Monday, June 15, 2009

A New Decade Means A Goal Met

You may have noticed a small change in the sub-title of my blog. Unfortunately I can no longer claim to be an "almost" 30-year-old. I could say "barely" 30-year-old but I think at this point I am allowed to say "a true lady never reveals her age."

I'm not excited about 30. All my friends say it's a good year and all, but I'm yet to be convinced. The one very good thing is that 4 years ago I decided to make age 30 my goal for horse ownership. I had just graduated from grad school and was riding at an Arab barn outside of Rogers, MN. Nice place, nice owner/trainer. Very nice horses. He kept trying to sell me one but they were out of my price range and I was already starting to feel like I didn't want an Arab after all. I knew I couldn't afford to be competitive in breed shows and I had many years of being ignored by breedist judges at open shows. I was also a little tired of the Arab spirit. When I was 17 it was exciting to have a spirited horse. In my late 20's after several years off riding it was terrifying. I started remembering watching what I considered "dead head" horses at shows and thinking that might not be so bad after all. I ended up spending the rest of my summer working on ponies for a friend and though I fell madly in love with a pinto pony but as vain as it sounds I felt very fat on a 13 hand pony. Plus he has a tendency to colic and considering how much I worry about my sturdy guy I would have been a wreck during his 1,000 mile journey to get here. So I decided that I would make it happen by the time I turned 30. When I moved to Ohio (and started getting a grown-up salary) I was lucky enough to sit next to a new Equine Science prof (also a DVM) at our new faculty orientation. She got me into supervising our new Western Equestrian Club on campus, which led me to KAT, an alum of our college. I was lucky (or unlucky :D) enough to have been in a rather icky car accident in February of 2006. It was a commercial vehicle that ran me off the road at 75mph because the driver was on his cell phone and didn't look before changing lanes. In lieu of suing them I received a modest settlement from their insurance company and that became the nest-egg for the horse purchase. I also used the money to pay off my car and the small amount of credit card debt I had. I began shifting the money from car/cc payments to my saving account to build up purchase price and to get used to paying monthly expenses.. I set a limit of how much I would spend on the animal after talking to KAT and looking at lots of ads. I researched boarding stables and visited several. My back-up was boarding at KAT's barn because I didn't want to spend that much or drive that far, but it ended up being the best for several reasons. I wanted a Paint but since I know enough not to fall in love with a coat, I looked at QH's, too. I casually looked for a year while the account built up and then found Junior. I hate bay roan but I fell in love with him by his picture. He was the first horse I went to go see. I went alone and I didn't know what to think. I had never had to make that kind of choice before. I looked at a few others, almost bought one until my DVM buddy noticed he was lame. THAT is why you have professional help! I didn' t notice because I'm a novice. His owners didn't know, either. Anyway. I kept thinking about Junior and contacting his owner. I was feeling the pressure of finding one (which I know is a mistake many first-time owners make, but...) before school started, knowing that when school started I'd have no time to look and who wants to horse shop in the winter? Something about Junior made him the top of my list. I can't explain what it is. I just knew. I took KAT down and she helped me decide to make an offer. Then we brought him home, a week before school started.

So I made my goal 9 months ahead of schedule. It's been ups and downs. I'm learning. I'm gaining confidence. We can work together as a team. We've go a ways to go before we're really competitive but we'll get there. I was scared in the beginning I had made a mistake because it took so long to get him back to the calm confident boy he was at his previous owner's place. Also because I didn't realize until I got his papers that his dam was a TB. Aren't TB's as crazy as Arabs?!?!?! Nah. He's perfect. He's NOT a dead head but he's calm and sweet. He's my boy and I love him.

And don't think I'm not aware that the money I've spent on him, his equipment, and his care for 9 months would have made a lovely down payment on a house. But I'd MUCH rather ride than mow lawn and fix things. Someday maybe I'll get to have both.


  1. "Don't wait. The time will never be just right." ~ Napoleon Hill

    I am glad you didn't wait to purchase Junior. Life is about living, not just wishing. Good stuff, my dear.

    Oh, a suggestion for the novice horse enthusiasts who read your blog (AKA me): It might be nice to put a link on your sidebar that gives the meaning to your horse lingo and terminology.

  2. You had a plan and you did it! I enjoy reading about your journey!

  3. I hear ya on the money front. Luckily I only paid very little for Possum but he definately came with his baggage from the abuse he had suffered.

    My parents are always telling me that horses and riding are a waste of money and I could do so much more with it. What they don't understand is that this is my life. Horses are my life blood and keep me going and smiling everyday. Only horse people can reallyunderstand what horses do for us both mentally and physically. A house can wait, I have my horse now!

  4. Well - happy birthday! The 30's aren't so bad. I'm 34, right in the middle of things. :-)

    I hear you about the money - sometimes it is hard, but worth it when you have a good ride or pet those soft noses.

    Good for you for achieving your goal!

  5. Josh, you're pretty much the only non-horse enthusiast. lol I forget what's not normal english. Just let me know what words don't make sense, I'll be happy to explain anything... I could write for HOURS but noone would read it :)

  6. Just don't think about being 30. Thats what I did and it has passed me by! For some people horses are just in their blood. I have only just told my family about Sam and I have owned him for about 18 months now. Do what you want to do - it is your life, your'e money, you know what you want out of life.

    We decided to live life and have horses and when we are older we can sit back on our front porch and remember our horsey days!!!!

  7. 30s are a great decade!! you will really enjoy them especially with a great horse like junior!

    Sometimes you just have to go with your gut feelings, start with a plan but be a little flexible and you did!