All my life I wanted a horse! Always wanting a horse is not
like a lot of other things you wish for. There are no other
options. It's an addiction! An addiction that's understood
only by horse people!
Watch for signs of Horse addiction.
If you can't remember what you had for lunch
yesterday but can vividly recall the bumper
sticker you read 3 months ago that said "I gave
up horses once - it was the worst weekend I ever
had" You may be addicted.
If the house is dirty because you spent all your
time and energy cleaning stalls & brushing
horses, You may be addicted.
If some of the bills are a little overdue
because you spent too much money buying some new
tack, You may be addicted.
When the only people you enjoy spending time
with have horses and all the rest of the people
in the world are mere acquaintances, You may be
So - what is my horse story?
I was born - I always had the addiction, but didn't
realize it! Not in so many words! Whenever I saw a
horse, I always wanted to touch (pet it)! For some
reason, it was always something "other" people did -
out of my reach! And then, one day, glory be, I
decided, I was going to enter the world of a horse
Boy - what
a trip entering the horse world was! Buying your
first horse is always quite a trip but how about
taking that first step in that wonderful world at
the of age 51? Ha - ha - all true horse people know
what I mean! So? You're 51? ...and the problem
is???? Well, of course the problem is, that my body
isn't quite what it was at 17& I should have done
this years ago. But, does that stop a horse addict?:
NO! Nothing stops a horse
finally, at this ripe old age in your life, you get
a horse, you get an Arabian!!! LOL LOL - it could be
the worse thing, or - -- - --- it could be the best
thing that ever happened to you! This choice is up
to you, and who you want to be in this new horse
world of yours!
centuries, odes have been written about the Arabian
Horse - get one, and you will understand why!
Horse is not a robot, not a creature you can command
to do anything you want him to do, if he's not so
inclined! However, if you have a relationship with
him, the most wonderful times of your life, can be
achieved by being his companion! But, never forget,
he is a creature of nature! Would I ever, ever
change my choice of horse? NEVER, EVER! There's only
we've gone thru a few different barns and learning
I got to know some of the things, shows, etc., that
was involved in the horse world! Mostly the Arabian
horse world - but my interest now has taken me to
This year I had the opportunity to go to Big South
Fork, TN, to watch an Endurance Race. I loved it!
It's all about the horses and their well-being!
Super vets at every check point! What a refreshing
outlook on horse-life! When
I now look back, to my childhood wishes about a
horse, Endurance is probably what I envisioned
without realizing it. Why? It's the most wonderful
time you will have with your horse. The
freedom and communication you share with your horse
is second to none. It's not about winning it's about
enjoying your horse!
More about endurance and general horse talk next
MORE ABOUT ENDURANCE
By Cris Gardner
My horse, Shadow Fax and I are now at an
Endurance Barn! Oh, joy! While I will never
be able to do it, I can rejoice for the barn
owner, Nelia, who does it - and does it
well! I've told her more than once, that I
envy her - from a pure heart, of course!
So - to younger, more aggressive riders
than myself, in case you have sometimes
wondered if this is something you would like
to do, the following tid-bits about Nelia
and her passion, Endurance:
She just placed 1st in her division
(Featherweight) in the South East Region for
2004! Is she gloating? No! Just
thrilled!...And she should be! Thunder and
Nelia are also 2nd in overall points in the
Her horse, Zaubaa Saif ("Summer Thunder"),
was born on a summer night, as a storm was
passing over Nelia's farm, and is generally
known as "Thunder". Thunder was bred by
Nelia, by her very own stallion and her very
own mare. Obviously great breeding! Her "do
it yourself" plan continued:
At approx. 2 1/2 years old, she would get
on him - mostly walking him, sometimes
gently trotting him; then, when he was
almost four years old, she introduced him to
the gallop! As time passed, trail rides were
introduced. Everything must have worked out
right, 'cause at age 6, Endurance was
included in their life together.
Thunder is now 13 years old - and in year
2004, they did 16 rides together - 15
completed. Or, as the stats sheet will tell:
780 miles in competition in 2004!
Wow - 780 miles on your horse - in
competition - that must have meant miles,
and miles in training, right? Not according
to Nelia; once Thunder is fit to compete.
For every 10 miles ridden in competition,
he needs a day off (50 milers that she does,
usually two days in a row) that translates
to 10 days off! Let's call that 2 weeks - no
one wants to work week-ends, right? Maybe
she'll get on him and walk, trot him around
the farm - but that's all! The farm is on 50
acres, part wooded and hilly, so a "ride
around the farm" is conditioning, without
either Thunder or Nelia even noticing.
Then, sometimes, there's a 4 week gap
between rides; well, then Nelia will take
Thunder for a trail ride, maybe 20 miles,
and all seems to be well! Wow - I thought,
from reading what I have read, about
Endurance, that you have to be on a strict
regiment! Obviously, not this team!
I don't know if Nelia's story/theory is
typical of Endurance Riders - but here is a
little more about Nelia :
After I spoke to Nelia about her Endurance
experience, I thought " I need to speak to
the "losers" at these rides - and hope, that
in my "Hopeless Romantic" take on everything
in the horse-world, I will find, that there
are no "losers" in Endurance, that all those
people are happy, just to have been there."
Well, Bless You, Nelia, when I started
telling you, that I would like to speak to
some of the "losers", you interrupted me and
said: "There are no losers - everyone who
completes a ride, is a winner" - Thanks,
Nelia! I don't think I need to speak to any
of the "losers" now - you just said it all
on their behalf.
And just another little note: I think most
horse owners who board their horse, will
know exactly what I'm talking about:
When you bring your horse to a new barn,
everything usually always start out great;
then, after awhile, "things" start to
change. And now, neither your horse, nor you
are happy! Nelia's barn is barn No. 4 Shadow
Fax and I have "lived" at. We' only been
there for 6 months - but, so far, nothing
has changed! Big fields for the horses (not
over-populated), big nice, clean stalls, and
(Shadow Fax's favorite) an "All you can eat
Hay-Bar"! And, oh - a happy, always smiling
It doesn't get better than that in the
horseworld, does it!? If ever a day at
work was bad? Y'all come on down to the
barn, OK? Nelia will greet you with a
See ya next time!
MORE ABOUT ENDURANCE
By Cris Gardner
Most of us probably remember things from
school; like "Fire was "invented"', "The
wheel was "invented" - and some other
things, I can't think of right now....
But - none of the above (including the
things I can't think of right now) would all
have been to no avail, had it not been for
the ability of "communication"! If only one
person knew about "fire", if only one person
knew about "the wheel" - how could we have
progressed? We could not!
So - sometimes - when you're on our latest
"Information Highway" (High Tech) - give it
a thought! Where would we have been without
some kind of transportation of "news" - I
mean - back then, CNN wasn't an option! Oh -
did you just realize it? The horse! Yes -
the horse -
Think about it! Isn't it true? I think
So - here we are in our, oh, so busy, oh
so fast moving Century - and loving it (I
do) - and when I look around and see my
horse, or another horse, I bow humbly to
him/her! Without you, the horse - where
would we all be?
So - how can anyone abuse you? How can
anyone not be in anything, but total awe of
you? I know I can't!
Now - reality check - will I let you run
all over me, and hurt me? No - I won't! But
will I always treat you with respect (and
probably the other options, running all over
me, hurting me) will not be relevant? Yes -
in my hopeless romantic state of you, the
horse - I think so! You will never on
purpose hurt me, I have never given you a
reason to do that; I am, as mentioned before
- your hopeless romantic fan! And to date -
you have never let me down! My plan is, to
do the same for you - never let you down!
Hope I can fulfill the expectation of you,
my horse! You have always done it for me!
Having a horse in my life, has definitely
made me a happier person - I hope it did the
same for each one of you!