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and Moozic (see below)

In my early teens. I hung around the stables a lot in my community and helped out caring for the horses. The Little Greek who ran the stable showed his appreciation by offering me free lessons while training a western horse to ride english for the comming spring show.

"Flapjack==== I can't ride flapjack! He had thrown all the most ==== accompleshed riders in the stable==== You want me to ride Flapjack? I'm a ==== beginner====" ====

I had heard the talk. Flapjack was a 'mean' horse. He had thrown many of the most accoplished riders at the stables. Time after time I saw Flapjack return to the stable riderless sending us all out on the trails to find the fallen rider.

There is no such thing as a mean horse====" He scolded me, "Horses are timid creatures." He explained to me that english riders apply pressure on the ==== reigns and squeeze with their legs to start a horse walking. To a western trained hourse, and Flapjack was a champion barrel racer, it means jump strieght up.. Flapjack responded properly to the signals he was trained to obey. His wisdom and confidence won me over and I began working Flapjack into an english trained horse After a while I would spend hours working the magnificent anumal amazed at his responsiveness and obediance.

One evening after spending several hours into the evening working Flapjack, I leaned over to fix my pant leg in my boot and Flapjack scooted under me to set me up streight. I thought, "Gee, I wonder if I can fall off this horse?" I tried lunging toward the ground prepared to roll away on the soft ground of the riding ring. But Flapjack caught me, and set me streight. I tried lunging the other way, he caught me, I tried backwards but he caught he. Again and again I tried desparately to fall off the horse==== ====

I was exhasted, we stood motionless in the middle of the ring as twilight faded to darkness, I could feel that he was tuned to my every movement. I felt his consciousness and mine were one. and then I realized, I was the student, he was the master.

Years later just outside Aspen Colorado I heard talk of a 'mean' horse kept in a hay barn because none of the cowboys could get a halter on it.

"There is no such thing as a mean horse====" I belted. "Horses are timid creatures." I had to meet this horse... ====

I cracked open the hay barn door and stuck in my head. The animal lunged at me with the teeth and ferocity of Godzilla. "Holy shit====" I thought, maybe their is such a thing as a mean horse. When he was busy eating facing away I tried to nonchalantly enter the barn. His rear hoofs slammed against the door behind me as I narrowly escaped. Apparently the horse was beaten by the cowboys that tried to break him. ====

I washed dishes 4-6pm at the Pomegranate Inn just over the Aspen town line for my dinner and a bunk in the crawl space off the boiler room. I had lots of time on my hands. The Pomegranate was right next to the Lazy Chain Ranch where Moozic was kept. It still took three days for me to get a halter on him.

Once a week the owner came to visit Moozic. I was excited to see her coming down the path and led Moozic to her and handed her the lead. She held it for a moment, and handed it back to me. "He is your horse now."

I have fond memories of riding Moozsic in the Rockies. After I left Aspen and eventually lost Moozic to pay back board at the ranch. When we went riding we had to fetch our horses off the open range of the ranch. The others went with rope to lasso their animals, I would call "Moozic", and he would run happily to great me. It was a wonderful feeling and proof, to me, that horses are never mean.

-- JimScarver

See LivingWithAnimals, CollectiveIntelligence

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