I should have went with my gut instinct and stuck with my desire to buy a fat, lazy QH Gelding. Take a break from my constant stress of “What’s going to happen next to my OTTB Mare.” And yet, here I am, with a larger than life, overly dominant, and flighty OTTB Gelding. He’s as handsome as Big red himself, and despite his copious amount of skeletal related health issues. He is a good boy. He just doesn’t get this whole “I’m trying to build a relationship with you.” thing.
The fact is, I LOVE me my thoroughbreds. As most of you equestrians and horseman know, they usually tend to give themselves this bad reputation because we more often talk about the bad idiots they can be, and not the genuine, give your all, sensitive snowflakes they really are. I knew what I was getting into when I bought this 17 hand majestic man horse. After all, he was my MIL’s mount for about a year until she made the intelligent decision to forgo his extremely jarring trot for something a little smoother, more refined. And let me declare right now. I don’t regret my decision despite the fact I see the long, winding road ahead of me. And it’s filled with rocks. Hard, lumpy rocks.
I don’t know what makes the 5th car that drives by the front of the pasture while longing (lunging) at a walk mind you; more terrifying than the 4 before it, but his massive existence skyrocketing sideways at the pace of a small and agile dirt bike never ceases to amaze me. I have spent so much time restarting in the same direction, fighting him to simply walk forward and face his fears. I wouldn’t change it. When I am taking 6 steps forward and feel on top of the world because he finally seems to trust me 2% more than yesterday, I get trampled and shoved into the mud the next with tears of embarrassment threatening to spill out of the corners of my eyes.
I’m not a fancy college educated trainer, and I certainly am not a top level rider. But I seem to have an understanding with this slightly more intense and somehow more often abused breed of horse. Above everything, I look into their eyes and realize that I don’t care if they can never be an Olympic contesting horse. I actually have two, rather broken OTTB’s who can’t jump because of leg related injuries. So all desires of being a ribbon winning jumper really isn’t my dream anymore. Call me a hippie, a new age natural horseman, or just a plain old lazy equestrian, but I would much rather have enough trust and bond with my OTTB’S to be able to hop on tack less and ride them with mane cues and leg cues, than jump a full course at record speeds.
These horses, when you gain their trust, will die giving you their everything. And maybe that is why I prefer my $900 OTTB’s. I have been called a nut, dangerous, and queer for preferring an unnoticed bay thoroughbred with slightly off kilter tendencies; than falling in love with a well trained, five digit Friesian. And that is what’s beautiful about the horse community. I don’t care what everyone says. And I won’t ever listen to the smarter decision. Because the better option would not have been a Green 7 Y.O. OTTB mare when I was a beginner rider purchasing her first horse. But I wouldn’t change that decision for the world. I have learned more than I ever dreamed, and it was all from listening, and looking deeper than a martingale, and deeper than a desire to show off my skills.
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