Would You Do It Again?

It’s the age old question. If you could go back in time, and live your life over again, what would you change, if anything?

For me, that mostly includes my horses. So let’s start at number one, my first horse Pikant, my old boy who turned out to have been severely mistreated, forced to work four hours every day, with arthritis in his legs, a shattered spine and a failing heart.

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He sure was a cruel entry for me, into the world of horses, but looking back, on my 12 year old self, I would say yes. No question about it. I would buy that horse again, I would go through all the heartache and the sorrow I went through with this sick animal once again, because he laid the foundation for who I am today. He taught me empathy, understanding, and compassion. I shudder to think of what kind of a rider as well as person, I would have become if hadn’t been for him.

Silver, my pony.

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Yes, I would buy her again as well. She taught me that I had a special talent for dangerous horses, not only for handling them, and surviving it, but also for bringing the best out in them. She taught me as well that I am pretty good at show jumping and competing without compromising the welfare of the horse. Knowing what I know today, I would like to think that I could prevent her laminitis from breaking out, and I wouldn’t have sold her if I could change anything. But yes, I would definitely buy her again.

Poseidon.

poseidon 1

Hands down yes. As much as this horse has had me crying myself to sleep for years, as much as I have worried for him, fought for him, wondered about him, I would buy him again. He is singlehandedly responsible for my skills as a natural horsemanship trainer, for teaching me to listen, really listen. I would like to think, that if I could go back in time, and buy him again, knowing what I know now, that I could make his life better than I actually did, simply because I know now how to handle him and I wouldn’t have to learn again, but even if I couldn’t bring my knowledge with me, I’d gladly go through it all again, just to have him in my life and to become the human he needed.

Flicka, my old mare.

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I’d buy her again too, yes. She is my one regret though. I would do better by her, if I got the chance again. She suffered from a ringbone and severe asthma. I would have had her put down myself, if I could go back in time, not give her away as a pasture pet. She sure taught me to take responsibility, every step of the way, all the way to the very end.

Skipping Apollon here, getting to him…

Amalia, my pink lady.

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Oh yes, I’d buy her again. I am still in awe of that horse. She did teach me though, that talent, of which she had more than enough, is not always enough. She did challenge what I thought I knew about horsemanship as well.

Saleem, my young Arabian.

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Of course. Even though I had not quite anticipated how his headshaking would become a problem, or how long it would take me to solve it, I would buy him again. Owning him, working with him, has been an amazing experience and I look forward to all of our years to come.

Legacy.

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My gentle, brave Legacy. I have said quite often that I will never buy a horse like him again, and I am sticking to that. I am never going to buy another broken horse, that I may not be able to give a good life. I knew that when I bought him. I knew he might be unfixable. I knew I might bring home a very sick horse that would cost a fortune in vet bills and still end up dead and that is exactly what he did. Still, I would buy him again. Despite the tears I still cry for him, in spite of the heartache and the overwhelming sorrow I went through, having to let him go, I would do it again, simply because if I should be without the love this horse gave me, my soul would have been so much poorer. So no, I’ll never take a chance on a horse like that again, but if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy Legacy again. He was worth it all.

Apocalipse.

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Well, considering that he is the son of Amalia and Saleem and I “made” him myself, I can’t say anything other than, yes. He is just as perfect as I had hoped he would be, and I wouldn’t hesitate to make him again, even if he is a paperless bastard in the eyes of the world. He is everything I had hoped he would be, and more, to me.

Marble, my two year old.

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Let’s say I am a bit undecided about her… And that’s not true. I do think I would buy her again if I could do it over, simply because I do believe that she is in the right hands with me, although her temper gets a bit tiresome once in a while. I do think too that we will have a brilliant future together.

Tardis, my Arabian mare.

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Oh yes. She is just so sweet, so easy, so fantastic to work with. Absolutely.

Ablaze, Tardis’ foal.

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Yes. I couldn’t imagine my life without him and I cannot phantom how I would have survived losing Legacy, Amalia, Poseidon and Apollon in two years, without having Ablaze arrive in my life to make me smile again.

So, returning to Apollon.

APOLLON

Well… For the 13 years I had him, I kept telling myself, “never again.” I mean, I loved that horse, I adored him. I really did. I do. Still. He had me driven to the point where I would feel physically ill from the mere thought of having to get him out of the stall in the morning, knowing that he would try to kill me, that he would rear up against me, attack me, and run off, no matter what I did.

Oh how I have fought that horse, and how he has fought me.

It must be true love, if you would stick to a horse like that, for so many years, right?

Or was it just stubbornness on my part? The simple refusal to be beaten by this horse?

Would I do it again?

No.

Not unless the circumstances changed. I would not go through another nine years with Apollon in an ordinary stall. Never. Then I would rather not buy him again.

But, if the circumstances did change, if I could go back in time, and have him in the perfect environment, like I figured out in the end, would I give us a second chance then?

Yes. I really would. I really wish I could. It would be fantastic to be able to go back in time and live our lives over again, only I would do better. He would be happier. I might even be able to handle his untimely and unexplained death, better if he had been happier.

I did work out this horse in the end, but now it seems like it was far too late. Like he should have had more time, being happy, living in the kind of stable he was meant to live in… Like I could have done better. I would love a chance to do better. And I know I am not going to get one.

What I must remember though, is how often I was tired of his temper, even when he was happy. How often we clashed, for no reason. I really must keep that in mind now, that I have come across a sales add, with a foal, looking just like Apollon. They are even the same bloodline.

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Apollon as a baby

I do not want a horse like that again. I really don’t.

castro Foal for sale…

The Arabians and thoroughbreds are my kind of horses. Apollon, and this foal, are far too heavy, far too coldblooded, for me. I don’t want a cold blood again.

So why is this tiny horse haunting me so? Because he has got Apollon’s markings? Because he has got his blood? Because he has got his expression? Am I looking for my second chance?

I think I am.

I think too, that I really miss the raw power I found in Apollon, the sheer force of nature he was, when he tightened his muscles underneath me, the four wheel drive he would engage and not lose momentum no matter how steep a hill he was asked to climb, the honesty with which he always worked for me…

Yes I miss that horse like crazy.

The question is, would I really buy him one more time, if I suddenly, did have the chance?

Of course this foal would never be Apollon. No one could ever replace him, no one ever should, but… it would be like him. It already is, even in these pictures. Like him, when he was a baby.

castro 1 Foal for sale

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Apollon six months, Poseidon four years

It is a theoretical question of course, I can’t afford to buy this foal. But I do think I could learn a lot about myself, just from figuring this out, and I may even be able to come to terms with losing Apollon, in time…

I really should stop looking at sales adds… But I guess I am still looking for… someone… to show up. I am just wondering if have found this someone this time. Or if I am just looking to do better, for the horse I lost almost a year ago, in the first December storm of the year.

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About Starstone

-Owned by horses. Writer, Photographer, Director, Musician.
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