~ The Decision ~
My decision to buy a horse started with getting my wisdom teeth removed. I am a bit of a hypochondriac and I had never been under general anesthesia before, so I was partially convinced I was going to die. Everyone told me that getting your wisdom teeth removed was no big deal and that I’d be “up & at’em” again in just a week or so. They couldn’t have been more wrong. The good news; I didn’t die. But I did have a dry socket for almost a month, and lingering sinus issues. The thing is; getting your wisdom teeth removed at 18 is much different than getting them removed at 28. I didn’t really bounce back. I did, but it took a long while. Most of the time I was in pain, and I tried to minimize how much I talked and moved. I did a lot of thinking.
On my 29th birthday, my fiancé and I were sitting around talking about what we wanted out of life. Normally we would be out with friends or family on my birthday, but because of my surgery, we were stuck at home. I was talking about how much I love horses, and about how much passion I have for them, and he said why not buy one now. What’s holding you back? I made excuses, but he had answers for all of them, and he eased my worries about taking on such a big responsibility. It’s funny how life happens; I really think that if I hadn’t had complications from my surgery, I would never have gotten a horse. And I can’t even express what an amazing gift this is.
~ The Search ~
As soon as the decision was made to buy a horse I wanted one immediately. I could not sit still. It reminds me of my dog when he’s trying to be good and sit, but he’s so excited his whole butt is moving back and forth across the floor. All I did for almost a month was search for horses, and I spent my weekends going to try them out. The first horse I saw was an OTTB (off the track thoroughbred) named Candy. She was 8 years old and 15.3hh; the perfect age and size. I was so nervous I made Clay (my fiancé) call and set up the appointment to see her. Everything was going fine until we started cantering. I could not get her to stop! It’s not that I was being run off with exactly, but the girl had no breaks! And there was a branch hanging over the round pin, so each time we came around the circle I had to duck. She was sweet, but not for me.
Then I went to Tennessee to try a Friesian/Quarter-horse cross named Jezzy. She was stunning, and so talented. But as soon as I saw her there was a hesitation in my chest. She had small (I thought) behavioral issues and her owner was afraid of her, but I thought “I have a strong seat, I can deal with this”. Nope. As soon as I asked for the trot, with provocation at all, she took off bucking and farting like a rodeo horse. Once I got her under control I looked at the owner and said the only thing that came to my mind “I’m not ready for this”, and got off.
After a few more misses, I realized that with my budget, I might need to stop looking and wait until I could save more money. Looking for a horse is a lot like house hunting. You start out all excited, then you realize you’re not going to get exactly what you want, and then you just hope it’s over with soon. But I didn’t want to settle. My trainer sent me an ad for this cute little Arab-cross that she really liked a lot. I normally wouldn’t consider anything with Arab in the breeding, but this horse could really move. She naturally used her back-end as much as other horses do after years of training. Also, she was small, only 14.2hh. But I went to see her.
~ Savannah ~
As soon as I saw her I felt something. She was so…cute! But it was more than that. It’s like that feeling when you win a raffle, or when you get an answer right at trivia, or when you win first place at something (yes I am very competitive). That thrill and happiness. When they brought her out of her stall I remember thinking, even her hooves are adorable. As soon as I sat on her back I knew. I just knew this was the horse for me. I will never forget when her old owner backed her off the trailer and handed her lead rope to me. I was so bewildered, I had no idea what to do with her once I got her, but we figured it out 🙂