יום רביעי, 12 בינואר 2011

How did it all start?

How did it all start?

When I was 12 I started riding, and suddenly, there was something in the world that I was good at.
I became the best rider in the stable, and started competing on school horses.
Then started renting a horse so it'll be like my own, but, one day, the owner just informed me that from tomorrow things were going to change…
I was so upset, I left the stable and I knew it. It's either my parents buy me a horse, or I stop riding.
So, I tried to make them understand, and they, of course, didn't want to hear about it. Yes, try explaining to a businessman why it's good to buy a horse, when all the risks are on him and you'll probably lose money every month…
But, one day I just wrote a letter, I explained to my father that I am ready to kill myself if they won't buy me a horse, and that I  feel bad and neglected, and that he is all the time away for business, and a horse will be the only thing that will make me happy.
I am still surprised, but 10 days later we were in France, looking for my first horse…
And there he was…!

HOUSTY
a slim horse, with terrifying look in his face, scares all over his body, dark brown with a white stripe on his face, not too tall, and  he couldn't stand quietly…HOUSTY…that was the name on the door, and a lot of plastic medals hanging under the name.
I can't explain it, but I knew that he was my horse!
I went inside the stable, and suddenly saw a chicken. He had a chicken friend, and every day, he had extra egg to eat as well…he was a horse that you might ask yourself: "what is that? A donkey?"
But, that was my horse.
I went inside his stable, tied him up, and put the saddle on strengthened the girth and…the horse was on the floor with hysteric movements…trying to get loose…
Apparently, he was not to be tied, not to be pressed, not to be anything…just like me…
So, they continued to put on the rest of the tack, as he was used to, and it was time to go on…but this horse couldn't stand still…he has to walk when you get on…so I tried, and couldn't, then I tried again, then they just gave me a leg up- that's a way to put a rider on the horse, kind of like a frog jumping…
I was on him, he didn't feel big, and I could control him immediately. Riding him was just natural for me; I didn't need any help from anyone as for how and what to do.
Then we jumped few fences, and it was so easy…I remember he refused once on the cross (a really small fence we normally used for warm up), then I gave him a whip, and he just started jumping everything…no matter how good or bad I rode, he just did everything for me without hesitating.
I remember the owners looking at each other with great wonder; they didn't believe this horse could click so well with anyone. They didn't believe how this horse suddenly became the safest nicest horse you can imagine…
Apparently, he was not an easy horse to ride, apparently, a few days before we tried him, a professional rider tried him, and the horse just refuse to move for him…and I could do everything with him…
So, after we tried 3 more horses, I was sure that this is my horse, and on the 11.11.89, HOUSTY was mine!!!
On the 12.12.89 he finally landed in Israel, and I started riding him.
There were lots of misunderstandings with him at first, and it took me a while to understand what is comfortable for him and what isn't. (It wasn't so hard since almost everything was not…), but the riding was always so easy, and the jumping was always amazing.
I could come with my eyes closed; no reins and no stirrups to any fence, that's how secure I felt with him.
And he always wanted to do the job, he had the biggest heart you could ever wish for, and he was always cleared the fence, he never wanted to touch any fence.
So, naturally we were almost always in the prices…week after week, competition after competition, Orly and Housty were becoming a known combination in the Israeli horse society. Every competition, more and more people were running to see our round in the jumping, and more and more people were coming to see our jump off (that's when you have to jump fences as fast as possible…).
And of course, people also started to get jealous, and started saying: "yes, it's a one in a million horse, but you are a shitty rider. Yes you win now, but when the competitions become harder it will stop." Etc'
I didn't care about these people, but slowly, there sayings did get inside my heart, and did find a way to my soul…and that's why I bought Sara at the age of 18…

Today, when I look backwards, I agree, Housty was a one–in-a‑million horse, but also, I was a one in a million rider for him, and together, we were unbeatable.
Today, as a trainer, I laugh at this story, because he was a horse that you would never buy: A horse with behavioral issues, with back problems, heart problems, leg problems, shoeing problems, clipping problems and what not?
He wasn't good looking, he was already 11.5 when we bought him…and he was a weaving horse- that's a compulsory behavior that looks like the horse is praying all day long…
But, although he was a horse that you'd never buy, I cannot stop thinking about the good combination we were, and that is the most important thing of all. You can have a good horse that can jump all the way to the moon and back but if he won't do it with you it won't help. You could have a horse that will refuse to jump with everyone else and look really upset, but for you…for you he'll readily jump to the moon, even if he can't really do it.
And today I think that that is the most important thing when you look for a horse. You want to find this one in a million relationship, which has nothing to do with the quality of the horse, with his looks, with his behavior and with his parents…

And now, please excuse me; I am going to the chiropractor…




















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