When I first got into Horses, I wasn't sure I would be able to find a horse for me. I went out and looked at everything for sale and just saw a ton of delicate arabs and quarterhorses that were smaller and flashy and lovely. I had went through a bad breakup and felt like I wanted to start something new in my life and be happier. I was twenty two.
I ended barn shopping first. My logic was that I wanted to have a stall rented before I found a horse so I'd have a place to keep it. I found a breeder just down the road that leased stalls out and had boarders. I went and talked to her and she was a doll. She didn't seem to mind I was very large - 6'4, 245lbs. I told her I wanted to find a big boned gelding to learn to ride on and she kinda 'naww... you want a mare.. we'll find you one'. In a few days she called me back (after saying sure I could board at her place) and told me she found the perfect horse for me.
Her friends were moving out of state, cutting down their herd, and selling a brood mare named Sunny who was a huge half saddlebred, half morgan registered pinto/warmblood for performance. She was 12 and purchased as a combo brood mare/husband horse.
I bought her without riding her and still have her today. She's in her late twenties now and is the love of my life though I cannot any longer ride her. She's too arthritic and swaybacked, though I did ride her up until her twenty forth birthday. Anyhow, my second riding horse is a draft. I have two more besides her but I cannot ride them due to their delicate size but my husband does.
I love my draft. I really do. But she has one kind of stride, a long rolling powerful gait. I ride and drive her, but she is what she is and she isn't my old mare that I miss terribly as a riding horse. There's no snorty cantering full speed down longbeach in Washington with her. Becky takes her time and you get a really comfortable lazyboy type ride. But deep in my heart I've always wanted more.
Lately I've been watching the rescue work of a local washington state group saving horses from slaughter off a feedlot. Some of these horses are so incredibly awesome.. so broke, so been there done that, so well papered... its amazing what people throw away. I've been donating to fund raising here and there for folks that offer homes to these horses but don't have the bail (or purchase price) and have gotten to know some of the rescue folks involved.
One asked me if I'd ever adopt one myself, and I said no... no... I'm too big, too fat, and these little 14.2-15 hand horses - though great - wouldn't work for me. I'm all for pasture pets, but I do want horses at my place I can ride. Having two I can't frustrates me if my husband doesn't feel like riding. She listened, this lady from a rescue, to my story and then sent me pictures of an amazing horse she had rescued from a horrible mud situation then nursed back to health with bad hooves that had cracks all the way to the cornet bands. He was an OTTB who's 17hh and at least 1600 lbs heavy. He's ... frankly huge. I went and saw him Saturday and fell in love. I'm going to adopt him from her. He deserves a great home and a place to live that gives him a forever home. He's green broke but still very sore on his feet (cracks are growing out and he's doing well otherwise but still limping on gravel pretty badly - needs shoes). I took my very tiny friend who's an awesome rider and she rode him for me to see how he'd do. He did really great. He was everything the rescue promised.
Here's his picture.
This is not me. This is my friend who's doing the initial ride. He did so well! We rode him in a snaffle and in a Indian Hackamore.
So I guess what I wanted to say (other than to share this with you) is if your a larger person looking for 'the right horse' just start talking to rescue folks. Please! These wonderful horses need homes. Who would have thought this boy is only 8 years old, monster sized, mellow as a lesson horse, and just sweet as apple pie. Who would have thought someone could hurt this animal, throw him away, after abusing him? He was lucky and I think I'm going to be very lucky to get him.
If anyone wants the rescue name or info just let me know. They were very accepting of me, never once blinking or questioning what I wanted. They let me visit and had this big fella all ready for me to see. He was everything they promised... and I'm so excited to be on a horse horse again to do all the things I used to do on my saddlebred/morgan mare. I love my draft, but I'm soo excited for this new addition.
Just thought I would share my joy and excitement.