. I love you more than anything. Tray, you will forever remain, My Big Red.

1 comment:

  1. Dani,

    I am sorry to see that you and Tray will have to part ways. I wish him great happiness in his new home. Thank you for your heartfelt piece and shedding some light on what it means to connect deeply with a friend.