This is Blackhills Jordon. I spelled Jordan with an “a” and shall from now on.
I rescued Jordan at a riding stable in Shelton, WA. He was a 21-year-old Arabian gelding. The story of my purchasing him will be another post.
When I got him to barn (across the road), Terry Miller, the world’s best farrier, looked at him. I learned several things. One, he’d not been trimmed in a long time. Six months, Terry said, ‘at least’. So we pulled his shoes and Jordan went from 15.1 to 14.3. He also went from a 00 shoe to a 0.
Jordan had Cushing’s disease (which, ultimately, was why I had him put down, but that, too, is another post). In about six weeks we realized he was NOT going to shed. It was obvious that no amount of grooming was going to get him clean. He’d not been bathed in years, something we discovered when Bruce tried to clip him. Two baths later, we got the hair off of him. Once we got most of the hair off him, he lost about fifty pounds. And he was fleabit!
Good feed and hay, a floating, a sheath cleaning, a hoof trimming, two baths, a clipping turned an unkempt stable plug into: my white knight, Jordan.
Jordan was as trustworthy as a dog, and about as smart. Gentle, kind, sweet-natured, willing to go wherever you pointed him: that was Jordan. I trusted him so much that I could do anything with him without so much as a halter. I taught him tricks, and he made up a few of his own. In fact, he was a practical joker. His jokes weren’t mean, just funny. He was trained to death. He hated to jump but could. He went english, western, dressage and bareback, which is how we met in the first place. After a few rides, I stopped saddling him and rode him bareback from then on. I took the bit out of his mouth and he was much happier.
He had to have one spook a day, and when I fell off of him, he stood patiently, while I got up and crawled back aboard. That is where I learned that the nice thing about a short horse is you don’t have so far to fall.
After a year at the barn across the street, I got so sick of June’s controlling and verbal abuse that I brought Jordan home. (that’s another post). That is when I learned that the best way to own a horse is when he’s in your backyard. The stories I will tell! But here are two:
The property next to mine was vacant and covered with scotch broom. I was cleaning Jordan’s paddock (he had five acres of pasture and the paddock ((about a quarter of an acre)) was the sacrifice area in our rainy muddy winters.) His ears pricked up and he stood like a statue, snorting. Through the broom came my neighbor walking two leashed (dog leashed!) pygmy goats.
One of the goats saw Jordan and ‘baaa’ed”. Jordan bolted. He’d never seen such ugly dogs in his life, nor heard any self-respecting dog ever say anything but “woof.” But then, as I talked to the woman, he came back, standing right behind me and peeking around me. The woman laughed at that.
Well. Jordan had his pride. No one laughed AT him. They laughed with him or because of him, but not AT him. (ask me about the braids…) His honor had been besmirched, so Jordan came around me and placed himself between me and the goats. He was protecting me. He didn’t know what the goats were, but I was his mare and he wasn’t going to let them hurt me!
Jordan had been gelded at about two, I think, but he knew what mares were. He loved the ladies, oh my. He was most definitely a ladies man. I was riding him bareback through the broom one day. It was a hard ride for him apparently. Despite the fact that we were only a quarter of a mile from the house, his head was down and he walked very, very slowly. I couldn’t push the obviously old, weary horse, could I? Oh, no. He was doing the best he could. I would be cruel to ask for something as energetic as a brisk walk. So we plodded along, until we were approached by two women riding Welsh pony mares. Oh my, they were pretty. One was a lovely rose grey and the other a solid chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail.
The effect of these visions of equine loveliness on my oh so very weary horse was electrifying.
His head came up, ears pricked. He arched his neck and began to passage (something I had no idea he knew how to do), while flagging his long, lovely tail. His eyes went black with passion, his nostrils widened, he looked every inch a Drinker of the Wind. The mares stopped, raptly admiring this equine Adonis. Both whinnied in appreciation. One of the women, obviously frightened, said, “Is that a STALLION?” I laughed, and said, “Only in his dreams, ma’am, only in his dreams.” They didn’t laugh. I don’t think they believed me! They edged their mares, who obviously wanted to chat, past my wannabe stud and trotted off.
Jordan’s head dropped in disappointment. He slowed his gait to a slow, pained walk, barely able to pick up a hoof. Poor old horse. Weary old horse, poor thing. “BULLSHIT, Mister, I know better.” I said, and and put him into a nice, brisk trot. We trotted the entire way home, just because.
Oh, Jordan. I miss you so. I will write more about you.