Abby is our matriarch, the oldest in the herd. When our paths first crossed she was three, untrained and full of attitude, she is now fifteen. One of her trainers said she was the hardest horse she had ever worked with, she could quickly out think or evade what the trainer was trying to get her to do. Abby was not to be told. But we quickly learned that she was a horse of heart and once her heart and her mind connected and she was engaged, she was there ready to work with you.
That magnificent top line, her back, evolved over time. At first there was no withers to help keep the saddle in place, luckily her back changed at around five to six. Her mind changed also as she matured, there would be moments when you would think something and she would do it. Getting her to trailer was not easy though, as a young foal her breeder did not want her because she did not have spots. The stallion's owners then came to get her, separating her from her mom at a young age. Her first trailer ride was a long one and all alone. Later after we got her the only way to get her to enter a trailer again was not by force, she would rear without thinking, or by bribing with food, she would rather starve then to go into that trailer. It was by gently, quietly, waiting. The first time it took all day long, we had chairs, ate lunch while holding her, she had lunch also. So the second time, when she saw us relax, when I put a bend in my knee and leaned against the trailer as though I was getting ready to stay for a while, she went running in, and I mean running in. She is a very smart horse and somehow decided to try the trailer again. Nowadays she likes to travel backwards, Abby gets it done just in her way.
When Jordan went off to college, she whispered into Abby's ear to take good care of me, she has, only every so often causing me a challenge, usually for good reason, I had just not understood or explained to her what I wanted. Riding her is just like heaven on earth she is there and we ride together and oh does she try to understand, her heart and mind are connected... she has done just what Jordan told her to do. Her eyelashes have grown longer with age and are now long and white.
To be able to take life's journey with her, to watch her grow and then realize I am growing too, with her, is a gift not many get to experience. Each day shared in gratitude.
To Abby the horse who taught me about love, and gave us Iggy...
*Last time in Barn Stories: Rain and Chickens