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Thank God for Enablers

30 November 2014 Comments

Fin and I went on a trail ride today.

More importantly, we crossed water—twice!—without me having to dismount. He half jumped the first crossing, but the second (much wider, and full of scary floating leaves) he hesitated at for a few moments and then walked through as nicely as you could ask.

The H/J trainer has been working with him in puddles at the barn, when we get rain, and I had a chance to ride him through some in my last lesson, too. But you never know how well lessons at home will carry over in the big scary world, so I was thrilled with how he did today.

I almost forgot that I’ve had him for a year, now.

When I saw his ad last year, I wasn’t even looking to buy a horse. But while cruising Facebook, I saw an ad for a half-Arabian chestnut with three white socks and a big blaze, which made me think of Ro. I hit play on the video, mostly for sentimental reasons, and then I hit play again. And again. And again.

I could feel myself about to make a stupid, sentimental decision, so I sent his ad off to a few people I hoped would knock some sense in to me. I was sure I just liked him because he looked like Ro.

Two days later, I bought him and we brought him home:

He was even better in person than he’d been in the video, and even though he was young he clearly had a great brain.

We started him under saddle—and when I say we, I mean the H/J trainer while I cheered from the sidelines and rode here and there. Fin’s a very different ride than a lot of the horses I am used to, and it’s taken me a while to become comfortable with that—although we’ve been doing much better this fall, and especially in the past few weeks.

But his brain is as good as we thought it was, and despite being young and green and only a year under saddle, he’s done everything we asked him to do and has taken care of me as much as I’ve taken care of him.

We’ve done a few shows, gone on a few trail rides—including a big, busy charity event—and we’re starting to really click and understand each other.

Up to today, when we loaded up and went for a trail ride and he ambled along like a pro. Except when he had to stop and snort at a fallen log. And act like he’d never seen cows before and thought they might, possibly, eat him, even though he was living with a few when I bought him. But he walked through water, so that’s all good.

We wouldn’t have been there at all without the H/J trainer’s help, who has brought Fin and I along amazingly well. Or my dressage trainer, who, despite only having worked with Fin a few times due to the distance I’d have to trailer him, has offered her support and advice each step of the way. Or the support of everyone at the barn, who have cheered us on all year. Or, especially, all the enablers who looked at his video a year ago and responded with exclamation points galore, while I was trying to talk myself out of the buying him because I thought I was being sentimental.

He’s not Ro, of course—and I’m glad for that. I get the blingy chestnut that I love so much, but he’s teaching me other lessons and stretching me as a rider in other, good ways.

I can’t believe how far we’ve come in a year, and I can’t wait to see where we go next year.

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