Even though while I had been riding Bonnie I had ridden Phoenix a few times, I didn't start to love Phoenix until after Bonnie was gone. Phoenix was a beautiful arabian gelding and was the sweetest horse I've ever met. He was also the reason that I kept riding, his love and gentle nature showed me that all horses have a sweet side.
When I would walk down the barn aisle to greet Phoenix and tack him up he would always go to the door and wait for me. He would nuzzle me and be very patient as I groomed and tacked him up. During the freezing winter months he let me hang onto him and his fluffy, bay coat. He was always so warm and loving.
When I rode him he wasn't always perfect, he got heavy in the bit, he was deathly afraid of squirrels, he blew up his girth so much that often you had to walk him in the arena without a saddle then put it on and surprise cinch it up. So yes, my perfect horse had his issues. But one thing he did perfectly was his auto-pilot. If you're one of those strict riders who thinks every thing someone does with a horse needs to be perfect and from a rule book, I'm gonna suggest that you skip to the next paragraph. When I started riding the ring used to be full of eight to ten horses, which was packed for a standard sized dressage arena. It has walls and is indoors but the measurements are the same as a dressage arena. Anyways, I would be asked to canter and I would be scared of which way to turn and how to dodge people that I let Phoenix turn and steer. Wise, probably not, but he took care of me and that's what's important.
I rode Phoenix in a few shows as well and remember placing in the ribbons. My time with Pheonix was cut short, however. He pulled a tendon and the barn said he could never be ridden. So they decided to retire him and send him to a "retirement barn." I was convinced this meant he was dead. Luckily this story isn't too tragic as through a lot of people I finally found out that the barn wouldn't pay for his vet care so they sold him and another family bought him, fixed him, and now he shows in Indiana. I feel better knowing he's alive but I'd still love to see him again and tell him what a good boy he is. I want to pet his fluffy coat again.
There are times I wish I could've had Phoenix, when I had a bad day, when I needed a friend that could just listen and not talk back, after my accident last summer, and many more times. But I did have another horse there to help, listen, and guide. But that's a story for another blog post.
To bring Phoenix back I painted him in acrylics with lots of layers, His eyes are glossed, like all my customs, and he had his markings painted in several layers of white. While all the pictures I have of Phoenix show that he's a red-bay I never remembered him being that way. He is a darker, richer brown because this is the fluffy, winter coat Phoenix I loved so much.
My next post will feature a horse that is always around and is more of a clown than a horse.