Today I wanted to talk about my horse, Cassie. She has been in my life for almost sixteen years. Cassie is the first horse I ever owned and even after all this time, I still look for any excuse to talk about her… So I’m going to.
Before I get into it. I’ll give you some information on her breeding etc. Cassie is a 17.2hh, Clydesdale x Thoroughbred. A mix between my two favourite breeds. A true jumper who’s full of energy, power and willingness. If you’re wondering what the 17.2hh is – That’s how we measure horses. In “Hands” – 1 hand = 4 inches. She’s pretty tall; which is perfect because I have some long ass legs haha. Her colour is bay and she has two white socks on her back legs and a star on her forehead. On her back she has a tattoo (freeze brand) “EZ14”.
I got Cassie when I was just fourteen years old after ten years of riding at a local farm and learning quite a lot about riding and horsemanship. I was quite happy at that farm. I took many lessons, I competed, attended horse camp, volunteered and I had several horses on loan to me. It’s also the place where I met my best friend, Jamie. After horses kept being sold from underneath me, my Grandma was sick of seeing me upset and offered to buy me my first horse. I was ecstatic. All I ever wanted was my own horse. I don’t come from a rich family, so something like that was a big deal to them. It really was a dream come true.
Off we went, checking sales pages and papers to look for the perfect first horse. I looked at eleven horses before I met my girl. I was extremely close to purchasing a little Thoroughbred first. I really wanted her, but when we had the Vet look at her, it turned out that she had joint problems so my family wasn’t prepared to put the money into a horse that I wouldn’t be able to ride much (fair enough). At first I was heartbroken because I really wanted her. I felt like giving up. But then a week later, my mum found an ad for Cassie. I must have gone into it with a negative attitude because I took one look at her and said “No thanks”. I did not want her. She didn’t look that great though. Her feet were long because they were way overdue for a trim, she was thin and her head looked too big for her body. I then learned that she had been used as a broodmare, producing babies for the farm owner and was on her fourth or fifth baby already. She also had two tall Thoroughbred-looking yearlings in the field with her, one of which was feeding off her. She looked malnourished.
I decided to go ahead and ride her anyway. This is where I completely changed my mind about her. She was perfect for me. Tall with long strides. A perfect jumper and I trusted her to look after me. I could tell with how kind her spirit was, and that she was the right horse for me. I’d ridden many horses in my lifetime but I’d never bonded with any of them the way I bonded with her. After getting the all clear from the Vet, we had her home with us within a week and got her looking great.
Getting Cassie was the best day of my life (besides my kids being born obviously haha). We’ve had our ups and downs and our personalities sometimes clash because we both have similar attitudes, but she really is the most gentle and beautiful horse I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. I’m 30 years old now and she is 23 years old. I’ve had her for so long but when I look at her, I still feel just as much pride and happiness as I did when I first got her. When it comes to horses, she is the equine love of my life haha. She made my teenage years and my twenties. She was and still is there when nobody else is. Always waiting at the barn, willing to let me burrow my face in her neck, cuddle her and just breathe with her in silence. Being around her is peaceful and I love feeding off her lovely energy.
During our time together, I haven’t competed on her. We’ve done none of that. I was never one for wanting all eyes on me anyway. I hated horse shows. Most of my friends at the time were doing some sort of horse show with theirs, but I just never felt the need to do that with her. I wanted to keep what we had between us. I love riding alone so it would just be her and I enjoying ourselves in our own little world. We’ve been on countless of adventures, galloping through fields and woods, jumping over fallen down trees, racing other horses, swimming in lakes. I’ve taken lots of jumping lessons on her and I even bunked off school a couple of times to go hang out with her. Her farm was behind my school, I mean how could I resist that temptation? Haha. She’s been the perfect first horse and a lifelong friend who’s taught me a lot and brought me more happiness than I could ever ask for. She’s got the kindest spirit of any horse I’ve ever met. Her eyes say it all. She’s forgiving, patient and loving. I love how highly powered she is under saddle and how fast she can move. When we are out together on our adventures, there’s no better feeling than when we can open up on a field and see what she’s capable of. The true Thoroughbred comes out yet she has the wits of a Draft horse. It’s not just how she rides that I love. I love that she can go from that crazy girl to a calm, patient old lady around the kids. She loves them and we can trust her around them all the time.
Anyway, I’m going to wrap this up. I sound like one of those parents who think their kid can do no wrong and I could go on all day about how much I love her. Company like that is good for the soul. No horse will ever match up to how she makes me feel. No horse will ever replace her, even after she’s gone. I’m a lucky one. I love you, Cass ❤