The Horse that Nobody Wanted
The horse formerly known as “Chase” started life with the intent of being a barrel racer. The original owner found he had the speed and agility but not the interest to do it. Chase got set aside for the occasional trail ride. A friend of the original owner took interest in Chase and became the next owner. She even went to the trouble to get him registered. However, problems developed. Whenever she tried to take him out on a trail ride he would do a violent spin. She decided that Chase was too much horse for her and passed him onto the next owner. By now Chase was 10. The next owner rode him about three times and got rid of him. Nobody seemed to want Chase. Chase was shipped out to a middleman and sold.
I was looking for a horse in 2005 and ended up at the same horse farm that Chase ended up in. His barn name of Chase was lost in the transition. He became the horse with no name. I bought him and as he didn’t have a known barn name I named him Abishai, after an Old Testament warrior of old. It was a name I wanted to give a horse one day. At this point Abishai was 11.
As I rode him problems came to light, as in the spin around thing. For a big animal Abishai has amazing agility, believe me I know. The problems became so acute I contacted the original owner (as he was a registered QH) and learned what was shared above. This gave me some of his background and a better understanding of him.
I went through a very difficult period with him. Some people felt he was too much horse for me, that I was “Over Horsed” as the saying goes. Well, may be so at the time. During this period I adopted the attitude, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. I was either too stubborn or too stupid to give up. It did force me to become a better rider and to learn a lot of techniques I wouldn’t have learned on an easygoing horse.
The difficulties came to a climax with Abishai’s sudden stops on a trail ride. I would be going at speed and he would suddenly lock up and come to a dead stop with no warning. I learned to grab his neck on the way down and land on my feet. I knew that sooner or later I would miss and get hurt. I presented the problem to some experts and they said it was time to move on to another horse. One expert said to give him one last try with a particular trainer.
The trainer discovered the problem that all others seemed to miss. Abishai had never been properly trained to accept the bit. This was the source of a lot of his control problems. The result of this training caused Abishai to become “Meek” in the Biblical sense. Abishai was 15 at this point.
It brings to mind a sermon I heard long before I started horseback riding. The sermon was on the word “Meek”. People think meek means weak. In the Biblical sense it actually means great power with control. The example used in the sermon was a horse at a gallop under the control of a rider with bit and bridle. The horse was exhibiting great power under control, not a wild power.
As I portray Gen. George Washington on occasion, a production company requested a film segment of my horse and I at speed. When the video was filmed Abishai performed like a true professional. The film maker was amazed at what a good horse he was (if he only knew what I had been through was my thought).
Both animals and people get thrown into the world’s junk pile. The decision is made that they are not worth anything or worth the trouble to help them out. The video shows them to be wrong (see link to the video below).
As I first watched it the thought came to mind of how proud I was of Abishai, “That’s my Boy!”