Thinking of Unicorns Past and Present

The weather has been unseasonably warm, and all I really want to do is go play Ponies with Santos. But between work, The Debonaire Mare, and this stupid f*cking cold, all I can manage is to feed the horses their dins, clean the stall and, spend just a few quiet minuets petting my pony.  And of course read blogs and waste time on the interwebs.

My friend SB just wrote a great blog about how to get a horse like hers.  Her Zoëbird is a unicorn. For real.  That got me thinking about how these special horses come into our lives.

I am incredibly blessed to have had three unicorns in my life to date. Gold Leaf, Athena, and now Santos.

When I was 15 years old, there was a horse for sale, and I went to see him. I literally had $600, my entire savings, to spend on this horse, and it was kind of a long shot if the owner would accept that offer.  Mom and I drove to the coast which wasn’t that far, maybe 25-30 miles, and met Gold Leaf.  Here is the thing:  I knew the SECOND I laid eyes on him he was my unicorn.  After I test rode Gold Leaf, I got off, and he proceeded to lick my entire face for nearly a minute. It was as if he and I were long lost friends and had all sorts of catching up to do.  Luckily the owner felt the same way and accepted my meager offer.GoldLeaf and I were together for 13 years, until he passed at 24 years old. I still miss him, and think of him, and the our time together every day.

I met Athena when I moved to Idaho.  I answered an ad to lease a jumper (what was I thinking!?) and for a year, I rode Sam Athena’s stablemate. Athena was retired, and everyday when I came to ride Sam, she I glared at each other, until one day, I took her for a spin.  She was an absolute dream, and we were inseparable best friends until she crossed the rainbow bridge.  Athena took me to the local jumper shows: we did the 2′ and 2’6′ classes.  I hung on to her mane and she took me around as careful as could be, because I was paralyzed with terror. She would whinny at me when I visited, comforted me when I was sad, and was my friend regardless. She reminded me how fun jumping was, and I taught her some basic dressage.  Athena was my second unicorn; the lessons she taught me serve me well.

My third unicorn is Santos.  I met him on a blind date, after swearing off horses, once and for all. When I met him the feeling was  identical to when I met Gold Leaf, over 25 years ago. I paid attention.  I had no business buying a pony, but these things you don’t ignore.  So now I have my third unicorn. Unlike my first two unicorns (how greedy does that sound, though?) Santos is a baby. Gold Leaf was 11 when we met, and Athena was 18, I think.  The experience is completely different, as there is no riding in the equation yet, and I will tell you this:  the time spent grooming, leading, petting, lunging, etc. is time very well spent.  This is how you tighten that bond.  Having a unicorn, like any relationship, is work.

So how DO you get a unicorn? You must allow them to get you. It is as simple, and as complicated as that.

Until next time-Crystal

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