The photo is of Mercury as a yearling. He still can’t resist a camera! In your life, some very special beings will come along. 2 legged and 4 legged. In my life, I have had the privilege of working with many great 4 leggeds and 2 leggeds. But once in a while a soul mate comes along. Something extraordinary that allows you to go places you never dreamed of. Mercury came to me as that horse. I thought some of you may be interested to know more about Mercury and how he and I found each other.
I believe everything happens for a reason and many things in my life have had a synchronicity to them. Mercury is a 10 year old Dutch Warmblood that I got as a yearling. He has been one of the most challenging horses I have ever known and he is also my 4 legged soul mate. We have overcome much together and every time I sit on him bridless and we do the things we do, I am overcome by the journey and relationship we have. And now I will start at the beginning of how Mercury came into my life.
I was looking for a young prospect. I wanted a 3 year old that was mature enough to start training. I did not want a yearling. Famous last words. I saw an ad for a young filly that looked interesting and I called about her. I was told she was sold and but that there was other young horses available. I went to have a look and saw several scruffy young horses in a paddock. They were all at that awkward in between stage and they lived outside so they looked pretty rough. None of them jumped out at me as I had hoped. I searched through them for one that “spoke” to me but I did not see one. I proceeded to describe the horse I was looking for to the breeder and he said he had one that seemed to fit that description. He then rounded them all up into the arena to show me their movement and free jump them over a small obstacle to evaluate athleticism and form. There was this mob of young horses running around the arena and I still couldn’t see the “stand out”. At one point, two young colts were standing near me. They were sweaty and looking a bit out of sorts as I am sure this was an unsettling experience for them. One of them was Mercury. People always say to me “Oh you must have picked him because he was so beautiful!” Trust me he was not at the time. He was dirty, gangly, all his body parts looked wrong together and the only thing I could see was that he was unusually uphill in his build for that age and he had an unusually uphill canter for a youngster. He possessed breeding that I was looking for and had an athletic jump but otherwise I could not sense his character. The Breeder seemed to think Mercury would suit what I was looking for. I told him I would think about it and get back to him. I decided after sleeping on it that I would take a chance on him and I knew that if he wasn’t for me, I could always sell him.
I negotiated having him delivered and the breeder said he would like two weeks to get him halter broke. He was completely un-handled. I agreed and waited for Mercury to be delivered. I had no idea what this horse was like or who he was. I was completely following an unknown guidance. Some of the greatest gifts I’ve gotten in my life were not what I was expecting but got by taking a chance. In two weeks time, I got a call from the breeder. He said he wasn’t able to get a halter on my horse? Hmmm…I should have known something about Mercury was challenging then. But being confident in my training ability, I said no problem. If you can get him on the trailer and get him to me, I’ll take care of it. I said we could just unload him into a paddock right from the trailer and I would figure it out once he’s here. He agreed and Mercury was delivered. He was in a huge box trailer all by himself but he was not panicked he just seemed to steady himself. We backed the trailer up to the gate and he came out tentatively to his new home. I stayed with him for 4-5 hours that night. I could see the problem the breeder had with him. He was actually quite skittish and I described him like a deer. He was very afraid of touch and forget about if you had anything in your hand that was foreign. He was basically wild and this sudden change in his life, I’m sure was traumatic for him. I gradually convinced him that touch with my hands was actually quite good. When he discovered that I would scratch his itchy spots and hand groom him he became very happy to oblige my company. Getting him comfortable with the halter was back to square one but we figured it out and I found he was quite quick to learn and as he became more trusting I saw his true character start to unfold. Stay tuned for the next chapter!
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