My Horses – Locky

The Husband Horse

Nearly every accomplished adult female equestrian I know has one. The horse they bought for their husband under one of three pretenses: 1) Husband began taking riding lessons and showed genuine interest in riding, hence the most excellent excuse to purchase a new horse; 2) Wife really really wanted that expensive young purebred and so talked Husband into purchase by claiming it “would be his horse and we’ll train it just the way you like it”. Yeah, right.; 3) A horse sort of fell into Wife’s hands – it was given to her or she stumbled across it being given away at an auction, etc. – and she thought it would be “the perfect mount” for her completely disinterested but undyingly supportive Husband.  And generally, Husband Horses fall into one of 3 categories: 1) Big, slow and stubborn; 2) Old and cranky; 3) Young, hot, and completely unsuitable for novice Husband to ride.

So where does our Locky fit in? Well, my husband had actually started taking riding lessons (As a birthday present to me. Yes, that’s right, for MY birthday I wanted my HUSBAND to take riding lessons. I thought perhaps we could share my passion…) and was showing an interest in riding. He found it complicated and challenging, as well as invigorating. He also found it DIRTY. My husband hates dirt. But before he realized just how dirty the sport of horsing around actually is, the opportunity came up to purchase Locky. He had been brought to my boarding stable by a friend who purchased him “because he looked like a Friesian“. Sort of. Then after riding him for 6 months, she decided that what she really wanted was a Friesian (duh!), so she went out and bought one and lo and behold, Locky was for sale. He was just the right match for Matt – big and stocky, slow and quiet (or so I thought). MUCH bigger and more bulky than any horse I would ever choose for myself. I am used to riding hot, wiry horses like Arabians, Morgans and Standardbreds. The big, drafty Canadian Warmblood was not at all for me, he was for my husband.

Once again, “or so I thought”.

AFTER we made the big decision to purchase Locky and Matt rode him a few times – even going so far as to enter him in Novice Rider classes in a small local show – he abruptly made the decision to stop riding. He claimed it bothered his back, but I think the sport was just too dirty for him. He always complained about the smell of the barn (I know, can you believe that?? COMPLAINED ABOUT THE SMELL OF THE BARN!! THE BEST SMELL IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!! I told him he is going to be very surprised when he dies and gets to Heaven and finds out THAT is what it smells like!). He kept making faces at his dirty hands and tried his hardest to keep his buff-colored breeches clean. I think he fancied himself some kind of English lord, wearing brightly-colored polo shirts and a belt with his breeches and tall boots, while I stalked around in dirty old t-shirts emblazoned with gaudy horse themes, black riding tights (slimming!), and 5-year-old beat-up paddock boots that are so comfortable I refuse to part with them.

And that is how Locky became “my” horse. Even though he is completely unsuitable for me in size, shape and personality, I have grown to love him. I also have this little problem with animals: once they are mine, I can never let them go. They just become a part of me, a part of our family, and I can’t bear to think of what might happen to them if I send them on their merry way, even to the most cushy digs. Once they are with me, they are stuck with me. And vice versa, of course.

So Locky and I continue to work on our relationship and his training. He is very sweet, comes running to the gate when I call him, and loves to be loved on. He is slow and stubborn, with a tendency to bolt when threatened, but we are working on that, too. We’ve incorporated quite a bit of Parelli training into our routine, which has given me a new understanding of the “introverted” horse and how to get him to want to work for you. We’re still trying to conquer the bolting problem (I didn’t know about this when I bought him for Matt but soon discovered it, as one particularly bad bolting-while-mounting accident bought me an ambulance ride with a concussion, partially dislocated collar bone and badly bruised tailbone. Nice.), and I can’t get him to venture very far from the barn by himself, but I figure all we have is time. And I think this guy is going to teach me a thing or two while being an excellent “mid-life” (did I really just say that??) horse. So here’s to you, sweet Locka-Lou. You’re a pretty cool guy, and you’re stuck with me.



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  1. Too funny! And I just can’t picture Matt being able to stand having dirty hands!!!

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