Java (Shaynebear's horse) in the David's Newsletter
Just wanted to say I was delighted to see Java in the latest David’s newsletter. :) I went hey, I know that horse!
I was JUST checking to make sure I wasn’t crazy after receving the newsletter. So cool to see a Steepsterite in the newsletter!
Haha I JUST saw that and was like….I recognize that horse! …..words I never thought I would hear myself say :)
Haha thanks guys! It’s been a couple months in the making, so I’ve been struggling to keep quiet about it!
Java and I were sent an extremely generous gift back in October from DT head office containing a large bag of Ceylon Star, some Oh Canada, Banana Nut Bread, and a lovely note from some of the staff there. After making a thermos of the Ceylon Star and tasting it, as well as sharing it with Java, we both fell in love, and Ceylon Star (the pony) was born!
Java and I go back 9 years, to when he was just under a year old. Here’s what I wrote to DT about our story:
Now, as everyone there [at Uptown] knows, I share my love of tea with my horse, Java. Yes, my horse drinks tea! He has a particular love of green teas, but I usually give him some of the sweet rooibos blends such as Oh Canada and Creme Brulee. Yes, his name is Java, but I was young, and addicted to coffee, at the time when I met him and he received his name. Now, I need to find a show name (a fancier name, used in competitions) for him that’s tea-related to balance things out, and I could use the help of the DAVIDs Tea community, including my friends at Uptown! While some of them know our story, not many do, so I’d like to share that as well:
When I first laid eyes on that scruffy bay horse, I knew he was something special. We were both young; he was barely a year old , and I was about 11. I’d been riding for about 5 years at that point, so horses weren’t exactly new, but I was still incredibly young and inexperienced. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this little horse would one day be mine.
Without going into the nitty gritties, I’ll say that the little horse wasn’t treated the way he deserved. He was called “dangerous”, and was “herded” (beat) from stall to a small “paddock” behind the barn by a person with a wooden board. He was scared, but I saw the gentleness within. I spent a lot of time watching him; I felt drawn to his sensitivity and confusion, because I knew what it was like. I was also a bit of an outcast, teased for being different, called “troubled” by teachers and other adults in my life. His experience with people was limited, and what contact he had with them wasn’t exactly positive, or constructive. Time went on, and our connection grew stronger. My heart swelled with love for the little horse, and the trust we had in one another was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, or since. By the time we parted ways, I could do anything with him, and he accepted it with quiet patience and relaxed trust.
Ever since the day I left that barn, I wondered what would happen to the scruffy little horse I left behind. I went through many equine partners over the following years, several of whom I thought were my soulmates. I had some really great relationships with my equine partners, but nothing quite as deep as the one I shared with that scruffy bay.
Fast forward to this past February. A friend who knew Java back at the barn mentioned that a friend of hers had him, and put me in touch. After chatting with the new owner I learned that he had been doing really well, but that something had happened that left him untouchable. Shortly after, my lease horse of the time moved away, and I was about to look for a new horse to ride when his new owner brought him to where I was riding. It was love at first sight all over again! After a slightly rushed number crunch, internal arguement, and talking it over with some close horsey friends, I made an offer and she accepted!!! It’s been 8 months now since buying him, and there are still times where I can’t believe he’s actually mine!
Java is a complicated horse. He has very low self esteem, barely any confidence, his history is full of abuse and neglect; he’s exactly like me. He’s a special guy, working with him and his quirks has helped me with my own low self esteem, social anxiety, depression, and confidence issues. Even as a child, with minimal horse experience, I saw something in that scruffy little auction horse that nobody else ever has. I saw a bright and gentle soul with a lot to give, if only someone would take the time to ask him. I took that time, and I will continue to take the time, if it means sharing a beautiful life with my best friend. We’re in it for the long haul, and we’re in it together.
Java is now 10 years old, and is a Percheron/Quarter Horse cross, and while he is more than half draft breed, heightwise he’s technically a pony, standing 14.2hh. Colourwise, he is known as a “wild bay” – deep red base colour with black on his lower legs, black mane and tail, mealy brown around his muzzle and on his belly/legs, as well as faint “zebra striping” on the light coloured parts on his legs. Under all of his issues, he is a sweet, gentle little guy with a heart of gold, but he has a good bit of spunk too! He’s my best friend and tea time is extra special because I get to share it with him!
Shayne, you and Java’s story is absolutely beautiful, and I almost cried reading this at work. I am very glad that you ended up owning him.
Thanks Claire. He’s a really special boy, and every day with him is just such a gift. He’s my raison d’etre. And I don’t own him, if anything, he owns me! It’s a special partnership, and while some days his issues make me want to beat my head into a brick wall, I still love the little monster! And really, who can resist a face like that?! Perma-babyface!!!
I loved seeing the picture of him in his hat in the newsletter. :) So cute!
Aw, so happy you two were reunited! This is such a touching story and I can’t wait I try this tea! Thanks to you and David’s Tea for sharing :)
Reading the full story is so sweet! I’m even more excited to get to try the tea now knowing a very cool horse shares its name!
that is so neat!! thanks so much for sharing the detailed story, I really enjoyed reading about it. I’d put my money on Ceylon Star any day :)