Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An Ode to the Big Brown Baby...

The equine of the family has not gotten much love from this blog which may seem odd considering he is the largest member by about 1100 lbs. And since he adds much to my life, here's the story of how the Brazilian Thoroughbred Maximilliano came into my world....

For as long as I can remember I wanted a horse. Doesn't every girl? And while I couldn't have my own, I did have a guinea pig which was almost as cool. Aside from the fact that it squealed all night, pooped on the carpet, chewed holes in my clothes, and you couldn't saddle it and go for a ride it was pretty much the same thing. Ok, not even close. But I one of my best friend's actually had horses and so occasionally I did do some riding - if you can call it that. 

A few things I learned during these various riding attempts:
  1. Yes, horses can read you like a book. I am a pushover and I distinctly remember when "Honey" decided to stop, drop, and attempt to roll while I was still in saddle. Thanks "Honey" for that teaching moment. 
  2. Approaching a happy horse in a grassy pasture with a lead rope hidden behind your back really just means, "run like hell" in horse. 
  3. If a horse begins to pick up the pace without you asking, that momentum will continue if you do not choose to stop it. While galloping is fun, it's not advised for the amateur rider. 
  4. It would take too long to get into the details of this event, but take it from me. Do not set one inexperienced rider on a horse and have them hold the reigns of another horse that is being ridden by a less experienced rider. You're really just asking for an unplanned rodeo. 
With these "hard" lessons behind me I decided at the ripe age of 30 horses needed to be in my life again. For a hot minute I thought, "I would just buy one off ebay and figure it out!" But upon further thought, I opted for lessons first. By chance I found an amazing Natural Horsemanship trainer. Not that I knew what that meant, I just discovered this lady would teach an adult everything from the ground up which I needed as I didn't even know how to put on the saddle... For her privacy I won't mention her name here. But should you ever want the best in horse training from a true horse whisperer, email me here! This is a kind, humble woman who cannot help herself from helping others and she takes far too little credit.

And so the lessons began and yes, I did feel like a total boob as the only student over 11. But the hours spent learning were well worth it and I'm about 97% sure they saved my life about 18 times. 


NOTE: Do NOT purchase a horse without taking lessons from a trusted horse mentor.

And so eventually I met Maximilliano. He was the tallest, most handsomest horse in the barn and he had won over a hundred and fifty thousand dollars in his former career as a race horse. He was also the meanest SOB in the barn, ear pinnnig and biting every time I came near him. But I discovered he was for lease and hoped that with help perhaps there was a happier Max inside?

My first ride with Max. Sitting on a giant horse in a small round pen I'm told to ride around a bit, the trainer will be back in a few minutes. At least 17 minutes passed (but who was counting) and we didn't move an inch. Every time I suggested we move forward there was more ear pinning and more me discovering my inner wienie. But I didn't get tossed so I figured this was a good sign. When the whisperer reappeared she spent about 8 minutes having a "Come to Jesus" moment with Max. During this time nothing happened to him other than he had to run sideways which was apparently horrible for a horse. Max came running back to me a perfect Angel. I may have exaggerated a tad but the horse literally did a 180.

With his new attitude Max proved to be my horse love and soon enough I wanted to buy him. For some reason my husband was not on board but it might possibly have been due to the incredibly outrageous cost of upkeep. Good thing I work in marketing and I created a very persuasive PowerPoint presentation that finally got me my horse. (I think Microsoft stole my idea for their dog commercial). And oh how I loved my horse! Every free minute I could sneak to the barn I was there. Of course about 9 months after I finally purchase the horse I've waited for my whole life I get pregnant...

Clearly having a horse has been much more difficult after having children but the bright side is this: Horses have a way of calming people in the strangest way. It doesn't matter what ridiculous, overwhelming, stressful situation you are experiencing. When you are with a horse you forget it for that moment. I speak from experience. Having had my first child without the epidural (and not on purpose) and trying to power through with that BS breathing technique, the only thing that really helped calm me to some small extent was thoughts of my handsome brown baby who loves gatorade and peppermints and now both of my children...Thank you Max.


  1. And just think... Max's mama probably gave birth to HIM without an epidural either. Ai yi yi!

    1. That's a good point. And a painful one.

  2. LOVE THIS POST!!!!!! Of course it is because I know and love the handsome Max and love the perfect trainer of whom you speak and because I know you!!!! You are the kindest human I have ever seen work around horses! I would trust you to take care of my three geldings anytime!

    BTW I too did the baby thing without an epidural and not on purpose either! I had the brilliant idea to go walking after I got to the hospital and then it was too late! Ugh!

    Max loves his Gatorade - he is the sweetest horse ever!!!!

  3. Thx! He DOES love his Gatorade - only in orange though. Don't bother with the green stuff!

    And oh, the epidural...