How well do horses remember?

I was given my first horse as a present because his owner did not get along with him and wanted to get rid of him. With my eleven years of age I was much too young for a problem horse, but I have already told you about that. It took me a while to get over it, but it was clear from the beginning that I wanted to have my own horse again.

That it would take some time was not bad, because we had no money to buy one anyway. But my parents put every Krónur aside to make my dream come true one day – and of course, I saved as much of my pocket money as I could.

When I turned thirteen, the time had finally come: our joint savings were enough for my first own horse. What a moment, when my parents let me know the time I had been dreaming of for so long had finally come!

It’s been quite a while, but I remember the day exactly when we picked him up, my Glanni, a five-year-old chestnut-dun pinto with three stars, one of them black.

With his extraordinary colour he was an absolute eye-catcher, but also exactly what I had been looking for, friendly and cool. Although he was still so young, he didn’t let anything upset him.

Right in the first few days we rode out in Hella and it worked out immediately without any problems. When we set off again one afternoon, I did not think about that there was a big tournament going on nearby that weekend.

By the time I realized, it was too late. The road, which had been so quiet yesterday, was now full of horse trailers bouncing back and forth, one horse trailer after the other overtook us or came towards us.

Glanni was not at all impressed by this until a jeep – nowadays you would probably say SUV – slowed down, finally overtook us and stopped at the end of a fence.

It seemed to me that Glanni registered the car out of the corner of his eye as it drove by, at least he raised his head when it stopped, started to neigh loudly and accelerated his steps.

An elderly couple, both estimated to be around seventy years old, got out of the car, the man leaning on a stick. Glanni did not stop neighing and when we arrived at their place he stopped unasked. You should have seen the faces of the old folks:

Both of them beamed over both cheeks and the old lady shouted, “Isn’t that our Glanni?”

When I confirmed this, she happily added: “I told you right away that this is our Glanni,” and explaining, she added: “We bred him and sold him when he was three years old.

“We somehow always loved him especially and thought about him a lot. It’s so nice to see him again and even nicer to know that he’s with such a sweet girl now!”

When I heard this, I got off the horse and watched how the two of them let their joy run free and hugged and cuddled Glanni – and he obviously enjoyed it!

If someone tells me once again that horses would not recognize “their” people after a few years! Glanni definitely did. Anyway, he never showed a similar behaviour with any other people again.

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