See? Her coat got lighter and dappled. She was a friendly, personable horse who liked oranges and playing in rivers. She could be bossy and a dressage clinician once dubbed her a "baby sitter" horse. I think the clinician meant it as a bad thing but it worked for us. I didn't know a lot when I got her, so for a while she was taking care of me. As I got older and more experienced, I was able to take over a bit. She liked to be in control but as I figured out how to be the boss, her moments of testing me got fewer and further between. Honey was never mean, never tried to hurt me, she only wanted to know where she was in the hierarchy.
I had two of my cousins ride her bareback once, the older one in front of the younger one. They were probably 12 and 10 years old, and I lunged them around me while Honey had only a halter and lead rope on. I asked her to trot with them, and she gave them the smoothest trot I had ever seen out of her. They were able to sit it without difficulty or any real horse experience. This was one of those times that, looking back, was a bad decision on my part but Honey made it work. My cousins didn't fully appreciate her efforts to keep them safe, but I did.
When I rode her for the first time, her trot was bouncy and fast. She was nervous but doing as I had asked. It took a while for her to settle down and smooth out after I got her.
I remember the first time we were able to canter a figure 8. We took up the whole arena but I felt so accomplished. This was a few years after I had a confidence shattering fall from her, and it had taken me over a year to begin feeling comfortable cantering again.
I think about her still, sometimes when I am working with Rocky and think "I already taught Honey this" or "I wish I could have known how to do this when I had her." She pops up in my head fairly frequently, despite the fact that it's been 3 years since she died. In January I get sad and depressed for a while, and I don't know why until I remember that January is the month she was sick, the month I had a chance to save her and it wasn't enough. She died February 8. So far, in the Januarys since her death, I take a few hours to pull out the scrapbook I made about Honey, and weep. And remember.
Yesterday she would have turned 15. Somehow, I want her to know that I'm still thinking about her, I miss her and love her.
Happy Birthday, Honey.