However it is not riding that is my dream, but driving. I'm lucky enough to have a wonderful fiance (currently living in New Zealand) to buy me a show cart and harness. The people had it priced to go and we haggled them down to $330.00 for a custom made, hardly used two wheeled show cart from Ohio and a matching black leather show harness.
With a lot of hard work my goal is to have my horse ready for a small fun driving show this time next year. My arena is a mowed path around an empty hay field but my horse is already broke to drive single, double, pull, and plow. So that's a bonus. The problem with that though is she hasn't been driven in three years. Some ground driving this fall and winter though I think will jog her memory.
So on to the horse. I used to own two horses but I gave my two year old to my mother after she was forced to sell her gelding and now I have one horse. She is the most stubborn, spirited, spookish, and willful mare I have ever met. But after a year of hard work I have gotten her to trust me with her life (not to mention the clippers and the spray bottle). Despite her spookiness she's allowed me to ride her around scary corn fields and through scary forests. She slowed down for me even after that scary 12 point buck jumped out of the corn field right behind her. She's stood for every scary thing I've done and only broke the tie ring once. The one time I fell off her after she spooked she faced her fear to come back for me. Countless times I've gotten frustrated, cried, and nearly given up on her. But in the end she's come back to me and been there for me. I know what it means when people say there are only a handful of horses you can truly bond with and I believe that one of those few, if not then the only one, for me is Dolly.
Her history will be very brief. She was sold at an auction in Kalona to an Amish gentleman as a yearling. After five years of training, she was sold again at auction to my mother and then given to me. I'll never forget the way she first looked. Her mane roached, just skinny enough not to be too skinny, and covered in such a mass of black, brown, white, and gray patches no one was really sure what color she was. They brought her out to the ring in harness with a young boy on her back and she was the most beautiful horse I'd ever seen once she became mine. I even had a friend seriously mistake her for a mule.
So luckily I have pictures of her before and pictures of her now so you can see just what I mean.
Dolly on her first day home: