I have a new crush and I haven’t told Knight.
And I probably won’t either.
This other gelding is dark and handsome, with a regal looking face, roached mane, and short tail. And he’s kind of an Instagram star (but he’s really grounded).
This is how it all started.
Saturday I got a text from my friend Vanessa (you might already be following her fabulous Instagram account @LadyPhotographic). She was going to be in the area hanging out and taking pictures of Zinta of the also fabulous Instagram account @ZintaPolo. Did I want to join them?
🐚🐚🐚Take me to the beach 🌊 • • •@zintapolo #summer #horselove #horselife #horseriding #horselovers #horsesofinstagram #horsestagram #equestrianmodel #stylishrider #equestrianlifestyle #stylishlook #equinechic #equestrianlife #horserider #fashionandfarm #rootd #equestrianstyle #horsegirl #style #influencer #fashion #pinkdress #horse #ocean #beachriding #beach
I have connected with Zinta in person before (I’ve written about her for Sidelines and Horse Illustrated so we go back a bit), but I have not had the chance to meet any of her polo ponies. I feel like I know the ponies because I follow her account and so I see them galloping on the beach or strolling through LA. Plus she’s told me about each one and their personalities for one of the articles.
When Zinta pulled up in her brown truck with the long trailer, I wondered if I’d meet Pluto her cute buckskin or Macaroni her first horse who is an off-track Thoroughbred.
Those boys stayed at home, but she brought with her a gelding named Bear.
I had seen Bear in pictures, but I couldn’t remember much about him except that he was newish to her string.
Vanessa and I stepped over to the trailer and I petted his muzzle through the slat and said hello as he happily munched from his haynet.
When Zinta unloaded Bear and tied him up to the trailer while she got organized and ready for the shoot, he stood there in the parking lot of the county park he’d never been to, completely unfazed.
A narrow path right by the parking lot led to a scene that could have been in an Arizona botanical garden. A prickly pear cactus displayed purple buds and a behemoth teddy bear cactus added a seemingly soft texture to the dry scene.
Zinta rode Bear down the path away from us then toward us and repeated the jaunt a few times for the camera.
I marveled at how chill Bear was going back and forth, back and forth between the cacti. Then on a short strip that was canter-worthy ground, with Zinta’s long sheer floral scarf flowing out behind them like a cape, Bear repeated the back and forth.
Zinta told me earlier while she was tacking up that before he became a polo pony he had been a ranch horse in Mexico. He was used to the desert and heat. She added that he really didn’t mind being out as the lone horse on a shoot.
When the four of us reunited, as I doubled back on the path, I told them they HAD to check out the rocky cliff. And with no hesitation, Zinta steered Bear up a steep trail I had not seen earlier, navigating her pony to the edge. There were clusters of kids and families at the top and you could hear their delight at seeing a horse. Some of the children asked permission to pet Bear and as I gazed up at polo pony and model near the edge of the overlook like a scene from Lion King. I saw a few of them standing near Bear’s shoulder petting him.
When the new Bear fans backed off, Zinta nudged Bear forward a little bit more and the sensible horse took a careful step and then equally carefully backed up. As I watched this unfold I swear he was thinking, “I’d like to but safety first. I shall look regal from a more comfortable distance from the ledge.”
Vanessa’s camera recorded the image of horse and rider above us in the distance. I can’t wait to see that series.
We found another area with some sandy footing along a dry riverbed and so the shoot continued. When it was over, Zinta asked if I wanted to ride Bear back.
And thank you.
So I hopped on this cool horse and walked him home while Zinta and Vanessa chatted about life several paces behind me. (He was easy to mount without a mounting block–I forgot to ask how tall he was, but I’m guessing 15.2ish).
We clip clopped down the paved trail that leads to my barn where Knight was munching alfalfa in his pipe corral swishing his tail at the occasional fly (just guessing that’s what he was doing). I knew he couldn’t see me since he was at the other end of the property. Then we continued through the park, past the families and kiddie train sounds, past the ponies for the pony rides.
Bear acted like he’d been there before, as nothing drew his alarm and he faithfully trod though the parking lot back to his trailer.
I took a selfie with him and it made me smile. It’s really funny.
I thanked Zinta and I think divulged my crush at that point. Maybe later.
Vanessa and I grabbed burgers for dinner and talked about horse stuff for two and a half hours (where did the time go).
And as I drove home, I tried to plot a way to get a second horse. A husband horse. A smaller horse. One that worked on a ranch and was unfazed by new sights, sounds, and smells. One with a roached mane. One that I could ride at the beach.
And I dreamed of finding a polo pony like Bear.
If only finances would allow such a thing.
In the meantime I’ll dote on my sensible, yet sensitive Thoroughbred Knight–the tall, dark handsome bay with the so-thick-it-falls-on-both-sides mane. We’re kind of an item.
But I hope that next time Bear’s in the neighborhood, he’ll give me a whinny.
Your Turn: Have you ever had a crush on someone else’s horse? How did you handle it?
Thanks for reading!