Brief history of a special horse, Majik Stash


Sixteen years ago, I spent a day in the Bitterroot Valley in Montana looking for a horse to buy, mostly checking out Arabian breeders as I have always had purebred Arabs in my life and had just lost a 29-year-old gelding that had been my “rock” for twenty-five years. We had flown in my husband’s small plane, and at the end of the day, as the shadows lengthened, he was getting anxious to return to the airport. The last farm seemed promising, stalls holding spit-and-polished Arabian beauties―greys and chestnuts and bays―but out of the corner of my eye, I spied a pinto-colored horse far out in a pasture grazing among other, more purebred companions.

            “Who is that?” I asked.

            “Oh, he’s just a cow horse. He’s not for sale.”

            “Could I ride him anyway?” I asked, believing in the old Montana adage everything’s for sale.

My husband looked at his watch. Someone wrangled the cow pony. In fifteen minutes I had saddled, ridden, fallen in love, and talked the owners into selling him. I learned he was the offspring of a Paint mare and their highly-pedigreed Arabian stallion, Majik. So a week later I had my part Arab, new equine partner, Majik Stash! He carried me to wilderness lakes, across wildflower-filled meadows, and through deep forests; became a terrific lesson horse, safely bearing riders from 4 to 74 and me through Buck Brannaman clinics (well, there was one hitch which I’ll tell you later!) and dressage lessons (that ol’ cow pony). He was mostly calm and forgiving, but sometimes I’d say to my riding group, “His Arab self is out today!”

I said goodbye last week to one of the best all-around horses I’ve ever had. I just wanted to share my favorite photo of the two of us.

Elizabeth Cain