Story Sunday: A Horse Named Cash, 4.
Cash, and Jingle, a dream team.
You know how in Cosmo, girls write in about how they were dating the "bad boy" (or whatever), who absolutely broke their heart with his wild ways, and the Cosmo writers always say "Girl, you just need some time to yourself and then, once your ready, find yourself a really solid, dependable stand up guy." Well, Jingle was my wild-thing, and Cash was my rock.
By the time July was beginning to roll into August, my horse was still missing. My heart was shattering. I cried more that month than I had in a long time. His name would come up, or plans would be thrown around to find him, and I would dejectedly go through the paces of discussing his whereabouts. My eyes would fall to the table and I'd choke back tears as I would say "Yeah, well, he's pretty far away and I don't have much time to go find him right now." Honestly, I truly mean it when I say that it was absolutely devastating. I had, had all these plans for me and the wild-boy, and he was nowhere to be found. I wanted my horse back.
However, I was lucky in the fact that although I was missing one horse, I had another that I could completely trust, and truly loved riding. Cash and I had a solid routine. Wake up just as the sun was rising, head out and bring in the horses, Cash would get his grain, and hay, whilst all the other horses were tied up in the main barn. I'd head for my own breakfast, then I'd come back to the barn, tack him up again, help the counsellors and kids get ready, check them, and then we'd head out for a morning ride of 2.5-3 hours. Coming back, Cash would get his saddle off, more grain and hay, and then a bit of a rest while we took lunch and a break. Then, back at it for another 2.5-3 hour ride in the afternoon, finally, at day's end, after dinner, he'd be let out with Navy, one of the other guide horses in the corrals where he would enjoy a big roll, and some rest.
They were long days, but Cash seemed to enjoy them. We enjoyed eachother. I generally would have a beginner or intermediate group, and then an experienced group the other half of the day. The rides were always varied and Cash took everything I threw at him in stride. In our summer together we experienced hail storms, thunderstorms, down-pours of rain, squelching heat, swimming through crossings, chasing horses home, and out of the bush... and more.
Cash proved to be the most sensible and trusting horse I've ever guided on. Although i'm sure in his past life he was a big arena baby, he always followed his nose the way I asked him too. Plunging into anything you asked of him was his most redeeming quality, I used to say that if a kid was in trouble I would never hesitate to get right beside them and pick them up off their horse and onto my saddle with me. Cash wouldn't have blinked an eye.
Cash was there for me in ways I didn't really realize at the time, I needed something steady and comforting. I was an emotional wreck, the sale of the ranch, the stress of a new position at the ranch, and that ever-present feeling in my stomach over the fact I had yet to find my horse. It was bubbling up all around me, and Cash was my rock from our 7:00 am bringing in of the horses, all the way to meandering back to the barn after our afternoon rides.
He proved time and time again what a wonderful horse he was, he scrambled up anything I asked him too and he was a reliable mount when others needed him. A girl in one of my groups was having a hard time with her horse, her big eyes were bubbling up with tears and frusteration, so I swapped her horses. She was the first person on the ranch, other than myself, to ride Cash, and her smile was one of the biggest and happiest I've ever seen. Cash, happy and complacent as ever, meandered with her up a large hill, and carried her as safely and steady as any horse I could have asked for.
He was pretty special.
Unfortunately, at the very end of summer, Cash came up lame and his knee swelled up. The ranch owner decided to keep him for himself, so he didn't sell with the rest of the horses at the ranch liquidation. However, he remained unsound throughout that fall and winter, and was retired to pasture. It is more than likely that the injury was an old one, hence why he was sent to the sale where we purchased him. I was more than lucky that he remained sound for the summer I rode him, and am ever thankful that he was my guide horse the summer of 2012.
& so ends my series (my first!) on one of the special horses in my life, I do hope you guys enjoyed. :)