Day 01 - When and why you started riding
Well…I guess it will be two years ago in December. I honestly started riding just so I could ride Jag. I’ve always had a passion for horses but I never had anything concrete to actually fight for. I’d been too broke my whole life to get lessons and I didn’t really understand back then that you could work of board in exchange for lessons at some places. It also didn’t help that from the time I was 4 my father always made a point to tell me that only super rich people had horses. [My dad worked for a millionare with a thoroughbred farm so he never failed to tell me ‘see, when you have that kind of money you can afford a money whole like a horse] I spent a good chunk of my childhood and teenage years doing whatever I could to crush my own dreams because it seemed hopeless and pointless to want something I could never in a million years obtain. so why dwell right?
Sophomore year of high school my friend brought to work at her job because she knew I loved horses. It was this crazy ass backyard farm that seriously needed its own reality show and they specialized in pony rides and petting zoos. That was where I met Jag. Jag was just a really fat grumpy opinionated escape artist horse who cared more about going out to his paddock and seeing that his routine was kept to then anything else…by routine I mean he was brought to and from his paddock every day for nine years. Everyone at the barn said he was a really sour horse with horrible manners. They said he would run you over when you walked him, he’d kick out at you if you went anywhere near his back legs, and even picked up a goat in his mouth that got into his paddock. No one ever actually worked with Jag though. They said he had these horrible habits but no one gave to shits as to try to correct them. No one rode him, no one brushed him, hell he hadn’t had his feet done in 8 months when I bought him; and she was proud of how ‘good’ his hooves looked!
I don’t know why I looked at Jag and seriously just thought that if I could do it at all I could do it with him. I’d never felt partial to any horse before, I always loved all horses and savored any moments I got with them. But Jag was the first horse I ever really loved. I’d never looked at a horse and thought that I could do it. Granted, I dont think I really knew what ‘i could do it’ entailed.
When I bought Jag it was a combination of timing and panic. The owner claimed she’d been trying to sell him for years. She never did any kind of advertising but she’d sell him to anyone who showed interest. Well the one person who finally showed interest enough to actually buy him was the girlfriend of an ex-boyfriend of one of the other workers. Her boyfriend had given her christmas money to buy a horse but she had no plan as to how she would pay for future monthly board fees or farrier/vet bills; there was also a strong rumor that she was a drug addict. I panicked, Jag deserved so much better than that. He deserved a chance and someone to actually care for him. I worried about what would happen to him if this woman actually bought him. His owner at the time knew all this but she didn’t care. She didn’t care at all for Jag nor did she feel any responsibility to him even though she’d had him from a 2 year old. She said if I wanted him I’d have to do something. My family came into money at that time and my mother knew how much I loved that horse and worried I was for him and she generously bought him for me without batting an eye for $750. In the spectrum of horses that price tag isn’t anything but for my family it was considered a lot of money. I was extraordinarily lucky that everything (for once) fell into place perfectly.
Looking back I have never made a dumber decision in my life then being a new rider and buy a grumpy green horse who didn’t want anything to do with anything called a ‘bit’. He’s never done anything bad against me and he’s come so far from where he was and I couldn’t be prouder of him. He may never be a quick jumper or a fancy hunter but he’s my world I wouldn’t trade him for any other.