On a dark and stormy night, a little 12-year-old me fell in love with an old draft mare. That's where it all began.
My sister-in-law was serving as a tour guide through a low-grade auction horse in Wheeler County, Georgia. My newly separated and border-line estranged mother like horses. She liked horses like I liked horses; in a child-like, "wow, so pretty" kind of way. She and I saw this little draft mare tied in a rusty pipe stall. This mare was covered in yard thick, yellow dun hair and had a head like a cinder block. I loved that ugly head.
My mom bought her for 150 bucks and hauled her to my sister-in-law's barbed wire paddock farm. I remember the first time I sat on her. My sister-in-law led her in the round pen and I sat bareback. I dismounted and was covered in hair. I remember it so well!
I spend days grooming her. All the while, my mother was speaking to the owner of a barn only three minutes from my house. We moved the mare (Lola Mae, we named her) home a few days later.
I had never ridden before. Lola was a terror to ride. She got more difficult. We hired a trainer to sort her out. Lola threw her and broke the trainer's back. The barn owner said she never wanted that horse ridden on her property again.
That was the end of Lola Mae. We told her as a companion horse to a women with a herd of goats. Last I hear, she's happy there.
I learned a lot in the year between horses. During the year I was without my own horse, I learned to actually ride. I played with the BO's horses and rode whenever I could. I took lessons. I caught on quick. My passion for horses was no longer skin deep.
A few months after Lola, I fell in love with a four-year-old SSH called Baby Girl. She was spoiled, sure, but the plusses swam in my head; athletic, smart, well-bred, built like a winner, and beautiful. She had a beautiful mind. Even in her young age, she was safe. She made me feel safe. Not in a cocky way, but I felt secure. Within reason, I trusted her. I guess that's what it's like to feel a "click"; an instant bond between horse and rider. Whatever it was, it was good enough. I wanted this horse.
I rode her for a few months before that Christmas Eve, 2010, when she became mine. After that, every day was an adventure. We worked like hell. Rode every day, trained hard, had a vision and chased it. In our first year competing, we won our NATRC division. Our crowning moment of awesome was winning High Point Spotted Saddle Horse at Honey Creek CTR. We beat our horses twice Baby Girl's age and three times my age.
And the story continues! I'm only about three years into my horse life and have a lot to live.