Pardner came to live with us about 6 months ago. He's 26 years old and blind in one eye. He's not registered, pedigreed and, as far as I know, has never won great accolades in horse shows or competition. He's got a few health issues and needs a little extra TLC.
Pardner is a very fortunate horse in that he was raised and trained with Parelli Natural Horsemanship principles. Most importantly, this means his outlook on humanity is that they are partners, not predators to him. He has lived a life expecting mostly good things from his humans. He has never developed vices because he never had anything to escape from.
As Pardner and I have developed our own relationship, he has begun to greet me at the gate each morning, usually waiting to be let out to graze as I work with one of our younger horses, or do chores around the ranch. More and more frequently, I'll jump on his back and go for an impromptu ride. He's helped me to find the confidence in my body's; balance, flexibility, timing as we(I) get increasingly brave about riding bareback again, chasing cows, cantering and riding without reins.
He's also teaching me many things. Especially about aging.
He's the oldest horse on the place and the most physically limited, but he's worth his weight in gold.
The sum of the good experiences in life have left him with a positive outlook.
The fire of impetuosity has given way to a quiet power. No wasted energy on fidgeting or fighting against what is, but he's still got what he needs, when he needs it.
He's got a large enough perspective to be gracious to the young and inexperienced, but has maintained the sensitivity to respond to subtle cues from the right people.
He's doesn't need to be the boss of the herd, but DOES have a limit to what he will put up with from the youngsters. He's got the boundary thing down.
His innate goodness has landed him in a good place. He's got a home for his remaining years where he is loved and accepted as he is.
He's passing on his experience to my boys as they learn to ride and to me as I use him to hone the skills I need for my younger horses. His ability to teach is probably greater now than ever in his life.
I've decided I want to be like Pardner when I get old.Share on Facebook