Horse Hunters (But not Hunter Horses)
At the time I had no idea how ridiculously common it is for amateur riders like myself to be completly "over-horsed." I had never been a particularly timid rider before I got him but I was terrified of him by the end of it. He was wonderful on the ground and on trails but in the arena, he was spooky and bucky with me. Plus he was HUGE and athletic and just "too much horse" for me. I swore I'd keep on riding but somehow I forgot to ride for 12 years.
On a side note, I came across him about a year ago. He is 20 now (how did that happen! He was 4 when I got him) and somebody was selling him on Dreamhorse.com. I e-mailed the seller to see if was the same horse and it was. He's down in Florida somewhere hopefully enjoying his golden years. She said he was perfect, never put a foot wrong. I'm glad he outgrew his "youthful antics."
So, after six month of weekly lessons, my equine-alogical clock has been beating me over the head. I want my own horse again. Like YESTERDAY. I could lease or part lease, but frankly I don't want to subsidize somebody else's horse and horse people are fucking crazy and I don't want to deal with their brand of crazy as it relates to the complex emotions when you let somebody ride your horse. Why, yes I'd love to ride in your 16" saddle because it was professionally fitted to your horse. (WTF is that by the way? Another way to blow hundreds of dollars on this obsession. People now pay hundreds of dollars to have a saddle "fitted" to a horse. They take scientific measurements of your horses back and charge you hundreds of dollars to re stuff your saddle to "fit" the horse instead of just using a bunch of cushy pads to keep it in the right place. I'm sure horses haven't been running around with sore backs for the last 4000 years, right? Surely this is unnecessary? But I digress). I have my own 17.5" 18 year old hard-as-a-rock Crosby Hunterdon that I love and it fits most horses quite well.
So, Rich and I talked it over. I was prepared for him to tell me that it just can't happen. Of course it can't happen. But he said OK. Go get a horse. You've been warning me about this for years. It's not like it's a surprise. I'm trying to wait until September. But if the right horse comes along, I'll just buy it. Or to be more accurate Rich will buy it for me for our 10th anniversary and my 40th birthday. But I have to board it.
I have a wonderful trainer (excellent) at a barn that is a bit farther than want to travel (not excellent). She knows how to assess the brain of a horse like nobody I've ever met. So, I'm in good hands there. I had her take me to see a little Connemara filly yesterday that I found through my obsessive web searching. I'm proud to say she know knows I have a good eye for a horse. We both fell madly in love with this mare. She moves like a Grand Prix dressage horse in a small sane horse package. Her temperament boded very well for a very smart and safe horse. Unfortunately she hasn't been started under saddle yet. But both trainer and I felt pretty strongly that I'd have a super star in a year if we took it slow. In my trainer's words "She had that wow factor." Do I really want to start a young horse after a 12 year hiatus?
Yeah, sort of. I've done it before with lots of help and support and I think I could do it again.
Unfortunately this process is about as logical as looking for a boyfriend when you're 19. So what if he's a not quite recovering heroine addict? He's GORGEOUS and he's the drummer in a punk band.
You can fall for the wrong horse the way you fall for the wrong guy. Hard, inexplicably and dangerously, irrevocably. I hope I'm mature enough to go about my horse search in a rational way. Go with the sure thing! The Steady Eddie who's had all sorts of riders and has been a rock star for all of them (and not in the drunken wake up in your own vomit rock-star way).
But this maturity and rationality seems to have deserted me after I pulled on the thick curly forelock of a 3 year old Connemara mare who has never been ridden.
I will NOT make a decision until I've seen a few more. It's wonderful and a bit sad how many nice horses are in my relatively meager budget. The economy has made a lot available to me that wouldn't have been 10 years ago.
Anyhow, I've always said that being an adult is understanding how you're crazy (because face it everybody's crazy) and working with it. This horse thing is a big part of my crazy. Irrational, I know. But I've been this way since I was three years old. It's time to work with it instead of fighting it.