What's in a name?

Yellowhorse Mobile Veterinary Service

4095 Zebulon Ave., SW
Concord, NC 28027-9212



                                                                               Just what does "Yellowhorse" stand for?        
horses in field
He is a 34 year old (foaled May 10, 1976) palomino Appendix Quarter Horse gelding known as "Joe".  Technically, he has two other names - he is registered with the American Quarter Horse Association as "Long Away" and the United States Equestrian Federation as "Golden Opportunity".  [that is the name he was shown under when he was actively competing]

We have a long history and if you will indulge an old horsewoman a little, let me tell you about my best friend:

I first met him in late fall of 1979, when he arrived on a trailer with four or five other horses for consignment to sell.  I was horse-less at the time, as my pony had been sold, so I was catch-riding sale horses to further their training and get them out to some shows to be seen and ultimately sold.  "Joe" struck the fancy of another young woman at the barn who chose to lease him for a trial period to see if she would ultimately like to purchase him.  I took on another lovely pony as a project.

In the spring of 1980, "Joe's" lease was up and the young lady decided she did not want to purchase him.  He was now a fit, strapping four year old who was nothing but a ball of energy when you got on to ride.  He had also learned some bad habits from the lease situation. [had a reputation for being a bit naughty]  The owner of the barn suggested I get on and try him out.  Once I threw my leg over the saddle and settled in, I asked him for a nice trot.  "Joe" proceeded to take off like a bat out of you-know-where, bucking and fussing the whole way around the arena...

{there is a part of history that I left out here...back in those days I was fearless.  You could put me on anything and I was not going to come off.  I worked with horses that needed confidence, horses that needed manners, and horses that needed re-schooling because they had learned bad habits like refusing.  I was my trainers "go to girl" for the horses no one wanted to work with.}

So, back to "Joe" and his wild bronco show...there he was running and bucking and there I was laughing my head off, perfectly in sync with every move he made!  After about 15 minutes, he realized I was not coming off nor was I scared, so he settled right down and we proceeded to trot and canter around the arena without any more fuss.

We have been together ever since - 31 years and counting!

Horse jumpingIt has not always been a smooth relationship.  It took time for us to build our partnership and learn how to trust each other.  We had many three hour training sessions all because he wouldn't just give me the dang lead change in the corner like I asked, and it turned into a "battle royal", because neither one of us would give in.  However, we have also had some wonderful moments, like turning in a timed jump-off round, against some of the best riders in the region, that was 15 seconds faster than the second place horse, and making the "impossible turn" to the last jump look like a basic schooling maneuver.

I owe so many of my "horse-manship" abilities to him.  He has taught me patience, perseverance, and the value of hard work.  He has been with me through some rough times in my life and was always a warm shoulder to bury tears into.  He allowed me to practice my "doctor skills" on him when I was learning new things in vet school and patiently endured such indignities as palpation and passage of a stomach tube.  I have matured into a true equestrienne because I learned how to listen to  what he had to say and subsequently, ask him for things in a different manner - as that of a partner, not a master. 

We were and still are a very good team!

When it came time to name this business, I wanted to honor my friend in such a way to acknowledge all the things we have shared over the years and the many lessons he has taught me. 

What better way than to name it after my personal "yellow horse".

***Addendum:  The Yellow Horse, Joe, crossed the Rainbow Bridge on November 11, 2010.  I miss him every day.  I am writing the final chapter and will publish it here soon.