On Being Dumped

Bonnie, the chestnut mare of my dreams, is busy living in someone else’s yard, carting around someone else’s friends like a summer camp horse in September, and basically not spooking or bolting or dumping her on the ground. I’m happy for her. No really.

Okay, so the fact is, I’m not sentimental about the horses. If you’ve known my writing any length of time, you know that. They come. They go. More come. More go. I adore them. They leave. I find someone else to adore. It’s possible that I’m very fickle. Some might say, it’s definite that I’m very fickle.

Bonnie and Kat portrait

My ex-mare and her new mom.

My old dressage saddle had a deep groove across the seat, created by my engagement ring scraping across it the last time she dumped me.

I should say the second last time she dumped me, because recently, Bonnie went head over heels for her new Mom and I’m quite left in the dust.

This is what I adore about horses – some of them have very clear-cut ideas about what they want out of life. (Most of these more opinionated horses are mares. Just saying.) A lot of horses, you can shuffle from barn to barn, owner to owner, rider to rider, and they take it all in, learn a few naughty habits to make life more interesting, transfer their affections to whoever is holding the feed scoop on that particular morning. But a few, they are willing to wait. For true love, the sentimental might say.

My feelings aren’t hurt. Maybe I don’t believe in equine true love. Maybe I’m an equal opportunity equine friend – they’re all lovely while they’re with me.

In the meantime, being the former owner of the Most Beautiful Mare in the World has come with many good memories. She was the most photogenic of my horses. She was a tourist attraction at Grand Cypress Equestrian Center. I have on my desk a framed photo of her that a random tourist took of her and had developed for me. (With film! That’s love! That’s attraction!) She was deeply affectionate and always intrigued by plastic wrappers of any sort that might contain food or food-like substances. Her tongue was very cute and she reacted quite strongly to having coffee dribbled on it. There was, in fact, once a time when you could Google her name and find a photo of her, captioned “Bon Appeal – she loves to have her tongue played with,” standing with her head over a stall guard on the backstretch of some racetrack – Delaware Park, maybe? I can’t find it anymore.

And maybe what Bonnie wants most of all is to be loved with rather more strength than my fickle heart can give a horse. I’m always looking for what’s next on the horizon. Horses live in the moment. Some more strongly than others, I suppose.  Whatever truth is lurking there – about myself, about horses, about the meaning of life, etc., – Bonnie gets a happy ending. What else can a person – or horse – ask for?



Filed under Bon Appeal, Selling Horses, Success Stories

13 responses to “On Being Dumped

  1. Kat

    Aww, what a sweet blog post. Yeah, bonnie and I have definitely clicked. Maybe it’s because I also live in the moment, there is no horizon here, I am immersed in the ocean of my life, just kind of drifting and taking it all in.

    Did you happen to notice that Bonnie and I have the same hair color? hehe

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      You are the new Brad and Jennifer of our time, with your matching highlights. Adorable.

      I’m almost incapable of living in the moment. I have to remind myself: “This is important, this is amazing, this is special, take it all in.” Otherwise I am always thinking of the next thing, the next event or meeting or blog entry, for that matter. My life is endless plotting. Dave Matthews sang “Tomorrow is no place for your better day,” and that has always annoyed me, because I place all my stock in tomorrows.

      And that might be a crucial element in why I’m able to take the comings and goings of horses and people and places with ease.

  2. I’m the complete opposite of you, Natalie. I’m so head over heels in love with my redheaded mare that there’s absolutely no way I’d ever sell her. I think the feeling is mutual, she neighs to me every time she sees me walk into the barn no matter what time of day or how many other people are there.

    Horses are like people, some you just like the instant you meet them and some you never get along with no matter how hard you try. You have the advantage of being able to get along with everyone even if there aren’t strong feeling behind it. I wish I could do that, alas my personality won’t allow it.

    Kat, please keep us updated on that beautiful mare!

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      My first OTTB, I never would have sold – I did lease him out several times, though. But he wasn’t a horse I could have taken money for. I drew the line there. His worth wasn’t measured by money.

      I’m fascinated by the endless personalities of horses. I walk into a barn full of horses and absorb everyone’s different reactions. I was meant for large stables, I suppose. I hope I don’t fall in love with anyone. That would be an expensive proposition in the city.

  3. Portia Winters

    Some horses I think we just connect with more than others, I have had two OTTB geldings that for some reason have been my soul mates. THe first has passed away and the second I have and fox hunt with. We just seem to have a connection that I haven’t found with other horses and I just love him. I have a filly I adore also but still not the same deep bond I share with Batman. SOme horses just know when that perfect person comes along. I really love your blogs Natalie.

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Thanks Portia.

      I have missed, continually, my second filly. Princess for a Day turned two on May 10th and we’re awaiting her first breeze anxiously. She was a terrible foal and a dreadful weanling and turned suddenly interesting around her first birthday. I was just about ready to get on her back when she sold. I wanted to sell her terribly, that was the point of it all, but I still miss having her around, the snot-nosed little thing. Maybe she’s one I’ll see again. I think there was a bond there I don’t often make. The other filly was sweet as pie and I don’t miss her at all.

  4. I’m the opposite too. I never sell. I buy the right ones and keep them forever. 😀

    And darn right about the mares comment. It’s always a mare…:-P

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      All you sentimental ladies with your forever horses!

      So answer me this – is it a difference in upbringing? Or sheer personality? I grew up riding sales horses. I learned not to form an attachment – or was I just ideally suited to not form attachments?


      Whatever happens, I think most horses want a forever home. When we can give it to them, that’s such a good feeling. That ought to be reality television. The big REVEAL at the end being the horse posing for a photo like Bonnie and Kat.

  5. Jessica

    So touching. I HAD to share that on my page. To think I saw that scuff mark on the dressage saddle just makes me feel that this world isn’t so big after all. Thanks for your blogs, keep them coming!

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Thanks Jessica – thanks so much.

      I made that scrape in sloooooooow motion. Bonnie decided that the trot pole she had just gone past eighteen times had suddenly morphed into a dragon and bolted.

  6. carrotplease

    I might be a little fickle too. In my own way I fall for each horse I’m privileged to get to know, but so happy to send them on, and then have another to fall for 🙂 My own horse I think I have a much deeper connection to, to the point where sometimes I think we know what the other is thinking or feeling. I don’t even have to “ride” him, just think it and he does it, I swear. With the TBs it’s more of a ‘parental’ relationship, I’m just proud of them as they learn and my chest swells up when they leave with a new person – sort of like sending your kid off to college I think!

  7. Natalie, you are who you are (delightful) and you’ve surely made a positive difference in the lives of many horses–and definitely on a few riders! (I include myself in that category though I’m still grounded at the moment.)

    I am probably in the middle. I love Lena, but I don’t ride her much anymore and she really is Steve’s horse. And Bar is completely my horse. All 16.2 bratty hands.

  8. Laura

    I’m another one who has not “clicked” with any of the horses I’ve owned or ridden. We have gotten along well and I was quite affectionate, but I do not know this “forever horse-ness”. Sniff.

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