Our Great Horse Adventure
So we started our "great horse adventure" a little over a year and a half ago when we brought Blazen Grace home Dec. 2007 when she was 10 months old. Check out how cute she was!
We embarked on a journey littered with "No way you’ll get on that horse," to "wow she’ll be a powerful and quick cuttin horse," to "do you know what you have here…she’s a beauty.." (well we knew that,) and many times wondering ourselves what we’d gotten into.
Always, though, we adored our girl.
I knew better than to start out with a baby. I really did, LOL. But I just fell in love with this little strawberry girl, and her spunk. Yep, she’s got some spunk.
So when I called my good friend and equine soul sister Casey (to find out what in the heck to feed her, LOL) and confessed I had bought a baby, she surprised me with, "Nothing better than a baby!! You can do it!! Just love her and enjoy every one of those milestones and you will have a great sense of accomplishment and so will she!"
"Oh, and hold on for the ride!" Well, no one I trust more than Casey when it comes to horses.
Sure, I’ve thought day in and day out that it would be so nice to have an old broken down pre-loved horse for the girls to play on. But then the ponies came into the picture and solved that. And here they are, the ever-so fabulous Ponies!
While they have been a challenge to work with, they have given the girls much determination and experience with understanding give and take, consistancy, love and respect. They’ve learned the basic skills of tacking up, brushing out, picking hooves, and how to speak "horse". The girls have gained so much confidence in their horse handling skills that they rode in their very first play day last week. I was elated for them, because it’s something I never got to, but always longed to do. I was bound and determined my own girls would experience this joy if they so desired.
So back to Gracie…we have been working on ground skills from the time we got her. Ups and downs, progress, then regress.
One step forward, two skips back. We heard "You know you really should have a blanket on her by now," you should be bending her and backing her and bossing her this way and that."
But we just loved her. We struggled still, somedays, to put the halter on. Somedays, she just walked right up and asked for her halter.
Somedays she walked nicely on the leadrope, the next she would run over you. Always, she has been scared of the fly spray. It’s hydrochloric acid is disguise you know.
She was pretty sure she would melt if the hose water was sprayed on her. She’s made of pure sugar you know.
And kisses, she loves to kiss you. I’ve never seen a horse lick like a dog. And lick and lick and lick. Nope, she has a salt block. She just loves to lick. And she loves peppermints, carrots, and ice cream sandwiches. She loves lollipops, and fresh hot HEB french bread.Yea, sure. I know these things aren’t a staple diet. But they have made her the horse she is today.
I realized one day if we never got on her back, that’d be just fine, because she’s already as loved by her family as she ever will be, broke, or unbroke, green or champion dressage horse. Just like my girls. I could never love them more. I love Grace for Grace, not what she can do or be or might do. After that is just pure joy.
I know one thing, though. If we do ever make it on her back, we’ll sure have to hold on for the ride. No doubt she’ll show us her own interpretation of joy.
One day when she was in the old pasture, the fence seperating the pasture and the junk lot where there is quite a bit of nice green grass was pushed down from the overgrowing weeds just enough that she realized it wasn’t big enough to seperate her from that grass anymore. She circled around getting a jogging start and sailed right over that fence. My heart skipped a beat and I got a huge lump in my throat. I wished I had been on her, LOL. My adrenaline must have been pumping as fast as hers. Wow, she was beautiful!!
The first time she met the farrier she stood for him just like an old pro. He was amazed, I was relieved.
The day Taylor tripped on the end of the lead rope while walking her and Grace spooked and trampled her, I was sick to my stomach. But the next day when Tayt went out and gave Grace kisses, I realized God was watching over us and it was just part of our learning and growing together as a family. Yep, Grace is our third daughter.
When Daddy got that blanket on Grace for the first time, everyone was thrilled. As Morgan became determined she would succeed as well, Grace wondered what all the fuss was. It was just a blanket, after all. Not that deadly hydrochloric acid.
Our dear friend and support Mary loaned us the bareback pad the girls had been riding the ponies with, and Morgan became more determined than ever to get that on Grace. Then it happened. One afternoon she came screaming through the door jumping and shaking in her very own Morgan style, "Come see! Come see!"
Yep. She had that pad cinched up on Grace, who was wondering what all the fuss was. After all, it was just a bareback pad cinched around her girth. One hole at a time, Morgan worked until that cinch was snug enough to ride, and left that pad on while turning Grace out to pasture. No worries, thought Grace.
So tonight, when Morgan came jumping and screaming in her Morgan style "Come see! Come see!"
This is what we saw…
Morgan had her pad and saddle cinched on Grace!!
Not a buck, a kick or even a twitch. Here’s Grace wondering, "what’s the big deal? Isn’t anyone gonna get on?"
But stay tuned….