You know all my life I have owned chestnut geldings with attitude and grey mares who were like a mum to me! It's funny how we attract the horses into our lives that mirror the lessons we need to learn. For some reason, I always get horses no one else wants to deal with, usually because they are labelled "hot and dangerous" or "wild and crazy". In every case, I just saw a horse that was grossly misunderstood and treated inappropriately for their personality and history. They usually had a healthy dose of both emotional discord and body pain.

I think chestnuts are mostly brilliant but overly sensitive horses, both emotionally and physically. I guess I understand them because I am a hugely emotional person too, and I have a very strong sense of justice and fairness. I have come to see that a lot of red horses have no patience for a life where their "ducks are not all in a row" and they act out their frustrations. They like certain food, the right environment, a lot of turn out time to blow off steam, the right stable and pasture mates - my last old guy Albert even had choices about the detergent I used to wash his saddle pads - which by the way had to be either wool or cotton, as everything else made his skin erupt! So here I was laundering all his clothes in Woolite! Albert also picked his people, and many times in boarding barns where they would complain that he was hard to handle or bring in, I would change barns as this horse was fine except if you became aggressive. Having spent a lot of time at various racetracks, Albert had no time for drug addicts, alcohlics or people who thought they were going to "tune him up". For them he became the horse from hell, and for me and my family he was like a dog. So I inevitably would end up moving barns, and I continued to do so until we bought our farm and Albert came home to Wit's End - his last stop.

He is gone now, but remains with me in spirit, and I can ask him questions any time I want, and I get answers! The lessons he taught me were so valuable - less is more with horses, as to ride him you need only breathe and relax, and he would carry you in and out of bending cones with no reins and no legs, just the turn of your head was all the steering you needed! Albert was the impeccable gentleman in the pinstripe grey morning suit twirling an umbrella, a brilliant, sensitive individual who had an incredible sense of self. He taught me that to let go control was to gain control, as it allowed the growth of a true harmonious relationship. I could always count on him to come through for me, nipping at my britches when I picked out his front feet, nuzzling the cat that used to sleep in his hay pile, and tolerating the most novice and uncoordiated beginner rider because I asked him to! Wow - blessed be the red horses, as they hold for us some of life's richest learnings! Until next time - I remain - the Horselady!

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Comment by Mary Ginn on February 16, 2010 at 11:58pm
My chestnut gelding is my "horse of a lifetime."
Comment by Jackie Cochran on February 14, 2010 at 6:12pm
I had a wonderful Anglo-Arab chestnut gelding. I love chestnuts' sensitivity, it sure teaches you how to ride!

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