I’ve wanted a horse of my own since I was 13. I always dreamed of buying my first lease horse, Tawny, and making her into the best horse I could. Clearly, those dreams didn’t come true, and I’m actually quite happy that one didn’t come true. Despite being a fantastic horse that took good care of me and was probably the main reason I made it through high school, she would have never been able to do what I want to do now. I’ve always struggled with wanting a horse and I often went through periods of desperation and depression that I would never own a horse of my own.
I remember crying to my mom at 16 years old in the upstairs office at 11pm about a girl I’d known for years had gotten a horse handed to her by a family friend, and how she rubbed it in my face. I was burning for a horse of my own, and my parents just shook their head and said: “let’s keep up with a lease and it will happen one day, and you’ll be the one writing the check for your own perfect unicorn”. That same horse ended got taken away from that girl and given to Sue to train so that was the first bit of karma that bit her in the ass. A few years later, after a violent falling out between us, the same girl got another horse, again practically handed to her. I cried again, still not understanding why this girl got two horses practically handed to her and paid for. My mom repeated the same mantra, “it will happen someday Anna, you’ll have a unicorn of your own”.
One of the things that peeved me the whole time is my parents had the money for one. We could have comfortably afforded a low budget horse, but that wouldn’t have taught me anything so my parents never did. I am so thankful they never did. My mom has said the only horse she would ever buy for me is if Tawny ever came up for sale she would buy her for me because she knew how much I loved that mare. On an ending note for the girl who got handed two horses, her current mount last I heard was a year out of work because she is too hooked on pot to work for the animal and hasn’t worked on training him. Karma is a bitch.
My whole plan for my horsey future is to use the last of my college savings to bankroll the first year-ish of owning a horse. Again, I am incredibly lucky my parents saved enough for me to go to the more expensive state school in MA, but I’ve been trying to use the absolute minimum for my college education, but like most colleges, they like to charge ridiculous things and not tell you. With whatever I think will be left over will hopefully help cover the first year of at least board for one horse, and possibly shoes too, while I work full time on a full salary to start saving for the future of having that horse. My goal is to be able to hand a budget to Caroline and Sue in December of 2020 and ask them to help me find something that fits my riding goals.
My ideal horse wishlist consists of this; a young horse, Arabian or half, mature between 15.3 and 17hh, 16hh ideal, has already had a human sit on its back, chestnut, capable of higher level dressage, show in sport horse classes, a gelding, trail ride and is an acceptable beach buddy. (I am extremely determined to have my beach ride before I die).
Again, if it’s not clear by now, I definitely want an Arabian. I am so hooked it’s not funny. There’s just something about how gorgeous and versatile the breed is that got me hooked. I know the color isn’t a massive deciding factor in buying a horse, but I have a major thing for chestnuts. It’s a problem. Maybe its because my favorite color is red, or that chestnuts can pretty much wear any color. If I went for a half arab, I think I’d want either a half saddlebred or a half warmblood. I do want to go for a more dressage type horse so a half warmblood would be ideal, but half saddlebreds are also gorgeous.
My riding goals feel pretty simple to me. I want to do high-level dressage, maybe not Prix St. George, but at least get to third or fourth level, maybe toss some freestyle dressage in there too. The ability to show in sport horse classes at Arabian shows is also a must because it would be wonderful to keep that up and continue showing sport horse. A trail buddy and beach buddy are secondary wishlist items to all of this. I do want a show horse, and a show horse that can do all that plus trail riding is a tall order. Plus there is the risk factor of injury on trails and beaches, so if that is so, that part of the wishlist can be pushed to the eventual and inevitable horse number 2, which either will be another show horse or a grade quarter horse that I can goof off on. Horse Number 2 wishlist is still under debate.
I also need a tall horse. I don’t have super long legs, but I am 5 foot 6, so I need something between 15.3 and 17 hands. Ideally, I want 16 hands exactly, but having a purebred 16hh horse doesn’t seem to be very common and half Arabs end up around there usually. The gender of the horse is also pretty wishwashy. I have worked with incredibly mareish mares and mares that if you didn’t know any better you would asusme they were geldings. So far only one gelding has mistreated me in my entire horse career, so I am leaning towards a gelding but gender doesnt feel so important in the long run.
Finally, the last part of my wishlist, a young horse that is at least or will mature to somewhere between 15.3 and 17 hands. The young part freaks my mom out the most, but I want to train a horse right, and not have to worry about untraining something else. I definitely want something that has had a human sit on. The idea of a foal is still up in the air because I am someone who lives for riding just as much as I live for the groundwork, so waiting to back the horse would be just another nail in the ‘I’ve wanted a horse for over 7 years” coffin, and possibly waiting another 2 years after would kill me. However a baby would be the perfect solution to bringing a horse along myself and teaching it everything myself, so again, its up in the air.
I also don’t want an older horse, because of the medical costs. A lot of Arabians I know that are older often need injections, and I definitely am not ready for that cost up front. If I found the right horse that needed them, I would definitely be all over it regardless of future medical costs, but its something I don’t want to have to think about for a few years.
It’s so exciting to me to think my dream horse is only a few years away. Its something I’ve waited for for so long, and I know the perfect horse will come along at the exact right time. How long till I get to that perfect horse and if I go through a few different ones is subjective, but I know that the first horse will be soon.