Since the sale of my mare, I have been a leaser, a lesson taker, and a dreamer. I spent my lunch breaks and free time scouring the internet for the perfect dappled bay unicorn who wanted to come trotting in my life, and make me the happiest girl in the world. Of course, you always find “the perfect one” when you aren’t quite ready to be seriously looking. I felt that there were dozens of lovely candidates just waiting for my budget to be ready for action.

However, when I buckled down and really started looking with a bit more seriousness these past weeks, I have been hit with a whole cluster of thoughts. I had my list of what PDBU (Perfect Dappled Bay Unicorn) needed to be, and then another list of what I would like to see if the “needed” list was fulfilled. I challenged myself to stay firm to my list, and I thought for a while it was going to be easy. Filters, after all, are your web-hunting friends.

Except it is not easy. In fact, it is quite hard. I thought the hardest part would be dealing with PPE’s, or making tough calls, or that one crazy trainer who has PDBU hiding at her barn but won’t call you back. Instead it has been my own mental anguish over being an owner again that has slowed me down the most. I have owned before, but my most recent experiences have been largely based on the interactions from my half lease, or the kindly schoolmasters who have been teaching me.

Buying is a whole new mental ball game, one that I don’t know if I’m prepared for in the least. Buying to me represents a huge transition; you are no longer caring for someone else’s horse with their requests. You are the one making those decisions. When to call the vet? What kind of shoeing? Who can ride your horse? What do you want to do with said horse? The questions are overwhelming.

And not to mention that ownership brings with it a strange pressure to be more serious about your riding. Having successful rides is more important, and maybe you push yourself extra hard as well. Many people equate ownership with the level of devotion a rider has to their chosen sport. While I question that truth, I know that I will feel a need to validate my ownership; to give a reason why I needed to purchase this animal. This all adds up to a new element in the saddle and is leaving a lasting layer of concern in my mental space.

My schoolies and lease mare now suddenly seem like a soft, safe vacation spot away from these stresses. I’ve had the stomach clenching moment, where I asked myself if this is what I want. Do I want to be an owner again? Can I do this?

But then I remember. I remember hearing my name over the intercom after my mare’s show name. I remember how it felt to share her with other people, and to spend long nights walking the aisles drying her off after a tough workout – just us two. I remember the peace I found after deciding what was right for us as a pair. And I know, that this is what I want. I’ll take on the stress, the decisions, and the unknown for the chance to have that kind of relationship again. Bring on the crazy trainers, I’m coming for you PDBU!