What Happens When You’re Not Looking

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When you read this title, you may have thought I’m referring to things that happen when your back is turned. That’s not quite what I mean– instead, I’m talking about those horses that walk into your life when you least expect them.


So far, my best horses have seemingly dropped into my lap, when I wasn’t looking for them. I’ve had friends who horse-shop for months, years even, trying to find a suitable sport horse. They search classifieds, go to sale barns, try this one and that one, go through several failed pre-purchase exams, and the whole process becomes frustrating. I get asked, “How long did you look? How hard was it to find that one?” And I feel a bit guilty, because I don’t find my good horses…they find me!


An ex-barrel racer


I wasn’t looking for my first horse– an unsuccessful barrel racer from a friend down the road, a horse who eventually took me to two CCI*s. I wasn’t looking for my next horse– a fox-hunting dropout mare (MARE!), “sale project,” whom I sold to myself…and went up to Advanced. I wasn’t seriously looking either when a jaw-dropping CANTER prospect was listed for sale at the training center next door, but I walked him through the gate and into my life a day later. He’s going training level now, and it appears the sky’s the limit for him.


Former foxhunter. Her talent wasn’t hidden!


I was happy with the horses I have; settled, content. My husband and I discussed the idea of picking up another sales project, but it was still in the “discussion” phase, I certainly wasn’t searching for one. And then a big, pretty, athletic filly popped up out of the blue…a ridiculous distance away, but she was special. My husband said, “Go get her. Now.” So, a three-year-old TB filly has joined the herd, and though it’s too early to know for sure, she’s turning out to be well worth the spontaneous decision. She will be for sale, of course….


Friends have praised my ability for selecting good horses, but I feel a little awkward about accepting it; they are all very nice horses, but I don’t feel like I deserve the credit for finding them– they found me. It’s not like I turned over every rock from here to Canada, sorting through hundreds of horses, hunting for a diamond in the rough with hidden talent no one else could see. It’s not that way at all…somehow I ended up with a few athletic, sound horses with ability that anybody would appreciate. And I’ve been fortunate not to mess them up (too much) along the way! I’ve been blessed that each horse has come into my life at a time when I was up to the challenge and could afford it; I’ve had to make some adjustments here and there (saying goodbye is hard), but I’ve been able to make it work. And each horse has taken me a little farther along my journey, and taught me more than I could imagine. I am so grateful for all of them.


For everyone out there waiting on a dream horse…be patient, it will come! You might have to search, you might have to dig, but then sometimes when you aren’t looking, the perfect horse will find its way to you and it’s just meant to be.


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