Animals are truly angels disguised in fur, feathers or scales. Pajaro, my barrel racing horse was one of these angels. Hee taught me may things, but most of all he taught me to have confidence inmyself. He also taught me about determination, responsibility and commitment.
I wrote a story that was published in a book called “Angel Horses, Divine Messengers of Hope”, published by Allen and Linda Anderson. The name of the story is “Pajaro, The Horse That Runs with the Wind”.
It is a book of short stories, all about horses and their owners, and their inspirational relationships that truly touched their hearts. Warning, if you read the book, make sure you have a box of Kleenex nearby!
Here is an exert from my story which I wrote in 2006.
Since my barrel racing days, Pajaro taught me much about my capabilities, and myself. He taught me to follow my dreams, to work hard, and to achieve my goals. Training Pajaro, taking care of him, driving out to the stables twice a day to feed, and clean his stall while working, and taking care of two kids and a husband was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. A tough dose of reality combined with commitment and responsibility taught me well, thanks to Pajaro.
I believe riding and training Pajaro helped me with my human relationships as well. He taught me to have patience and understanding with the ones I love. These qualities seep into my life on a daily basis, and I find an extra ounce of patience, and understanding especially when I think I have none left. I was teaching something totally foreign to him, but his willingness to please always shone through, even on days when his patience was thin and I was ready to give up. I would remember the great effort he was making for me and understand his frustration. Those were the days we both needed to take a break and we would ride for an extra long time in the hills for a much-needed change of scenery.
Pajaro and I don’t race anymore. Now we ride with groups on the trails, chase cattle, and have fun together with a ocassional run through the barley fields. Pajaro never enjoyed running barrels, but all that time he did it for me and I am very grateful.
Sometimes our guests comment about how well Pajaro and I work together on the trail. They ask me what it is I’m doing with the horse and honestly I don’t know.
I think Pajaro and I have established a unique relationship. We understand each other, and nowhere do I feel more safe, more in my place than astride his back. We have ridden long hours at a time through areas most people would hesitate to enter. I would confidently ride him to the ends of the Earth if I had to, and I know he would get me there. I trust him completely and I believe he trusts me too. We work as a team and I think that is what people are seeing.
I have no doubt that when I am fifty we will be riding over the mountains. We’ll be a bit older, a bit stiffer in the joints but we will still be together. I hope Pajaro knows how grateful I am to him for all the joy he has brought into my life.
Sometimes trainers and clinicians tell me that Pajaro isn’t trained properly. He’s a hot head. He can’t side pass or stop once he gets going. I just laugh and wave them away. I know how to keep Pajaro calm under pressure. I know what make shim tick. I’m the one who rides him and love shim, not the clinicians and the trainers.
One of the things I give Pajaro in return for his devotion to me is a chance to indulge in his love of running. when we are out riding and come to a wide open space, Pajaro prances and tosses his head. It is his way of telling me that this is a good spot for a run.
How can I deny him? It is part of his spirit, the spirit of a horse to run wild and free, to run with the wind. I am so glad I am allowed to share that with him, to let him fly like the bird he was meant to be.