I'm lucky enough to have my heart cat and my heart horse both alive and well. However I made a permanent move over 8,000 miles away and now all I can think about is throwing as much money as I need to at whoever I can to bring a fat Napoleon cat and a grade horse with absolutely no pedigree or background information here to New Zealand to stay with me forever.
It had been seven years since I had my first horse brutally ripped away from me at the tender young age of eight. For those seven years I didn't even want to think about horses the heartache was too much to bear. But, as with any horse lover, the bug wouldn't stay away and bit me again at fifteen. This also happened to be the worst year possible for it to bite as my family wasn't in the best of financial states. So I knew I wouldn't be getting a horse but I still cried at night, wishing that I was the type of person that miracles could happen to.
So it was a Monday morning and we were out at my grandparents' place to help out, as usual. The kids had school off and there was work to be done. However today was different because my aunt suggested we go to the Kalona sale barn. She was looking to get a horse for Margo, a mare specifically because she wanted to breed the horse, whatever it turned out to be. So my mom agreed and gave me that speech that we were only tagging along to look at horses, not buy, yadda yadda yadda.
So off we went to the Kalona Sales Barn in Kalona, Iowa in my aunt's mini van.
We arrived and while Margo (my cousin) and I walked around looking at horses, my aunt and mother went off to get some drinks.
Now the fun begins, the auction! I don't remember very many of the horses that walked out. I remember a red roan snowflake POA gelding that was beyond fat. I also remember a stunning two year old black Morgan, Amish bred and trained. I remember the Morgan because A.) He was stunning, and B.) My mom bid on him!
I felt such a rush of excitement, my mom had a number and was bidding on the most stunning horse I had ever laid eyes on!
And... Just like that, he was bid out of her price range and reality came crashing down on me. Of course my mom was only bidding for fun, how could she expect to get a horse like that for under $1,000? Needless to say I was a little upset, but didn't give up hope.
So it was then that... Something came out of the barn. They called it a mare but I wasn't even sure if it was a horse to be honest, but I thought she was beautiful. She came prancing into the ring in full harness with a little boy on her back. She held her head high and proud and it was as if she was saying, "I am beautiful, and I am better than every single one of you."
My mom bid on her, and after a few tense moments won her for $680! She looked at me and said, "Would you like to go see your horse?"
I was so shocked and so happy I could have pissed myself. But instead of doing that I just cried.
So I went to behold such a magnificent beast in all her glory and there she was, casually munching hay in a pen made of four gates. I walked up to her and I reached my hand out to touch her face. This was going to be the moment when she paused from her eating and stretched her neck out to greet me and it would be a magical bonding experience... or... She would turn her head away and show a complete disregard for me or anyone but the chestnut in the pen next to her and her hay.
Not a great start, I was thinking "love at first sight" and she was thinking "leave my sight". So it was then that the previous owner walked up, a very kind Amish gentleman who could say nothing about her other than he bought her at the sales barn as a yearling and had owned her for the last five years. She could be ridden, drive single and double, pull, and plow. Oh, and be careful around heavy machinery because she spooked at it.
Well here came our next dilemna. If you remember earlier in the story I mentioned that we went to Kalona in my aunt's MINI VAN. Not a great start for hauling a horse an hour back home.
So my mom looks to the Amish gentleman and asks, "Would you be able to deliver her?"
He looks back at her, confused, and says, "Well, I suppose, but it might take me a few days."
Duh, Mom, he's Amish, he'll have to tie her to the back of his buggy and drive there the good old fashioned way.
My mom realized this and was pretty embarrassed, apologizing and saying she had forgotten all about that. It was all good fun though, and we all got a laugh.
Luckily we found someone to transport Dolly home. A nice old man with a pretty nice get-up that raised mules somewhere in our area. So we got Dolly home and that was that. I had a horse.
She didn't like me at first, in fact she didn't like anyone at first. But all summer I rode her but a couple times and mostly took her out to graze where I held onto her lead rope and groomed her all over while she happily munched on grass. My aunt and mom tried to do all sorts of things with her, spray her with the fly spray and eventually use the clippers on her when she had a mane. She went ballistic! Rearing up and trying to tear away, get anything new near her and she immediately went insane. So my aunt immediately came to the conclusion that she was a mean, spiteful, nasty, and dangerous horse. But my mother kept faith for me and my faith in Dolly (as the Amish gentleman told me he called her) never faltered.
It took well over a year and a half, maybe even two years, but I developed an amazing bond with my horse. I can now fly spray her, clip her, load her, bathe her. The only problem is that I'm the only one that can do any of that. She refuses to let anyone else do anything to her and even gets antsy if someone is there with me. We were working on that though before I left and now she's pretty tolerant of my mother.
She is no doubt my heart horse, even the horses that had been torn from me can't touch the bond I have with Dolly. I miss them often, and loved them, but it's not the same. I don't think I'll be truly happy until Dolly is here with me in New Zealand. She was six years old when I got her and turned ten this year.
^ Not stopping despite me telling her to. As is a usual problem with her.