The Perfect Horse

- May 2, 2012

"Happy Birthday Cody"

There is an old saying that if a person is very lucky in their life they will have one perfect dog and one perfect horse.  I shared Bill Mann’s story here with several equestrian friends and many got misty eyes as they described that special horse in their life.  Here is Bill and Cody’s story…..

It is Cody’s 20th birthday today. Over the years, I’ve developed strong opinions about the “perfect horse.” I’ve been riding for 60 years and he is by far the best horse I have ever known. Cody is as close as I’ve ever seen to the Perfect Horse.

Funny thing, Cody came to me by way of the Internet. Todd Nero in Montrose, Colorado was selling him online.  Once I got him home, I started to discover what a special fellow he was.  He’s a registered Quarter Horse and was 6 and then mostly darker gray and dappled. Both of us have grown more white hair as the years have passed.

He is the most agile, powerful, yet careful horse I have ever seen. We spend hundreds of hours every summer up in the high country, always on rough mountain terrain. I’ve never had a mishap with him or been with anyone I thought was better mounted.  Cody is a horseman's dream.  Good horses are hard to find and great horses are truly rare.

Cody and I are perfect matches…we each have curiosity, stamina and a joy of getting out in the mountains.  I look after him, always careful to make sure I don’t ask him to put a hoof in a dangerous place, and to let him rest after a long or steep pull and he looks after me, never letting us get in a bad situation. If I chose a path that is less than smart, he tells me “let’s try this way, it’s safer and easier”... Cody’s never wrong.

Nothing scares him… we were on top of a mountain, way above the timberline, at 12,500 feet in the Pecos when lightning struck 125 feet from us.  Cody never flinched, which was more then I could say for me.   He told me 12 years ago he didn’t like iron bits, so we stopped using them and I had a horsehair bosal made for him.  Sometimes we just skip the bridle altogether.

I have been blessed to share the past 14 years with this outstanding fellow. We are both grey old-timers now but still have the will and strength and love of the trail.  I truly hope we have many more years in the mountains ahead of us.

Yep, I love him.