Tall Husband and I found this French Antique Horse at Thompson + Hanson last weekend. Knowing all my horse stories, he went back and bought it to take home to our bungalow.
This is a true story which took place during a former marriage.
We left Houston on our Harley one morning in early May. It was a ride to try to recapture the romance that had somehow faded from our marriage. Our route would take us to California with a detour through Colorado to spend a few days at a friend's ranch. Our friends had sent instructions ahead for our stay, so when we arrived at the ranch late one night, our guest cabin was waiting for us, with beds turned down and a fire in the fireplace. We unpacked our bike and after a bath we fell into bed.
The only other people at the ranch were Larry, the foreman, his assistant, and a cook, all of whom we met after breakfast the next morning as we were given a tour of the ranch. Larry, having been told that I knew my way around a horse, invited me to accompany him up the mountain to fetch a small herd of wild horses. The horses had just been delivered to the ranch the previous day and at dusk they had managed to break out of the corral. Larry and his assistant had repaired and improved the corral, which left no time to hunt down the horses.
After breakfast, S.H. and I climbed into Larry's Jeep and he began the steep drive up the mountain, stopping now and then to look for signs of the horses. As we ascended, the mountain changed seasons...it was summer at the ranch, spring up higher, then fall and then we were in late winter, with patches of snow in the deep shade. We all slipped into warm jackets and began our search on foot. We heard a soft snort and as I looked through the trees, I saw them...the small herd of beautiful, wild horses. The scene felt quiet and magic. I walked silently toward the horse that appeared to be the lead. I put my hand out and softly said, "Here horsey," motioning for him to come.
"Here horsey?...That's not how you wrangle wild horses," S.H. said mockingly.
I put my hand up to silence him. Then the lead horse came to me as we kept our eyes locked. When he reached me, I put my hand out and he placed his head against my opened hand. I patted his head, then scratched behind his ear, as I told him how beautiful he was. I reached behind me and Larry placed a rope halter with lead in my hand. The horse stood like an obedient puppy and let me adjust the halter on him, then he followed me down the mountain with all the other horses trailing after him. As the small herd and I followed the slow-moving jeep down the mountain, happy tears ran down my cheeks, for I knew this was a magic moment.
Later that night, after S.H. had gone to bed and I sat by the fire reading, there was a soft knock at the cabin door. It was Larry. "I just wanted you to know, that in all my years of working horses, I've never seen anything like what happened up on the mountain today."
"Thank you for telling me, Larry."
He turned to go, then he said over his shoulder, "It's not any of my business, but anyone who can capture wild horses with soft words...well she can do just fine on her own."