Because I’m not ready to write about other things, yet.
The other thing inspired me to call and check on my old horse Nate though. Years ago I sold him, someone had to go and he got to be the one. I had gotten him in high school, or to be more exact my mom did. I seem to get all my favorite horses that way, poor mom she will get to keep one of them someday.
We were trying a new farrier, a very nice lady who happened to mention that she had Morgans. One for sale even. We were not in the market for a horse, so of course we went to look at him. Mom fell in love. He was a very recently gelded four year old. A rescue case back before it was cool. She had taken in him and his brother, Red. Before Jaime got them he had been caught up in a nasty divorce, left in his uncleaned stall, fought off with a pitch fork so he could be fed, what little feed he got. He had been covered in manure burns and hated people. Jaime did an excellent job with them, healing, gelding and training. He was going under saddle, barely, and mom decided we needed him.
He was a solid bay with not a drop of white on him. High headed and goose rumped. Aprox. 15HH he was a bit straight shouldered but with a nice short back and the most beautiful big boned legs and hard round gorgeous feet. He was always sound and had a crazy fast walk.
Upon arrival at our barn he made his studlyness very clear. Screaming and fighting over the fence, I’ll never forget the mare who came running back from the pasture leaving the rest of the horses to, um, “flirt” with him, then galloped back to her herd. Once turned out he proceeded to play herd stud, herding his mares and chasing off geldings and any owners who couldn’t stand up to him. He was well hated.
Mom started out riding him, I don’t remember switching, I do remember riding him out on the trails for the first time. He had somehow become my horse. How did that come about mom? We were both young and stupid, both very high strung and hot. Dad took over my sweet and slightly rotten, opinionated, old quarterhorse gelding.
Together Nate and I team-penned, a lot, tried endurance, dressage, a bit of jumping, mostly trail riding, I even brought him out west with me where we ranched, roped and played with cattle. I thought I had brought my little saddle seat bred gelding west, it wasn’t until years later that I discovered that I had brought my little western remount bred gelding back to his roots. I came out to work at Fort Robinson for the summer. He had ancestors who stood at stud at Fort Robinson when it was a remount station.
I got hurt on him, probably more than any other horse, possibly more than all other horses put together. Bashed my knee into a tree, black eye from his head, smashed my head into a metal railroad bridge, stitches in my wrist and so on. I didn’t know near what I thought I did or he might have had a better chance of being a good horse. I didn’t care I loved him, even when I wanted to kill him.
Then I began to learn, started on real cowhorse stuff and younger horses not already ruined by teenage girls. I sold him to a young wife who just wanted to pleasure ride. I missed him but didn’t really think about him until years later when she called to say that they were going to sell him. The thought of my hot blooded Morgan in a western sale barn full of quarterhorses terrified me, I took him back. And immediately sold him to a nice older gentleman in Colorado. within months he was diagnosed with incurable cancer, I took Nate back. Gave him to a neighbor who needed a companion horse. Nate never had stopped thinking he was a stud, he drove off the guys gelding. That didn’t work either, I took him back again.
The Butler Farrier school had adds in the paper asking for free horses. They needed a nearly endless supply of horses to teach on and promised to give them a home. Nate had finally found his calling. He was turned out to pasture with a bunch of mustangs where he got to be the herd stud. His only job was to be shod. He had always been good with his feet.
After last week I finally called to see how he was doing, I had been thinking hard about him for the last year. They remembered him, even knew him by name. He was sorry to tell me that Nate had passed just about a year ago. They had found him laying in the pasture one morning. He probably thought I was insane for being so glad to hear it. But what better death can there be then to die happy and much missed, apparently he had been very good at his new job. He had lived a long life, often loved, often cursed. Ironic that he came from a farrier and ended with a farrier, and that his job was to be shod. This horse of the iron feet that never needed a shoe in his life.
I just wish I had a picture of him to put up.
Butlers have an excellent and informative blog, a must read for anyone who has a horse. Find it here.