Growing up there was only one horse for me. Clementine. The been there done that mare. My dad used to have pictures of me on her when I was a baby. He rode her across the state as long as I could remember. two or three week trips. She never weakened. Not once. I remember going out in the big pasture where she was and just walking right up to her. Terrified my aunt and uncle, but I had no fear. I could lead her anywhere.
My favorite memory of her was when my dad was bound and determined to go on the cross-state trip after his back surgery, and she was the smoothest most gentle she had ever been for him that trip. They rode in the lake together too. I loved just riding her around the corn field next to the pasture.
She never had the chance to be a mother. She carried many foals but none lived. She was the best surrogate mommy I ever met. She accepted every foal as her own and even tried to teach them right from wrong. She would have been the best mother in the world. My dad only tried to breed her eight times. None lived. She birthed every single one. It was hard to watch how hurt she would be. She'd spend hours just trying to get the foal to respond, get up, anything. It took us hours to get her to let us take them out.
My dad had bought her (I have no clue from where) as a green broke mare. He trained her from the ground up. He never needed spurs, never needed a whip. She was his partner. I loved watching him ride her. I loved being her second rider. She was the best first horse a girl could ask for.