I’ve been looking for a new horse since my mare died last year. I mean, I’ve been looking for a while now, but before it was more like a kinda/sorta/maybe it’ll happen/waiting for the right one to fall in my lap (not literally, I bruise like a peach). I still think it’ll happen as it’s supposed to happen, but am now at the point where I’m proactively putting myself in a place to make it happen.
That being said, I haven’t wanted to blog about it. It just feels weird. Maybe it’s because it feels like I’m cheating on my girl by taking a step that concretely places her in the past. Yes, I do know she is in the past, but there’s a difference between accepting a fact and beating your head against the brick wall of it.
Maybe it’s because I don’t want to announce anything until it’s a done deal. Maybe because blogging about it makes it real. Maybe I’m afraid that people will say something negative. (I know, how old am I? Get over it already.) I’m not really sure what the heck my issue is, exactly, but that’s probably the short list.
So I’ve found a horse that I like a lot. He’s in my barn, and I’ve had the opportunity to lesson on him and hack on him several times. He’s young, and very green in many ways, but he has a fabulous brain and a very good sense of humor, which is the main characteristic I’m looking for. He’s great in the ring, willingly jumps anything you point him at and doesn’t hold a grudge if you botch the distance, hit him in the mouth, or lose balance and crash down on his back. (Believe me, I did all three and the sweet guy continued on as if nothing had happened.) He’s very happy to hack out in the field or go on trails. And he loves people, and clearly want to be someone’s pocket pony.
That being said, I’ve been over-analyzing things to death, which is what I do. About everything. Often to the point of paralysis. I’m doing that now about this horse.
A friend of mine has been a wonderful sounding board throughout this whole process, listening as I go through my feelings: I’m used to older, more educated horses; would I be able to teach a young horse? I’m in a good program and would have the support of my trainer and barn manager and others to guide me through the process, so that’s a plus. Would I have the patience to take my time and teach him? I’ve been pretty good with my kids, but a 1200lb child is a bit different. I mean, I’m used to getting on and being able to do a leg yield. Will I have the patience and willingness to teach a horse how to do a leg yield? Or will I get frustrated easily because I’m trying to do a leg yield and he’s not understanding what I’m asking?
My concerns are more about my abilities, or lack thereof, not about the horse’s. I want us both to be happy together, and we won’t be if one of us is constantly worried or frustrated. If I get him I want to raise him right, to be a good parent. Make sense? I mean, we all make mistakes as parents, but to my way of thinking the goal is to raise kids that needed less therapy than I did. Bottom line is I don’t want him needing the equine equivalent of Dr. Phil or that dude from “My Cat From Hell”.
I like this young boy a great deal, but haven’t yet fallen in love with him. And part of me has bought in to the whole romance novel/Lifetime special “You’ll know when it’s right” crapola. However, I did not love Sug when I first tried her. It was more of a “She’s nice, very forgiving, this could be a good match for a year’s lease.” I didn’t fall in love with her immediately, and even after I leased her for a year and loved her to pieces I waffled about buying her. I worried that she was older and that I wouldn’t have time with her, that she’d be plagued with senior horse issues and need a fortune’s worth of management, yadda yadda yadda. I mean, if I waffled about her, a horse I’d had and loved for the better part of a year, it’s okay to waffle about a horse I’ve only really known a couple weeks, right?
So I’ve gone on and on about this with my friend. Most recently we discussed the topic while we were at the local grocery store picking up items we needed for dinner. We were in the produce aisle, and I was trying to choose the right bag of romaine hearts. My daughter likes romaine hearts, as do I, but I don’t like my lettuce too leafy. I like it crisp. So finding the bag with the right ratio of green leafy stuff to crispy bits meant I picked up damn near every bag to examine it to the nth degree. The entire lettuce-choosing process took about 10 minutes, during which time my friend stood patiently, taking it all in.
I was still going back and forth about this horse when we were back at the house preparing dinner, dissecting every tidbit of info I knew about this sweet boy from every angle I possibly could. Finally I just looked at my friend and said something along the lines of, “I just don’t know what to do. I suck at making decisions.”
“I know,” she said. “I’ve seen you buy lettuce.”
Well, that about sums it up.