A Paks-ish Moment

Posted: November 29th, 2018 under Uncategorized.

Some of you know I’m a confirmed horse lover.  Horse nut.  Horsey person.  (Take your pick.)

This has been the Year of Three Horses, but #3, Kallie, is definitely The One.  As it happens, she’s a red chestnut with a small star and though not as big as Ky (my first horse, and the one who was the model for Paks’s paladin horse)  she has a similar sort of attitude.    The two months and a week (I think that’s right) since I bought her have done wonders for her–or my trainer has; Kallie’s still in board and training “over there” with more facilities than I have here, including a swimming pool for horses.  She had multiple problems when I first saw her, but thanks to the pre-purchase exam vet and my trainer,  both of whom thought she had potential (though limited from what I’d been thinking), she is now walking and trotting sound, her teeth are no longer causing her pain and mouth injury,  and she has put on muscle in the right places from swimming and being carefully ridden by Trainer and by me.  She looks younger than she did two months ago, though she did have a relapse (hoof abscess) that means keeping a close eye on her.

The Paks-ish moments came at the first, and again occasionally, including today when I did some ground work and longeing with her in the stable arena.   First…she picked me.  When I first saw her, and the state of her front feet, and the generally depressed, miserable expression, I almost walked away.  Didn’t need another horse with hoof problems, and I could tell she had them, though not for sure what.   But after I’d spent a few minutes of closer examination, talking to her, watching her reactions, moving her around a little,  she gave me The Look.   The Look that means “I’m your horse, if you want me. Please want me.”   The expression went from depressed to hopeful.   And the next day, after the PPE vet found the problem with her feet and legs (as he was supposed to) and we discussed it, and then I discussed it with Trainer…I bought a horse that was, at the time, three-legged lame and had a mouthful of pain from lack of dental care.   And have not regretted it for a moment.   She is “hot”–that comes with the breeding (Arabian, mostly from Russian and Polish racing lines, and 1/4 from Crabbet) but she is not wild or crazy…she’s sweet, willing, wants to do the right thing and since we dealt with the multiple sources of pain and problems (vet, farrier, equine chiropractor and prescribed exercise) she’s been *able* to do the right thing, or learn how for the things she hadn’t been taught.  She was raced as a young horse (unsuccessfully), used as a trail horse, taught a little dressage, but basically wasn’t ever the #1 for her owner.  Now she is, and she’s blossomed.   She still has some incurable problems but management should be able to prevent their escalating.

Today,  for one moment (or several) I felt like Paks seeing her horse…she was prancing around, arched neck, tail up, “floating” above the ground in that gorgeous trot many Arabians have.  So beautiful, so elegant and athletic…and then she stopped and turned and looked at me, ears pricked.  “Was THAT good enough for a horse cookie?”

One month after purchase, she’s looking a lot better.   And she loves swimming in the circular pool and could do several laps.

Two months after purchase, she’s looking even better (even on a cloudy chilly day) and showing the effects of therapy.









  • Comment by Terry Ann Frick — November 30, 2018 @ 1:27 pm


    YAY for you and Katie both! I understand about persevering to find that special horse, as I’ve been lucky enough to have had two, though I’ve also had and ridden many other horses.

    The first was a Paso Fino. Got him when he was two and had a wonderful trainer (my sister), who started him right, but the main thing is that Sebastian (Bas) was wisdom personified. He made it very obvious that he was committed to keeping us both safe, which I needed at that point due to several unpleasant horse experiences as a kid. Bas taught me that I could trust him, making it possible for me to learn about trusting myself (not just about horses, but about many things). He was with me until he was 25 years old, when his stomach ruptured and he had to be put to sleep.

    The second is Nathan, a quarter horse from cutting horse blood lines and who, it turned out, is a natural born fox trotter. Found him when he was five (now 11) and he was a mess…probably 500 pounds underweight and wormy, but good bone structure, sound feet and, very importantly, big soft eyes and a sweet face. He did not have a good start as he was jammed through just enough training to find out if he would pass the cutting horse test. He failed and was sold without papers as a cull. I had to start him over, which has been rather a challenge because his history caused him to have some trust issues, which I’ve viewed as my opportunity to do for Nathan what Bas did for me. It took awhile, but we finally made progress and Nathan is now the joy I always knew he could be. I started out with him thinking we’d focus on dressage work, but once he started fox trotting I gravitated back to trailriding, though continue with dressage training in terms of developing and maintaining balance and suppleness in his motion.

    Have many times read and enjoyed Remnant Population, as well as the entire Paks series, from Surrender None through Crown of Renewal. You once commented that many people don’t like Liar’s Oath because the main character is so flawed, but it’s one of my favorites because it’s a good story and because I thought you did a wonderful job of sympathetically contrasting Luap’s flaws with his occasional moments of stark clarity, which unfortunately he promptly discarded, but I’ve seen many people do exactly that (including myself on occasion, much to my later regret). One of the things I love most about the horses is that truly becoming “one with the horse” forces one to see, accept and address the truth the horses reflect back to us about ourselves, some of which may have really nothing to do with horses, except that they have to be dealt with in order to progress with the horse.

    Best wishes to you and Katie on your journey with one another!


  • Comment by Terry Ann Frick — November 30, 2018 @ 3:25 pm


    Oops! I meant Kallie!

  • Comment by Victoria Wehe — December 1, 2018 @ 9:39 pm


    She is beautiful!! Thanks for sharing her with us!

  • Comment by Nadine Barter Bowlus — December 4, 2018 @ 12:05 am


    Glad things are going well for both of you.

  • Comment by gustovcarl — December 4, 2018 @ 12:15 am


    She looks great!!
    Sounds like a keeper.

  • Comment by Jazzlet — December 5, 2018 @ 5:20 pm


    I am glad she found you to give her care, companionship and love. She looks wonderful.

  • Comment by Jonathan Schor — December 12, 2018 @ 6:40 am


    HI – the new horse, name? – BOTH of you look good. Have a lot of fun with her.

    Jonathan up here in cold NH.

  • Comment by GinnyW — December 12, 2018 @ 12:09 pm


    What a beautiful horse! I am so glad that she is able to enjoy life and living with less or no pain. Thank you for sharing your pictures with us.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 1, 2019 @ 8:21 am


    Thanks, Ginny. And now she’s *home*…and we’ve had cold rain much more than usual, so we’re both somewhat frustrated. The last time I got to ride her was Christmas Eve morning. Had only two rides here, but they were both good ones.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 1, 2019 @ 8:23 am


    Jonathan: Her registered name is HK Kaliente and her barn name is Kallie. It’s another cold WET day down here, with no riding possible (due to not wanting to ruin what will be the spring grass. She’s had breakfast and may get a chance from rain sheet to blanket sooner than I’d planned.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 1, 2019 @ 8:25 am


    I’m happy I found her, too. She wasn’t for sale (or at least not advertised where I’d have seen it) until the end of July…if either Mocha or Molly had worked out, I’d not have had the chance at her…and if I hadn’t bought them, I’d probably have bought another, different horse. So even bad choices can have good outcomes. No guarantees, though.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 1, 2019 @ 8:28 am


    Definitely she is a keeper. And she’s now here at home–arrived on Dec 20 and we had a few days of not raining, so I got in two rides before Christmas. Since then, no rides, but I’m still glad to have her here.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 1, 2019 @ 8:29 am


    Thanks. It’s been a tad hectic, but she’s doing well, considering the amount of rain and what the rain and her activities have done to the barn pen.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 1, 2019 @ 8:29 am


    No worries. I figured it was a typo.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 1, 2019 @ 8:41 am


    Poor Nathan (and lucky to have you!) I’m really negative about the show setup in this country, where all that matters is whether a horse has potential at the national level to win a bunch of money while young (cutting futurity, reining futurity, and of course racing…) So many potentially good horses ruined in just about every type of showing…different abuses, but still abuses that lead to frantic, miserable horses tossed out like trash if they don’t become stars. Agree that dressage & trail is a good mix for a lot of horses, particularly those that naturally gait. They all need suppleness and balance, but they also all (including dressage specialists, IMO) need to get out of the ring and into a natural setting so they can use that suppleness and balance in the open, for going places. So do riders. A horse has much more to offer than carrying a rider submissively through a series of patterns. And boy, do they EVER make you face your own nature if you ride them across multiple settings and situations. and do the horse care yourself. Thanks for telling us about your horse experiences and I hope you and Nathan have many more years of good companionship ahead of you.

  • Comment by Sharidann — January 2, 2019 @ 8:06 am


    Glad to read again from you, Kallie and you seem to have found each other!

    All the best for 2019, most of all, be in good health!
    Else a certain paladin horse shall make sure you take care of yourself! 🙂

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