This is certainly the least flattering photo I could find of this horse, but it speaks volumes.
On Friday, I discussed the Camciscan of West with the Night, a memoir by horse trainer, adventurer and pilot, Beryl Markham. Camciscan was a stallion that pushed her to her limits but never broke her spirit.
We all have the Camciscan horses of our lives.
Shamir was a purebred Arabian gelding who had years of experience in the show arena. He was my third horse purchase and came at a time when I was ready to step up my riding career to a new level.
Shamir took it to a new level.
Though he was experienced, he was what you would call “Show Sour.” It would take only a small thing to set him off into a bucking fit during a show. Usually right in front of the judges.
It frustrated me. It drove me to tears. It embarrassed me.
But it taught me to hold on. His outbursts strengthened my riding seat better than any other horse I’d owned. He taught me that it isn’t always about the horse.
During the county fair, I chose to ride him in a bareback class and a fellow rider cut us off along the railing. This sent Shamir into his fits and he bucked and kicked the rest of the class, though I still forced him to obey me. I never touched him with my hand (a no-no in bareback classes) and I (thankfully) never fell off.
At the end of the class, as we lined up for the judging, the judge turned in her results and then approached me. She patted my leg and said, “Good job in dealing with that.” She gave me a blue ribbon (not a first place, but in 4H terms, a good thing). Really. Though we struggled through the rest of the day, I still placed well enough to qualify for the State Team. This opened more doors and taught me even more about myself and horses.
Shamir was my Camciscan. We worked together for a few more years before I moved onto a more advanced show horse. I never forgot the lessons he taught me.
So, who was your Camciscan?