Cowboy was an arranged marriage.
I had an "unsuitable" horse at the time and when I finally cried uncle, everyone
breathed a sigh of relief and jumped at the chance to find me a new horse.
The process that I thought would take months took just 2 weeks. A 12 hour
drive with the unsuitable boy in tow brought us to a sale barn in the middle
of the night. We pulled a very skinny, sun bleached, badly shod Cowboy out
of his stall. At first glance I was not impressed and tried to devise ways
that I could tell my friends who I drove 12 hours cross country with that
we would be leaving with the same horse we rode in on.
The next morning Cowboy was
no more impressive, even after I rode him. My trainer thought different.
The tears welled up in my eyes as they led "the unsuitable" away. She grabbed
my shoulders and pushed me into Cowboy's stall telling me to cry on my new
horse's shoulder. This was the first time of many that I had that strong
black shoulder to lean on.
Cowboy unloaded at my house
with the look of a foster child that has seen too much, "Ok, so here I am.
Now what....". Time changed that. He was the first horse who truly looked
at me. He watched me when I walked the course, or gave him to someone else
to hold. He would gallop up to me in his turnout, look me straight in the
eye, buck really hard four times and run away. He saw me completely for who
I am inside and out. I have never had another horse see me that way. Nor
do I expect to.
We had too many adventures
to recount. From local to international horse shows, we traveled all over.
Whether we drove all night, or spent the night in a fairgrounds rough stock
pen, he was the perfect traveler. I had the best jumper rounds of my life
on him and fell off five times in one lesson. He taught me patience, to be
quiet in my mind, and to put the trials of the day outside the arena. He
lived in my back yard and was a constant presence in my life. Sometimes I
would look out and he would be standing touching his friend Sam all day,
other times I would hear him blow out of his nose and watch him flip his
tail over his back, head high and bound across the turnout like a prong horn
He was a once-in-a-lifetime
horse. My own personal black stallion, even though he was a black gelding.
Our relationship was a true partnership, as close and intimate as any I've
had with a boyfriend. I loved him fiercely and fully. And will miss his sense
of humor and his seriousness for a long time.
Go in peace, my Little Man.
You could not have lived your life any better. Thank you for sharing it with