Silver Lining – Bay Mustang Gelding (with Silver in his tail 😉 ) from Silver King, Nevada
If Silver were human he would be the grandfather that chases you around the living room, chomping his gums together saying “I’m gonna GET you” with no teeth in. He would tell the same joke 100 times over and his belly would bounce as he laughed just as hard each time. He would live for food and live for fun and love with no end.
Silver was the fourth wild Mustang I adopted and gentled. I had a vision for the 2012 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover that I was determined to make a reality and I knew he was the Mustang for the job. I wanted to perform a completely tackless freestyle for the finals. No saddle, bridle or even neck rope – nothing but my Mustang and my Self. I had dreamed of this for a while, but had only trained one Mustang before to do it. That was Magic Ride, the buckskin Mustang mare I competed at the Extreme Mustang Makeover Magic with in Jan. 2012. I had taught her to ride tackless at 6 months from wild – I would have 4 months to do it for this competition and I just knew – if gifted the right horse – that it could be done.
The “Right” horse was a HUGE necessity. I looked through the videos of the wild Mustangs up for sale a trillion times over and I just knew he was the one.
I want to include a Blog post I made on my personal fb page right after the competition, because it sums up the experience and emotion in a very candid way.
A conclusion of our experience during the Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover 2012 ~ A 120 day wild horse challenge.
I have so much I feel led to say and do in this blessed life.
One of my passions is to exemplify that you CAN have a true partnership with your horse, one based on trust, love, respect and clear communication without using intimidation or breaking the spirit of the horse. In my opinion this is the only way to reach the highest levels we can reach with our equine partners.
Every ounce of confidence and self worth that resides within me comes from my relationship with a horse. I owe everything I am to them and I’ll spend my entire life attempting to pay them back for that precious gift. The gift of loving who I am. I love me, because I love a horse.
If anything could surpass my dedication to the horse, it would be my dedication to Faith. I truly feel each one of us has a special path. A path that only the eyes of our heart can see, eyes opened by Faith. We all loose sight of our path at times and many times we may find ourselves lost in the woods with not a path at all – but even in those times – especially in those times – if we simply believe, believe that our path is there, waiting for us to SEE it – No matter how far we’ve strayed, our eyes will then see the direction we must travel to reach it once again.
I feel like the story of this Mustang is a very special one in regards to following the path meant for us – it is certainly special to me.
In 2011 I adopted my second EMM horse. Only days before we were to head to Texas for the SEMM she tore a suspensory. I was heartbroken in so many ways, but the words I dwelt on were those of Maya Angelo, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I always try to apply this to my interactions with others; horses and humans – but in those days after my Mustang’s injury I realized that this applies to our relationship with ourselves as well. I mean it was fact she was hurt and needed almost a year of rest and rehab, the SEMM 2011 was history for me – I could allow myself to sink in depression and anger or I could pull myself out, lift myself up and move forward.
Just like with a horse, we always need forward motion! Without Forward we are simply standing still. Well, it was not easy – but I did pull through and there is no doubt it made me spiritually stronger.
In reflection about my misfortune, a quote came to mind – “Every cloud has a Silver Lining” – so I made the decision to ride out this dark cloud and keep my eyes peeled for my Silver Lining. I sure was not going to miss seeing him because my head was buried in feeling sorry for myself!
In 2012 they posted the videos for the SEMM Mustangs. Lot 115 , my Silver Lining, jumped out as if there was no computer screen between us at all, it was him and only him. As I watched his video play over and over I kept thinking a good friend had told me in an email this was their top pick. I was feeling guilty that I liked him so much too and did not want to bid against her, but I was certain she had said lot 115. I dug back through my messages and even though I can visualize a message that said lot 115 was extra special – I never could find it again. – I later asked her and even though she said she did like him, he was not her top pick and she had not sent any message of the sort.
We had saved $4000 from our AFTH winnings (thanks to Much support from you our 2010 SEMM Mustang Lindsay’s Faith won $30,000 along with the title of “America’s Favorite Trail Horse”) – Of course we paid bills and used that $ for many other things we desperately needed it for, but I wanted to save enough from it to buy the horse that I wanted to buy for the 2012 SEMM – no matter the cost. I had NEVER done this sort of thing before and I figured $4000 was more than enough!
As the sale approached I started to hear rumors that LOTS of folks wanted lot 115 and I started to worry that $4000 might not do it! I had NEVER spent much $ on any horses – I always was the one that got the free “Problem” horses – but I was certain we MUST have THIS horse. I was telling my good friend Lorrie Grover my concern and much to my surprise she offered to loan us $3000! – That took us to $7000 – that would be MORE than enough I thought! What an Angel Ms Lorrie is!!!
The morning of auction day I had a private message from Susan Hanna. She and her husband wanted to pitch in $1000! I could not believe it – and sure did not think we’d need it – but then when the time came and Lorrie Grover represented us to buy lot 115 the bid stopped at EXACTLY $8000! – Not a penny less!
To be “the one” that paid THAT Much for a wild horse – I know folks thought I was nuts – and I imagine many thought we did not have a shot at wining that $ back. I mean the highest I had placed before was 5th at Mustang Magic and I am no reining trainer. – but when those negative thoughts entered my mind, I just ran them off, chasing them with positive ones. (I must admit, I had to do a lot of chasing!)
I had this “vision” from before auction day that I desperately wanted to ride my entire freestyle bridleless and bareback with no neck rope. From start to finish – and I wanted to include some advanced maneuvers in there as well – not just run around (as if that would not be hard enough in and of itself) Magic Carpet Ride had learned straight line changes with no tack and I so very much wanted to teach that to Silver too – of course it took 6 months with Magic – I had 4 with Silver – but I just knew he was the one. He had it in him, I just had to rise to his talent and heart.
I mean this little bay Mustang even had a Silver tail! There is NO Doubt he was, he IS my Silver Lining.
I knew the actual show would be tough and I certainly had my share of practice chasing off those negative thoughts with positive ones. One might think my “Positive Energy” angel would be all worn out – and she did get tired at times, but in the end she was very energized and ready to carry us through as we walked in that arena for our freestyle.
Well I guess a horse before us had not wanted to enter the arena for their freestyle and the guys at the gate had to push him in. As they opened the gates and Silver and I started to slowly walk in (with no tack) someone behind me went to sling his hand up to push us in! Really they did! LOL – Thankfully Silver never even tuned an ear, but I quickly turned my body and asked them not to do that please! You can see Silver stop at the gate when I turned, but he never missed a step as I re-focused and asked him to walk in. The crazy thing is it never shook my nerves…. not at all – and usually that would have.
I have never felt so in the moment, riding only the stride under me – yet prepared to remain malleable for the next. It was surreal, yet so very real at the same time – if that is possible.
Of all the gifts a horse has offered me this is perhaps the biggest one of all. My Silver Lining showed me what it feels like to be surrounded by angels. There was not a thing on that arena floor, not a prop, not a person, not a horse, nothing other than Silver and I – yet it was full – not crowded, but full of Angels. I felt every one of them and I’ve never felt anything like it. The only way I can explain it is it felt clean. Everything felt so easy, so clean and so pure. I saw a post where a lady that had sat behind my sister, daughter and Mother described it as “other-worldly” – it is the best description I can fathom. This must have been a glimpse of heaven – and if it was, heaven is gonna ROCK! Now, I’m in no hurry to get there, but I am kind of excited about it and I am going to do all I can to experience heaven on earth as much as I can in the meantime. With the help of a Mustang of course!
Everything about this experience has been divine, from the Mustang, to the help to get him, to the song “What Faith Can Do” (by Kutless) to every step along the way. It’s not always been easy, but it has ALWAYS been Divine!
My mission is to do all in my power to pay forward the kindness and positive energy the Mustang has helped me to experience. I want to pay it forward to all of YOU – To encourage you to follow YOUR Dreams, YOUR path, YOUR heart – Have FAITH in YOUR FAITH and the Eyes of your Heart will SEE!
with love – Mary Miller-Jordan
ps – I guess I should add for those that do not know we ended up finishing Reserve Champion of Legends, winning a total of $20,000 – second to the infamous Bobby Kerr who left his freestyle with his Mustang literally sitting in a convertible beside him. 😉 We could not be more pleased had we taken first!
Beyond the title and the ride, he has blessed me with much more – he is as fun loving and silly as any horse ever was. He loves to make you laugh and will laugh right along with you – and people, he LOVES people.