(An excerpt from Dark Horses and Black Beauties, by Melissa Holbrook Pierson: Chapter 12; Messiah)
“When Mary first saw Jacob, the old ex-race horse was about 250 pounds underweight, and she was a forty-two-year-old beginner who had never before owned a horse. It was foolish beyond measure to buy an animal that could not be ridden, either then on a tryout or perhaps forever. But she couldn’t leave him with an owner who could reduce an animal to such a deplorable state; her impulse to kindness was met with a price that was absurdly high, and that she paid with alacrity.
With much good feed and care, Mary restored Jacob. As justice sometimes does prevail, he turned out to be an ideal horse for a beginner, giving away nothing for free but displaying that quality that in horses is called honesty. She would ride him out on the trails where they would both learn things. One day it was what would happen if they were set upon by two dogs. They snarled and barked and bit. Jacob stood there. He stood there as they tore his splint boots off and ripped at his knees with their teeth.
Nothing can convince Mary that Jacob did that for any other reason than to save her. Any other horse would have bolted in wild fear, become a manic streak of running. And as a beginner with an unsteady seat, she would have met the earth after a long arc through the air. So she vowed after that day to keep Jacob always, no matter what other horse she might get, no matter that he would before long require her to give more to him than he was able to give to her.
She saved him, he saved her. You can’t imagine how many times this story is told.”
Do you have a similar story? We here at RMSAAM would love to hear it!