Tuesday, February 9, 2021

My Dream Horse is Waiting

 I saw an ad online somewhere that said “Your dream horse is waiting. Over 16,000 horses available international” or something close to that. 

And I thought...my dream horse is waiting. Right outside my window. Which believe me struck me just as odd as any readers who have stuck with me through it all especially the Gemmie days.  I’m not a typically gushy heart horse type person.

And he is always watching me when I'm outside

Lately though Eeyore has 100% snuck his way deep deep inside my heart and I’m afraid the Big Orange Butthead is there to stay in all his PITA glory. I just really adore that big orange beast.

Which is saying an awful lot seeing how Saturday he decided to become a rearing douchebag and ended up stepping on his own damn self on the lunge line pulling a shoe and making me have to schedule an urgent farrier visit. Because apparently at 11 years old being asked to calmly work in the pasture to burn some extra calories is just too much.

But you know what? While I could be mad at him or blame him or any other such useless emotions, instead I felt disappointed in myself that I asked something of him he couldn’t do and stole some trust out of the bank. And that’s a big change from not so long ago.

Having Eeyore standing at the arena gate while I rode Hamilton did not help Hamilton's gate sourness one bit

But back to the original statement. Can you buy your dream horse? Is it possible to pick a horse at nearly random, have minimal interaction, run a vet check and it be dreamy from day one? 

I suppose so if you have more money and are better at riding than I am. But honestly? I don’t think dream horses are bought, I think they are made. Made during those hard rides where all you want to do is quit but keep going anyway. Made during those first outings when everything is going sideways but you know with more effort and time it will get better. Made during the daily interactions of grooming, feeding, blanketing. Made in the quiet moments when you both are breathing and just being. Made in the big moments when you accomplish something new or win satin.

When I brought Eeyore home nearly 3 years ago I thought I had my horse that I could do anything with. And maybe I was just stupid in my choice. He had been hoof perfect if a bit goofy during my two interactions with him. Nothing pointed to what came when I brought him home and changed up his entire life. 

Creeping on me as I walked Hamilton back to the barn to untack

Three years ago he couldn’t be trusted to bridle in the open. He didn’t load on the trailer. He pawed and jigged in the cross ties. He couldn’t be ridden in sight of the herd at home or he would freak. He refused to turn away from the arena gate. He couldn’t be ridden with a group or he’d become attached. We didn’t jump. We didn’t even go in straight lines.

Wednesday I tacked him up for what was an absolutely freaking epic lesson. He stood patiently in the cross ties. AB texted that she was a bit late and Eeyore cocked a hind leg and napped in the cross ties for nearly 20 minutes. He gave me his absolute best in the lesson and rocked it. He loads great now (or did last summer when I last loaded him). He will stand by the trailer while I tack him. He rides alone or in a group. Just not at home apparently.

Loving the view between these orange ears

The point is that he wasn’t my dream horse three years ago. With a lot of time and effort he has slowly become closer and closer to that bench mark. Where we are at now in his training is amazing. There is so much I take for granted that took a lot of repetition and consistency to teach him. As I watch Hamilton jig in the cross ties, be a butt at the mounting block (he lines up and waits until my foot is coming for the stirrup and then swings his butt away on purpose) refuse to turn away from the arena gate etc... I’m reminded of how far Eeyore has come.

I’m not frustrated with Hamilton for not being my dream horse today. He will be. Some day. With a lot of effort and time.


6 comments:

  1. This is definitely a turnaround for you with Eeyore and I'm really happy to read it. I also absolutely agree with you, I've ridden a lot of horses in my years so far and I imagine I'll ride a lot more as the years go by and I've never had that 'love at first sight/sit' moment. But I definitely think that dream horses are made, exactly as you say, through the sweat equity we put into them.

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    1. Amazing what being emotionally stable does to the perspective. It has taken me too long to realize Eeyore is Eeyore. Not good or bad, mean or nice. Just Eeyore. And I'm pretty darn happy with that.

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  2. ❤️ and I agree, Dream horses are made! 😉

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    1. Takes a long time but we are getting there.

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  3. There have been 2 horses that I've ridden that I feel like I could do anything on. Ranger and Eleventh Hour. I should actually blog about Eleven... But, I don't know that either where my dream horse. When I sat on Nay, I knew he was the horse I needed in my life at that moment. But, dream horse? Who knows. He filled a void and made me smile at a time that nothing else could. And even when I'm ready to kill him, he still makes me smile. I'm not sure I believe in dream horses, but I do love my horses.

    I think there are "perfect" horses out there. Well trained, push-button, etc. But, that wasn't what I wanted or what I was looking for or what I could afford. I found a sound, green horse with a pretty good brain who was basically free. Yes, he came with problems (ulcers, anxiety), yes, we had to work through a lot, yes, being green and me not being in a full time program means it'll take years to accomplish what a pro can do in months, but I'm OK with that. At the end of the day I have a goofy horse with so much personality. Granted, I'd love it if he could stop being so high maintenance with FOOD/HAY and STOP MESSING WITH MY DAMN FENCE. And yet, I can't get mad at him because he comes up to me and just wants to socialize... Or grabs the zipper of my pocket or coat and opens/and closes it looking for treats...

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    1. I think it also depends on how you define DREAM HORSE. I look at these top professional rides and think "holy crap I could never ride that!" Someone would like at what I think is a dream and think it is boring.

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