By Dan Roark
I picked Missy for the horse highlight today, not because she’s known as Grandma, although that’s certainly part of it. And not because being near an elementary school helped to calm her anxiety stemming from her encounters with children on North Texas trails prior to Missy’s joining the herd when her owner began riding at New Hope, although that’s part of it as well. And not because the roughly 1998 gray Arabian is a kind, patient teacher and leader for both horses and humans, although, once again, that’s another part of it.
One reason I actually picked Missy originally is because she is the only horse in the herd at the present time that is closest to her natural color, despite the lousy winter weather and torrential rains of the past few weeks. She was the only horse – other than Gabby – that would not come to her paddock gate to get a treat from me or pose for a close-up. Missy was standing under the tarp over her paddock in one of the only dry spots left in the paddock, surrounded by mud. She looked at the mud, then looked at me, as if to say, “you certainly don’t expect me to walk across that mess just for a treat, do you?” While the other horses delight in rolling on the ground, Missy prefers to stay as clean as possible.
The other reason I picked Missy for this week stems from the picture that I took with her and Tucker when I was taking pictures for the post, A Rainy Day at New Hope. It struck me that Missy looks like the ghost horse that you see in movies and tv shows. There, but not there. And Missy is not one to bust out of the paddock at a trot when it’s time to turn the horses out. She is the one the horses who do bust out in a trot, then canter, gravitate to when the nervous energy dissipates. There, but not there.
Ride on and ride for hope.