My motto for this year’s A to Z is “Animals in my life – stuffed or alive”.
Caesar was one of the two horses in my life I was trusted to take care of. I shared this responsibility with another teenage girl about my age. We had to made sure the horse was groomed daily, and that bridle and saddle were in working order. We were trained to watch out for signs of illness or problems. But of course we also showered the horses with love and spent lots of time with them.
It wasn’t love at first sight for me. Caesar was everything I did NOT look for in a horse. He was small (I always enjoyed the smooth movements of the big horses), and he was white (I loved dark horses). But I had waited for so long to be assigned to a horse, so I agreed to take care of him.
He was in a pretty bad shape when he came to us, overweight, and he definitely hadn’t been trained properly. But he was a quick learner. I never met a horse that was more laid back than Caesar. He didn’t mind what happened around him, he always found time to lay down and take a nap. Children can upset horses with their loud voices and quick movements, he didn’t care. He was absolutely reliable. Except one thing: water puddles! First he refused to walk through them. Once he trusted me I started to work with him on that problem – I let him watch me go through them, and finally he followed me.
We shared so many wonderful moments together. Strolling around the riding school with other grooms and their horses on warm summer days when Caesar was free. Feeling his warm body beneath me while riding in winter. Our work paid off, and I was allowed to ride him during his first tournament. We were ranked forth, and I never have been prouder! He taught me to be patient (which was never my forte) and that some things just can’t be rushed.
Well, and he is the only horse I met that liked to munch on cough drops! Everybody was wandering how a horse can smell of eucalyptus and mint 😀 Thank you for keeping up with my impatience, Caesar!