. . . for me.
At the Carriage Classic this weekend I saw lots of beautiful horses. A hackney horse that just took my breath away. Such beautiful movement! I read my dressage magazines and blogs and look at the big bold warmbloods with huge movement and I drool. Then the exotic breeds always catch my eye: Fjord, Marwari, Andalusians, Gypsy, and Frisian. All these breeds have some draw for me. Even the colorful buckskins and paints make me look twice. Looking for a new horse opens up all the different possibilities of what to own.
Watching the beautiful hackney this weekend I had an epiphany. That horse was so hot and sensitive, he was beautiful to watch. I don't want a horse like that. Other horses were so large and powerful looking, why I thought I needed a big horse I don't know. Still others are still so rare that the price tag on them is beyond my budget. Someone very wise told me that those horses are beautiful to watch and that is just what I should do, watch them, not own them. At the end of the day the horse that really made me look twice was the little haffie that took his driver around the ring and won the class: calmly, sanely, and safely.
Ya' all are smart. Ya know where this is going! Ya know that my heart is being taken by Corrie, a lil Thelwell pony. I gave Sensei a check, so she will be mine at the end of the month. Why wait, I mean I don't think I could find a more perfect horse for me. For every behavior that drives Sensei nuts, I find it totally endearing. She has a normal marish attitude and will do what you want, but holds out just a tiny bit. Cracks. me. up! Nor do I think that I could find a horse that I have as much confidence in, yet still offers me a bit of a challenge.
Here is my first mention of her, and it sums her up so well:
"I drove Corrie. She is a nice mare, but not the most cooperative. She has a bit of a stubborn streak. If you ask her to move up she will take one step with her front feet, but refuse to move her back. She really cracks me up! I actually like her."
I thought about checking out horses on the internet and traveling around to look at them in the surrounding states but all I could hope to get from that would be a snap shot in time. I would not be able to see the horse in different situations and try the horse out over several weeks or months. Horses can differ from day to day, in rain, heat, wind, etc. Since I really wanted a very specific kind of horse, I didn't think that that method of finding a horse was going to work for me. Plus I really didn't have the confidence to try out all those horses. It has only been eight months since I broke my wrist and about six months since I started working with Sensei, four since I started riding.
It is only with Corrie's help that I actually have started making a lot of progress. I need a horse like her to go out and fool around with. To just ride. Oh sure, she is not perfect. She loves food more than life itself. She can be a little lookie when driving and riding. She can be a bit of a plug if you let her. Then she spooks at who knows what. When she gets frustrated or tired her head becomes a 2 tons weight and she can't hold it up. None of it really scares me though.
On the plus side, I have worked with Corrie for at least 3 months. I have been driving her in lessons and for the past month, as you know, riding her. She has all the basics for riding and driving. Some of the parts need to be put together but the foundation is awesome. I have seen her in wind, cold, wet, and heat. I have ridden her inside and outside. I have driven her down the road and around traffic. Another huge plus is that someone who has seen me riding recently and understands what some of my strengths and weaknesses are and knows Corrie and what her strengths and weaknesses are thinks that we would be well matched.
So she is mine. Not going to be a dressage star, but going to be a good minded mount to ride and drive around the neighborhood. Any horse can do lower level dressage as long as they are sound, and she is sound. Not any horse could make me feel safe and she does.
What about Abby? Well Abby is going to be traded to Sensei so he can train her and find a good home for her. He does a good job of matching up people and horses. I think that this is the best thing for her, I can't do what he can. I can't pay him for all the training he is going to give her. I think this is the best shot she has at a good future. In exchange he is giving me a great deal on a wagon and harness. I just have to say that Sensei is the bomb and I really owe him a lot. He really has helped me get my life with horses back.