Thursday, October 30, 2008

First time horse owner four years later

It's been four years since I brought my two boys home. Two black/white Spotted Saddle Horses. The date was October 24, 2004. Like any proud new mom, I have all the dates written down. I've documented everything from deworming to hoof trimming, vaccinations, change in feed, hay types, where we bought hay, you name it, I've got it written down in their little blue book. This is something I am prone to doing anyway so it wasn't anything new for me to do. Although, I have to admit, I keep better track of the horses than I have our dogs and cats, possibly even my sons when they were little.

The road to getting my guys home is not the road you read about, maybe that should be phrased as map. Not the way it's suppose to be done. I did practically everything WRONG, as far as purchasing my two geldings. I saw them once. I rode only one, the other one was a green 2 year old. I didn't get a vet check. I bought the first horses I went to see. I found them on the internet, maybe not wrong, but from what I've now learned, you need to buy horses like you buy cars. Check out more than one. Oh wait, that's how we've always bought our cars too! We've never looked at more than one car before buying because we always knew what we wanted before we started looking. We've had some darn good cars and trucks too!

I had decided a long time ago that if I ever had horses of my own, they would have to be on my own property, otherwise, I would not have felt it was worth it. I was moving these two guys from lush pastures of many acres to a small, valley farm with about 10 acres of pasture that has trouble keeping grass sustained. Definitely wouldn't be lush grass for them all year around.

We've owned 62 acres for 18 years. Plenty of room for horses, at least on the flat areas. We're blessed and cursed with mini-Smoky Mountain type hills and forests. Blessed, because the area is gorgeous in many obvious ways. Cursed, because of the rock and not so good soil, at least back here in the valley.

The years before my horses were filled with me working shift work, growing sons, soccer games, school functions, and things of that nature. There really wasn't time for horses. Every spring I could count on that longing though, I always referred to it as my Spring Horse Fever. I'd pull out horse books, read about horses for a few weeks, get all horse mushy, and long for the time I could have my own. But, I knew, the time wasn't right so I'd just close up my thoughts and continue on with the part of my life at that moment. I knew, one day, horses would happen for me.

So here we are, four years later. My geldings are now 6 and 10. They are thriving. They love attention. We've managed and we didn't even follow all the rules. I have very few real problems with them most come in the form of riding or not riding as the case is currently, which is my issue, not theirs. I've adjusted my thinking on alot of things, like most new moms I've learned to relax and not take things quite so seriously, except for that darn record keeping. These guys are something that have fulfilled me, as I knew they would. My Spring Horse Fever is gone.

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