Horse Traders don’t have a heart because every time they sell a horse that has positively influenced their life, they sell a piece of their heart with the horse. The fact is if you sell too many horses you may not have anything left at the end of this lifetime.
I know that is an exaggeration, but this is how I feel. For damage control I have tried to emotionally invest the least amount that I can into any horse that I know is going to be sold. Well, everything is for sale in the barn, eventually. I also believe you can’t make a great horse unless you are willing to train with passion and heart. If you don’t invest emotionally into the horse, I don’t think that you get the same amount of try that you will out of one that you put your heart and soul into. They can tell when you care about them and I think they try harder.
Most of us are all looking for that horse that is going to change our life. The “Horse of a Lifetime.” The one that allows you to quit your day job and go down the road pursuing your dream. Since I started counting. I personally have had 3 “Horses of a Lifetime,” at least I thought at the time. Two of them I had to sell (neither of which I owned) and one went lame (I only owned half of him). I have two horses now that may be “Horses of a Lifetime,” but I’m finding that my standards are a little bit higher now and I realize that even if the horse has the talent, there are so many things that have to line-up, so you can take advantage of the opportunity.
In addition to the “Horse of a Lifetime” there is also a thing I call a “Life Horse.” The Life Horse is the horse that changes your life the most and directly influences your ability to take advantage of the “Horse of a Lifetime” once it comes along. I have only had one “Life Horse” so far. This particular horse came into my life just weeks after I found out that my marriage was falling apart. After several consecutive weeks of crying, a friend called and said that he had a 3-year-old Miss N Cash mare that he wanted to sell. I told him I would come down and look at her and see what I thought. He had run her through the sale barn a week earlier and bought her back because she didn’t bring enough money. She was skinny and wild. I saddled her up, not expecting much and after 5 minutes of riding her decided that she needed a home with me. There wasn’t anything that particularly made her special although she was quick and catty and she didn’t buck me off. I made him an offer and did what every heartbroken horse woman does to try and fix her marriage, I bought a horse I couldn’t afford. I made $250 payments every pay period until she was paid off. Note: she was not very expensive and she was paid off quick, but it was still a stretch for me at the time. This horse gave me something to focus on while my marriage crippled along. She needed me and I needed her. For her 5-year-old futurity year I won money on her and was able to travel around the western United States. When I was at a futurity with her, I didn’t have any marriage problems. She gave me something to focus on during my saddest days. I won money that helped me decorate my home, she gave me a sense of freedom and ability to travel. Because this is a business for me too, at the end of her 5-year-old year I decided to put her up for sale. My marriage was over. I then sold her and was able to pay off all of my credit cards and my horse trailer. This worked out well, considering just 3 months later I was divorced and moving 1,000 miles away and buying a new house. Her blessings didn’t stop there, even after this mare was sold to another family she kept on giving to me. She went on to a family that had two girls who ran her and won on her. After two years of her then affecting their lives the parents decided to sell her so they could buy a car for their teenage daughters who were riding less. I took her back in as a commission sale and ran her over the next several months, winning jackpots and money and giving me the confidence that I needed to ride my futurity horses. So in addition to the blessings she has given me, she is now helping two teenage girls get what they have always wanted. A Car!
Just last saturday I met a hauler in Oklahoma City to haul this horse to her new home in Ohio. She is now owned by an 11-year-old girl who is a clone of me at that age. She is 4’6 and 55 lbs and the perfect match for this 14.3 hand mare. This little girl can ride the hair off of anything. I can’t wait in about 10 years I’m sure I’ll be saying, “I knew her back in the day.” Here is a video of the girl running the mare for the 2nd time. She was 22nd out 256, some of Texas and Oklahomas finest horses. That’s me in the background screaming like a proud mom.
The money that I made off of the commission is going to pay for my eye surgery that I had last year. Did you hear that people? This horse has given me the gift of sight! No more eye infections, blurry vision, and stress headaches from squinting. Granted I had the surgery last year, but this horse is the one that paid for it!
I didn’t spend a long time saying goodbye to her last Saturday. I just patted her on the butt because I know that since she is only 8 years old she has a lot of life to share with her humans and I’m sure that the effect she had on my life will be exponentially consistent with every person who comes in contact with her. This mare is truly an angel. She never won a World Championships, She never won hundreds of thousands of dollars, but what she did give me is something you just can’t buy. She gave me what I needed, when I needed it. She is a Blessing to anyone who comes into contact with her. I have never had a horse in my life that made such a quantifiable difference. The fact is when I sell horses, I sell my blessings to the highest bidder. It never gets easier, but I guess that’s just life.
If you have a “Life Horse” that you would like to tell me about, please share your story. I know there are more out there!