Or in my case heart over head. About a week ago the owner of the yard where I help, messaged me to ask if I wanted to buy Riley, her 13.2 welsh section C pony. Let me take you back to the beginning of this story. Riley came to the yard in August and had, prior to that, spent most of his 7 years happily grazing in a field and getting fat.
I admit, I fell in love with Riley immediately.
I accompanied the yard owner on the day she went to view him with a view to buying. Shortly after our arrival, the most handsome looking bay was brought in from the field. Riley hadn’t done much, he had been backed and briefly schooled some years earlier which showed when the girl riding him for us to watch, asked for trot and was promptly rewarded when he threw a buck. Once untacked and released back into his field, he gave a fabulous demonstration of his movement and we were all hooked.
“Whenever we trotted him, he bucked”
He arrived at his new yard with attitude, and to be honest I think he will always have that, although things weren’t helped by his reaction to being loaded on a trailer for the very first time in his life. After settling into his new home, he remained very opinionated and bolshy and whenever we trotted him, he bucked. He established himself quickly as leader of his new gang when out in the field. Although nervous, with persistence, riding and lunging the bucking disappeared, and we got the first glimpse of a willing pony. Unfortunately, winter was upon us before we knew it. Muddy fields, no manege and therefore after only a few weeks, riding ceased. So, when I received a text to ask if I wanted to buy him, I had a dilemma. In my heart I absolutely loved him and couldn’t bear to see him being sold to anyone else. On the other hand, I had this list in my head of what I thought my first horse would be. That was a big part of the dilemma, I thought I would buy a horse, not a 13.2 pony.
He did tick the ‘beautiful bay’ box as he undoubtedly is that, however, there lots of other things I thought my first horse would be. Experienced, a been there done that, sane and sensible, bombproof one that I could get on and just ride. Riley hadn’t really had any schooling, he was very bolshy although lots of groundwork has helped enormously. He is clever and knows how to charm but also gets bored easily with work repetition, so I am going to have to keep that in mind and be patient. It’s going to be a learning curve for us both. It does feel as though I didn’t choose my first horse, he chose me, but he has my heart, and I am sure in time, those other tick box items will become reality.
In the meantime, I have a horse I adore, and today, for the first time ever, I get to say, “he’s mine” and will be proud of whatever he and I achieve on our exciting new journey.