Tesla’s Love is the blog for and about people who love animals. No one here cares whether it walks, crawls, swims, slithers, hobbles or knows how to fly, if there is a story about an animal that you love or loves you, this is the place to share that story. The story can be a tribute, a love story or a memorial. It can be about you, this truly is a site for people. Send your story and photos to teslaslove@gmail.com and we promise to post it here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

From cow pony to polo pony

By Joan Bennett, of Westbrook

Dogs no doubt are man's best friend but we must not forget the magnificent animal, the horse.

I'm sure over the centuries, to many men and women, the horse was just as important and loved as the dog. Bred and raised for work and for pleasure, this awesome animal fulfilled its roll until today, where in most countries the horse is used for sporting events or pleasure.

Yet, in my childhood and teen years I was very close to all manner of horses as my father owned a riding and polo stable on Long Island.

Since this was the livelihood for the family we were not to consider the many horses as pets.

But who could help but to fall in love with at least one of these equine creatures. My favorite pony was Indian Girl. She came from out west, where she had been trained as a cow pony.

My Dad bought her to use as a polo pony. He trained her, which was easy, as cow ponies made excellent polo ponies.

Indian Girl was a paint and she stood out on the polo field. She handled so well I used to love to be on her back when as kids my friends and sisters, Dorothy and Elaine, could play a game ourselves.

I hated to see her ridden by anyone else. But on Sundays at an official game if not my father on her back, whom I trusted, it was another player who might not have the love of horses so important for their welfare.

So as it was one Sunday afternoon during a fast-paced and dangerous game down went Indian Girl, as my sisters and I watched. Others would not let us on the field as the Girl was badly injured.

We screamed and cried from the sidelines.

A police officer was called and while I closed my eyes Indian Girl's life was taken with a loud shot.

Having witnessed the Girl's agony trying to stay standing, I knew that had to be the way, but the feeling of loss was enormous.

I will never be able to erase that day from my mind even though I went on to love other horses in my life.

Editor's note: Shown at right in the photo is Joan Scanlon Bennett's dad, Walter Scanlon, atop the Brown Bomber during a match at Bethpage polo grounds


Patti said...

Oh that is such a sad story.
And quite traumatic for the three young sisters.

Anonymous said...

such a wonderful tribute to a noble animal

Daithi said...

This is quite a powerful story. It is really terrible that the Indian pony could not be saved. This story has the sense that it could be one part of a larger series about stable life.

We had one horse that my Dad was able to heal from the track. Another horse I did hear died of eating too many green apples left out from a Halloween party for the kids' dunking for apples tub. Truly sad yet it sticks with us over the years. Family pet Memories are strong as we can read here.

Horses do have a magnificence!

wisper said...

Hi Joan:
I am sure u could never remember me, I was a kid that hung around bethpage stable.I remember your sisters and mostly your brother buddy, I remember your dad he was always good to me.He would let me ride and help out in the barn, for a kid that was a big deal.
That started my interest in horses and went on to work at a few places.I ended up running a farm in brookville for nine years. Now I am 66 and they were the best years of my life,It all started with a birthday gift for a nine year old. Thank You AG