Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Harvey memory: Why I love my horses

I sometimes like to muse about my days as a new horse owner -- when I first bought Harvey over FIFTEEN years ago.  We were at a modest but nice co-op barn in North Carolina. It was an old cow barn, converted for horses by someone who was apparently not all that handy. There was an outside wash stall made of spare wood pieces. Looking back, I can't believe I ever tied Harv to that rickety house of cards, but I did. Harv could have pushed it all down with a shove of his head.

Anyway, I had cross tied him there one afternoon, getting ready to ride.  The day was gorgeous, there was a little breeze, and  Harv stood in  this  old wash stall under the dappled shade of some big trees. I had not had him long and he'd been on the property not much more than a week.

I groomed him and left to get my tack. Walking back with my saddle, I got to take in the view of my new bay horse. Harv stood relaxed and attentive, as if music was playing somewhere.  As I approached he he turned his attention to me, ears pricked and waiting for something wonderful.  He had such faith in good things to come!

 A friend of mine used to say that Harv was a good riding horse because no matter who rode him or how they rode, "he always finds a happy place." She was right. Harv is a happy horse and optimistic about humans. That's admirable for a horse that spent three years on the racetrack -- and somehow it rubs off. More often than not, I leave the barn in a much happier place than when I arrived.  Everyone should have a Harv.


  1. Harvs can be once a lifetime horses. You are lucky to have found each other.

  2. Lovely post, Stacey. I feel sorry for those people who are so busy with their lives WITH horses they don't stop to appreciate the small moments like you did with Harv in the wash rack. I put Huey in his wash rack (concrete pad with "brush strokes" so he doesn't slip, pipe railings around three sides) and he immediately dozes off. He only "comes to" when I step out of the tack shed (where the fridge is located--there are CARROTS on that fridge) because I might have a treat and he doesn't want to miss a bite. Huey didn't come to me "a happy horse," but I think he has found "a happy place" in that even if there might be dragons, he's got nice humans (me and, now by extension, anyone I hang with) to see him through. A tremendous responsibility we have--this trust our horses place in us--but no one better than us to handle anything that comes our way.

  3. Harv's lovability is palpable in these posts.

  4. What a wonderful insight. Horses do have a way of making al. The stresses and bad things go away! Harvey is lucky to have you.

  5. This is a lovely post. I, too, have a happy horse who, the words of my trainer, "acts as if he's already lived once and knows good things are coming."

    Mostly--apart from him being a horse--he is a strong, positive presence. Just like a fun, upbeat person has change your day, my fun, upbeat horse makes me feel more that way myself.

    Sidenote: Do you know what Harv was like at the track?

  6. He has the kindest expression/eye EVER. I agree with the others - you are blessed to have him, and the great thing you realize that!


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