Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Special Day......... Birthday Wishes.... For a Special Horse....

Each day I get closer to the one year anniversary of my illness, I am acutely aware of the passage of time, the condition of my body and the things I cannot do. As frustrating as it is, I try to stay focused on what will be.... instead of what is. It is what keeps me going and the horses are always the forefront of that.

Some of my friends think having bad things happen means I have bad luck. If I believed that I would probably have quit a long time ago because I've had my share of things happen. Instead I believe it's how we come through adversity that is important and I try to give it my best effort when life gets hard. I have no unrealistic expectations that life will be perfect so I am ready to deal with issues as they happen and I don't let them dissuade me from pursuing my dreams. I keep on trudging along despite the obstacles. I may have to remind myself from time to time that I will get there sooner or later but trying to stay focused on the positive sure makes life easier at times like these than dwelling on the negative.

Currently I don't get the opportunity to focus on my horses as often as I would like. I don't seem to be able to just go to the barn to visit without getting into work mode and pushing myself beyond my limits. I have learned I need to stay out of the barn if I don't have the energy to do more than just pet horses. Any little thing that spurs memories of them to the forefront is a special gift for the day.

Today is one of those days. Even though I am too exhausted to ride (and the weather isn't cooperating even if I could) today is a day to celebrate. Sixteen years ago today, Scandalous blessed me with a beautiful colt. Even when he was just a vision in my mind's eye, he was the fuel to my dream. The planning for his future began before he was even conceived and he has never let me down. It is hard to imagine sixteen years have passed since that day he was born. The time has flown in ways I never imagined.

Oh how I miss being able to recreate this scene with him. From his attitude these days I would say he misses it too. The horse has always loved to work and showing off while doing it has been a favorite of his. I couldn't ask for a better attitude from a show horse. I am really missing the opportunity to show him this year, particularly when just before I got sick I had finally gotten "that lope" I always knew was in there somewhere waiting to express itself. I am dying for the opportunity to show him "finished."

Getting to show off in any fashion has always been a big deal for this horse. He loves a crowd and takes his fans pretty seriously. There's nothing he loves more than displaying what he thinks of himself which in turn generates the kind of admiration he thinks he deserves. This picture and the one at the very top are from an open house a few years back. They definitely portray this playful aspect of his character.

I doubt that I will ever think about my history with Scandalous' last foal without remembering what it took to teach him to breed mares while in hand. At his mother's side he got lots of practice jumping on Heiress as she baby sat him but I didn't dare take the risk of pasture breeding. The horse has such a great mind I knew he would be receptive to our intervention despite my lack of knowledge, even if he did find it to be a bit frustrating. I couldn't afford risking injury to him or one of my mares because of some instinctual thing I could not control. I had already experienced enough of Mother Nature's worst side in instinctual behavior in the loss of his mother and that was not a mistake I was willing to make twice.

I was told I shouldn't breed a two-year-old stallion. Doing so would ruin him and he'd never make a pleasure horse if I did. I never doubted the horse's ability to deal with both aspects in his life and he did not disappoint me. Those early detractors soon learned he was more than just a pretty face. The fact it took me years to get him finished as a western pleasure horse had nothing to do with his mind. Unfortunately the injury he sustained as a suckling was at the root of the problem. The missed diagnosis by vets and chiropractors didn't help. Topped off by my lack of faith in myself which caused me to entrust my horse's training to someone who abused that trust didn't help.

Once I finally listened to the friends encouraging me to do my own training, the horse never wavered. With the abuse he suffered because of my poor decisions including halter as a yearling, the stallion could have been pissed off and difficult. Instead he has been a perfect gentleman, forgiving all of my mistakes, giving me his best.

There are those who have told me you can't make mistakes with stallions, They won't stand for it but that has never been my experience with him or any of his sons. The road has been slow and long as life threw it's curves into the mix and the stallion experienced on again, off again training (another thing "experts" will say horses can't do). The time necessary to deal with other issues including the birth of the twins and other forms of drama like this , sometimes even including the horse himself have cut into training time. All of that and more really doesn't seem to phase this horse.

He is a trooper and he's proven that time and again. It didn't take my illness or my first ride after it for me to get how special he is. He has shown me that each and every day of his life. How can I feel anything but lucky when I have been blessed with such a horse? Scandalous Legacy has lived up to his name and honored his mother in a way not even I dreamed possible.

Happy Birthday, Legs!

Note: I will continue on in my rather heady experience with the Parellis in my next post. I found the clinic thought provoking and useful. Putting "it" into words has been an interesting part of the journey as well but then who would expect anything less when you're talking the psychology of the horse?


  1. Happy Birthday, Legs! He really is one of the special ones, MiKael. You have done so much good for each other.

  2. Happy Birthday Legs! You are a horse among horses. So special with the care and love you show to MiKael. You are to put it mildly "one of those horses of a lifetime" and I'm glad you're here for all of us to admire.

  3. Happy birthday Legs!!! I have missed out on so much in your journey over the past few years. Take care.

  4. Happy birthday to the beautiful Legs! I know what you mean about stallions, I have a special relationship with Beamer, he really is my heart horse.

  5. Happy Birthday to you Legs! What a wonderful Birthday post for your beautiful boy! I feel so lucky to have met your special boy (and you) in person. I have personally seen how good your stallion is and you have done a fantastic job with him!!

  6. Happy Birthday to Legs! He truly is a special horse and very, very beautiful!

  7. Happy Birthday Leggs! What a wonderful horse, and I will never forget reading about his first breeding season.I hope he will forgive that I nearly fell out of my chair laughing!

  8. He is truly your heart horse...the bond between an Arabian and the person he is loyal to is a very, very special thing. I wish all Arabians could have owners who see and know this. To many an Arabian is just money on the hoof and it messes the horse up. I hope you and Legs have many more years together!

  9. I so enjoyed reading your blog and your openness to share yourself and your thoughts about your lovely heart horse.
    Oh and I I just loved the photo of those twin foals. What beautiful babies!!!
    Just want to introduce myself and let you know that I have written a novel called The Last Daughter of Prussia which will be coming out in November. It is fiction but tells the story of the Trakehners in East Prussia when the Russians were invading and these brave horses were the civilians' only saviors. I have a blog too that documents how the story unfolded. It contains many photographs from that time. If you are interested you might want to check it out.

    Perhaps we can exchange links. Let me know. I call mine The Last Daughter of Prussia: Trakehner Horses. Warmly Marina