Since Suzie has passed, I've been incredibly curious to hear about other equestrian's journeys with their first horse. While it is always fun to catch-ride or lease, there is something special about truly being 100% connected to your horse in more ways than just what is written on paper. Having every aspect of their care under your control and direction is sometimes a scary thing, but it is an interesting and amazing learning opportunity.
|The fairest of them all <3|
So, fellow bloggers: Tell me the story of your first horse.
Whether your first horse was back in 1999 or you just signed the papers yesterday, I want to hear about it. Old pictures, new pictures. The good, the bad. What they meant to you and how they impacted your life. Any story is welcome - be it happy, sad, or somewhere in between.
Of course, those who have followed my blog for any length of time will know that Suzie was my first horse. (The idea of writing in past-tense is still a pretty foreign concept to me, so apologies if there are some present terms in my writing).
I had leased, begged, and borrowed horses to ride for nearly 90% of my riding days. Only in 2013 did I make my dream of owning a horse come true when I purchased Suzie from an old friend who had a standing offer of "if you bring a trailer, you can take her".
|One of our first rides <3|
She wasn't exceptionally affectionate either - she'd tolerate a hug or two and I never really tried to force my affection on her. We were mutually enamored with eachother, though, and every time I pulled up to the barn she'd greet me at the gate with a long whinny. The absence of her physical affection didn't really bother me - she was an independent horse who didn't need to be coddled and I respected that.
The last four years have been a mixture of learning, adjusting, adapting, and making memories. She certainly isn't the horse I had ever dreamed I'd pick out for myself (I rode English before I met Suzie and certainly hadn't even entertained the thought of riding Western before), but something about her spoke to my character and I longed to have her as my own.
And I am so glad it did.
She brought me out of my comfort zone and into a new world of possibilities. I had a newfound appreciation and love for Western riding, especially Reining, and it was possible because of her. She also took to English riding and was more than willing to bring herself into contact and try out the Dressage Thing. I appreciated her - she had no qualms about doing Pretty Much Everything.
We were both a bit out of our elements, but somehow just made it work.
And I think that is the best thing about Suzie - I didn't have any real goals or specific training ladders I wanted to climb. I just wanted a friend and partner.
In a lot of ways, I am glad that a banged up little red mare was my first horse. And out of the entire experience, I have only one regret.
That I didn't bring her home sooner.
|Sharing the wonderful world of horses with my nephew <3|
As far as I'm concerned, Suzie was just as much "his" horse as
she was mine.