Spent time talking a lot about horses. Decide to look into getting back into them again.
Start taking riding lessons again regularly after a year long hiatus (which was following a 10 year hiatus). I remember that as much as I like lessons, I like having my own horse to work with. Husband I discuss and agree to begin searching for a horse.
Spend every spare moment looking at horses. My criteria for a horse is this:
1. Pocket pony personality. I want a horse who's a love bug. No pissy attitudes, even if they're well trained.
2. Quiet. Not spooky.
3. On the smaller side. Bigger than 14.2 but smaller than 16 hands. I know, I know. I ride dressage and should want to ride a ginormous, powerful horse. But I don't. I like little horses. They're closer to the ground, less intimidating for me, and when you're out on the trail (as if I EVER trail ride) they're easier to get on from the ground.
4. It MUST be a love connection. The amount of money that I spend on a horse is approximately the same no matter how I feel about the horse. It's going to cost me over $1,000 a month to do the horse thing and I better damn well LOVE my horse. Otherwise there are lots of other things I could be doing for $1,000 a month.
Narrow the search down and find what I think is my horse. She's a rescue horse and tries hard to please. She's quiet and short and a nice mover. But she has a funky looking knee. I fall in love, take a few lessons on her and have a vet who's a lameness expert come out to do the PPE. She watches her go on the lunge for five minutes and shakes her head. It's a no go. She'll be good for light riding and a weekend rider, but I want to ride six days a week. I'm heart broken. As I'm putting the horse's blanket back on, my eyes are filling with tears and I'm lost in my unhappiness. At that moment, the mare throws her head up, catching my jaw and slamming it shut. I spit out a mouthful of blood and bits of teeth. I quickly put the mare away and drive off, disappointed and now missing my two front teeth. A quick phone call to the dentist, two weeks of a liquid diet and three weeks later I have new front teeth and a brand new phobia about my face.
I drive out to the middle of nowhere to see a horse that I'm pretty sure won't work for me. She's not the right color (grey), she's a mare and not a gelding (mares!), she's young (barely 5), and out of shape. On May 29th she becomes mine. Here's the original post I wrote about her on my other blog.
Due to the outbreak of Equine Herpes, the pony doesn't get to come home until the middle of June. She goes directly into full time training.
Only my trainer is riding the pony. I want her to get a clear, consistent start and this seems like the best idea. I act as groom. Pony gains a little weight and a lot of attitude. She has her first dressage schooling show and scores a 64%. Not too shabby considering she's only been doing it a month.
Pony is still very spooky and nervous. I start riding her and am gripped with fear. I can't get her attention. I take this horrible picture for her registration because there isn't anyone else out at the barn and I need a picture to transfer the registration.
More full time training. Less of me riding. Thinking of selling the pony because I can't ride her. I practice braiding. My braiding gets worse instead of better. I am convinced I am incompetent in all things horse.
Decide to sell horse. On the same day, decide to switch trainers to try something as a latch ditch effort. Start blog. Realize I am not alone and not as incompetent as I thought. Barely. Take some great photos showing how much she's filled out!
Keep taking lessons even though I'm terrified. Make a pact to keep the pony until spring/summer of next year no matter what happens. No more training so it's just me and the pony.
I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season. I am looking forward to 2012 and what new things I will discover on the journey with the princess.