Friday, December 17, 2010

Pony Profiles Part 2: Boris

ZOMG guys I'm writing this post from my BRAND NEW, SUPER SEXY COMPUTER!!! Holy crap I cannot even begin to describe how lucky and excited I feel. My old computer spent the past four years pretty much physically attached to my body (as in it slept with me in bed every night... except really) and it showed: it had huge structural problems that made it almost impossible to charge (the place right where the cord was supposed to go in was all dented and so it was really hard to get the cord to actually get in all the way), it had almost no memory left, and it crashed every time I tried to watch a youtube video. So, the reins have been turned over. I'M SO EXCITED!!!!

Anyway, back to the pony profiles:

Show Name: Aurora Boris
Age: 1985
Breed: Appendix QH/Paint
Height: 15.2hh
Color: Liver Chestnut
Markings: Star, snip, RH sock
Years we Were Together: 2000-2003

(Boris and I at GMHA at my first ever recognized event!)

So, in late 2000 it was painfully clear that, despite my nightly praying otherwise, I was already far too big for Jacob and only getting taller. Since every other creature on the farm was only marginally larger than him (our biggest pony being 14hh), we set out on a search for my very first horse-sized horse. In an amazing stroke of luck, it just so happened that a Pony Club acquaintance had just decided to buy a young prospect and needed to sell her current horse: he was 15, had a been-there, done-that attitude, had done a good bit of Novice eventing, and was very reasonably priced. It only took one ride for me to realize that he was perfect.

Boris was pretty much the exact opposite of every horse I'd ever had before: namely, he was incredibly lazy!! For a girl that had spent most of her early riding experiences getting run away with in one form or another, this was an AWESOME feeling. I loooooved having to kick =). Boris was incredibly genuine and, for the first time, made me feel really really safe when I was riding him. Even Jacob, who I felt mostly safe on, had some incredibly "thrilling" moments - Boris had exactly two in the entire time I rode him: once when he bucked me off the first spring I had him totally out of the blue on a trail ride (we later found out he always bucked on the first warm days of spring and I got more prepared), and once when he bucked me off when we were riding in an indoor and a huge load of snow suddenly slid off the roof. Other than that, he was pretty much a bonafide saint.

(Boris chillin)

The big thing I'm thankful to Boris for is bringing jumping into my life. I'd done a bit of jumping with the ponies but had never enjoyed with very much: Pinky dumped me all the time, Lady ran away, and I felt very conscious of Jacob's size when we jumped. With Boris, all of a sudden I couldn't get enough of it. Together we got my D3 through C2 ratings in Pony Club (and he got me the flatwork for my C3), jumped bareback, jumped in the snow, and went to my first little mini events. It was such a blast!

But, Boris did have one downfall: by the time I got him, he was already 15 years old with many, many miles under his belt. By 2002 he was 17 and it didn't feel totally fair for me to keep asking him to jump with the height and frequency I did in those first years. So, we turned to dressage. I was a pitifully bad dressage rider (and by this point weighed almost 180 pounds!! Early puberty was a bitch), and Boris, as a mostly Quarter Horse, was not naturally gifted at dressage, but we had some great times together, even making a musical kur and going to Pony Club Nationals in dressage.

(Boris with his new girl in 2009)

At the end of the summer in 2003 I left for boarding school and we decided to find someone who could give Boris some unconditional love while I was away. We had already promised Boris that he had found a forever home with us, and so were lucky to find a nice Pony Club mom to do some dressage with him. Even though it was torture to say goodbye to him, it was great to know that he had found somebody to love and be loved by as much as I had.

Boris went on to have a few more riders. Starting in late 2008, we found a little high school girl for him who just absolutely adored him and he adored her right back. They were so unbelievably cute together, and I could see myself in her often, when they went to their first show, their first little pony club event, and he gave her such a feeling of joy and safety the entire way. I was so thrilled for both of them and expected them to have years of happiness together.

(Bor and his girl at their first show together)

But, just a year later, everything came to a sudden stop. Boris contracted acute colic from a previously undetected anatomical abnormality in his intestine. We did everything we could to save him but, after a few incredibly stressful rollercoaster days, we realized that we had to let him go. I was in California at the time, and never got to say goodbye. It was so sudden, and so sad. I still can't go past his stall, even though it's now been occupied by another horse for over a year now, without feeling a twinge of sadness. Boris was hardly a young horse but it still felt far too soon: he'd been in perfect health and was gearing up to take his girl to their first real event together. Even though he was 23 years old, he had seemed like he was in the prime of life.

Even though I wasn't there (and I'll never truly forgive myself for not being there), I know that Boris was loved intensely right up to the last moments of his life, which makes things a little easier. I'm so thankful to him for giving me not only such a great first step into horses, but also a strong foundation of skills that all of my riding still sits on today. I wouldn't be here without him.

(Miss you, Bor Bor)


Kate said...

What a great story - horses like that are worth their weight in gold.

Karen said...

awww... loved the post. I hate that horses can be taken from us so quickly.

mel said...

I just found your blog (thanks to Eventing Nation). I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my mare to colic in 1999 while I was away on my college internship. I think I know how you feel. I used to show her at GMHA too! I grew up about an hour from there, I love that place!

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