For the longest time, I felt my blog had everything on it about horses except one thing: tips on taking care of a real horse by a real horse owner. No, I didn’t get a horse but I have a friend named Rachel (not her real name), who owns a horse and has offered to write guest posts for this blog on the care of horses. She has a horse named Pearl. Here is her first post.
This is the story of my journey with horses.
I have loved horses for a very long time. I mean, what girl doesn’t love horses, and dream of maybe owning one?
I sure did, and I started to save my money. I kept it all in an old pickle jar, and soon my money started to smell like pickles!
I did odd jobs for my parents, and saved every last penny I found.
I prayed for a regular job, and God provided. I actually got two! I babysat, and worked in an office.
I preferred to baby sit though, and I did so as often as I could.
The children I babysat were awesome, and were very cooperative. I enjoyed it because, not only was doing something I loved, but I was earning money to buy my horse.
Since we live out in the country, I babysat on a farm.
And across the road lived a horse named Admiral. He was all alone. The farm house on that property was abandoned.
During the summer Admiral ate so much he got amazingly fat, and during the winter, he practically starved!
I tried to contact the owner, but to no avail. Admiral was all alone, and I could not find his owner.
Since it was the least I could do, I visited him every time I went babysitting. The kids loved that! When I started bringing oats, Admiral looked forward to my coming. On the day I went babysitting, he would be waiting by the fence.
When I first met him he was terrified of me, and I could not get near him for two weeks. But eventually he learned to trust me. So when he started waiting for me by the fence that was a great improvement!
But, since I do not have that babysitting job anymore, I have not seen Admiral for months, which I am very disappointed about. Hopefully I will be able to visit him soon 🙂
I also began to take riding lessons. Once a week I went with my sister. I learned so much! But, best of all I learned to ride, which is what I really wanted!
For about two years I saved, and saved. By now I had a bank account, and did not keep my money in a pickle jar anymore! LOL
We started to fence our property. There was some fencing already, but it was in bad shape. We spent weeks pounding posts, and stringing wire. We also built a round pen, and fixed up the barn. We were all ready! Now we just had to find the right horse!
We did not have to look long!
Someone from our church has a son who trains horses, and he invited us over to look at two horses he had that he thought might be for us.
Needless to say, I fell in love with one. Her name was Pearl, and she was an Arabian/Thoroughbred/Quarter horse. She was a grey mousey color, with a black dorsal strip running down her back, and was four years old.
The first time I rode her, was wonderful. She had such a smooth gallop, and loved to run. I found this out in an interesting way:
She had not been ridden in quite awhile, so as soon as I hopped up, she took off at a full gallop. Now, please note, I had never galloped on a horse before!
Even though I had taken riding lessons, I had only gone as fast as a canter.
But, thankfully I kept my head, and spun her around, got control of her, and returned to the other rider (the owner of the horse) who sat calmly waiting for me.
I am just so glad that he did not come racing after me, because that would have been even more embarrassing!
After that she was just fine. The other times I went to ride her, she was a perfect lady.
The other horse was named Trixie, and she was Paint. She was a calm and quite horse. My sister liked her, and I liked Pearl, even after my interesting ride. Trixie was to slow for me, besides she liked to walk.
Even though I had such an interesting first ride on Pearl, we purchased both Pearl and Trixie.
We brought them home about a week later.
I think that was one of the best days of my life. Here I was, almost fifteen, and I had just purchased the biggest item I ever had in my life! But, I was super excited!
We had them for about a week when it happened.
The horses were rather scared of our dog, but he thought it was rather fun to chase them.
But, we chained him up, and whenever we went out to the horse pasture we took him with us, and kept a close eye on him.
On afternoon I was walking down the road, when Scout (the dog) saw my brother in the distance. He took off at a run towards him. Then Trixie spooked and ran. She came to the end of the fence, jumped, caught her back legs in the fence, struggled, pulled free, and ran down the road with Scout at her heels.
Thankfully, she galloped up our driveway, and there we caught her. We hauled the dog away, locked him up and took Trixie back to the pasture.
But, her back legs were cut up pretty bad, so we took her to the vet.
We took Pearl along to be of company to Trixie. That was a BIG mistake, because when we got to the vet, Pearl who was in the trailer first, refused to get out.
We tried everything! In the end we had to take her down the cattle drive. But, that was not the end. Pearl, after struggling at the trailer door, slipped, fell, and cut her front leg.
We ended up getting Trixie fixed up, and Pearl too.
Pearl’s cut was worse, so she got stitches.
That was the first time I ever saw something like that. I thought my horse was dying! Don’t laugh, I was really scared and did not know what to think! But, looking back, I realize it was not so bad and I was just badly scared, so you can all laugh now 🙂
Then, we took them home. Pearl had a purple bandage (my favorite color) and Trixie a pink one (my sister’s favorite color).
But, then on July 18th which was my birthday, coming home from church, we were driving down the road nearing our home, when I said, “Hey, it looks like Pearl is in the ditch there!”
And, sure enough, she was! So, I got out and walked her back to the pasture.
I looked her over, and she had another cut on her front leg, it was bad! So, of we went to the vet again! We took her down the cattle drive, and she had to get stitches again! But, this time I was prepared for what was coming, so it was not as bad.
Turns out, Pearl too, jumped the fence but we do not know why. I am just glad she did not wander far!
That was the worst birthday I ever had! I spent it at the vet, and I do NOT recommend it to anyone!
We ended up taking Trixie to the vet again, for another cut. Thankfully after that we have not ever been back!
I am sure something was spooking them causing them to jump, but I am not sure what.
I did find a beer bottle someone threw in there, because it was not there before.
And another time, someone drove by, honking their horn trying to get our horses to run.
We ended up boarding them at the place we bought them from so they could settle down, and recoup.
After about a month, we brought them back and they have been here ever since. No more fence jumping since then!
But, was this all worth it for me, I mean like all the vet bills and such?
I would say yes, it was.
My love for horses has not diminished, but increased. I have learned a very valuable lesson, one that I could not have learned any other way. And that is that, horses are not all fun and games. They require work, time and money.
Before I bought my horse I really had no idea what it would be like. I have read tons of horse books, and from some of them I had gotten some pretty romantic ideas of what my dream horse was going to be. These dreams were far from realistic, I realize now. Horses are work, time and money.
But, I still love horses. I love to go for rides; I love to be with my horse. She is a wonderful horse, though sometimes she came give me trouble. But, that is what makes her who she is, and I love her.
The thing I have learned from horses is to have patience. Horses have their own ideas and sometimes I need to remember that Pear is learning as well as I am.
My advice to anyone who wants to buy a horse:
Have patience, preserver and remember why you wanted a horse.
Never lose your love of horses if you go through a bad time, because that just means you maybe never really and truly loved horses.
You may be bucked (I have), you may be kicked (I have) you may be bit (I have), but never give up!