Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Zap - still full of fire

ZAPPED - he's 25 1/2 according to the calendar but he races around like the colt that still lives within. He has no trouble out running the youngsters, and he has more wind in him than they do too. Who says old horses have to slow down. The grand old man has 6480 AERC miles, LOTS of Regional and National awards and he loves his mare and being the boss of the herd.
This being the horse that came to me because his owner called us one snowy night and after introducing himself said, I understand you buy problem horses. It seems Zap liked to buck, and his owner wasn't fond of that. That was November 1989. When I first saw Zap he was a steely dapply grey, a wispy Arabian full of snort and fire, he ran with his head held high and his tail flagging in the wind. He was willing to be touched only if he trusted you. Willing to be ridden only if you truly rode him, took him places and yes - let him run and he would buck for sheer joy.
In the beginning I didn't like riding him. Yes he was smooth, yes the miles seemed effortless for him. But he was spooky, flighty and you never knew when that buck was coming. But at the time, I had nothing else to ride. But a day came when that all changed. To make a long story short, while out marking one of our endurance trails, we got caught in a horrendous electrical storm. I headed for the "gorge" as I knew the lightening would strike the ridges. We trotted and loped the gorge for three miles with lightening bolts hitting trees not 20 feet away. I was scared stiff as Zap bounced through the ditches and over the sagebrush dodging lightening bolts in the pouring rain. He could've run off, dumped me, bucked, but he did none of those things. He paid attention and we melded our talents and became a team that day and forever. As we neared the end of the gorge the storm subsided, and we looked liked drowned rats as we made our way to the trailer. The storm was exhilarating, the ride a thrill but there truly was a togetherness and happiness within us.
Over the miles and the years, little has changed. He's still snorty, full of fire and there will never be another like him!
Thanks old buddy - and long may you reign as king of the pasture!
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enduranceridestuff.com said...

That's a great story about the lightning Karen! his name sure fits him. He looks great, a nice white furball :)

MichaelOris said...

What a story. How scary can it get. What a horse and even more what a rider-one braver than most. mike

MichaelOris said...

Wow. What a scary story. Great horse with brave rider. Not many modern day westerners could tell a true story like that. It smacks of the special bonding between rider and horseman of yesteryear. mike