Monday, January 5, 2009

Who was lucky: Me or my horse?

A discussion thread on another blog made me think about who is the lucky one, me or my horse.

I often have people tell me, when they first hear my story of meeting and rescuing my horse, that I got lucky. In other words, I didn't know anything about his background or how he'd be when he grew up, so I am lucky he's sweet and rideable.

Well, for one thing I think they're missing the point. I didn't rescue Panama because I wanted a riding horse. I hadn't ridden for years, and I had no plans to ride a horse anytime soon — let alone to own a horse. I rescued him because I felt a connection and wanted to save him from abusive and neglectful backyard breeders, not to mention from a likelihood of ending up at the slaughter house.

But for another thing, I'm not so sure that I did necessarily just "get lucky" that Panama is such a good horse. Sure, there are things that are out of my control, such as his size — and granted, he is only just barely big enough for me to ride. But since my best times with him are when I've got both feet on the ground, I don't think it would have mattered much to me if I was unlucky in that respect.

The other thing people often mean when they say I got lucky, is what a good-natured horse Panama turned out to be. This idea just makes me laugh. Panama is a good horse not because he was born that way, but because of the time and love I've put into our relationship. He was shaping up to be a hellion when he was younger: virtually no human contact the first year of his life, very little the year he spent with my in-laws, and a whole string of bad experiences. He was stubborn, standoffish, and difficult when I transported him to Denver at age 2, but over the past year and a half he has become affectionate, well-mannered, and eager to please.

I suppose in a way I was lucky, because I gained a companion and a best friend. But I think Panama was the luckier one, not only because his very existence was at stake, but also because there's a lot of people, even among horse people, who wouldn't have bothered.



At January 17, 2009 at 9:23 PM, Blogger Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awwww! He is def. lucky that you gave his life a second chance. You are both lucky to have found one another. :)


At January 19, 2009 at 4:24 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Thanks Lisa. :o) In that respect, I do think I'm lucky -- we're both lucky. We've got such a good relationship.


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