I've been riding horses now for over 40 years. I've certainly had some special ones in my life and the two I compete on now are no different. Each holds a very special place in my heart. Endurance riding is a passion to most of us who compete. We build such wonderful bonds with our trail companions that after a few hundred miles of training and competition, we can anticipate their moves and they ours. Their personalities weave their threads into our lives and we are never the same. I'm sure you've experienced the feeling...
Monaliza (Scooter to her friends) came to us as a near rescue. We purchased her from a man who did not feel the need to water or feed her much of anything in the 105 degree heat of a New Mexico summer. When we got ready to bring her home, Jim asked Scooter as he led her up to the trailer, "is there anything in here that remotely interests you?". She jumped in and off we went.
Endurance riding typically doesn't award its competitors with much of anything, except endless payments on a really cool rig or the very best t-shirt completion award you've ever worn.
"It's the journey that matters...in the end", to quote part of an Ursula LeGuin quote. Hour after hour, day after day in the saddle, either training or competing lends its own rewards. I once heard that horsemen are ready to get rid of their horse once every 30 days (the days where nothing seems to go right). I'm here to tell you that's true! But over time, the relationship between us and our horses is a lasting one.
Scooter is a special one.