Just when you think you know where you're going life takes the most unexpected turns. I hadn't blogged about this because I was scared of "jinxing" it. To be honest, I'm still quite on the fence about blogging about it. But there is a story here. One that is swirling around my head, mixed in with hopes and dreams and fears.
Remember how I mentioned I wanted a horse??
Kharma has a way of working things out.
It all began with an email. One I read, reread, and finally printed out and read again. I thought. I thought HARD! When the email hit my inbox I was in a bit of crisis. My ankle is majorly messed. I'd just come off of my doctor enforced rest period with virtually no change in the ankle. Stressed I had another doctor appointment. I was facing a cast. We ended up doing a cortisone shot. I'm still wearing a wrap but the swelling is finally down. My ankle is very very weak right now. But I'm starting some physio exercises.
Back to the story. So while I was stressing about my body falling apart, I had a decision to make. That email I receive was basically a query asking if I'd be interested in a horse. This horse was much loved by her owner. This I understand. But her owner, like many of us had too much on her plate and needed to lighten the load. Because this horse was much loved she wanted just the "right" home. This I also understand. She thought my home might be that perfect fit. I was incredibly flattered. But as my bestie says "Just because you get asked to the party, doesn't mean you need to dance." (Or something like that!) So I needed to decide. Did I want to dance?
I called my best friend. We talked and talked about it. Jason, my cutting trainer and I talked about it. Jen, my hunter/jumper coach and I talked about it. All these people cautioned me against it. Only Ken was positive. Now all of the above people have seen me ride. They know what I can do on a horse, with a horse. Their collective concern was the fact that the horse was a risk. A risk of not being able to move forward in a more competitive way. But let's be honest. Right now, I'm not exactly in a competitive position. I need something I can play on. Something I can train on that's safe. My honey's only point was that horses cost money and he didn't want to see something sit in the field and not have me riding it.
What did I do? I went out to the farm. I stood against the fence scratching Whiskey's shoulder. I thought and thought. I went into the house and talked with my dad. Any horse decision concerns my father because with the horses at the farm he's the primary caregiver. I will not add work to my (soon to be) 72 year old father. That night a very long conversation was had with the horse's owner. I needed to hear the horse's story, and I needed to be solid on my decision. The horse was close to 12 hours away. I will not lightly haul a horse that far for no good reason.
In the end, I listened to my gut. I listened hard. I became still and focused and I pushed the world away. I think I made the right decision.
I said yes. And a journey began. A horse climbed onto a trailer. And dreams and hopes were sparked.
This beauty arrived Saturday.
Her name is Marmalade or Marm for short.
Today was our first "real" ride. It wasn't perfect. It wasn't imperfect. We're in the dating stage of our relationship. Getting to know each other's quirks. I can't decide what I want to do. Jen came and watched me ride and thinks she'd make a jumper. I'm too tall (5'8") for her to make a high level jumper but good enough for lessons and maybe some low level shows.
Then again, I love the cattle work. There's a huge grass roots working cow horse organization in this area. She has the physical ability to do it with some fine tuning. Tomorrow at Ken's she'll get her first taste of working the flag. Or maybe I'll heel off her or run some barrels. I know the possibilities are endless. My focus for the winter is to get to know her and to spend time working on developing her full potential. By the time spring comes I should have a better idea of which direction this journey is going to go.
Regardless, I'm grateful for the opportunity to get to know this neat little mare better. I'm grateful to have a horse that wants to work, that I can play on. I'm grateful for a horse that isn't going to dump my broken body on it's ass.