Now, let’s not get confused. If you are just joining me here on the blog, or if you have missed some of the latest posts, it will be well worth your while to catch up on the last week.
Tig is NOT my horse.
However Tig IS a TKR horse, 2010 model, who is coming home with me today.
*My* horse is a DIFFERENT TKR horse, 2012 model. We shall call her Merrylegs for now. Merrylegs will join us mid April.
Tig arrived TODAY.
I realized last night that Tig is the *first* horse that I’ve brought home since starting the blog. (There’s life before blogging, and life after blogging).
I’ve brought a total of 4 horses home over the years and what’s funny is how every single time it was different. I distinctly remember with Minx the heavy sense of RESPONSIBILITY as I trailered her home. I was an adult, 2.5 hours away from the nearest person I knew, and I was solely responsible for this animal and her health and wellbeing. I couldn’t believe I was being allowed to do this - just take this horse home? How did *they* (the collective they) know I wouldn't’ kill it, or injure it, or do something stupid? (I’m sure it’s a similar feeling that first time mothers feel when they take their infant home).
Looking back, I was well prepared for my first “owned” horse. There’s a lot to be said about NOT owning horses while you are “figuring horses out”. I already knew how to ride, how to handle horses on the ground, what they looked like when they were sick, and how to drive a trailer. I knew my forages, my vaccines, and the basics of horse management. But I still felt a scary sense of “the buck stops here” - there wasn’t necessarily a life net to catch her and me if I failed. I *had* to be there for her.
I don’t remember much about bringing Farley home. I think I was in shock that I had just bought a horse. I hadn’t been looking that long, and I hadn’t been thinking and dreaming about her “being the one”. There wasn’t any anticipation. Just trying to figure out the logistics of how to bring her home the next day, which was the day before Thanksgiving. I took her up to my aunts for Thanksgiving because I had already planned a trip there with my other horse and I remember musing about what I should name her as I rode along.
This time, even though I know this isn’t mine to keep I am CRAZY excited. (The person whose dropping her off with me is ~1 1/2 late, so I’m writing this in the truck as I wait). Anticipation lets my imagination go wild. Now I know why people enjoy breeding - you have ELEVEN MONTHS to anticipate and guess and predict. :).
It reminds me of those gift exchanges where you can either unwrap something or steal something already unwrapped. My sister and I commented at a recent such event as the “lure of the unknown”. The chances of getting something better in the wrapped pile that is substantially better than the thing that is already unwrapped that you sorta want is almost nil. But it’s so hard not to go up to the table and take your chances with the unknown. It’s a game of anticipation.
I have to admit that if I was looking for a mare to BUY, Tig wouldn’t be it. Nothing I’ve heard about her puts her in my “soul mate” category. Oh sure, we will get through this 3 months just fine - but I’m as excited right now as if I was bringing home my own new 100 mile partner. Anticipation. It keeps us young. (I'm posting/editing this after I got home and I have to admit that she's actually much sweeter than I was led to believe and reminds me a lot of a young Farley.....so yes, I think these 3 months will be much more fun than I thought!)
I know that there are some readers here that won’t agree with what I’m doing - riding a 3 year old (will be 4 sometime this year) arab on a regular basis to leg her up for the track this summer.
There’s a lot to consider when deciding for how/when a young horse should be started. My views were much more black and white before I started vet school. Now, it’s much more “grey” and I think that’s appropriate. Usually any extreme in the horse world is not in the horse’s best interest, and the issue of when to swing a leg over and when to start actual conditioning is not an exception.
I wouldn’t be doing this if I thought it was morally wrong and I was condemning Tig to a future career of unsoundness. My three times a week rides will be throughtful and I hope I have a chance to share with you some of the research and new knowledge I have gained over the last couple of years and how it has changed my mind.
No need to go into in depth right now.....it’s almost time for Tig to get here!
[I’ve scattered pics throughout the post for your viewing pleasure :) I’m SUPER impressed with her brain and attitude so far. Not a big spooker or bolter and handled some rather scary stuff like a pro. But I have a serious excitement/stress/dehydration headache, so we’ll save that for the next post]