A Professional Relationship

I will openly admit to being one to anthropomorphize my animals, especially horses.  It was easy with O because she was ridiculously affectionate, and truly loved people.  I found myself thinking of her in some ways as a kindred soul; she was transparent, sweet, and just dying for love.  She was also a huge baby about any “ouchies” or things she didn’t like. Simply a more emotional creature all around.  I thought she was the yin to my yang and all that, so when I sold O, I figured that I would struggle to find another horse whose personality meshed well with mine.  I loved to be needed. I loved to hold her hand.

IMG_1671 - black and white

Dee is literally the opposite of everything I’ve written above (except the sweet part, she’s still very sweet).  She is confident, independent, and used to being correct.  She does not need me.  In fact, she humors me by allowing me to monkey around on her.  She sees every ride as a task, and while she’ll relax for a nice hack outside, it never alters the fact that she’s the kid at school, rolling her eyes because her Mom is making her hold hands.  It cracks me up.


I call her a professional.  And honestly, even though I adore the horse, what we have is a professional relationship.  I don’t need to baby talk to her about how big and brave she’s being (even though I do), and I definitely don’t need to remind her how good she is.  She knows.  I also don’t need to melt into a gooey pile of mush about how much I love her all the time.


This sweet girl.  

We have a good thing.  I adore her, I watch out for her, I give lots of rewards, I ride her well, and I respect her.  I love to ride her, and I am and will be eternally grateful for the confidence and joy she’s bringing to my life. I was joking last week that Dee is one of my few high functioning adult relationships.  It’s true.

And she’s not mine, and she has a whole family who love her to death.  I know that come summer she’s off to her next adventure with one of her girls.  While I will very badly miss having her around, I know that when she leaves I will also be able to be happy for her.  If anything, I think that tells of the success of our relationship.


Anyone else out there have a professional horse in their life?



9 thoughts on “A Professional Relationship

  1. Gina is a professional; I think she would prefer it if I would get out of her way, haha! She is not a sweet or loving horse, and I am POSITIVE she’s rolling her eyes at me. I don’t mind her workmanlike attitude, although sometimes I wish I felt like she liked me.

  2. I totally get what you’re saying! My previous mount was green but not. More like he acted green, had the behavior of a green horse and the personality of one. He loved getting praise (and still does) and when nervous would want me to coddle him and make him do it. Red is the total opposite he’s a 20yo schoolmaster that has been around the block. I get on and we go to work. Sometimes we have ‘discussions’ about him wanting to bend like a crazyman when going straight seems much simpler. He much more affectionate on the ground then my previous mount but under saddle it’s work. I don’t need to coddle him I have to do my job to make him do his. He saves my butt over fences and can almost feel him rolling his eyes like ‘mom, could you please pick a distance I can’t do all the work geez’ I love when you know a horse’s personality it’s the greatest

  3. ha this is awesome – and i totally know what you mean. isabel was the quintessential professional too, with so many of the same qualities and attributes you write about above. tho i suspect that deep down she was just as desirous and needing of attention and affection… but she’d never admit to that haha (how’s that for anthropomorphism lol)

  4. I feel that way about our two mares. I’ve been riding one of them and getting the other back into decent shape before riding (she requires a heck ton of groundwork beforehand) and while I love them both, and honestly…they are both better rides than my personal horse, it’s very much a professional relationship. I’m in training mode with them, both for myself and for them. When I’m with my boys…it’s different.

  5. My high school horse was quite a professional. He took his job under saddle very seriously. He hated treats and cuddles, and actually had not great ground manners. But as soon as he had his saddle on he did his very best to do his job. Love a good “professional” 😉

  6. Frankie is Mr. Snuggles on the ground, but under saddle we have what I’d say is a “warm working relationship.” I let him know when he does a good job, but he doesn’t really need me telling him how good he is- he already knows. A big pat or scratches when he’s particularly heroic earns a happy ear flick but he’s pretty happy to continue on his merry way without needing a ton of encouragement.

  7. I was kind of like this with the horse I leased before I bought Miles. I leased Vinnie for two years, and while I ADORE him, we never really connected on a deeper level. We very much had a professional relationship.

  8. I felt my relationship with Ramone was professional even though he really wanted to be the one horse (ok maybe he didn’t really want this in his life but I projected that feeling on him).

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