Friday, February 17, 2012

Harvey memory: Harv takes a stroll

Harv at Saddle Valley (note white fencing)
I have been pondering the question, "what are your favorite moments with your horse?" There have been many, for both Riley and Harv, but of course Harv has about ten years over Ri, and there are more memories. Here is one of them...

We used to board at a lovely old farm that was a renovated a Saddlebred operation. Acres of white fenced-pastures surrounded the barn and riders often walked their horses along the fenceline.  On this day, I was on such a  walk with a friend. She had two horses--I was riding her mare,  and she was on her tall bay gelding.  It was late afternoon, toward dusk, and the sun was setting through the trees.
The late afternoon sun was making long shadows, and it hard to really see--but we both made out that there was a horse walking around in a pasture (or so we thought). We remarked that it was an unusual   time of day for a horse to be turned out in a pasture, alone. As we turned toward the barn and came closer to the horse, I realized that the horse was not in the pasture at all, but strolling outside the fenceline as we were.  We turned onto the same path as the horse, and as we came nearer my heart skipped.

You've probably guessed by now, it was Harvey.  He did not waiver  as we approached, but kept ambling along. His expression was mild and pleasant. While he seemed to acknowledge our presence (did he just nod his head?), we weren't interfering with the enjoyment of his late afternoon walk. If I had not dismounted I'm sure he would have continued past us. 

I walked over and grabbed Harv's forelock, while my friend took my horse's reins (she ponied him back). Even with his walk cut short, Harv's spirits were not dampened -- in fact he seemed enormously pleased with himself. When we returned to the barn, I pieced together what happened. One of the barn workers was a bit of a drinker -- too many DUIs to drive, but a hard worker and usually reliable. Except today, he had left Harv's stall ajar after watering him. Harv must have decided it was a nice day for a walk.

This was not a big moment in any way, but I remember the moment of recognition -- that's my horse! -- and the wonder I felt at seeing Harv (who panics when he's alone) so comfortable in his solitary walk.  It's funny how they can surprise us....


  1. From everything you've written about Harvey, I can imagine him on this solitary stroll, nodding his head at you as he passed. This is the kind of horse moment I love, as it illustrates for me how much character they have.

  2. So cute. Harvey is clearly a gentleman and what gentleman would not enjoy an early evening stroll? All he needed was some brandy and the evening paper. Perhaps he was in search of both....

    Love how he just kind of came back home with you when you led him by his forelock. *S*

    (Boy, do I hate Blogger's new word verification format. I have that option turned off on my blog. It was OK when it was readable letters, but now.....yuck!!)

  3. Oh how funny. The second thing to register for me in the photo (after the horse, of course) was all that lovely white fence. Of course I was thinking that as beautiful as it looks, I'd sure hate to be the one that had to take care of all that painting! ;o)


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