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[RC] the joy - and heartbreak - of horses (long) - alexis_mills

Bindi (the Croc Hunter's daughter) was trying to explain her fascination with horses to Ellen DeGeneres last week. "You know how some people crave food?" she asked. "Well I crave horses." And so it's always been for me. (And for Portia, said Ellen.)
At first I blissed out just seeing such magnificent creatures from afar. Then, after years of begging, I got my first pony, Jason. And off we went, along the Delaware and up the mountain. Alone and free. Until he tripped over a jump, flipping over and kicking me in the face as he scrambled to get up, and my parents sold him the next day...
My next pony, a beautiful little Welsh named Charlie Brown, would jump 4 ft bareback in a halter, and what a thrill that was for a 12 year old. But when I opted one day to go to the lake with friends instead of riding, my drunken father sold him to the killers.
Then there was Neesha, my first Arab friend, the sweetest mare I've ever known. For six years we explored the washes and trails of Catalina, AZ. But our last days together were spent with her head in my lap as she foundered beyond all hope, overfed on alfalfa (by her owner, not me).
Sweetheart, an Anglo Arab, was my savior -- my only friend for the two years I taught on the Apache reservation. I'll never forget the thrill of riding him, swimming, across the White River and galloping across the mesa above. His previous owner insisted I sell him back when I left, and the only reason I did was because she'd had him all his life, more than 20 years, but she then sold him again without even paying me...
Now I have Samurai, my little bay gelding, so spirited and loving, and the best partner I could ask for. He brings me not just joy but ecstasy, and I feel incredibly blessed. But with horses, it seems heartache is always just around the corner...
Wishing all of you much joy with your beloved horses,
Alexis in Palominas, AZ