I wrote a few months ago about timing being, well, not all that important sometimes. I spend a lot of my free time perusing various boards online, looking at sale ads and counting my pennies, all the while knowing that it’s just not feasible for me right now.
Not to mention, I’ve realized I’m more than a bit gun shy about owning again. I made some seriously terrible decisions with my money when I owned a horse last, and I ended up losing the thing I loved the most. So I resolved to never let that happen again, to stop living outside of my means, even if that meant taking a step back.
I don’t ever want to be in the position I was in three years ago again. So I tried to be smart. I began taking once per week lessons and just letting that be enough for now. I went back to the gym and worked on my fitness so that when the time came for me to start riding seriously, I would actually get something out of it.
Fast forward a few months, and I’m finally settled in here in Kansas City. I’ve found a wonderful training who is accomodating as she is skilled, and the first time I rode after two months in the gym, I was happily surprised to feel a huge difference. No extra walk breaks, (not as bad of) a swinging lower leg, and less back pain from my acute scoliosis. All very good things.
I still had my eye on those addicting horse forums, though. Just in case something came up. And a week before I left to go to AECs, something did.
As soon as I saw an attractive horse that was in my area – for lease! – I jumped at the opportunity and immediately sent a message to the owner. We chatted, and it sounded more and more like I may have found a solution that worked for me.
When I returned home from Texas, I got in touch with the owner and set up a time to go out and try the mare. This horse is boarded at a different location than where I had been taking lessons, but I felt I could make it work regardless. I spoke with my coach, who graciously offered to help us on cross country and at shows, provided I could arrange transport for her, should the lease work out.
So off I went, and I met the “wonder-mare” better known as Isis, or Queen B. She’s a 10-year-old unraced Thorughbred mare who was taken out of a bad situation by her current owner about three years ago. Used as a trail horse before, her owner, Jackie, has put a lot of hard work into the horse, bringing her up from a sour-mouthed, cranky mare to a complete doll who will jump you around 3’6 without batting an eye.
My trial ride went exceptionally well. I would not call myself a timid rider by any means, but if I had to choose between the description of “timid” or “bold” I suppose I would have to choose timid. That said, this mare is quite a solid citizen but offers up just enough of a challenge to keep things interesting. I hopped over a few small fences and cracked a big smile because I knew that it was a good match.
We went over the terms of the lease contract and agreed upon a three day per week schedule for me to ride. I am at liberty to compete her if I wish, which I plan to do next year, and her owner is hilarious in the way that only a true horse friend can be. I foresee the beginnings of a great friendship here, which is an added bonus on top of the sweet mare I am lucky enough to spend time with.
So, there you have it. Yes, I still keep one eye on those Facebook groups (in fact, one horse popped up today that I was literally falling all over myself looking at), but I know I’m in the right situation for me now.
Would I like to own? Sure. Maybe someday. Maybe not. All I know is that I found a situation that fits my schedule and budget for now. I don’t have to worry about making ends meet and worrying each month if I can sustain it. That’s what happens when you live outside of your means, and it’s my firm resolution to never do that again.
Like I said, timing isn’t always everything, but sometimes it can really come in handy when it works out. I’d like to take a moment to thank Jackie for entrusting me with her mare, and to Julie for being so supportive and encouraging in the few short months I’ve been here. I can’t wait to see where we can go from here!