Melinda Mueller’s horse Admiral Nelson shines brightest not under the spotlight, but while waiting for her in the wings.
I bought Admiral as a “replacement” when my childhood soul mate and foxhunting partner was struck by lightning and killed instantly. I had another mare that I was slowly bringing along, but she was “the fancy horse.” Admiral was supposed to be the one I could goof off with, trail ride, fox hunt, and just enjoy. Then my “fancy horse” was diagnosed with extremely aggressive melanomas. We put her down within a year. Suddenly Admiral became my only distraction, my only comfort, and my new project.
Bless his heart; he hasn’t had the life he deserves. He was a track reject and put out to pasture. I turned his world upside down and put him back to work. He’s battled a mysterious back injury and then been put back to work. He suffered a broken stifle and then was put back to work. Several times I have set him aside to focus on other horses or life challenges and then put him back to work when they didn’t pan out. No matter how many times he has gone from top horse to pasture pet, he’s always there and he’s always ready to snuggle. He asks nothing and gives everything. He is over the moon when I groom him. He will wrap me in a neck hug anytime I hold still long enough.
I haven’t always given him the pampered life he deserves, but he has always, always been there for me. Whether he is the pinch hitter at a clinic or show, the horse I grab when the neighbors cow are out, the mane I cry in or the loving soul who shows my boss’s granddaughter how truly amazing horses are, Admiral Nelson is always available.
Here at Horse Nation, we believe that the best therapists are our own horses. We love sharing the stories of special equines — email yours to [email protected] to be featured in an upcoming edition of Back on Track “Horse Therapy.” Go Back on Track, and Go Riding!