Pearl and Freddy - photo by Cat Hunter

Pearl and Freddy – photo by Cat Hunter

Pearl Macgregor admits that she is a full-fledged horse junkie and beyond the point of any possible recovery. Here are the objects of her obsession.

Obsessed About Horses… They Consume Me Mentally 24/7

Allow me to introduce myself by introducing to you the horses that I totally obsess over. I should clarify that I do not mean that I am currently riding, competing, or even working around horses full time; I am actually a full time student in my last semester of my undergrad program at a smaller university in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

What I meant by the horses that consume me, is that they are with me mentally 24/7. In fact, here is a great example: I had caught one of the dreadful winter colds going around and in my feverish state, I would roll over and realized that even at my worst, my brain is still visualizing my riding schedule for the next week, or wondering which bit I should use on my young horse (FYI, I chose a happy mouth).

The same thing goes for school, I will suddenly realize I have no idea what the professor is talking about because I’ve been replaying my lesson from the day before in my head for the past 20 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an excellent student, but I hope you can relate to the feeling of being a full blown horse junkie that just cannot help but have the urge to spontaneously think, speak, and “do” horses at all times. These horses make it just plain impossible! The ones that are in the forefront of my brain I have described below. Please note: there are many others helping me towards becoming a fully dysfunctional horse addict, but these are the ones I am lucky enough to call my own.

Meet Freddy:

Freddy the champ!

Freddy, the major contributor to my passion for thoroughbreds!

A coming 7 year old enthusiastic thoroughbred with the biggest heart I have ever met. Freddy was purchased in 2010 as a young thoroughbred to work with while I finished school. There are not enough descriptive words to fully express the characteristics of this horse. Non-conventional, brave, careful, enthusiastic, spirited, sweet, refined, loving, athletic, and the list goes on.

He is the biggest challenge that I have faced so far in my riding career and I never regret it for one second. The biggest challenges have brought me the biggest rewards. My hard work with this horse continues to pay off (even though we will always have our ups and downs I have come to accept the bumps along the way).

I have competed him up to training level eventing and 1.15m jumpers. We aim to move up to 1.20m jumpers  this year and hope to compete as eventers once the competitions are available to us (horse trials around the maritimes are limited and they only run up to training level, so long travels will be involved in our future). I’m still not sure where Freddy’s athletic ability stops; at every mile marker in our training he surprises me by showing even more potential. Freddy is the major contributor to my passion for thoroughbreds.

Say Hello to Odin:

Odin at 10 months

Odin at 10 months

Odin was my gamble that paid off. He was our first youngster purchase. It has been an amazing learning experience for me. My mother and I bought him as a 10 month old scraggly looking young thing. Not knowing much about his mother but knowing his sire(Oxford) had produced lovely hunters and jumpers around North America, we took the chance.

From the moment we bought this guy, he was awkward. He remained awkward through his yearling year, and through his 2 year old year as well. We started to worry it wasn’t just an ‘awkward phase”. Perhaps we just bought an awkward horse! Finally, in his 3rd year, he filled out a bit and really surprised us. At just over 3 years, he now stands at 16.2hh, now I pray he stops growing soon as I stand at 5’4” tall and never have felt a need for a taller horse than where he stands now. People keep reminding me how warmbloods grow later, and to expect some more height from him yet!

Odin has been with me in work for a short while now, and he has done nothing but impress. He is rideable, sensible, brave, and an incredible mover with a big step. Every time I ride this horse he shows progress from the previous ride. We recently just started him over fences and he is showing tremendous talent. I could see this horse as a competitive hunter in the future.

Last but not least, here is Marlee:

Marlee - photo by Cathy Arsenault

Marlee – photo by Cathy Arsenault

Marlee (Iceburg – Heartbreaker – Calando I) is the newest addition to our humble herd. With a score of 87 in her inspection, Marlee was awarded the second highest score given to a filly on the 2012 North America BWP inspection tour (the all time high score is an 88).

Needless to say, the young filly shows much promise. She is the sweetest thing and I just can’t wait to see her develop through the next few years. I have ridden other horses out of the same mare and hope that she inherited the same rideability, attitude and athleticism that they have. Marlee is currently growing up in Prince Edward Island on my parents farm, along with a whole  slew of horses I will leave to talk about another day.

I am lucky enough to have the support of my family in my equestrian endeavors. I have dreams of becoming a top level competitor in both eventing and the jumpers. If either of these dreams ever came true with any of the horses (or any I meet in the future) I would be overjoyed. I would like to be able to call myself a well rounded,  accomplished equestrian and horse person. My goals go beyond what I’ve mentioned here, but I think that the bigger picture is basic: I want positive learning experiences for myself and my horses to help me become the best rider I can possibly be (and the best horses they can be too).

There are so many incredible horses in my life that it is nearly impossible to keep myself focused on anything else. I wouldn’t change a thing (except to perhaps add a few more hours to each day). The dreaming (day and night) keeps me going until the next time I am able to see the loves of my life. The consuming, obsessive role that these wonderful creatures play in my life are what keeps me going. They allow me to dream, and so, allow me to look forward.

Pearl