Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cowboy's Third Season Post Mortem

If you have time, check out my guest blog about my horse, Cowboy, at GunDiva's site, Tales From the Trail. That's a fun idea, guest blogging, and she's always looking for more volunteers.

I refer to Cowboy as my MYEI (Make You Earn It) horse, and it's so, so true. My vet used to always say (to be kind), This one would survive in the wild. Cowboy was always thinking for himself.

My opinion is that MYEI horses have become that way from lack of trust. In Cowboy's case, the multiple homes, some early mishandling when his second owner kept him a stallion, but didn't know how to manage a stallion, and then the survival instincts kicked in. They may trust their last owner, but that doesn't mean they trust you. In their minds, not all humans are good, only some. For me, those early days of earning it are over and he has so much more trust--I'd like to think it is also correlating to others, or at least others here at my home. I really don't think he'd do well changing families.

My farrier was out yesterday (the man who really saved his life) and he was pounding a shoe over the old P3 fracture without Cowboy flinching, he stopped a moment and reflected on where we were when we started and where we are now.

He said, This horse was in so much pain when I first met him. I didn't know if I liked him. (Cowboy was a piss-ant that day, squirrely and pulled a plant out of my planter--a large day lily. It was quite a scene. His sweet personality definitely DID NOT shine through. The farrier was also new to Cowboy because we'd just moved here to Spokane, misdiagnosed fracture and all, and he'd been the top recommendation from our new vet.) The farrier had his arm around him, Cowboy's head was almost on the ground--like a big lap dog. Who me? Nah, I was never like that, was I?

I told him what a gift it was to have had Cowboy for two riding seasons since the accident (what I refer to now as post mortem since he was scheduled to be euthanized) and to now be going into my third. I told him how Cowboy has reached his plateau in life--young enough to have the energy and smart enough to know better. The golden years for me and him. And then I said, overly optimistic, of course--I want him to be a grandkid's horse someday.

My farrier brought me back to reality by saying, be glad for every year we get. We've already got more than we figured.

But you know, I can't help being optimistic. He already defied the odds by living through that fracture and coming out sound. I have to believe he'll live to old age, too.

Cowboy has a low nicker, much lower than all the horses in the barn. Only Beautiful's is even close to it. When I go out to see him, he nickers for me every time as he stands alone (always alone) somewhere in the turnout. I know his greeting--I could pick it out from any herd.

That horse has my heart. I know this is Beautiful's blog--but she's the younger sister. Who, I should mention since I've brought her up, got a big compliment from the farrier yesterday. He didn't trim her, but she was turned out. He stopped on the way back to his pickup and watched her and said, That is not the scrawny little horse you brought here. She looks like a real horse now." So, hey, I'll take that compliment for her.

Happy Trails, everyone!


  1. Just read your guest post on Tails from the Trail. Cowboy sounds like a special horse. I hope he's with you for a long, long time.

  2. Thanks, OUAE, I hope he is, too! Every year has a bit of the "pinch me" factor in it.

  3. 真正的友誼,有如健康失去時,始知其價值..............................

  4. You oughtta bring Cowboy to Riverside for the Mustang Club ride this Saturday. I'd love to meet him!

  5. Cowboy sounds like a very special horse - beautiful, too!

  6. I wondered what Post Mortem meant. Makes sense to me. That horse is lucky to have you. Many others don't fare so well after their humans have screwed them up.

  7. Thanks for the kind of compliments toward Cowboy! He's a sweet horse. I should add, it was his first two owners who created his issues--his last two were very accomplished horsewomen--one who "inherited" him after a divorce, and the other who picked him up in a trade. Neither really had the time or inclination to put into him since they have so many other horses. Cowboy and I just clicked from day one. He was good for me--taught me A LOT. I've been watching the info on that ride on the forum, Andrea, and it sounds tempting. My son has a track meet that day and my husband's out of town, so I'm probably going to be the one doing the driving, but I'm keeping my options open. ;) Maybe I can meet you guys for part of it?!?

  8. I just came from your guest post. Linda, it definitely sounds like Cowboy's earned a place in your heart. Or wait, maybe it's you who has lovingly earned a place in his :)

  9. Hi Joanne. Thanks for the vote of confidence! I believe it goes both ways with he and I. ;)

  10. I love this addition to the story; I'm going to link it so that people can get this side, too.

    Thanks for guesting with me today, I hope you'll do it again some day.

  11. Cowboy is lucky to have you in his life. Thanks for sharing the story!!

  12. GunDiva--it was fun--and got me thinking. You asked for a tale from the trail and Cowboy is my main trail horse, so my mind obviously went straight to him. It was fun to explore our history together again. Thanks for the invitation.

    Thanks, Paint Girl.

  13. Hopping over from Tales From the Trail - loved your guest post!

    It's such high praise when a farrier compliments your horse!

    And you're in Spokane? We're *kinda* local - if that means being in the same state :)

    You heading to the High Country Rendevous??? :)

  14. I haven't heard of it? Where is it???


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.