It would seem that everyone had thoughts of green and shamrocks on their minds today. I, on the other hand, am thinking of a different kind of shamrock, not the four clover kind, but the four legged kind.
When Shamrock first came into my life, she came with her constant companion, Brandy. A sixteen hand tall Tennessee Walker gelding. They had been together since foals.
I remember the day we bought Shamrock and Brandy. My dad had a two horse trailer with a ramp gate on the back. The sides of the trailer literally bulged once both horses had climbed in on their respective sides. Brandy a little more uncomfortable than Shamrock, I suppose, as he was the larger of the two horses.
Having been with a Tennessee Walker all her life, Shamrock thought she was one. It took me many weeks that first summer teaching her to stand long enough for me to get a foot in the stirrups, but she had the smoothest trot I’d ever ridden.
Besides hitting the trails around the ridge with my cousins, Shamrock and I ran barrels and poles at many horse shows. In the picture above we turned quick as could be inside the keyhole and head back for our time without knocking a pole.
Practically every weekend my dad would load us up and head off to a 4-H show or game show. There are times when I look at these pictures and think I should have dressed her in green, but she always looked so much better in blue. Especially when it came to ribbons.
She could be stubborn just like me, and I’d have to work with her to get her to leave the ring. Sometimes, I think she just wanted to go another round for that second chance of getting a better time. Then once she got back on the other side of the gate, she was a complete different horse.
At home, she’d take the neighbor kids for rides around Mom’s lilac bushes and around the three trees in the front yard. Yet, when you got her to the show ring and she heard the gate click behind her, she switched to her gaming mode.
I recently read a post on Facebook from a National Horse Rescue Center where an owner had been reunited with her horse after many years of separation. I’ve often times thought of what it would be like to reunite with Shamrock, but in my heart I know it can’t be so.
Many horses can live to be about 40 yrs old. If my quarter horse, Shamrock, is still alive today, she’d be the ripe age of 32. But the memories I have of her will live on forever.
When I said goodbye to Shamrock 14 years ago, she was headed to a therapeutic camp for kids in the State College, PA area. Also, somewhere around that same area is her filly, Rosie, not a filly anymore at turning 16 this summer (this little filly was born on my birthday). And somewhere is her colt Thunder, 14, and probably just as feisty as ever.
I hope their new owners feel as lucky to have them all these years, as I felt during the time they blessed my life.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day Everyone.
May the luck of the Irish be with you, this day and always.