Pet Tips 'n' Tales©
Life is Never the Same with a Horse
Courtesy Photos by Biana's mother©
Fifteen-year-old Bianca and Sammy, a twelve-year-old, 817-pound Arabian gelding, redefine the word inseparable. When Sammy was saved from auction and a probable trip to the slaughter house, he had no idea that his life's mission was to change Bianca's life.
Imagine that you are 12 years old, your father has abandoned the family, and you are feeling different from your friends because you have epilepsy. This was Bianca's life and to top it off, because of her illness, she could no longer do her first love of competitive pairs figure skating with her twin brother.
Now imagine the magic you would experience when a horse comes into your life who protects you, loves you, and doesn't judge your challenges. The world would then become a wonderful place because the love of a pet adds wonder to our lives.
When Bianca and her mother first saw Sammy an Arabian gelding, Bianca remembers, "He took my breath away!" exclaims Bianca. "He was so beautiful! In my heart, I knew that we belonged together. When our eyes met, we instantly loved each other. But Mom said she had to 'think about buying him.'
The next day, I wondered why Grandma, Grandpa, my twin brother, and my cousin followed me to the barn.
What a surprise! Sammy's head popped out from behind the barn's door! He was wearing a big blue, purple, and pink ribbon with a huge white bow around his neck. My grandparents had bought him for me! I was so excited. I felt like crying.
Bianca with her beloved Sammy moments after they became family.
Then I got a saddle and lessons but had to stop the lessons because of the expense. At first, people at the stable were nervous about me keeping Sammy because he had not been a 'good' horse for his previous owner. I told them how much I loved Sammy. Later, we learned that if my grandparents had not bought Sammy, he would have been auctioned off. With his difficult reputation, he most likely would have been sent to a slaughter house!
Sammy and I practice English, Western, Gaming, and we just started free Lunge. He responds beautifully to bareback riding. Sammy is nervous when we practice bareback because I have a hard time staying on him, but when I put my arm around his neck, he completely relaxes.
On the computer, I watched YouTube videos on the Parelli technique for training horses. It teaches how to work with your horse's nature using hand signals, love, and kindness. Sammy and I practice the techniques and he has learned how to bow and back up. He is so smart, he amazes everyone. www.parellinaturalhorsetraining.com
In the arena, I let Sammy loose to play. He is welcome to run around, but he stays beside me. We walk to the end of the arena, turn around, and then I yell, 'Ready! Set! Go!' We race together, side by side, and the second I stop, he stops too. He also loves playing Tag. I touch Sammy and say, 'You're it' and then I run. Sammy catches me, nuzzles me to let me know 'You're it'; then he runs away. It's so fun!"
"Every Saturday, for more than two years, Bianca has risen at 5:30 AM so her grandfather can drive her to the stables. She works there to help pay for Sammy's keep. It's admirable that someone so young displays so much dedication. Bianca mucks stalls, walks horses, and washes buckets. She does everything that needs to be done for the care of 25 horses at the ranch," says her Grandmother Barb.
"When I'm working at the stables and Sammy hears my voice," explains Bianca, "he whinnies out to me. I run to him and he lays his head on my shoulder and pulls me into his chest.
While riding, Sammy shows how much he loves me by constantly turning his head to check on me.
People are amazed how bonded Sammy and I are. He protects me whether we are riding or walking. I weigh 111 pounds and he is 817 pounds. When he lies down on his back to scratch it, he lies there quietly while I walk up to him, and then he lets me lie on his stomach.
Once when I was hurt, Sammy rushed over, stood beside me, and put his leg around me so I was under his stomach. Then he put his head down to check on me. I gave him a big hug and kisses, and he kissed my face with his big soft lips.
L. O. V. E.One day there was an accident and Sammy ended up lying on the ground for twenty minutes. I ran up to him crying. When my teardrops landed on him, he immediately stood, leaned his head toward me, and pulled me close to him.
Every time I look into his big brown eyes, they get even bigger. He is always happy and thrilled to see me," smiles Bianca as her own beautiful brown eyes widen.
A horse whisperer told Bianca, "Sammy has a deep love for you. He considers you his best friend, and he wishes he could spend every moment of his life with you. Your relationship is heartwarming."
"I feel exactly the same," admits Bianca. "He is my best friend too."
Bianca's tip on how to treat your horse, "Show them that you love them. Care for them, and they will return the love."
View a video about the amazing connection of a horse and its rider on YouTube. Stacy Westfall's Championship Bareback Bridleless video: http://www.westfallhorsemanship.com
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