Dream Horse

By Terry Golson


When I was a very little girl I dreamed up my perfect horse. He was going to be black, with a white mane and tail. I even named him Midnight Snow. That color combination is not a genetic possibility, and I even knew back then that such a horse didn’t exist, but a child can dream. When I found Tonka, even though he is black and white, I didn’t think about that perfect horse that I imagined when I was six years old.

Tonka isn’t all black. There’s plenty of white, and unfortunately for me – his groom and personal valet – most of that is on his legs, and since he loves to have a good snooze in dirt and manure (he likes to have warm “pillows”) I frequently have the shampoo bucket out.

Tonka’s mane is half and half. This is the view from the top. Note how unruly it is. Tonka has numerous cowlicks, and one is right there, a few inches behind his ears, hence that spill over of mane to the left.

(By the way, I’ve dropped the reins to take the photo. Tonka is still walking along, and he’s going left because he’s listening to my leg and seat cues. No hands needed here.)


But sometimes the light hits in such a way that Tonka’s mane looks like a white streak along his black neck.


Look, he even has a halo.

I guess I got my dream horse, after all. Do you have a dream horse? Let me know in the comments!

11 thoughts on “Dream Horse

  • Jan

    I love the picture of Tonka laying down, We used to have a golden Labrador that loved nothing better than rolling in cow pats or jumping in a stagnant pond when out for a walk and then expecting to get back in the car!!. So glad your dream came true Tonka really is a beauty, so jealous…:)

  • Gin

    Is his mane cut short like that so you can braid it a certain way when you show? I also have a black and white and manure colored horse.
    My dream horse was a palomino, and I named her Sundance. I never did get a palomino, but that’s OK.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      The mane is short for braiding and because I think it shows off the neck. It’s also less sweaty in the summer. Ideally, Tonka’s mane would be even shorter, but somehow, despite how much I trim it, it stays that length. Did you read the Harry Potter books? In the first one, the Dursleys try to cut Harry’s hair but it grows back the next day. Tonka is like that.

      • Gin

        Well, the Harry Potter hair syndrome explains it!!!. I’ve noticed his mane always seems to look the same.

  • Kate Herbert

    As much as I dreamed of having a horse, I’m not so I ever had a clear picture of what that horse would be. As a kid there were two horses I had a special bond with, one was a palomino quaterhorse at the first riding school and the second was a grey Anglo Arab at the second. Four months ago, just after my 35th birthday my dream of owning my own horse came true. He’s an appy cross tb, stubborn and sweet and not a very brave bear but so eager to please. So he is my dream horse, because he’s real and he’s mine and we are on a big learning curve together. I’m bout to introduce clicker training to him, once I’ve done a bit more reading myself. I think it will help both of us.

    • Terry Golson Post author

      “Real” and “mine” go a long way to fulfilling a dream. Keep in mind that the clicker is just a tool. It’s the perspective that is key: define what you want, look for the good, and break down behavior into achievable pieces. Have fun!

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