Hi, everyone! I’m back!
A lot of you may be questioning the fact that I haven’t posted in a while. And my last post was about me not being on good terms with Indy.
Well, things have sort of progressed in significant ways since I last posted. I haven’t been in contact much with the blog/hobby world because I have been sorting some things out. So here’s how it goes.
After I got out of school a few weeks ago, mama asked me, “what are you looking for in a horse?” Of course, I replied, “Why do you ask?” she says “I don’t know. What you would want in an ideal horse.” So I told her I wanted a partner. A horse that I could feel safe and confident while riding. Nothing fancy, just a friend and a partner. And that’s when she told me that Bethany was offering to buy Indy back from us.
At first I was a bit upset over the thought of losing Indy. She is like my friend and sister at the same time and I always looked forward to seeing her and was proud to own an ex-racehorse. And yet, I was never satisfied. I loved riding her, but I would always get tense and nervous, and even when we had good days, I would always question my ability to ride her effectively, and whether I was really contributing to her training or just being a burden. I would wonder where I would be if we had just bought a safer horse to begin with instead of a green thoroughbred.
After much thought, Mama and I settled on the same thing. It would be best for both us and for Indy if we sold her back to Bethany. We both needed a horse we could just get on and not feel nervous, angry or scared. Indy needed a dependable source of training and someone that had the skill to support her and be her leader without breaking down.
Indy now belongs to Bethany. And for her, not much has changed. I still visit her every time I go to the barn. She still has the same stall. We even let her keep her special ladybug blanket and her stall sign. She is going to turn seven on April 18th.
Anyway, this is Forrest.
Over the past few weeks while going through this process, I have been overcome in a variety of emotions: at first upset and bewildered over the thought of losing Indy, but after finding this guy at a farm in North Carolina, in love!
Forrest is a Quarter horse gelding. He’s a Grade horse, which means he doesn’t have AQHA papers or an established pedigree, but grade horses are known to be hardier (because often the registered ones will be victims of inbreeding.) We found him at a farm called Circle M. They are based out of North Carolina and are partnered with a farm in Oklahoma where they break and train these horses and use them to do ranch work before they are shipped to North Carolina. So, Forrest has worked with Cattle and done all sorts of ranch horse jobs and trail rides. His original name was Money. Forrest was mama’s idea, and I couldn’t love the name more!
He is broke like he is twenty years old. And yet, he is about Indy’s age- only 7!
We drove up to the farm to look at him last Sunday. We had been browsing sale ads for awhile, but something kept bringing us back to his ad, and to this particular farm in general. It took us three hours to get there. I wore my new Feather Run Farm team jacket for good luck.
watching mama do groundwork with him, I noticed he was not taught natural-horsemanship-style groundwork, but he did his best of what mama was asking. His owner told me that he was trained to be ground-tied, and he did it well. I was the first to get on. Watching him move slowly made me question his sharpness and energy under saddle, but I was not disappointed. Forrest moved so well as I was riding him. His jog felt smooth and supple. When I signaled for a hind-end front-end turn, he stepped right over. He had plenty of energy, but at the same time he stayed with me and never thought about running away from my hand.
When mama rode him, she had the widest grin on her face, and I don’t think she even knew. Forrest was calm and quiet for her as well as me.
The farm had a short but beautiful trail that wrapped around the property, so I was allowed to get back on Forrest and go around the quick twenty-minute loop. We rode through a couple overhanging branches, by a river where there were lots of noisy cicadas, and up a very steep gravel hill, and Forrest was simply amazing! He is so sure-footed and attentive, yet easy-going.
Here I am after we got back and the owners showed us how quiet he was being given a leg wash and fly spray. Mama had just signed his papers as I was standing there with him.
Afterwards, I walked him around a bit and snapped a couple pictures.
It is true that as far as natural horsemanship goes, Forrest has some things to learn. We will need to work on backing as well as groundwork. But what both I and mama felt under saddle and on the ground was enough. He even has a long mane that will be fun to braid, and no whites on his legs, which means he is less prone to rain rot. He was everything we were looking for and then some!
One last goodbye as we start the long 3-hour drive back home. I’ll see you on Sunday, Forrest!
Forrest is coming home on Sunday. We are already getting things ready for him. Mama went to Tractor Supply yesterday and bought a new bowl and a salt lick, and she also put mats in his future stall. I can hardly contain myself, I am counting the seconds!
I am beyond excited to have this new and special boy in my life. Can’t it be Sunday now?