Day Four: A horse that impacted your life.
Boomer (Thoroughbred/Appaloosa gelding) is the only horse I ever loved that didn't belong to me. He lived at the dressage stable where I worked for almost four years (my first real job). He belonged to a really nice older woman (that I'm still friends with) who was trying to get her bronze medal. Unfortunately Boomer did not like being a dressage horse and couldn't/wouldn't do flying lead changes while mounted so she sold him so she could get a horse that could take her through third level (which she'd been stuck at for several years). I wanted to buy him so bad, but I didn't have the money and she couldn't accept payments or she'd be without a horse when show season started.
I still remember my very first day working there. The barn owner (BO) was taking me on a tour of the stable and when we walked inside this sight greeted me. A gorgeous black horse hanging his head out of the stall, pinning his ears and biting at anyone who passed. I was immediately intrigued. The BO explained that Boomer was insecure and so he was stall aggressive (not dangerously so, mostly just threatening). He was also gelded late so he had some stallion like behaviors.
As I started working feeding/watering horses, turning them out and cleaning stalls I quickly realized Boomer was a very sweet horse, he was just misunderstood. Most people didn't give him any attention because of his attitude at the gate, but once you went in the stall he was a big 16.1hh puppy dog who loved attention. As I spent more and more time with him he started looking for me and coming to me even though I didn't have treats. It even got to where he came to me instead of his owner (probably because he knew she'd be riding him and I wasn't lol, you know how lazy horses can be).
Showing off his amazing free walk above. His owner knew how much I liked him and when she finally made the decision to sell him she let me start riding him and playing with him.
Like dressing him up as a knight's jousting horse for our Halloween parade. :D I took lessons on him for a while (I don't remember how long, less than a year) and it was like a dream come true! In fact it was shortly after he was sold that I kind of lost interest in my dressage lessons because I didn't enjoy the little lesson mare. I'm sure Chrome will awaken my interest in dressage again.
Boomer was sold and left the barn one day without my knowledge so I didn't get to say goodbye. I cried for a long time over that. The barn seemed so empty without him being in the first stall to glare at me as I came into the aisle. No more standing outside his stall while he licked the saltiness from my hands, pinning his ears at everyone else while keeping his head over my shoulder. No more amazing rides in my lessons. No more pulling his mane and grooming him to prepare him for horse shows for his owner. No more Boomer.
I was lucky enough to see him two more times because he'd gone to live at another barn where they held shows that we attended. The first time he was laying down in his pasture and he let me walk right up to him and hug him. He chewed on my shoe while I said goodbye. The second time he was being ridden by his new owner (a little girl). He was happier there because he lived outside 24/7 and didn't have to do dressage anymore. I still miss him.
I'm not sure how Boomer impacted my life, but he did. He introduced me to difficult, misunderstood horses. Big horses with huge movement. The fun of lower level dressage (he made it fun lol). Saying goodbye. He reminds me of some of the best summers of my life.