>> Thursday, April 23, 2009
I decided I should introduce you to my pets before I start posting old columns from equine magazines. Tango seems like the perfect place to start since I already have photos of him on my other blog http://ignitetowrite.blogspot.com/
Some horse owners don't consider their horses as pets, but I sure do. I adore Tango. I have to remind myself that he's not a dog on a routine basis. Let me tell you about Tango's beginning. Five summers ago I rescued Tango. I got a phone call while I was on a family vacation in the mountains of Tennessee. "There's a horse who's going to slaughter tomorrow if you don't commit to buy him now," the caller said. Being the sucker that I am I asked for the rest of the story. It seems that an Amish man purchased Tango's bay mother when she was pregnant. She was expected to deliver a bay foal but instead Tango came out about as black and white as they come. This Amish man could not drive a "flashy" horse, so after keeping him for his kids to play with for a couple years, he was ready to sell him one way or another. I bought Tango by the pound and brought him back to the farm where I was boarding an elderly thoroughbred. The plan was for someone (not me) to train Tango.
Unfortunately that didn't happen, so being overly confident and eternally optimistic I managed to test fate. One beautiful summer evening in August my friend and I went out for a trail ride. "Tango's calm," I said, "He'll be fine." I guess the sweet smell of summer and a new horse took the place of common sense. Tango hadn't been under saddle much yet and before the evening was over I managed to end up on the ground. When I fall it looks like Barney the Dinosaur in a train wreck and this time was no exception. There was no gracefulness in the way that I ruptured my spleen.
That was then and this is now. Tango is amazing. He moves like a dream. I can show him in pleasure driving classes and dressage.Tango is also Houdini. Want to know why? One winter when Tango was slightly off (lame) I couldn't ride him much. So instead, I taught Tango tricks. I taught him to push a ball. I taught him to pick up cones. I taught him to bow and give kisses. AND I TAUGHT HIM TO USE HIS MOUTH TO PULL THE END OF A ROPE.So, Tango pushes. He pulls. He gets out. Dumb me. Smart Tango. He knows where the grass is greener!