Saturday, May 30, 2015

Hinting at the Future

Chief, a gentle and willing gelding, came into my life
when I was thirteen.  Folks would point to the brand on his neck and say, "See? Chief was an Army horse. And the "S" branded below the number meant he made Sargent."

One man told me I could "write to Washington" and armed with this brand, they could tell me all about my horse.
The picture I took showing Chief brand
(1248) to send to Washington

I did and "they" did. Turns out he was a Morgan Horse that the Army purchased in Texas. However, the "S" stood for "surplus."

Through the years Chief and I roamed the Adirondack Mountains, often road ten miles across town to ride with others, took part of every parade my town of Lake Placid had. I even found a college where I could take Chief with me.  I can't recall a less than perfect day with Chief and probably because of that I knew I never wanted anything but Morgan Horses in my life.

In a high school English class, that spent an entire semester studying Shakespeare, one of the assignments was to write something in Shakesperian style.  That was easy. Of course Chief was my subject:
Chief's birthday was always celebrated
with a homemade carrot cake
extra carrots added!

They called him by the name of Chief
And Chief he certainly was.
For kindness, poise and quality
No better could there be.
(lots more to my sonnet, but this is how it ends:)
And one white foot was needed all
To make me want for ere.
This noble beast.
This Morgan horse
To be surpassed by none.

Years later, after marrying my horse-trainer-husband, it became my job to fill out the horse show entry forms. The horse show association (AHSA back then) required that the trainer be identified and his AHSA number included. 
On a trail ride in VT with a
friend. Note all the horses
in the background.

Kinda still gives me goosebumps to think that my first horse's brand was exactly the same as my husband's AHSA number. And that my wonderful experiences with Chief kept me in the Morgan Horse world where I would run across the man that became my husband.

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