The Scruffy Brown Pony
Author's note: "I always saw pictures of Audrey and her beloved Gizmo, but never did I think that Paso Fino's... Show full author's note »
A Little ThingI’ve never met another pony like him. He was incomparably intelligent, yet despite that, he was terrified of everything at first. He made me a real rider, he taught me patience, he taught me about natural horsemanship, and mostly, he taught me how to love a pony enough to see past every fault with a glowing admiration.
His attentiveness never failed to amaze me. His body language was attuned to mine and reacted either gently or like fire to every movement I made. I’m not sure I will ever meet another pony who so thoroughly understand that which I asked of him. To me, he was perfect, and his imperfections could only be seen by those who didn’t find him unceasingly charming.
The thing I was never able to comprehend was his intense spookiness. Perhaps it had something to with being a rescue, though he’d never been beaten that we knew of—and was, in fact, quite pleased to have human attention. It might simply have been how high strung he had the tendency to get, but for whatever reason, he could learn faster and more willingly than any, except that the mounting block in the corner would not eat him.
Everyone who met him adored him with extreme affections, and I can not do his lovable personality through simple words. He was only 13hh, and his conformation was wrong—long neck, big head, tall legs, medium belly—yet he was nonetheless captivating from every angle.
I was leasing Gizmo by the second time I rode him, and it was undoubtedly one of the best decisions that I ever made. We quickly developed a connection, due mostly to his high sensitivities—he knew me and I knew him. In months, we were celebrities at my barn. Everyone came to learn about his transformation, about the girl who would have jumped into fire for him.
Some of the process was slow, and some was quick. If he had been less spooky, perhaps he could have learned quicker. But if he had not been terrified of the world, we never would have gotten to work together so well. I remember on several occasions my trainer—and other people—remarking on how changed he was. They told me how terrified he had been of absolutely everything when he got to the barn; even the open space, comparing to the home he was nursed back to health in, frightened him out of his wits. Slowly he became the pony people wanted to ride. Could I say he was truly perfect? In perspective, not at all. The number of falls I’ve taken from him are so far unmatched in any other horse, but he certainly taught me to stay on. But his improvement was monumental, no doubt even more so when compared with the odds he faced, and overcame, all with his ears pricked forward.
I still have his coggins, his vaccinations and ownership papers. I still have pictures of him tacked up all over my bulletin board and I still have his cleaned girth and a saddle pad with his name on it.
He’s still my little brown pony, and he always will be.