It was as if I were in slow motion, half on, half off, seemingly watching myself from above as I flew through the air. When I finally did hit the ground, I just lay there, assessing, my pride hurt more than anything physical. I looked up and around to see my young horse facing me with an “I won” attitude.
He had spooked without warning at an open door. The only problem was that he hadn’t spooked away from the scary opening, he had spooked towards it, meaning his motion had been deliberate and dishonest.
That was the first hint my boy just might not be the horse for me. I remember going home that evening, sitting on my couch where I wept and wept. I had recently lost my mother, with whom I had been close—uncommonly close. She was my best friend. Within months of my mother’s death, I lost three cats and then my dog. This horse seemed the final betrayal.
By the time he left, I had come to realize that his departure was not a death, but a decision: a huge difference. I had learned that it was time not to dwell in the past but to create new beginnings.
Obsessively, I was driven to find his replacement.
Video after video I watched robotic horses going ‘round in circles under restraining hands while the price ever increased. Had I not done so much research, I doubt I would have appreciated the big white horse advertised through a rescue group, pictured walking through a drive-in with his rider aboard ordering a burger. This horse resonated.
I was attracted to him because of his beautiful movement and his kind eye. Had I flown to Southern California, as I was coached to do, to ride a horse before purchase, I doubt I would have bought him. Instead I took the risk and simply had him shipped to me with the rationalization I had a month’s trial period.
He arrived during a full moon. That first night his white coat glowed in the moonlight It was as if there were a huge magical Unicorn in my yard: my mother’s totem.
Why was I determined to buy an untrained horse that had had abusive early training?
My new horse was a rescue that had never had a “person”. I was a person in mourning who needed rescuing. I could feel my mother’s nod of approval.
I named him Silver Lining.