I never seem to talk about Brandywine. I guess its because she never does anything wrong. She never gets into trouble. She is behaved and sweet. The only time i ever had a problem with her is when Amanda my Thoroughbred was here. Brandy hated amanda. So the adage of the squeakiest wheel gets the oil is pretty true since she never does anything wrong, i never really write about her.
Brandy doesn't get enough credit. So today here is her tribute.
She came to me very unexpectedly. Dominic, her old owner, told me he would never sell her. Ever. I looked for almost a year for a horse like bran and never did find one. I was at the time doing a share lease with an older couple up in Ft. Lauderdale with their horse. I went 3 days a week, they went the others. To get my feet wet, so to speak. I had never groomed or fed, washed, picked feet. As a child i had lessons but the horse was always ready to mount. So although I could ride, i hadn't a clue on how to take care of a horse. This lease share was my introduction. But it still can never prepare you for your first horse.
Dominic was my sales rep for a printing company. As a perk he would take me riding. On brandy. I loved her. That first day. I wanted her. But he wouldn't sell her. For years i asked him. Finally one day he called and said i could have her. I think I left work that minute and ran to the bank. He told me he had to sell her for serious reasons regarding a lawsuit and he knew she would have a forever home with me. So this little turn of events set in motion my whole lifestyle change. If he had never called that day would i even be up to my ears in muck? or living some other kind of life in the big city? Interesting to think about. She is the reason i live where i am. And the reason i don't work in Miami any longer. She is a life saver in so many different ways.
Brandy was born May 29, 1984. She is 22 years old. I got her in 1994 and those first few months are still a blur. I don't think i even got on her the first 3 months. We just wandered around the property where she was stalled. finally after a few years we moved to davie. I moved from Miami where i was living, and she moved from the stall she had been in for 10 years. I guess it went smoothly. neither of us had a clue what to expect. She moved into a barn with 70 other horses, but she was 100 ft away from my front door. woohoo.
In those years we learned alot. About each other. Others. Husbandry. Time management. How to muck a stall. Feeding. I joined lists on the internet, made friends with other horse owners. Created my free time around her. And even at times worked around her. To the dismay of many companies. My only sick days were if she wasn't feeling well. grin.
She has had a charmed life. She has only had two owners. Dominic and myself. She will never be over worked. And she hasn't been in the past either. Her training was awesome. I met the lady Dominic sent her to by chance a few years back. Told her what a jewel bran was. She remembered her. And remembered how she was easy to train. And likable. This is obvious. She is the most forgiving horse. She put up with so much from me, and never once has she gotten nasty. Or cantankerous. She does have her moments but nothing ever to make you feel not taken care of.
I always tell a story about her and how she looks out for me. We had been riding in the woods, out in Dupois (coincedentally only miles from where i live now) And our group split into two. fast and slow riders. I became the head of the line of the slow group. We finally caught up to the fast group, and not knowing what was going on, people were moving out of the way for me to go to the front. It seems that although i was new to the group. EVERYONE knew Brandy. She was a good trail horse, the best some said and that she would tell us where to cross the canal. Dominic told me to give her some rein and tell her to cross. i was just the passenger. she walked up and back, in and out. I was getting mighty impatient. I figured she was pulling a mule on me. What i didn't realize was she calculating her moves. you see, there was a gator nest up creek, and a gator down stream. And we sat there till she felt it was ok to cross without danger. Everyone in the group had seen this before. They knew this horse, knew her way around. And until she went no one else went. Amazing to think that she was that smart.
I was told many other little tidbits from those that saw her in action over the years. How she is sure footed over any kind of terrain. Can smell the gator nests and moves accordingly. has a keen sense in the swamps. Always tries to keep me on her back, no matter how clumsy i am. Never spooks during lighting storms, And ALWAYS can find her way back to the camp. No matter where we are...
Dominic told me once if you get lost always give brandy her head. She will always bring you home. Always. And she did. I did learn over the years to bring a wire cutter with us though. She doesn't take to fences to well. And doesn't like having to go around them....grin. And i have gotten lost on many occasions while riding alone. If it wasn't for her we would have been in trouble. Luckily i knew enough to trust her. And at times she learned to trust me.
She isn't like other horses. She treads lightly on the ground. Like a little indian. She isn't a high maintenance horse, never has been tempermental or flighty. Enjoys her days doing not much of anything. I think she likes our new home. And she likes her new stall. I leave the door open and she comes and goes as she pleases. And I love waking up in the morning to find her in or near the back porch. When she is out in the yard, and as i drive up the street, she comes running. Mostly hoping i just came from the grocery.
She is kind and sweet to all the other animals. She puts up with dogs under her feet fighting. A pig that squeals. Goats that cry. And now a mini that wants under her teats. She has been outside for 3 hurricanes. Countless lightening storms. She has pulled thru 3 bad bouts of colic. She is street smart, and crossing a busy highway is nothing for her. And same for bridges, tight spaces, loud trucks, night riding oncoming traffic, and so on. and she has put up with me and my idiosyncrasies for over 12 years. She is a smart girl and knows her boundaries.
Don't get me wrong, she is still a horse. And when saddled and i say go, she goes. And she is a great ride. But then i can stop, get off and put a 6 year old on her back and she walks around like she is a dead broke animal. For years my friends all came over for pony rides on her. As she is getting older, and me too, she's lost a little patience for that. Who can blame her? But when we lived in Davie, she was ridden by all the kids. Everyone wanted to ride her. Every year i would let one of the younger kids ride her in the parades in town. Always a gem. Always up for it. They would spend hours dressing her up, braiding her mane and tail, and never moved a muscle. For a few years we even went trick or treating around the neighborhood. Dulci and Breeze my dogs dressed up as bees, and brandy was the bee hive... i wish i had a photo of that night.
There isn't another horse like her. She only cost me 1200$ that fateful day 12 years ago, but if someone offered me a million today I would have to say no. She is worth much more than that.