Mikki wrote recently about one year with Valentine, her Tennessee Walking Horse. And a few weeks ago we celebrated one year with Moonshine, my solid paint. It’s hard to believe a year has gone by already. Although I introduced her in October of 2006, we actually picked her up at the end of April. And over the course of the past year, she has been mostly predictable, in a good way. She did dump me off one time, an incident I have yet to write about. It’s not entirely her fault me and my ego experienced some pain and I’ve ridden her since, though cautiously. But mostly she’s a sweet, lovable horse who buries her face in my chest when she’s being shoed, loves to boss the much bigger Valentine, loves to chase him around the pasture occasionally (she can run circles around him), enjoys carrots and gracefully puts up with being saddled and ridden, except that one time :-).
Moonshine is my first horse so this past year has been a huge learning experience for me. I’ve learned about horse behavior, health, maintenance, and expense. I’ve experienced joy and frustration. And in the past week, I’ve even experienced the healing comfort a horse can bring during times of personal trial. Sometimes you just need to hug a horse. But now that I have some of the basics of horse “ownership” down, this next year I’ll be focusing on the next phase of our relationship in the roles of horse and rider. Mikki and I hope to soon build our round pen, to facilitate training. We’re going to saddle our horses up more often. And we’re going to absorb all we can from more experienced horse owners about riding and then competing. Yes, this will be the year we “get our money’s worth.” Our weekly horse duties are changing to include a training regimen. Realistically we won’t probably feel comfortable showing until next year but that gives us a year to practice and get our horses familiar with going to shows. None of us are getting any younger and we have no idea what the future holds. So we’re going to grab the saddle by the horn and hold on for dear life as we try to get the most from this horse ownership experience.
Hopefully next year about this time we’ll be writing positive notes about our second year of horse ownership.