Monday, July 9, 2012

Tribute to an Old Friend: ARI

If you know me then you know Ari. I say that because Ari was my everything from 7th grade until sophomore year of college. Ari and I were a team! we didn't go to big fancy horse shows but the ones we did go to we cleaned up. Ari was what you refer to as a mutt he was a mix of three different types of horses...


So I just called him a warmblood to be fancy and to not hurt feelings...

Pigeon Toed - It sounds funny, and it looked funny. When Ari would walk his feet would not travel one in front of the other they would fling out to the sides which looked ridiculous from the front but at horse shows some judges mistook it for a beautiful dressage like movement, when only seeing it from the side. (this proved to work in our advantage) 

Bottomless Pit - Ari could eat anything and everything in his path. Taking Ari on trail rides was always challenging because he would try to eat and walk at the same time... eating the tops of tall grass, branches that came up in-front of him, he even figured out that the other horses had our lunches in their saddle bags and figured out how to get his nose into the pack and eat them.

Stories of Ari

Under the carport and down the road
My mom is one tough lady and honestly I have always been really afraid of her. She likes everything clean, organized and perfect. Well, one day I was in Ari's stall brushing him and I had just propped the stall door shut but it wasn't latched. My dog Maddy (who had to always be with me) pushed the door open with her nose. I was brushing Ari's tail so when he jolted out the door I was so afraid that my mom would see the loose horse and be upset that I grabbed his tail and was drug all the way down the barn isle, and across the driveway... I finally let go and he ran under our car port and down our long drive way. My mom saw and ran to help me catch him, the only thing that would help was a bucket full of grain (Ari with his sweet tooth and all) and we finally got the halter over his head. IT WAS A MUST SEE PRETTY FUNNY especially with Ari's funny pigeon toed run.

Western Ari 
I have a twin brother Andy, who also loves horses, he always had a soft spot for Ari (everyone in my family did) one day he said he wanted to try to ride Ari Western. For those of you who don't know, a western saddle is a lot different then an english saddle because 1) it is MUCH heavier 2) it has a back cinch that tightens around the horses girth. I told Andy this was ok but to not tighten the back synch... I knew Ari wasn't used to it and that it would scare him (or at least he would use it as an excuse to throw a tantrum) Long story short Andy grinned at me and tightened the cinch... Ari didn't do anything but I could see every muscle in his body tighten up. Andy said "see I told you he is fine" and I laughed a little. Andy jumped on and gave Ari a kick (which I also told him to not do) Ari jumped as high in the air as he possible could and did a complete 360 Andy when flailing off the side of him... and that ended that no more western saddle, EVER.

"Amaxophobia" or the fear of vehicles (lol)
Ari was deathly afraid of tractors. I could not figure out why for the longest time. He had a fear of water and we worked through that, riding over and over again in mud puddles and ponds until he finally didn't think twice about it. The mystery of the tractor though I could not figure out. Until one day I caught my amazing (sarcastically of course) father driving the tractor up to his pasture with the bucket raised. Ari penned in a small paddock was coming unglued. I thought he was going to run through the fence... this all to explain our most exciting horse show, where Ari spotted the small facilities tractor and went ballistic in the small arena pack full of other horses and riders. Needless to say he never got over the fear of tractors poor guy.

The worlds sincerest hugger, biggest kisser, and bestest friend
I had to part with my friend when I was a sophomore in College... I was not able to give him the attention he needed while I was working, going to school and taking care of two other horses. I ended up returning him to his original owner who then retired him to a summer school for kids. (he needed this because without exercise he would EASILY get morbidly obese it was the percheron in him I think.

Ari Extras:

  • Ari LOVED hugs he would always put his head right in my arms and lean into me
  • Loved Dorito Chips any and all flavors
  • He sounded like a girl horse when he whinnied
  • He had BIG FEET and let me paint his hooves with twinkle toes (glitter paint) 
  • Did not play well with other horses, but had a soft spot for foals 
  • Hated Dogs (most likely due to my blue heeler puppy that attached herself to his tail, another long story)
  • Never bit me EVER
  • Endured the worst hair cut EVER
  • Followed me without the lead rope
  • Knew tricks like come, stay, and bow
  • Endured long stories and countless hours of singing poor guy

I am not sure if Ari is still alive and I don't really want to know, I always said I didn't want to be there for that I knew it would kill me. All I know is that if I ever have a daughter and she asks me for a pony I will Say "absolutely not you can have a Swedish Warmblood, Percheron, Thoroughbred,... horse."

In Memory of my best buddy Ari

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