My husband and I have been watching “Heartland”lately and it has made me miss my the horse I had as a kid. His name was Tersk and he was a beautiful bay Arabian with an attitude all his own. He was spicy yet very caring but could spook at a rock and jump three feet sideways. Here is our story.
I met Tersk when I was nine years old and he was a dream come true since I had been begging my parents for riding lessons since I was three years old. My mom drove me to this ranch that had so many horses I couldn’t count all of them. She introduced me to the lady who was going to teach me to ride and then her husband brought Tersk up out of the the pen. He was beautiful and huge in the eyes of a nine year old. He was 15 hands tall (that would be his back was just about five feet tall) with brown hair and a black mane and tail. The thing though that I loved the most was the little star on his forehead and his three white socks on his hocks.
Our first lesson went well and I was hooked on riding from then on. The only thing was that Tersk was my lesson horse which meant that he had to stay at the ranch. Then one day a horse trailer appeared at my parents property and Tersk was unloaded. I couldn’t believe it! Here was my dream horse and he was being handed to me because his owner was giving him to me under a free lease. See she had too many horses and she saw the connection between us at our lessons. So she decided that I would be a good home for him.
That was the real start to our journey together. From there we went on to be in horse shows, trail guiding, and endurance riding. There seemed to be nothing that Tersk and I didn’t do. And when we entered something we always placed in the top three with many first place ribbons in our collection. But no matter what, Tersk’s favorite thing was being on the trail.
Showing is fun but there is something about being out on the trail with you and your horse. The freedom it gives you and the true connection it provides.
This post is called A Horse’s Love and I am getting to that because it is the most precious thing in the world. There is nothing better than waking up in the morning and hearing your horse calling for you because he is hungry. Then the time spent cleaning up after him isn’t just a chore but it is a great time to talk about what’s going on in your life. There isn’t a better listener than a horse. They can tell when you are upset and nuzzle up to you to help you feel better, but they can tell when are happy a celebrate with you. But the best part of a horse’s love is when you and your horse are on the trail and a flat open space appears and your horse can read your mind. He gains himself up and waits for the que of your heels against his sides. You lean forward and let him have his head before kicking him on and grip him with your legs as he takes off at a dead gallop.
The wind whips at your face and you realized you are holding your breath as you and your horse are running close to 35 mph down the trail. You close your eyes and you can feel like you are flying with the strength of your horse keeping you in the air. You can hear his own breathing as his powerful lungs inhale and exhale in rhythm with his thundering hooves as they dig into the earth to keep moving you both going forward.
I miss that feeling of having a horse to talk to and take care of. What happened to my wonderful horse? He passed away when I was seventeen. He was 24 years old and had just completed his last endurance ride a couple months prior. I just woke up one day and it appeared something had happened to his mind and there just wasn’t anyone home anymore. It was the most painful day of my life. I had to say good bye to my best friend of eight years and part of me didn’t want to say good bye. I wanted him to go on another ride with me. I wanted us to gallop again, but I could see that our time together was done. I couldn’t let him live in the state he was in. I would have my memories even though I wouldn’t have my friend.
So that day was hard but it didn’t out number the good days. It just reminds me of the love that only a horse can give. One day maybe I will get to experience that feeling again. If I do, it will be great and maybe my daughter will experience the same thing someday. Until then I will enjoy my memories and the love we shared.