Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sally's story: Buck and Chester

The next horse story in the lineup is Sally's story of Buck and Chester. Although this story is about two different horses, they are irrevocably connected, as you will see. Be sure to also check out Sally's wonderful horse blog, Arab Crazy Family!

Buck and Chester

For as long as I can remember, I was horse crazy. When I was still very young, my parents lost their farm and we had to move into town. This turn of events did not help a young, horse-crazed girl. I substituted by playing "horse" almost constantly. I would run around the yard like a wild mustang, bolt around the park like a young colt in spring. When it was raining, I was inside playing with the endless collections of little plastic horses I had... I drove my parents crazy!

When I reached the tender age of thirteen, mom and dad finally had enough money for another farm. It was a much smaller farm at eight acres, but I began to clamor very LOUDLY for a real horse once we got moved. My mom promised that as soon as we got settled, we'd start looking. I started packing that very night.

We got moved, we got settled, the real horse didn't come. Mom said we just didn't have the money. I begged, bargained, pleaded, made outlandish promises, and finally — I cried. That broke my mother's heart, and we started looking right away. We looked far and wide, my mom had an idea of what was to be my first horse and she was not about to get me any horse that was not "safe."

Finally, after months of searching, my mom and dad bought me an old appaloosa/quarter horse cross named Buck. (I found out a few years ago they had to get a loan from the bank, sniff.) Buck was sent to us from heaven. I learned so much about life on the back of that horse. He listened to all the rants and tradgedies of a teenage girl's life and I believe he was truly happy.

I got older, and Buck got older. I got married, started a family and Buck stayed at my old home. My children learned to ride Buck. One night, my dad called me and said I better come out. Buck had a stroke — he was pushing thirty five by the vet's best guess, and we made the heartbreaking decision to end his suffering.

Something hardened in me that night. The loss was unbearable. I cried for weeks, and my whole life seemed to go into limbo. I was finally able to let go of "home" and my husband and I moved our family hours away. I don't think I ever realized just how much that one death affected me. It was like life had lost its luster. Oh, I still had the job, the family, the whole life, but something was missing.

I changed jobs, and then I met Dian. She saw a necklace I had on one night (a horse) and started telling me about her horses. She said it would be just great to bring the kids out and let them pet on her horses. I refrained — I just did not want to go through that ever again — no more horses.

Then, for some reason, I relented. We went over to "pet" the horses. Something happened that day. There was this yearling grey stud colt that stayed back from the other horses. When he steped forward, my whole entire world fell apart — or together. I said "Who is THAT?!" Dian said "That's Chester."

She told me all the names, but the only horse I remember, or even cared, about was Chester. I went home and could think of nothing but Chester. I told my husband I had to have that horse. Arguements followed. We can not afford a horse. Where will we keep a horse? How will you have time to take card of a horse?!

In the mean time, I told Dian that somehow, some way, I wanted Chester. I signed up for all the overtime I could get. Dian worked out a payment plan with me. When I couldn't find a place to keep him, she worked out a boarding agreement with me. Hubby argued with me, I argued with hubby. I started working with Chester every day. He had really been one of D's that got left out a little, so he was behind on how wonderful people can really be.

Changes started, little by little. Chester began to look for me. Happiness came back to my life. Everyone, especially my hubby and kids noticed. He would say "How come you never got up early before?" I would say "There wasn't a Chester." He went through some stages, some adjusting to my radical changes, and I guess he finally decided that this change was a good change and for my birthday he paid Chester off!

I can not begin to explain how that one horse has saved my life. I look forward to getting out of bed, my children have a better mother, my husband has a better wife. Sparkles and dreams have crept back into my mind — I can't wait for the days when Chester and I hit the trails. I love that my whole family loves horses. Life has a new jingle and Chester hears it too!



At January 24, 2010 at 5:01 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

What a wonderful story.


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