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6 Reasons Adopting This Team of Belgians Basically Makes Me Daenerys Targeryen

Just call me “Mother of Draft Horses.”

Isn't it obvious? Top photo: screenshot. Bottom photo: selfie.

Isn’t it obvious? Top photo: screenshot. Bottom photo: selfie.

Right on the heels of HN head editor Leslie Wylie experiencing a sort of mid-life crisis and buying a pony, I suddenly found myself in possession of a pair of Belgian draft horses.

Photo by Kaitlyn Bentley.

Photo by Kaitlyn Bentley.

The entire story is a little long in the retelling (if you’re really dying to know how on earth I managed to adopt a draft horse team, give a listen to this episode of Horses in the Morning) but the gist of it, for the sake of this story, is that Rocky and Randy and I go way back.

It’s difficult for me to both quantify and qualify the hours I spent either teaching total beginners how to drive a team of draft horses at the gentle mouths of these most patient animals, or the often-terrifying sets of circumstances I found myself in while at the lines myself, from driving onto the field at a homecoming football game to a truly emotionally-scarring day of Santa rides.

Even with my gorilla arms it is hard to fit both of these boofheads into one frame. Photo by Kristen Kovatch.

Even with my gorilla arms it is hard to fit both of these boofheads into one frame. Photo by Kristen Kovatch.

While I make a living writing words, I can’t adequately describe the complete and unwavering trust and love I have for these massive horses, and I firmly believe that there is something special in the heart of a full draft horse that sets them apart from other breeds. I’ve loved plenty of light horse in my lifetime, but there’s something a little deeper going on here.

Rest assured, I’m not planning on sacking any cities with Rocky and Randy in the near future … but I’m starting to truly understand how Game of Throne‘s Daenerys Targaryen must feel about her dragons.

Somehow, although aged geldings don’t generally grow, they seem WAY WAY bigger than I remember.

Parting with Rocky and Randy in 2014:

Collection of All Dragon Scenes From Game of Thrones (Season 1- 4)
Rocky and Randy when I picked them up last month:

Game of Thrones 6x09 - Daenerys Riding Drogon, Burning the Masters' Ships - S6E9 Dragon Scenes

Seriously, am I shrinking???

Despite their horselike behavior and appearance, and generally gentle demeanor, there is something distinctly “other” about them: they have a certain presence that reminds you at once that they are not “just horses.” This is generally the reaction I get when people see them for the first time:

I’d literally fight people if it meant keeping Rocky and Randy safe, comfortable and happy.

This is how Rocky and Randy responded to stall rest:

Game Of Thrones S05E01 - Epic Dragon Scene (Daenery's Confronts Viserion & Rhaegal)

Randy needed stall rest after surgery last week (remember what I just said about doing anything for them?) and where one half of a team goes, the other half must also go.

The first time I rode these horses, this is pretty much what it looked like.

Game of Thrones 5x09 - Drogon rescues Daenerys

Especially because we weren’t sure if they had ever actually been ridden before. I climbed on, grabbed some mane and hoped for the best.

With these horses by my side, I’m pretty sure I can do anything.

Game of Thrones 6x09 - Daenerys Riding Drogon, Burning the Masters' Ships - S6E9 Dragon Scenes

Not in a literal sense, like burning cities to the ground, but in a more symbolic, emotional sense: Every lesson about responsibility, love, empathy and sacrifice that you learn from owning a horse is amplified tenfold with these two. With Rocky and Randy in my corner, anything is possible if I trust in them and believe.

Go draft horses.

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