Friday, September 12, 2014

How did I get here?

Memorial Day 2010. I was 39 years old and I realized that a mental affliction I had discovered somewhere in my third year of life that had lain dormant for 12 years was about to come roaring back with a vengeance. I had managed to suppress my "affliction" by getting married and producing two healthy and demanding little people that managed to divert my focus elsewhere. But somehow, once my daughter (the Littlest one) turned 3, the fog lifted and it was like I was introduced to myself again. Oh, HELLO there! I thought you'd left the building for good!

What is this affliction? Of course, it's obvious. I'm horse crazy. Always have been. I'm not one of those girls who discovered cars and boys and left horses behind for good. My urban high school existence and the temporary setback of a almost anaphylactic allergy attack after riding in the 8th grade made riding almost impossible during my late teens. But thanks to the invention of Seldane and later Claritin and my family's purchase of a farm in Western MA in 1987 I was able to go back to full speed with my obsession by my 18th birthday.

So, after my daughter turned 3 and was toillet trained a space opened up in my brain. I was like "Hello Me! How are you?" I answered "Horses! I like horses. A lot!" So, I took a few riding lessons and after six months of this, I wanted my own horse again. Badly. Of course this was insanity. I still had two little kids who demanded much time and attention and a nearly full time job. But the heart wants what it wants, and I wanted a Connemara Pony.

I met my first Connemara pony back in 1983. One of my teachers took us to a breeding farm and I met Greystone McErrill.
He was big for a "pony" he topped out at 15.2 hands and I never forgot him. I googled him and found out that he had just died a couple years before leaving a long legacy of progeny. So, I decided I wanted a horse at least tangentially related to McErrill.

My husband who had been warned, at least verbally that he was marrying a horse CRAZY nutcase before he wedding proceeded with his blessing in a kind and logical way. So I posted a horse wanted ad on the American Connemara Pony Society website for a pony wanted and waited...

Then a lady in Kansas sent me this picture:

He was an unstarted two year old. His Grandmother on his sire's side was a Greystone pony by McErrill. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. I lost five pounds obsessing over that face and that eye.I was pushing forty. I didn't need an unstarted sight unseen two year old from freaking Kansas. But then my ten year old self stole my credit card and sent him to K-State to get vetted.

We spent a year on the ground getting to know each other. Him learning how to be a solid citizen on the ground, how to pick his feet up on cue, how to stand quietly on cross ties, how to lead anywhere without crowding me. Then I sent him to Coleen Campbell out in Leverett when he was three to put the stop and go buttons on.

I don't recommend buying a horse sight unseen off the Internets as a general rule, but for me it has worked out spectacularly. I've since convinced several other women to buy horses from these folks in Kansas and none have regretted it. This stallion throws athletic babies with great minds. And that is what every amateur owner wants and needs whether she knows it or not.

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