Pat + Freedom
I bought my first horse at 49 from a friend. She was an OTTB and was 16. What I did not realize was how stressed out she was about life… and me. I engaged a natural horse trainer who called me after evaluating her and asked how much I loved her. The trainer told me I was better off selling her. After she explained how much time it would take to retrain my horse, I decided I was in for the long haul. I did ground work for nine months before I rode her again. I learned how to engage her head, read her needs and love her deeply. I knew it was good when our rides were soft and she came eagerly to me. I earned her trust. Another rider at the barn told me she had never seen my horse be so happy. At 23, she had a very bad colic. Surgery was her only option. I knew she hated to be confined, and was a bad patient. I let her go. I still miss her. Another rider had weekend obligations and asked me to lease her horse on weekends. I have been riding a 24-year-old quarter horse gelding for six years now while I finish my PhD. Some day I will find a successor to my beautiful chestnut OTTB, Freedom.
This is what “right horse” means to me.
A horse that willingly comes to me, takes me where we want to go, is gentle enough for my grandson and will occasionally canter with me. One who has a gentle soul and loves to be groomed, in addition to groundwork and energy work, which I do. Easy to trailer. Trusts me.