It was such a nice day yesterday, and one of the few weekdays that my husband was actually home, that I thought instead of going to the gym after work, I'd go straight home and get the kids and hubby and head of for a nice nature walk. Great thought, but he was definitely not on the same page. I got home to find the kids still in pjs, and hubby ambushed me as I came in the door to help him with a spreadsheet for his latest construction project. I'm an accountant, so I look at spreadsheets all day long - really not what I wanted to do as soon as I got home. I instantly started to get cranky, so I decided to go outside and ride before I got outright bitchy. I've only ridden maybe 3 times since last July, and every time has been on my little 4-year old filly that I'm just starting out. It's a real struggle to find time to ride when I'm basically a single parent during the week, and crazy busy on the weekends. I decided to get out my "old" (she's 10) show mare, since I just wanted a nice relaxed ride, not a training session. I had just read a blog entry last week about finding the perfect (for yourself) horse, and I got to thinking about how Annie really is the perfect horse for me, even though I seem to be the only one who really likes her. I've owned and ridden ALOT of horses in my life, so I have plenty to compare her too.
I found her almost by accident while shopping for a new show prospect in 2004. I was looking for a two-or-three year old filly with good bloodlines and ready to start, something I could ride right away but without the finishing that would put it out of our price range. What I found was this tall, flashy sorrel tobiano mare, 4 years old, started in western pleasure but bred as a 3 year old and never shown, at least not APHA. She failed the pre-purchase exam due to lameness on that day, but I bought her anyways because I just had a good feeling about her, and she has stayed sound, dispite crappy feet (white, soft, and with a club foot). She was close enough to finished that I was able to show her yet that fall, and by the next summer (without much riding over the winter since I didn't have an arean), we were winning western pleasure at APHA shows. Within a year after purchasing her, we had earned ROMS in 4 events, and were very close to a Superior in Amateur WP. But then the next spring, I got pregnant with triplets and spent most of the year in the hospital. 3 weeks after my babies were born (3 months premature), while they were still in the hospital in incubators and hooked up to all kinds of tubes, I was desparately in need of something other than the hospital. So I got out my mare, rode her a few times, and took her to a big paint show that was close by. We didn't place, but I didn't feel too out of place either. She was steady and consistent, even though she hadn't been ridden more than a couple times in the last year. Now all I do is an occassional open or 4-H show and ride during my 4-H club practices, but I always know I can pull Annie out of the pasture and hope on, and I know exactly what kind of ride I will get - and it's one I love. My husband doesn't like to ride her - she's too sensitive. I love that about her - she moves slow and easy, but there is nothing lazy about her. I can put any of the 4-H kids on her and know that she will respond in the right way to what I tell them to do. I don't mind her weird whinny even though my husband thinks she sounds like a cow. I enjoy anything I do with her, and I feel like I've bonded with her better that any horse I've had in the past. I can't say that she has a home for life with me, because if someone ever wanted to buy her I'd have a hard time turning down money, but I'm sure going to enjoy her while I do have her.