It's not every day you meet the horse or pony of your dreams, but it was one fateful day that I met mine, I just didn't know it until a couple months after ownership.
While skimming the internet as usual, I heard my mom call me to her room. More tea? Another chore? I went to see what she wanted and she was lying in bed under the covers, laptop in her hands. She pointed to the screen and I could see she had been searching for another horse for sale. Just last year we had gotten my first horse, a young, blue roan gelding by the name of Gossip. My mom was more interested in the looks of this 13.1 pony than what he could do, and I had to admit, he was an absolute beauty. He was an ordinary bay, but his thick, long mane and tail and those stocky, slightly feathery legs captivated my attention that instant.
Inspired by my mom, I was into the more heavily built horses and ponies, and Robin Hood (the pony) was a perfect model. That very day my mom, Nita (my trainer) and I piled into our silver Hyundai and found ourselves on the road towards McAlpin, where the Robin lived. It was an hour long journey, but our car was soon spiraling along a narrow, twisted dirt road until we came by a gate which led to a small farm. The owner met us outside. She was a woman in her forties with brown hair tied up in a loose bun. Strands of hair hung down, framing her cheeks.
Unfortunately, the lady who owned Robin didn't know much about his past. She had got him from a friend a couple weeks ago, and she didn't even have a saddle for him, so we test rode him bareback. He wouldn't stand still to be mounted, and instead of correcting this behavior, she kept moving the mounting block each time Robin moved, as if the mounting block was even needed. My trainer got on first and rode him around a bit. She looked so balanced up on his back. She had to drive him into the canter, as he was apparently not responsive to the cantering aids. Finally, as Robin speedily cantered around the ring, Nita called out,"Does he look like a flying meatball?"
That nickname stuck.
Finally it was my turn to ride. I was a bit nervous, as Robin was a fidgety pony. A few tries late, I sat on Robin's broad back. I gathered my reins and gave Robin a slight squeeze with my legs. I felt like he might explode any minute. But once we were in motion, my fear was whisked away as if by the wind. Robin walked along calmly, although he wasn't very responsive to the leg, so I relied mostly on my reins. After a while Nita encouraged me to try
A trot. I obliged. However, I couldn't trot for long, as I felt my balance was off. Robin had a fast, bouncy trot.
I walked for the most part, and as I neared the fence I heard Nita and my mom talking. "What do you think?" My mom inquired.
"I don't know...He'd be a lot of work. But I'm willing if you are."
"Inka, what do you think?" My mom called out as I halted Robin nearby.
"I like him," I said, nothing more, nothing less. I had no idea how important Robin was going to become to me. I stroked Robin's neck lightly and dismounted. I took the reins over his head and walked him back toward the pasture. His owner, who's name I can't recall, seemed to be the worrying sort.
"Let me take it from here, just in case," she said and walked Robin into the pasture, then released him. He immediately joined the other horses and began eating. Now came the most exciting part of the day, negotiation.
"So how much was he again?" My mom questioned.
The owner gave shrug. "I'm open to suggestions."
"One thousand dollars?" Nita offered.
"Sure, that's fine with me."
"When can he come home to us?" My mom asked. I didn't hear anymore, I was too excited. Everything was just a blur, I pictured the trailer pulling up in front of the farm we boarded Gossip at, and the tension in the air as the other horses raced around, trying to get a look at this handsome boy. Most importantly, would he get along with Gossip? I thought about these things in bed, and I could hardly sleep, despite how tired I was. All I could do was wait.
To be continued...