He’s Got Star Quality

“Horses are amazing. They have their own personality
and their own way of doing things. They make up their
mind whether they like you or don’t like you, and I got
along terrific with almost all the horses I’ve ever had.”
Burt Reynolds 

Horses, just like humans, have personalities as unique as their owners. In the fifty plus years of riding, training and giving lessons, the one thing I’ve learned is that no two horses are similar in their personalities. A horse’s personality is molded as he grows and matures. His experiences with trainers, handlers and owners form his mind into what he is today. The horse memory can exceed ours for past bad experiences and, unfortunately for the horse and human, the horse can’t delete those bad experiences from his brain.  You can attempt to breed in traits, or even clone a horse, and you will find that each horse stands alone.

A few years back I was trail riding with a friend. She has one of the most beautiful reining horses at our barn. As we rode side by side out on the trail, we were discussing different topics. I commented to her how beautiful her horse was. She was a little taken aback by my comment and immediately began to point out some of her horse’s flaws. Disagreeing with her opinion of her horse, I continued to tell her that if her horse were a celebrity he would be Hugh Jackman. She thought that was the funniest comment she had ever heard about her horse. Explaining to her that the reason I saw the similarities in such a famous and talented actor was because her horse not only possessed such handsome good looks, but also had talent, perfect confirmation, brains, athletic ability and was charismatic to boot. Yep, her horse undeniably could win a Hugh Jackman look-a-like contest.

We both laughed and discussed this in great detail, comparing other horses in the barn with celebrities. She asked me what celebrity I thought my horse resembled. After thinking about this for a few moments, I replied that he sure wouldn’t be Charlie Sheen. My horse has too much common sense and class.

My horse Jimmy is a twenty-six year-old paint gelding. Smartest horse I’ve ever known with a great deal of bravery for a horse of his stature. Easy on the eye, he stands just 14.2 hands and he weighs in around 800 pounds. He’s a Tobiano Dun with a long flowing white mane and tail. On sunny days, his white coat shimmers and twinkles like the tips of his coat are lit up by tiny light crystals. He’s an ex-cutting horse who’s not quite as athletic as he used to be, but what he lacks in athleticism, he makes up in honesty and trustworthiness. People young and old are drawn to his good looks and then fall in love with his tricks and antics, which he is famous for at every stable we’ve ever boarded or visited. He is a celebrity in his own right and often friends and acquaintances will ask me, “How’s Jimmy”, long before they ask about myself.

No, Jimmy wouldn’t be a George Clooney or a Russell Crowe. He’s more of a classic celebrity like John Wayne or Jimmy Stewart. A much more rugged and sturdy character of a horse. He also is quite charismatic for a horse. Sticking his tongue out at people as they walk by, which is his attempt at getting their attention. Jimmy’s extremely intelligent, he knows 18 word commands and several hand commands without touching him to perform his array of tricks.  He’s more of a superstar, a horse that everyone enjoys and wants to be around.  If I could compare him to a Hollywood Horse, he would definitely be compared to Roy Rogers’ horse, Trigger.

As my friend began to name one celebrity after the other, I told her that the only celebrity that came to mind was Burt Reynolds. With his confident demeanor, nonchalant attitude, and charismatic personality, Jimmy could only be compared to Burt Reynolds.

What celebrity does your horse resemble? It’s kind of a fun question when you think about. Is your filly more of a Julia Roberts or Angelina Jolie?  Is your stallion a Sylvester Stallone or Bradley Cooper?  Whichever superstar your horse resembles, you know he will always be your favorite star and you will always be his biggest fan. Why? Because he’s got star quality.

Shine On

Dog Day Afternoon

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
                                                                                       Roger Caras

Today is a remarkably clear day. The temperature is in the low 60’s with just a slight breeze. A perfect day for a stroll. So, I went for my usual walk this afternoon.

There were lots of people walking, but I noticed the majority of the people out today were walking their dogs. Some people had more than one dog. They had young dogs and old dogs. Watching all the happy owners with their dogs, I spotted one dog that was especially happy. I couldn’t resist but stop and checkout this perky pup.

The puppy was a five month old golden retriever named Lexie. As soon as my eyes met Lexie’s, she came up to greet me immediately. Her friendly and proud owners told me all about her and how they had opted out of a trip to Hawaii to purchase Lexie. “She was their new baby.”

When I got home from my walk, I looked up the meaning of the name Lexie. To my surprise, I learned that the name Lexie means, defender of mankind. What an appropriate name for such a beautiful and loyal animal as a dog.

I wonder if Lexie’s owners are aware of the meaning of their dogs name? I like to believe that they named her Lexie because of what she stands for. But if they aren’t aware, they no doubt understand how special Lexie is and believe a trip to Hawaii is less important than a dog day afternoon.

Shine On

Reflection of Who We Are

“The world is a looking glass and gives back
to every man the reflection of his own face.”
William Makepeace Thackeray

Once upon a time there lived two dogs. Both dogs at separate times walk into the same room. One comes out wagging his tail while the other comes out growling.

A woman watching this goes into the room to see what could possibly make one dog so happy and the other so mad. To her surprise, she finds a room filled with mirrors.

The happy dog found a thousand happy dogs looking back at him, while the angry dog saw only angry dogs growling back at him.

The moral of this story. What you see in the world around you is only a reflection of who we are.

Shine On