Can you believe it’s been seven years since I bought this dodo?
It’s crazy to even think of my life pre-Henry. Hard to remember a time where this goober wasn’t the center of my world. Also cute that I was ever deluded enough to think I was actually going to re-sell him. Ha. Hahahaha. That’s a big fat nope. Jokes on me.
Turns out that this chonky, grumpy, cheeky little wannabe-QH carved himself a permanent place in my heart and in my life. He’s never going anywhere. Stuck with me forever. He’s the best teacher, friend, and big brother that I never even went looking for. You don’t question the universe when it sends you a gift like this.
And while we both seem to live for that feeling when we leave the start box together, 2020 failed to deliver on our favorite high. I mean, we got to go XC school once, and we certainly fit lots of jompies in at home, so it wasn’t a total loss. In a way though, having the pressure of horse showing taken out of the equation and off of our relationship has been a really good thing. There are no expectations on the time I spend in the saddle. No strict schedules to adhere to, no timelines to stress over. There’s just less noise, so to speak. If there’s one perk of a pandemic, it’s clarity, and what’s perfectly clear to me is that having fun with this horse and keeping him happy are the only things that really matter.
If possible, our bond has actually gotten even deeper. Each year that passes, it just seems to grow and solidify even more. We understand each other, we know each other, and we can read each other so well by now. Especially now that he lives in my backyard. Having him right there has deepened the connection even more, in different ways.
I love both of my horses dearly, but they definitely take on different roles. Presto is the fancier, more athletic young gun that needs lots of attention. In some ways that may make it seem like Henry fades into the background a bit, but no. Quite the opposite actually. Presto is fresh and fun and exciting yes, but swinging a leg over Henry’s back feels like coming home. To know a horse this well and to trust him and just enjoy his company no matter what we’re doing – that’s a pretty special role. In a lot of ways they balance each other, and they balance me too. Henry keeps us all grounded.
I’ve used my seven favorite pictures of Henry from this past year in this post and looking at them now I think it shows a little bit of everything that’s so great about him. I hope we have many more years and many more photos to come, so here’s one more to grow on.
If this horse has taught me anything, it’s that when your gut says “there’s just something about this horse”: buy the damn horse. Even if it makes no logical sense at the time. Even if you’ve never actually met the horse in person before. Who knows, it might be the best thing you ever did.