Broken Bones Won’t Break this Girl’s Love for her Horse

Summer and Gizmo

I’ll admit, I’m too quick to dismiss people who say they like horses, and then complain about mud, flies, cold, heat, rain, dirty blankets, sore legs (or worse) and clothes that smell like the barn. On the other hand, when I come across someone who loves horses like I do, especially when she’s a 13-year old girl on an adorable pinto, I fall in love a little.

I met Summer a long time ago, but yesterday was the first time we got to share some barn time. Her mom is my old friend, Julie, who also loves horses and grew up riding. I drove out to their house in Bluemont, Virginia yesterday for lunch. We debated delicious fried eggs on salad greens versus frozen pizza and talked about old times, dogs, cows, donkeys, and Summer’s horse Gizmo, an adorable gelding that she got last year from a friend in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Summer and Gizmo

We also talked about Summer’s accident last year. Not long after Gizmo shipped up, Summer got kicked in the face. A morphine drip, a bit of plastic surgery, a loving mom and time to heal got Summer (and her beautiful face) through it. At no point did her thoughts veer into blaming her beloved horse. He was new to the barn, she explained. He was getting picked on badly by all the horses in his field. He was nervous and defensive. On edge. When she walked up beside him in the field, he kicked out, likely not realizing it was her. With an absolutely unwavering confidence, she described him as the most gentle horse ever. He would never do anything like that on purpose.

I hated hearing about her injuries and her pain. And how an animal can hurt a person without meaning to. But Summer’s ability to forgive and love that horse, despite her trauma stopped me in my tracks. Her love for Gizmo is a runaway train.

Summer and Gizmo

So when yesterday’s horse talk turned to driving to the barn to meet, Gizmo, I was more than ready. Never mind the drizzle, the slushy mud, the threat of an oncoming snow storm, that it was getting late and I still had to drive 60 miles home. To the barn we went.

I had to laugh out loud when Summer pitched a fit in the back of the car when she thought – thanks to a moment’s miscommunication – that we were dropping her off instead of staying to meet Gizmo. (That is SO like me to become hotly insulted if someone is not interested in meeting my horse or other assorted animals.)

Summer and Gizmo

I loved meeting Gizmo. He was every bit as wonderful as Summer had described. A true gentleman and overwhelmingly cute. Meeting him and spending time with him, Summer and Julie made my day yesterday, and it’s still making me smile.

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  1. Awesome story. I understand her love and passion for her horse. Mine threw me a couple months ago broke my back and ribs. Never once blamed her. She’s a lover but still getting use to humans again.

  2. I raised my first horse from a baby, and we both learned together. I took a bit of “falling off” and learning not to ride under low branched trees. But King would always stand there waiting for me to get back on…most likely laughing because I fell off. Great horse he was.


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