E. L. General Command

Morgan horse
Wham Bam Command x Rebelaire Camille
June 1986 - April 2010

We came to know General later in life, when some would say his "best" years were over. We know that he carried many people into the winners circle and amassed countless ribbons. At the age of 17 years he carried our daughter through a season of shows with no defeat in equitation; they proudly partnered at the nationals that year. He was a showman extraordinaire, no one would dispute this. But, this is not the E.L. General Command I want to speak about.

We were General's 10th owners in 17 years, he was somewhat standoffish. He stood in his stall with his head high and his attitude haughty. Noble, but not reachable. As the show season progressed, another horse started to peek through that veneer. One of his grooms nicknamed him, "Generoll the dinner roll", she had seen through to the clown beneath. We found that he had a fondness for iced coffee and liked his nose tickled with fuzzy toys.

After the show season ended, General came to live with us. We felt that he had given the show world enough and deserved a real home. Easier said than done! He came home with a horrible case of strangles, some weird mutated strain that attacked even the oldsters at the show barn. We had no barn at that time, only shelters, he needed round the clock care, now what? We put down mats in our carport, erected panels, surrounded it all with straw bales like walls, and bedded it deep in shavings. He was attended to every couple of hours, discovering General had begun. I had knee surgery about one week into this, and Ron had to do the hot compresses. He says to this day, if this had not happened, he never would have gotten to know our boy.

General recovered, and now we had to integrate him to horse life. He refused to be out of his "stall" more than 2 hours, or he would panic. It was a slow process to teach him to live in a pasture, but he learned to like it and our horse started to emerge. He was not a fan of nature, wind made him nutty, birds and squirrels were the devil's own and trees surely ate little Morgans! When we were riding he once spooked at a butterfly that got too close. He had a nifty trick that he pulled on unsuspecting guests, he would lure them to the fence, looking so sweet, then, nip them and spin around fast and run to the other end of the pasture. They were not usually amused.

Later, General met his best buddy, Mr. Coffee. Two grumpy old men that liked to lay in the sun. Both insisted on stalls at night, Mr. Coffee for comfort, General so the "night boogies" would not get him. We all moved to Texas and General loved the flat treeless ranch -no monsters could hide here! There were only the killer cows next door to worry about, so, occasionally, if there were no chance of rain, no wind, and the temperature was comfy, he would spend a night outside.

Life was good for General, light riding, a friend, cookies and special treats. Oh how he loved marshmallow peeps at Easter. He would take a water bottle, tip it up and drink it down. He learned silly tricks like "take a bow" and to nod when I asked, "Do you love mama?". We lost Mr. Coffee, and General never took up with anyone else, he was fond of one old mare, but she was too bossy. He was our stately gentleman clown and we made sure his life was comfortable and happy. He never quit bridling up when ridden, always the show horse, the neighbors knew for sure that I wasn't on a Quarter horse!

Late this past winter, he and I discussed our plans for the summer, he was in great shape and enjoyed a spin around the property, he always showed off for the youngsters. He knew and accepted that he was special. Our summer was not to be though. On the 19th of April, General came to his stall, ate his grain, started his hay and fell to the floor. The veterinarian was called and less than 3 hours later, just after midnight, we had to let him go.

The Morgan world lost a great and well-known show horse. I lost a best friend and partner who made me laugh and added so much to our family. Good-bye Generoll the dinner roll, we will never forget you.


Name Index
Return to Hoofprints On My Heart home.

Copyright © 2010 Hoofbeats In Heaven. All rights reserved.
Text and photos may not be reproduced in any form.