New addition: I LOVE quotes, so I'm going to add a quote to each post.
"He might fail from want of skill or strength, but deep in his somber soul he vowed that it should never be from want of heart"
-Robert Falcon Scott
We had an immediate issue with the move: no horse trailer. That was offset by the fact that we had no truck to pull one with either. To the Internet I went to find a ride for Gem and Pete. Life sure can be interesting at times and I often wonder if the world really is sane and I'm the insane one. Each transportation company I spoke with told me the same thing: they can't book a horse (or horses) on a trip unless another horse was previously signed up already. Huh? How does the make any sense! How on earth does the first horse get booked? How do any trips ever take place? Oh well. I did find a guy with a head on his shoulders, a nice air ride rig with box stalls and an opening. They arrived on time and in excellent condition.
Our living situation the first year in the land of
infectious diseases dairy was perfect. A boarding facility had two houses on the property and one was open. We moved the crew in: 4 cats, 2 dogs and 2 horses. We became best friends with the family next door in charge of everything and life was good.
I immediately amped up my "kill Gem with absurd amounts of affection" campaign. She was/is a tough nut to crack. Secretly sensitive, she holds a grudge like none other. She had thick walls built up and I made it my duty to win her over and convince her she was stuck with me. Each time I came home from work (if I came home...residency was a time hoarding monster in the beginning!) I would yell out "Gemmie is that you? It is you!" much to her disdain. At first she would run off to the far end of her paddock. Then she began to just look at me like I was an idiot who couldn't tell who she was out of just her and Pete. Finally she began to recognize my car and I'd see her ears perk up and then wait for me. Then when I yelled out she would pretend she couldn't hear or see me. I do love her!
The barn had a small indoor and a really awesome outdoor arena. She was a complete and total spaz in the outdoor. She was convinced something was going to kill her and so she did what she always does when scared...move as fast as possible. It took forever to get her to even just walk in the arena let alone do it on a loose rein and in a relaxed manner. It really was a great learning time for me because I had to work through it on my own at my own pace. Eventually I was able to walk, trot and canter out there and the hubby and friend made me a couple jumps that we played around with as well. It was exactly what I needed at the time.
I was still a pretty big wimp. My only experiment with Gem on trails had been a disaster at the training barn in Ohio. We went with a big group riding from the barn around a couple pastures and through a short section of woods. She wanted to go much faster than the rest of the group and I spent the entire time on a super short rein with a giraffe instead of a horse in a near panic attack as she kept trying to pass everyone by cutting off the trail and between the trees and then sprint to go forward. Competitive little mare.
|At least I'm looking up!|
It just so happened that my new friend, B, had a western saddle that pretty closely fit us for sale and so I bought it and he loaded us all up in his trailer and drove to the Experimental Forest (seriously, that is what it is called) for a ride the following spring. There was a pretty big group who went including Dusty on his fire breathing monster, Pete, who would neither stand still nor walk (it turns out he just hates going slow or being in the back of a group). Gem actually behaved fairly well as long as she was not in the lead which was fine by me and I had a great time which reminded me why I got her in the first place - I belong out on the trails!
My knee did not approve of the western saddle and it actually didn't fit her all that well. It was time to grow a set and ride in my English saddle out on the trails. We also needed our own trailer. Lucky for my hubby the Midwest horse fair was just around the corner and we had a credit card with some room still on it.....