A Diva Named Contessa

What is in a name? A LOT!

Contessa was proof of that. A two year old dark bay filly with attitude coming out of every pore – she was a handful.

Contessa was born on the farm a couple of years before Aquila and I arrived as WWOOFers. From the moment she entered the world, she seemed to fully embody the hierarchy associated with her name. She intimidated many humans, and persisted with all the horses until they gave into her will.

Each morning and afternoon we would lead the horses in and out of the barn so they could have their time in the fields. This was my favourite part of the day as it gave me a chance to test myself with the horses in action. Would I be a good leader today, or would they be leading me?

What will the day bring? What will I bring to the day?

One morning, I decided to take Contessa outside since she was the only horse left in the barn. Unaware of her history, I approached her innocently and confidently, and she, unaware of my lack of horse experience, went along with me out to her paddock.

As I was locking the gate the owner of the farm rushed over, concerned for my safety. Not only was I surprised by her worry, I actually felt an affinity for Contessa. Seeing all had gone well with our first encounter and appreciating my persistence in spending time with the horses, the owner offered I work with the filly as a project horse. I was delighted.

I tried to incorporate a short activity for the two of us nearly every day. She tested my character constantly, and let me get away with nothing. Simply leading Contessa could take all of my emotional and physical strength!

One of our challenging moments…

To some, this may seem like a terrible idea – a feisty young horse paired with a green human. Truthfully, it was fairly risky, but looking back I am beyond grateful I was given the opportunity. I am quite sure she taught me more than I taught her, but the regular interaction and connection with a human helped her become a much more willing partner.
Contessa was my first horse, even though I didn’t “own” her. She will always be part of me, and she is the reason I was offered a farrier apprenticeship.

Appreciating a peaceful exchange with the Diva herself.

Do you know anyone with a revealing name? I would love to know, leave me a comment!

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11 Replies to “A Diva Named Contessa”

  1. Stormy is the horses name. It was very fitting as his personality was cloudy on what the storm would bring . Calm with a little rain or Tornado on its way. Graining was a privalige that was taken away from this horse to see if he would be some what easier to handle on his turn out to the feild.He would pace back and forth in the morning hours awaiting his turn to go out. Try and run you over. But you see he loved hi is grain and while taking him off it did not seam to help. For even thow he wanted in the worse way to get out if his stall .Stormy watched the other horses get their grain in the morning so now he would plant all four feet and would not leave the stall . You could pull and pull and he just stand there. I thought it to be very amusing so on the morning if turn out I would put cut carrots in my pocket and when it came to his turn . We would have a little talk and a hand full of carrots and off we would go to his feild without a problem . Now I do not know who was smarter the horse me .But I think we both won a bond that day. I love him for him as he was smart .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the things i love most about you Carmen, is your love and passion for horses. I’m so ever grateful that we crossed paths! Hugs to Aqullia! Xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have many fond memories of the first horse that brought my love of horses to life. I was about 5 years old when my parents bought Prince Blue Cloud (aka Blue) an Appaloosa gelding about 16 hands, for the family. Blue was truly a prince in my eyes! He was ever patient, sweet and the perfect gentleman to a little girl who played on him like he was a jungle gym. I am forever grateful to him for all the lessons I learned on his back and from the ground. No need to kiss those frogs to find your prince…I suggest going straight for a horse 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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