Saturday, May 18, 2013

Harvey, dressage horse

The photo to the right was taken at one of the last 2 or 3 shows Harv competed in -- I think he was about 20 years old, and he had significant arthritis but was still sound enough to take into the ring. It's one of my favorites of Harv.

Just the other day, I was thinking about the differences between Ri and Harv as competition horses. Harv could be an emotional horse, and he was a spooker -- he did better when he travelled with another horse. Even with spooky moments,  he definitely made a nice picture with his kind face and willing attitude.

One of my fondest memories of competing Harv is taking him to Flying Change Farm in New Jersey for a schooling show. He was probably about 14 years old.

It was a threatening day, bad weather with fast-moving dark clouds, hard rain, and wind. Harv had trailered in with another horse, and he was calm and focused. We finished a nice steady ride in a big First Level class. As we were leaving, the ring steward -- an older woman, a total stranger -- came up to Harv and hugged him! She patted Harv admiringly and told me, "I don't know anything about horses, I'm just here with my granddaughter, but your horse is wonderful and I think you should win."

 I think the lady was referring to his "kind way of going," and the fact that he slopped through the mud and wind with his ears pricked forward and without any drama.

We got fourth, and I actually thought we might have placed higher. But after that moment with the ring steward, it didn't seem to matter so much. Harv got a big hug from someone who admired not his gaits, or flashiness, but his character--and that is a memory to enjoy forever.


  1. And a wonderful memory to share. Thanks for doing so. Harv looks amazing in your favorite photo.

  2. What a wonderful memory and a wonderful horse. It's so great when other people see what we see in our horses.

  3. What a great story and a wonderful tribute to Harvey's character. I think the comment was indeed even more important than any old ribbon.

  4. I agree with Val--you and Harv "made a memory" that day and obviously impressed the ring stew. He IS a special guy, and he taught you a lot, I'll bet.

  5. Aww...I love this sweet story. He certainly does have a very sweet face :)


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