Experiences of a beginning rider

A journal of the continuing experiences of a new horsewoman and beginning rider ... sharing my experiences, hoping to educate, encourage, and help others who are considering undertaking the same path.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Oh Happy Day...

Flash ahead 40 years, 2 college degrees, 1 husband (I pick 'em right), and 5 children later. I'm lucky to have 2 great sons-in-law - Larry and Joe. Larry has a barn on his property and boards a few horses, as well as one of his own. Joe helps out down there often. Both have ridden, and ridden well, in their past. "Dusty might be for sale" Joe casually mentioned to me one day. Oh, this wasn't just a passing comment, and I know darned well what he meant by it. It was more of a suggestion. "She's a real sweetheart" he said - and Joey would know. He led her out to pasture every morning and in to feed her at night. If anyone knew this horses disposition, he would. Dusty is a Sorrel Tobiano Paint mare that was boarded down at The Windy Brush. Now hold on, don't be so impressed - at that time all I knew is she was a "spotted female horse". A spark went off inside - a long forgotten feeling that was lying dormant for decades. Could it be possible? Nawww, I could never afford it, kids getting ready to start college and all. Still....

After seeking Larrys advice, I realized it just might be feasible. Maybe.

Afterall, my 24th wedding anniversary was only a few days away, and my 45th birthday a few after that, I reasoned. My husband went to sleep one night to find a plastic horse on his pillow. I spent a lot of time staring off into the distance occasionally letting out a sorrowful sigh. Now all this show was probably unnecessary, my husband being as good natured as he is. But why not let him think this horse thing was his idea?

And so she was mine.

One week owning a horse was something I dared not even dream about, the next week she's mine. Not the smartest way to make such a major purchase and commitment, grant you. But it's worked out.
It would be a few weeks until Deanna, my instructor, would be available to start lessons. I spent that time learning about horses - reading, reading, and reading. And with the help of my son in laws, I learned horse safety and how to groom them. I spent that time becoming "familiar" with Dusty.
Many hours were spent just watching her out at pasture - marveling at her beauty, observing herd behavior between her and her pasture mate. They were wonderful, hot, enchanting summer days - days like I hadn't experienced since my childhood.

Looking back, I call those first few weeks of horse ownership the "honeymoon". My advice to new horseowners - enjoy the "honeymoon" - it will soon be over.


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