Top Secret Mission - My Midlife Crisis
When men hit their forties, they want a corvette. When women hit their forties, sometimes they want a horse. I'm not exactly sure which is more dangerous.
As I'm writing this, I should have ice on my shoulder and knee. Or a bag of frozen peas. Or perhaps a sign on my back that says "Dumb New Horse Owner". I blame my mother for putting a paperback copy of The Black Stallion in my hands when I was ten. Then it was My Friend Flicka, The Red Pony, Black Beauty, etc. I soaked it all up like a pathetic four-eyed sponge. I had plastic Breyer horses of every breed and color lined up on my bookshelf until I was eighteen years old.
A horse! That would make like complete! I begged my parents to buy one. They refused. But my mother did drive me back and forth to riding lessons for quite awhile. I happily shoveled poop on Saturdays to earn an hour of extra riding time.
So... fast forward thirty years. Two kids, a husband, a Jack Russell terrier, a mini van and a mortgage. That was my reality. Until a week ago, when we watched as a 12-year-old Rocky Mountain gelding named Top Secret Mission was unloaded at our new boarding barn.
(more to come)
ok i'm waiting!
(We interrupt this broadcast for a word from our sponsor...)
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(We now continue with our regularly scheduled program.)
(continued again) - (giggle, snort, hiccup)
So, after waiting not-so-patiently over the course of thirty years, I finally had my first horse. And I was seeing him in person for the first time because, as I had insistently told my husband, this farm in Kentucky is the only place to trust when it comes to buying a 1200-pound animal based on pictures and video you find on the internet. I didn't need to go to Kentucky!
Uh oh....I think I know where this is headed.....
Hope you're all right...????
getting wine too-you really shouldn't drink alone, plus, red wine is medicinal.:wink:
Wine is good! I like it even better than Ibuprofren-hehe.
To make a long story short (too late)... My husband agreed (reluctantly) to buying a horse. Why buy a horse that's in Kentucky when we live in horse country central? I had my mind set on getting a Rocky Mountain horse. They're not very abundant in cowboy land. So I found the best breeding/training farm for Rockies. They truly are the BEST. They've been in business since 1965.
So when I started going through the horses on their website, I noticed Mission. He's a gorgeous chocolate gelding with a ridiculously long flaxen mane and tail. He's also a former show horse, registered with four breeding organizations and has a wonderful pedigree.
But Kentucky is a long way from central Texas. Apparently, buying horses unseen from this particular farm is not unusual. Lots of buyers do this. Probably not very many like me. Because although I had been around a lot of different horses in my life, taken lots of lessons and felt very comfortable on the ground working with horses, getting up into the saddle had become scary.
Bonding with a horse through groundwork and working on building a relationship based on trust was always the biggest draw for me. I didn't want just a riding horse. I wanted a partner and a friend. That's what I needed on some deeper emotional level. Being able to ride was just icing on the cake.
So when Mission got off the trailer, I cried. It had always seemed like some unreachable dream. But there he was. And he was mine.
Congrats-now enjoy him, whatever you do. From one second time around rider to another, as you have noticed, the ground has gotten considerably harder than when we were young. You also do not bounce right back up as fast when you fall. One other thing many of us have found-you lose confidence easily. If you really want to make it work with this horse, please get someone to work with both of you so that you can develop that partnership. But above all--enjoy him. THat is what you got him for. :-)
He was gorgeous and proud-looking. Up until two years ago, he was also a stallion. And he moved like a dream in the pasture, tossing his head and performing this amazing extended trot that just stunned me.
At home, my office smelled like new leather. Brand-new saddle, bridle, halter, lead rope, grooming kit, saddle pad... I'd read everything I could get my hands on about horse behavior and training, gaited horses, natural horsemanship, etc. I thought I was ready.
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