Arabians may have captured my heart long ago as a toddler, in Venezuela or watching Ben Hur. This picture of an Arabian with whom I am walking, cradling his head in my arms is my beloved exquisite Klassic, who saved my life!
We have been together for 14 years plus. Klassic has moved from ABQ to Taos where I first laid eyes on him, with a glance I began writing a low figure check in payment of him and his papers. No vet present nor vet check; I fell in love with him watching him pranced ~ tossed his head in defiance only to run off on the acreage as if to say “catch me if you can ~ you can’t catch me.” This was true, he had to be baited to be caught! This defiant orneriness captured my heart! He had “chutzpa” with an elegant demeanor, all 800 pounds of him; for he was lanky and underweight.
I neither feared him nor wished him to be tamed. He needed a person to trust, to deepen a relationship with heart and unadulterated love. This is where our loving relationship began. Love is the key word here, for in my life there was a best of friend Jessica Suzanne who has died long ago, and a couple Wondrous lovers, but no family. I never knew anyone for decades, the same for Klassic ~ we both were sort of past around.
Nonetheless, I never felt completely accepted or loved in life, like an Arabian I have my uniqueness also, we both march to my own drummer; creating ~ analyzing of what I viewed in front – behind –beside of me, contriving, creating, constructing, organizing or directing. This moment an Arabian who would come into my life filled with Horse spirit, power and tenderness. He would deepen my levels of knowledge more than any academia or books could. For here is where I came alive and began a different life, “I found my soul in a horses eye.” This is not my original quote, however most meaningful.
Klassic taught me, through his fear about life and how to trust, develop an emotional intimate – soulful – emotional relationship. You can see his soulfulness (in these pictures), look carefully at his face.
Klassic never had a trusting relationship in our lives; he was wild and full of fear. When brushing his mane and tail for the first time, cleaning the bristled brush dropping the hair onto the floor was “cataclysmic” experience for both of us.
Although Klassic was tethered in a sturdy built barn, he saw the hair whisk by on the cement floor, a slight breeze sent it tumbling across the concrete floor. Klassic rear – jerked at his lead with eyes full of tormented fear. Everyone scrambled for some degree of safety, while I stood beside him looking up in amazement. I reached for his lead that was attached to a white iron (floor – to ceiling casing) to calm him down.
Undoing his lead I began to walk him outside. One woman said “he is a rogue horse and he will kill you, he needs to be put down for everyone’s safety. You need a calm “broke” horse for your first horse.” This filled me with more dauntlessness determination, I did not listen, for I knew the soul of this Arabian was just as mine, we desperately needed trust – trust with one person who could see into our eyes and accept all our foibles and more…
I learn the power of loving trust and much more through our 14 years together. We most likely have another 10 years or more together; it is a long dedicated relationship with a horse.
Klassic was 5 years old when we first me; he looked like a yearling. He was more than 100 pounds underweight and needed to work his running muscles, but not to run from ~ rather to run in coming to greet. He did not know what a halter was or how to allow someone to place one on his magnificent head easily. Now he bows gracefully, head and neck tucked deeply under with one leg pulled to his stomach.
Hiring a trainer to put him under saddle was 6 months in the future. Instead, I walked him like one walks a dog on a lead – DAILY!
Klassic spooked with all four legs and hooves spreading wide at the steel garbage dump. He went flying when some unseen birds took flight out of a thicket ~ pulling me off my feet while I held tightly to his lead. Nonetheless he loved to graze on grass, this would calm his fearful demeanor. So each day I walked Klassic around the stables and barns on his bright colbalt blue halter and lead. Having him stand in front of railings, garbage cans, hay bales that loomed twenty feet in the air. And if a plastic bag went tossing in the wind, Klassic jumped and shook his head, knocking me off my feet. I would land strongly in my boots, gripping his lead until he calmed down and walked him to the green grass to graze.
After a month of so Klassic began to recognize the sound of my little SUV while driving up to the stables in Taos, as I called his name Kllaassiikk. His head would perk up and he would begin to prance along his run ~ in and out of his stall with anticipation. I was on a sabbatical from a hospital in Denver and of course I had to purchase a horse the seventh day I arrived; an Arabian – a fearful Arabian February 27th 1999.
I was fearful also deep inside, but most would never know this for my social aspects were highly developed from childhood with a prominent social family; Military Attaché. As the months continued there were a party of two held at this boarding stables. Once a man walked by Klassic in the early evening, a lovely sunset across the New Mexico skies, while Klassic stood in his run as I fed him some carrots. The man stopped and said; “That is the most magnificent horse I have ever seen.” Klassic looked directly into this Gentleman’s eyes bringing his head down just a tige in honor of the compliment. The conversation continued over dinner under the tent as the art auction started, we spoke of the grace in horses. At the end of the evening as most days, I would go to Klassic and say goodnight, he would bow. Kissing his neck, I was not allowed yet to touch his head, there was still fear, but nuzzling his neck, breathing in the wonderful aroma of his beauty, still calms my spirit.
Klassic was not under saddle, this means he was worse than green! I tried out three trainers, none of which I cared for. Not that I knew what a trainer was to do, but one thing was, DO NOT HURT MY HORSE! Some did and off they went. One day a man drove up in his pick up and asked “when are you going to ride that horse?” He seemed a bit gruff as I turned to answer him; “when I find the right trainer.” That was Denis and he would be Klassics’ mentor in a months’ time.
In Klassic’s stall I would halter him then slowly walk him out into one of two round pens. One day, I had a brilliant idea! I wanted to ride this untrained Arabian, bare-back! Yeeeupp, being a determined little redhead – surely I would be safe. After all, I have been riding since a toddler; trained to ride in Portugal – more they taught me how to “disengage upon command” meaning fall off when one thinks they are in danger!
I asked a good friend of that time and another young woman, “do you think you can push my fat butt onto his back, with one of you firmly holding him and the other pushing up?” “SURE! Are you sure? YES! I want to ride my horse bareback first before he is under saddle. “He is is dangerous!” No he is not; he just needs someone to trust for the rest of his life, that’s me and we mine as well begin today with me trusting him with my little body.”
They heaved my butt onto Klassics’ back, leg-over, immediately sitting tall with only a halter and lead to hold on. We sat for a moment until he began to walk, well the walk was fine then he decided to trot – I got scared, I mean really scared. I didn’t know he was so tall’ now that I was sitting on his 15.2 hands of muscular frame bare-back. On the other hand, his back was like riding a mattress! So soft I thought, calming myself down for a millisecond, and then he started to jog. OMG I got scared calling my friend over to stop him. My friend wanted to come over, but the other woman said no, and shouted out commands to me. Now my nerves were frayed.
“No” said the other woman as she shouted at me, loosen your leg grip; loosen your legs around him. What? I need to hold on with my legs, as I gripped tighter. Round the pen we jog then trotted, finally slowing to a walk. I was determined to achieve my desired goad, even if was less than 10 minutes. Besides would help Klassic to know I was never going to harm him. It is a gift from a horse to allow a human on their backs, for they are prey animals and the fear of a lion who jumps and claws ~ biting down on their necks to kill; all is the same as a human mounting upon their beautiful backs.
Finally we came to a stopping point in front of the two young ladies. They held Klassic as I threw my leg over to dismount. “Oh s….., I did it” exclaiming aloud, while Klassic looked at me, as if saying “that was it?”
Since then Klassic and I ride have ridden for years many times alone out on uncharted open lands filled with wildlife. Most times we ride “Endurance” style, as I become soaked in sweat, and my beauty is hardly out of breath with not a bead of sweat. Nonetheless, this took many years of Klassic spooking, making a right angle turn while I was attempting to direct him “go straight.” He went Right; I went left ~ both of us flying off in separate directions; me landing on grassy ground with my loyal dog running to my side. Klassic went trotting off to the barn all impressed with himself, while I lay screaming, the wind knocked out of my body, and my dog seated faithfully at my shoulder.
Walking back to the barn I could see Klassic prancing proudly; how could I be angry? It was me not following his muscular body as a rider should, (while stating under my breath) NO MORE Hackamores for you! Klassic was going to have nice head stalls fancied with hand crafted silver inlaid décor, Mylar sweet steel bits in his mouth. This helped until the day we had to cross a small stream of water.
Arabians do not, lets’ repeat this statement – they DO NOT like water unless it is a nice cooling bath with a soft spray of water over their hot bodies. One day on a long ride my friend (she was in her 70 something and raised Arabians for life time). We rode a nice distance along 100 some acres when she decided to crossed a simple bubbling brook; Klassic jumped the brook without warning. OK, never learned to jump striding a horse and I think I just learned (I thought to myself.)
We rode for about another half hour up hills and through some tall grassland. Klassic has an excellent trot and lope, a gaited Arabian is unusual. Riding him is likening to my legs wrapped around 1090 pounds of pulsating tenuous muscle that is soft as a mattress and thunderous as a wild beast. My hips gently sway from side to side.
We turn back to the bubbling brook, homeward to the stables. Mine you, this is the first year and half I and Klassic have been together and he is the first horse I had own, more taken care of! This next 45 minutes was to be a four week horse lesson, crammed into one moment.
Liz and her Arabian crossed the 4 foot wide gentle clear stream without a moments’ hesitation; this was not to be the case with Klassic.
That steam to Klassic was filled with potential great white sharks. He paced with lightening speed, back and forth, at least 10 to 15 feet in a millisecond – perpendicular motion. He would make a great “cutting horse” but there were no cows in front of us, just a clean gentle running stream of water.
Klassic took one step into the cool water and leaped backwards, spinning around as if that ghost shark had lunged up to take off his leg. We walked up stream and down stream. My friend decided to make Klassic jump the stream by pretending to leave with her horse. This set Klassic off, fear embodied him! The other horse is leaving (maybe thinking to himself), we are herding creatures who find safety in numbers, I can’t be left ALONE, and he was filled with angst. Being on top of an Arabian filled with angst is an experience one never forgets!
Klassic prance, reared, stepped backward (this is hard to stay in saddle) and did the first of future “Sail Fish.” Have you ever seen a Marlin being caught in the ocean? They twist with might while in mid air fighting for their lives. This is a Sail Fish, and an athletic horse performs this feat in the air! In order to stay on, one must have great balance and incredible inner thigh muscles or just be nuts. Where I summoned this strength is still a mystery; I stayed in saddle.
After forty-five minutes of all this constant motion, Klassic JUMPED that deadly stream and made a beeline up the hill. The final lope was fun, I love being in the saddle when Klassic runs like the wind. His mane and my long red-hair, his tail flagged all are grace in motion. My legs posed for strength with feet tightly in stirrup, back straight, hips undulating in the saddle; perfect balance and in harmony with my Arabian. There is a defining moment in life.
We made it back to the stables, all in a sweat, in time to clean my horse and feed him. I gave him carrots, apples, hay and a bath. I swear he grinned at me!
Klassic and I have lived in New Mexico and Colorado; travel through Arizona together and back to Colorado and now New Mexico – which will come to an end sometime this year; it is time to move back to green grass. We do have another Arabian horse that was given to me, and lots of stories and adventures. We both have seen dogs come and die of old age. We have experienced three years when I could not ride, waiting both of my shoulders and right leg to have corrective surgery. Truthfully, a third of my leg was replaced. Ah, do not think it was because of my Arabian who caused these injuries, this was accomplished on my own two feet, slipping on black ice and asphalt in Colorado. I was egregiously injured, and Klassic through all those years kept me going. His life saved mine.
Klassic taught me love, he taught me to care about myself and him; he taught me how to hang in with a relationship where others’ said it was dangerous and impossible. He taught me that love and commitment to each other was the priceless part of life, were trust was the foundation of life. He taught me to trust myself in my life. I knew we were to have the most amazing life together but never in my (little analytical brain) could I have imagined the incredible life he brought me.
There are many stories I will share, such hot topics – Online Dating!! Healing from trauma and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), moving from continents to nine US states. Some incredible adventures while living in the Colorado Mountains, walking with elk and deer, meeting wild grey wolves on a mission and a lion.
These stories are about life and relationships developed from a moment’s greeting and what it taught me. Some are funny, most are tales that taught me not to fear. They might make you cry, make you laugh and remind you of your life!! Life has been a long research project – I was a psych ~ philosophy major and find humans and life to be a fascinating topic – ergo I write nonfiction.
However, writing about my horses and dog, these are the moments are most precious to me, for they have given unconditional love and acceptance through the years.
I have three ‘D’s” of life: Determination, Drive and a Dog names Sadë and ~ dang lot of ambition. This blog is a tiny piece of All my writings; while I work (currently) on 3 books along side this blog. (Please forgive my lack of editing knowledge, I know I suck at this part) enjoy the stories. The first book to be published is titled “Brilliance Disrupted” affectionately considered, Humorously Licentious, it is!
What do I write and why – nonfiction, real life ~ what people think and how they act or what they say is a *TRIP* to someone such as myself! From the stupefied to the wondrous e.g.(Elon Musk) WOW, Elon is more than an inspiration. Life is worth every ordinary moment, from daily life occurrences, spreading into the news worthy pages or not so news worthy; even at times Fox news. I do find their Dust Bunny brains that flitter with every wisp of a breeze astonishingly amusing.
In the weeks to come life is very busy here in Santa Fe. Why? The need to get my writing projects (3 books and a blog) moving forward and to find a nice place to live, long term temporary as I wish to move back to Colorado or California, I am a big city lady and MISS the clamor and watching my Arabians run and graze on green grass. Any input to these areas would be appreciated, remember I have two Arabians.
My Sweet Sadë
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About the Author: MicheleElys is a Neurobehaviorist ~ Writer ~ Educator ~ Keynote Speaker.
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