Derby

The first time I saw Derby, he was standing in a cobblestone courtyard, head held high, like he was proud of something that no one else knew about. A thoroughbred, at four years old,The first time I saw Derby, he was standing in a cobblestone courtyard, head held high, like he was proud of something that no one else knew about. A thoroughbred, at four years old,

Story originally posted by Horsecity.com Staff

W_Photo=6666>

The first time I saw Derby, he was standing in a cobblestone courtyard, head held high, like he was proud of something that no one else knew about. A thoroughbred, at four years old, he was lanky. No harsh words had ever been yelled into his ears, which seemed a little too large for his head. No whips had been laid across his bay back, and the only scars on his body was from romping with the other colts, not from a human hand. As I stood in front of him, he looked at me like he wanted to be my friend. I smiled, and he seemed to smile back with his eyes.

"He’s a nice guy," His owner explained. "A real sweetheart."

My father and his owner talked about Derby’s upbringing and the barn, and I looked at the horse. He looked back at me, and I knew, for some unexplained reason, I knew this was my horse. This was the horse I needed to bring home with me. Although he was a gelding, his short mane crested up his neck, instead of hanging sideways, making him look young and coltish. I watched his owner tack him up and we walked to their ring. I watched this gelding transform from a gangly youngster into a horse. He flowed across the ground, carrying his owner almost proudly. He trotted on air, cantered with ease, and jumped like a deer.

After what seemed like years of waiting, the reins were handed over to me, and up I went, into the saddle. I remember, he craned his head around, looked at me with his amber mustang eyes, and proceeded to engulf the toe of my boot in his nostril. Any flicker of uncertainty about riding such a young thoroughbred vanished. We moved off, and I walked, trotted, and cantered on a horse I had only dreamed about owning. He was willing, responsive, and gentle. He took care of me. He made me reluctant to dismount after a half an hour. As I untacked him later, in the great barn, I kissed his nose and whispered into his ear about how much I loved him. Leaving that farm was torture. I went back with my trainer at the time, and she thought just as highly of him. Two weeks later, he finally arrived at our barn.

Now, a year and a half later, that same lanky four year old is now five. His coat is a beautiful red-bay, the same color as my hair. Under that gorgeous sheen are hard muscles that ripple when he walks from being ridden, groomed, and pampered every single day. He still has those same beautiful mustang eyes, and his ears are still just a tad big for his head. And he means more to me than anything else in the world. And if that’s not love, then I don’t know what is.