When you found your dream horse, what started that attraction to him/her?
Did you look at the most beautiful black Friesian with a flowing mane and fall in love. Or a flighty arab with the most delicate features and floating trot? a cuddly hairball of a pony?
I had seen the Spanish riding school perform at Olympia. The beauty of the Lipizzaner stallions had me in awe. I also saw some video of the Lusitano horses of Portugal. They all fall under the term of Iberian horses along with PRE’s from Spain.
My family and I went on holiday to Portugal, I begged my husband to allow my daughter and I to go to Golega to ride. It is the heart of the horse world in Portugal, there is a big horse festival here every year and the center of this small town is a huge riding arena. Around the town are breeders and trainers stables.
We arranged to ride some Lusitano Stallions, my equine friend at home was an ex race horse so very different. I loved the horses, they were so proud so full of spirit I loved everything about them.
I returned home and continued with the rehab of race horse to dressage horse, he was starting to really show his character and come alive. Unfortunately his body just wasn’t up to what I had in mind, so he went to have a life of gentle riding through woods.
This left me enjoying riding my elderly cob Jasper and retired Irish jumper Stan, neither of who could join me in continuing along the road the Spanish Riding school had inspired.
I had to have a look !!, my poor husband rolled his eyes and covered his face with his hands.
I looked at several Spanish horses and Spanish x ‘s I rang breeders then I spoke to someone who had bred their last ever horse, a lusitano mare, they had just backed her, she was 4 and from Veiga bloodlines, this meant nothing to me, I was off to see her!
She was a straggly, leggy, almost giant foal like horse, with a huge roman nose, no mane and she was a bay! Not the beautiful noble profiled, grey with dark long flowing mane of a Lusitano I had dreamt of. As I climbed aboard what felt like a pony with nothing much to sit on, and who wobbled around I had second thoughts, she felt so different.
After returning her to her stable, she looked me right in the eye, her eyes were so bright, she was so full of mischief and life. She stared into me.
I returned home, but couldn’t get her out of my mind, I went to see another mare, but she was not for me. Well I would manage somehow, I would love her and get her fitter so she would grow out of her weak and crooked baby state! I had no idea what I was in for! ( A story for another blog)
Today Xinita,( Shinita) who soon got the nickname of Noo noo , after a cartoon hoover,( she used to ‘hoover’ my grandchildren.) Still has the same bright expression and playful nature, we have had a tremendous experience of learning and growing , which will never stop.
Every day we have spent together, she appears more beautiful than ever to me, through learning how to develop a magical relationship with her, I see WHO she really is, and its beautiful, and she has helped me to see who I really am. She already knew. She knew, when I was not the person I needed to be for her.
Our horses don’t care what’s on the outside, they don’t care if we don’t wear the latest horsey gear, don’t have the smartest rugs and tack. Don’t plait their manes and show them off, They do care that we see and hear who they truly are and know who we truly are.
Noons, Proud, and grown up and now with a human who she has blessed with the experience of becoming one with. I had to be the change, that allowed for this.
I am grateful every day for horses and the paths they lead me down.
Next time…. Down the rabbit hole with Noo noo.