My Dream Horse

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 Trainer S 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 Trainer C and Trainer S 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).

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Ideal color and markings- would prefer 4 stockings ideally

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.

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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.

Look how cute!!!

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.

32 Things about Me

I thought I should do a little more about me so some of you know exactly what you’re dealing with, reading this blog.

  1. I have been riding horses since I was 5, however, I didn’t consider myself a serious rider until I was around ten.
  2. My favorite all time movies from my childhood was any movie from Studio Ghibli.
  3. In my childhood, I used to dramatically yell like Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service, and run to my room flop on my bed and sob like a Disney Princess.
  4. I am very stubborn.
  5. I can remember the age of VHS, cassette tapes, Reading Rainbow, and static-ey TVs.
  6. I am a Marketing Major at my state university.
  7. Said state university campus was said to have been built by a Satanist and there are benches in the shape of 666 and all the half steps are in sets of 6.
  8. I love Disney, not to the degree that my older sister does, but I do appreciate a good Disney movie.
  9. I am 5’6
  10. I have a pet snake named Pretzel
  11. She has an Instagram account
  12. I am not a natural redhead
  13. The red hair was an accident that turned into my signature look
  14. I am about 40% Irish so it works
  15. I have a scar on my right foot from ripping it open on a desk while doing a cartwheel.
  16. At 2 I assumed I could fly, jumped off my parent’s bed and now have a Harry Potter scar on my forehead.
  17. I have only been to the ER once for a horse-related injury.
  18. I have fallen off a horse 3 times and gotten rolled on once in 15 years. (knocking on wood aggressively here)
  19. I got thrown from a horse the day of my license test.
  20. I have gone through three different cars before I turned 20, one got totaled 40 days after getting it, one’s transmission blew, and the current one just got back from being fixed from an accident.
  21. I have anxiety and depression
  22. I am a self-taught digital artist
  23. Marvel movies are my favorites
  24. HTTYD is also a top ten movie
  25. I love dragons
  26. I have been to England twice, and both times we encountered extremely uncommonly weather for the area.
  27. I keep a minimum of 5 blankets on my bed as well as a 12lb weighted blanket.
  28. I am a Level 10 Saddle Pad Collector, and a Level 4 UnnecessaryTack Collector, including a Level 6 Rein Collector
  29. I used to be a State Officer with the FFA.
  30. I want to eventually own a mule.
  31. I am in love with Arabs and desperately want to own one too.
  32. A horse goal of mine is to own a miniature horse or a Shetland, teach them to drive and go pick up the street kids from the bus stop in my cart.

I hope this was a little information about who the random redheaded 20 year old behind the computer.

2019 Resolutions and Goals

As much as I hate change, I am welcoming 2019 with open arms. There is a lot to do this year and there was way too much drama and stress from last year. Every now and then someone suggests something new for me to do. Like “oh, maybe you should pick up this new book, or what about taking summer classes?” or, “Maybe you should sew this super cool bolero that has dragon scales Anna!” Thanks for that by the way Amber.

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Even though I’m a little late to making this post, (10 days to be exact), they say you are 70% more likely to do something if it’s in writing, so here we go!

1: Receiving my Equine Massage Certificate
It’s been on my goal list since 2016, maybe even 2015. The process began back in October, but in typical Anna fashion, I’m a bit behind on it. (Still can’t get over the fact that there are two different directional terms from the back of the legs from the hocks and knees down.) The goal with this is to run my own small equine business, operating out of my little corner of Massachusetts. The fact that I found a school that offers equine massage therapy in my state was pure luck, and horse people haven’t scared me yet!

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2: Place at a rated horse show
This is another long term goal I’ve had. I’ve been showing and competing since 2010, but they’ve all been local non rated or schooling dressage shows. Those gave me the experience of being at a show, but not like a rated one. I got the chance to groom for Trainer S, this past summer while she made her attempt at her bronze, and being at a rated show vs non rated was very different. I already have 3-4, the fourth being very dependent on how I do in the other three, rated shows lined up with the barn manager, Trainer C. She trains and shows Arabians so this little country mouse will have some fun on the Arab circuit this year. I’m still figuring out my options of who I will be showing but I can’t wait for the first show in May.

Bently!

3: Get Good Grades and Keep Ahead
This feels kinda cheap to say it, but because I have overloaded myself with classes, and I’m moving into the tougher more major-specific classes in the Spring and Fall, my grades have suffered greatly. I had a 3.5 going into my summer 2018 semester, but it dropped to a 2.9, resulting in losing my scholarship. I’m lucky enough that I can afford college, with or without that scholarship, but it did help. I’d like to keep those grades a little higher and hopefully above the 3.0 level. The second half of this resolution is more towards the goal of graduating a semester early. My older sister managed it in 3 years, which is super hard, but I just want to get out earlier if physically possible. It might not be, we’ll see.

Pinpoint the stress to de-stress

4: Work towards First Level
This one might be another 2020 goal, but I would love to be able to get up to first level. I love dressage in the sense of everything is very well planned for my little anxious brain, and the only things unplanned are what the horse’s reactions are to unplanned things. I feel better knowing that there is a permanent, well semi-permanent, pattern that I will always follow that is a standard, so there are no suprises on the test end.

5: Find a new lease
I’m currently in horse limbo, and I need a project. I’ve been trying various horses at my current barn, and one may have potential. Trainer C brought her younger son’s horse for me to try, but because of the Big Sick that went around during the holidays, he still hasn’t been brought back into work, and she’s considering bringing him home. Trainer C and S both are trying to help me find my way with a new lease. I am definitely leasing one of Trainer C’s horses as I know she won’t screw me over with a lease, which has been an issue in past leases.

6: Blog more!
This one I really want to make work. I made this blog in October, and have made about like 2 posts since then. I would love to use this blog to follow any kind of equestrian activities I do, and I’ve worked towards making it work. So this will be an interesting goal to see if I follow.

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7: Enjoy myself
I got into this sport for the fun of it, so I’m hoping to keep it fun and as drama free as possible. The barn is becoming a little less stressful as we are getting moving, but Trainer C keeps a good handle on everything.