The Father of a Gift

The Father of a Gift

I had been looking for a horse for some months back in 2005. My riding instructor had been helping me. We ended up at Heritage Farm in Massachusetts in September. I told the owner what I was looking for and he said, “I have a horse for you to look at who has presence“. I didn’t want a Quarter horse, but he said to give him a try. My riding instructor was impressed. She said he was a good mover. I was amazed that he had very good impulsion at the posting trot. Much like a Thoroughbred. I finished my ride and it was time to make a decision. It was not an emotional one. The horse could do what I was looking for and the price was reasonable. I made a deposit and had a vet check set up. I wondered what people called him. He was a registered Quarter horse, but I wondered if he had a barn name. The owner said they didn’t know. He was the horse with no name. I had set it in my mind to name my horse Abishai after the hero Bible warrior of old. As I did re-enacting I thought it was a good name for a horse to ride through the ages with.

I brought Abishai to our first re-enactment together after owning him for three weeks. We had a few hiccups but he got the job done. I have come to learn over time that he can have his difficult moments, but he always gets the job done.

Christmas 2005 was almost upon us. It was a busy night at the barn with several riders tacking up. My instructor mentioned his lineage to the other riders. When other riders learned Abishai was in the line of Leo the champion they stopped what they were doing. I didn’t know that Leo was a big deal. I just saw the name in the paperwork and didn’t realize the significance.

I got to thinking. Now that I knew that Leo was famous I could trace other things. I had just finished reading a book that traces the history of the US Cavalry remount program. A lot of people don’t know this, but one of the prime reasons we have quality horses in this country is due to the work of the Army Remount program. I looked up Leo in the book and sure enough he was there. He was a  product of the Army Remount program.

The full impact of this started to sink in. Abishai was a direct descendent of the US Cavalry. Without even knowing it I had picked the exact horse for what I wanted to do in Revolutionary War Re-enacting. Abishai has the coloring, the stature and all other characteristics that the Army wanted bred into a cavalry horse.  I can testify that he has the speed, agility and endurance that the Army was looking for. A true cavalry horse.

I further realized what time of year it was and the meaning of the name Abishai. It means the father of a gift.  People wonder what that means. I learned that Abishai gave me the most wonderful gift I could get for Christmas, he is the true father of a gift. People often agree with the owner of Heritage Farms. Abishai does have presence.