By: Brady Evans
When my sister-in-law said she was gifting us two horses I didn’t dare ask what color my horse would be. Little did I know that such a question is totally normal and expected in the horse world. Just because I didn’t dare ask what color my horse would be didn’t mean I wasn’t disappointed when I saw my all brown gelding. “Sorrel” is what they call it. Sorrel is the most common horse color there is. I had dreamed of some spotted horse, majestic with a silver mane.
We decided to give him a bath. It was April in South Carolina and he still had a very thick winter coat. With some encouragement, we could help that coat fall away and encourage new, beautiful growth. Cinco’s name was originally Spitfire, though he didn’t know it, because he probably wasn’t called by his name very often. I gave this 5-year-old his first bath and you could almost see the fear in his eyes. I was as scared (of him) as he was. He danced around the water, picking up his feet, putting them down without regard for mine. He was sweet, scared, and unbroken. He just didn’t know what to do.
I spent a lot of time with Cinco in the round pen on our property. At the time, I lived here alone with the horses since our house in North Carolina had not yet sold, keeping my husband out of state.
My sister-in-law is an amazing trainer but is also a very busy woman. So, after a 12-hour crash course in breaking a horse, she was off to Connecticut and I was left to accomplish this task very much on my own.
The truth of the matter was that the process was too good to be true. Cinco’s heart is so open and soft. He’d had no bad experiences with people and was open and willing to do anything I asked of him. We learned from each other and we took our time. All the while, Cinco gained weight, got stronger, and began to fall in love with his new home.
Today, a little over two years later, Cinco has blossomed into such a perfect horse that I feel like I, as an imperfect horsewoman, am letting him down.
He is our most inexperienced horse and yet he often finds himself leading the way on brand new trails with his head high, confident, and beautiful. Under the right leadership, I know he could be an amazing horse.