Hi all, please forgive this post. I’ve been reasonably rational and calm up to this point, but too many jenga blocks have slipped out of too many wrong places in my horsey life. It’s time to succumb to the delirium and agony of the Pony Fever. More on that in a moment.
On the horse front, I have taken up riding my old buddy Cooper the quarter pony. So far, I have only walked and lightly trotted him, as he is incredibly and ridiculously out of shape and somewhat obese. After only a brisk walk around the perimeter of the pasture, he was huffing and puffing. He is the type of horse that needs to loudly clear his airways and act like he is dying during the first trot in your warm up. I will continue to monitor his breathing as he gets more conditioned, in case he actually has a respiratory problem that I need to report to his owner. He’s a downhill guy with a really low set neck, so the poor dear has a lot of trouble getting anywhere without almost falling on his face. He tries, bless his heart.
For those of you that represent the point of origin of The Horse Bug in your family ancestry, do you remember the part of your childhood that was horseless? All you wanted in this ever loving world was a pony. A nice Thelwell pony that could trot you through apple orchards, nibble grass in the meadow while you sat on a tree stump reading, and win you a blue ribbon at the horse show. Hell, the pony didn’t even have to be that nice. You’d have taken Patches the widow maker if he had four hooves and a tail. Even if you spent 60% of the ride eating dirt there would still be a real life horse involved, which is heaps better than taping cardboard horse heads onto various jungle gym equipment and willing it to gallop off its chains. You know who you are.
Like so many little girls, I waited and waited and obsessed and waited. My parents couldn’t afford a horse and we lived in the city, so we all suffered the double whammy of horselessness. Looking back, it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t get a pony. I had to hit the ground a few times to wear off some of the stupid until I was college age and I could afford to support a horse by myself. Not to sound whatever, but I remember the deep pangs from that horse shaped hole when I was a little kid. I remember sitting on my swing (cardboard horse head and yarn tail taped on) and just crying because it wasn’t real. It was just this pervasive restlessness of needing something in your life and having to wait for the right time and place for it to happen. Thankfully, I had some access to horses through camp and a nearby ranch, which held the fever at bay until I achieved the final solution of horse ownership.
And now it’s back. Chills, sweating, fatigue, Pony Fever induced hallucinations. Honestly, I thought I would be fine when I sold Shiloh. I miss him terribly, but I also miss the thrill of walking through the pasture and seeing the silhouette of My Horse in the tree line. There’s just something entirely different and magical about ownership as opposed to catch riding (I mean, aside from the surprise vet bills and poopy stalls, which I don’t miss at this point). I’m blood shot and hunched over with fifty horse selling website tabs open, flicking through the breed and price filters. Occasionally I see something gorgeous and click for more details, only to find that the horse falls short in several important qualifications.
I have to keep reminding myself to CALM THE HECK DOWN. I’m looking for a special lifetime partner. I can’t afford to be careless or rash with this process, so I’m trying to slow down and get it right
I am trolling the depths of horse sites for the perfect horse, reminding myself repeatedly that there are millions of horses in the world, and any number of them would fit my qualifications and make me very happy. Sadly, there is nothing great within 200 miles of me that I have found yet. In a perfect world, I’d want to actually ride the horse and check it out for myself rather than relying on pictures and videos, but I am considering horses many states away. Obviously, this would only work with the provision of many more pictures and videos of several people on the horse, a solid vet check, and a seal of approval from a trusted friend. And even then, it’s a bit sketchy.
The fun part of this story is that I know a trainer in the horse hauling industry that owes me a favor. So basically, I have the go ahead to ship a horse from practically anywhere in the United States here for free. This is wonderful, as it allows me to focus on the price of the horse and the vet check and not get hung up on shipping details. I know it’s not the best way, but I trust this trainer and she has worked with me extensively. She knows exactly what I’m looking for and isn’t shy about shooting down the ones that aren’t suited for me.
Highlights on the search so far:
This Friesian Morgan pony: 6 yr old 13.3 hh gelding, calm disposition, flippin’ gorgeous, experience in beginner eventing and dressage
13 yr old 13.3 hh Welsh/Arabian gelding, shown by children in hunters and dressage, proven champion in training level, nice jumper.
And the ringer, just to throw all my other picks off, we have the 16.1 hh 14 yr old thoroughbred gelding. Lovely chestnut with a calm disposition, and apparently a superstar in eventing, scoring upper 20s in the dressage portion and experienced in beginner novice. (uhh, dressage girl here, not sure what any of that means, but google and wikipedia assure me that these things mean he is hot stuff). He’s actually about an hour away, so I might try to go look at him.
I wish you all heaps of calmness and clarity in all your horsey pursuits. I sure need it!