With time and patience
“Mutual Benefits” (True Tale, EQUUS 492) means a lot to me. I’ve had a new Tennessee Walker for five months now who is struggling with spookiness. I guess we both are. He was described as an “experienced trail horse” when I bought him, and he is mostly as advertised: 9 years old, cute, funny and good with all of the handling basics.
I assumed that an experienced trail horse would not be spooky. Yet every time I ride him around our pastures and property, he spooks at least once. It’s not a bad spook---usually a little jump, or running just a few steps. Still, I’m 68, and I’m getting too old to have to endure spooking. I’ve been doing groundwork with him but still feeling discouraged. I know he needs to learn to trust me, and that takes time, but I’ve been feeling like a failure. I made up my mind to keep trying with him, but I felt less than confident---until I read this article. It really renewed my determination, and, I hope, my patience.
The experiences Virginia Slachman describes with her horse Dorian sound a lot like mine with Sundance. I may be getting old, but I have time, and someday he’ll be the trail horse I need. Ann Travers Odell, Illinois names for horses, coat colors and varying tack are all familiar to me. I really love seeing how some of the words have evolved into everyday English.
Bennett’s research and photographs have been superb, and her wonderful use of maps, timelines and those incredible photographs have held me in deep focus and great delight. Many thanks for making this history available to us interested horsepeople. Suzana Oei Fox Feather Farm Califon, New Jersey