Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Incredible Journey - Part 2

He had been around for ever. Been in this barn since the 1970s or 80s. He was supposedly bought from a cowboy around age 10 or 11, as a present for a young girl. What's weird about this is that he had supposedly jumped on top of someone (I'd assume that cowboy) in protest of crossing a stream - he never did like water.

Either way, he landed in the girl's possession and was to be her riding horse. Apparently, though, she was upset one day after losing at a horse show, and so her interest in him eventually waned. He was never sold by the father of that girl, and was still in his possession that fateful day when I found him.

The details of his history are fuzzy, yes; that's because literally decades had gone by since those days when he was used for riding. Taco had sat around for years without a real job or a real friend.

It was no surprise, then, that his coat was dull and dirty, his mane and tail unkempt, his movements slow, and his appetite non-existent. I don't know how he managed to keep weight on, because he would literally turn his nose away from a heaping bucket of feed.

A few months had passed since our first encounter, and I repeated the same process over and over again - go to the stable to ride, and then, when finished, go hang out with Taco. This was the first picture I took of him. After it was taken, he flew to the back of his stall and wouldn't come back out. We had startled him with the flash - he didn't have great vision.

Little eleven-year old me hadn't yet worked up the courage to ask if I could take him out and brush him. But, my riding instructor spotted me near him at the crossties after he had gotten his hooves trimmed, and asked if I wanted to groom him.

The answer? A resounding YES!

And, so it began. I spent hours upon hours brushing and cleaning that horse. All the other girls in the barn had "their" horse; even if they didn't own them, everyone kind of knew which horse belonged with which girl. After some time went by with Taco, the same began to happen for me. Even though I could not ride him due to his age, he became mine, and I became his.

Me and Taco, 2002

I absolutely slaved over him. Walks, baths, and lots of hair removal during shedding season were just a few of the tasks I undertook. I just really loved being with my new friend. Our relationship was just beginning to flower.

Stay tuned for Part 3, where I must make a big decision...


BRUTUS April 10, 2010 at 9:45 AM  

That last photo was so sweet! Can't tell you how many of my old memories your story is causing to resurface!


Frankie Furter and Ernie April 10, 2010 at 10:22 AM  

I am sure that Taco was thrilled with the attention. He must have been sooooo lonely.

LauraK April 10, 2010 at 10:44 AM  

Can't wait to hear part 3! I just love stories about amazing animals and their relationships with "their" people :)

Chris and Ricky April 10, 2010 at 11:35 AM the photo of you at 11 with Taco! He went from being so unlucky to being one of the luckiest horses ever with your love and devotion! Looking forward to part 3!

Sara April 10, 2010 at 11:51 AM  

What a beautiful photo. You can see the tenderness between the two of you.

Cyndi and Stumpy April 10, 2010 at 12:12 PM  

There really is no bond that compares to a young girl and the first horse with whom she falls in love.

It's clear Taco was missing that bond.


Stella April 10, 2010 at 12:28 PM  

So far, a lovely story, and I won't miss the rest.

Thanks for sharing this with us.


Golden Samantha April 10, 2010 at 12:40 PM  

Just catching up on this wonderful tale of you and Taco - Mom had horses growing up and still likes to ride once in a while - what a thrill. Great relationships between horses and young girls - Mom loved grooming her horsie, cleaning the hoofies, painting them and even cleaning and oiling the tack. What great times. We can't wait for Pt. 3! You have a wonderful history with animals!
Hugs xo Sammie and Mom

Amy / Layla the Malamute April 10, 2010 at 12:59 PM  

I probably would have done the same - I always feel a connection to the old/unwanted/discarded animals. That's why my dog before Layla was a deaf rescue who was about 13 years old.

I love the story, and can't wait to read more.

Sue April 10, 2010 at 1:02 PM  

Poor Taco, what a terribly unhappy life he had till he met you.

RILEY AND STAR MY MALTESEKIDS April 10, 2010 at 2:42 PM  

Your story is very beautiful and we can't wait to read part 3. Thank you for sharing it with us. By the way, you are a very good writer!

Riley and Star.

houndstooth April 10, 2010 at 5:39 PM  

That's a great picture of the two of you!

houndstooth April 10, 2010 at 5:39 PM  

That's a great picture of the two of you!

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! April 10, 2010 at 5:46 PM  

Just as 'we' know the khorrekht hooman, so did Taco!


Kathy Mocharnuk April 10, 2010 at 6:36 PM  

OH my gosh, I am already starting to tear wonderful for Taco that you found are a person who sees through the outter shell to what is underneath-what an amazing gift.

The Army of Four April 10, 2010 at 10:16 PM  

I love this story! And that photo of the two of you is awesome!
Tail wags,

KB April 11, 2010 at 9:30 AM  

What a lucky horse to have you as his friend. I won't miss the next installments. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Golden Woofs! SUGAR April 11, 2010 at 9:57 AM  

Woof! Woof! Great Lovely story ... Thanks for sharing. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Kari in Alaska April 11, 2010 at 3:04 PM  

Love the last photo, cant wait for part 3!

PoochesForPeace April 11, 2010 at 7:05 PM  

You made such a difference for Taco <3

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