VCBH: Interested Parties
L. raises another great question in her most recent in a string of blog hops:
"So way back in week seven of this tortuously long blog hop I have going we talked about the Pros of our current horse. Some of us experienced these pros after buying our horse. Now I am curious, what made you interested in your current horse that lead you to buying them in the first place?"
Dino and I kind of came together by fate. Or divine intervention. Or something. I'm a firm believer that God sends us the animals we need when we need them, and Dino and I were meant to be.
When I first met him, I was not looking to buy a horse. I was a senior in college, didn't really know what I was doing with my life yet, and just doing my best to work hard in class and do a good job so I could graduate, hopefully with a fantastic GPA.
In the spring semester of my senior year, I was required to take a class called Special Training Project. Each member of the class was assigned a "problem horse" in the equestrian center, and we had to create a training & conditioning program tailored to our individual mounts and keep careful records of their health, training, and progress over the semester.
Being the shortest member of my class, I was assigned the pony.
|you can totally see why it was love at first sight... right?|
The pony that had developed a concerning habit of absolutely refusing to move forward, and bucking when his rider insisted that he move his feet. He was also fat and had no topline to speak of.
But he was cute, and he was smart, and he was sassy, and he was a great little mover, and something inside him just touched my soul. Despite his absolutely awful habits and extreme pony'tude, I really liked riding him. We connected.
|oh hello there, tiny rodeo bronc.|
By the end of the semester Dino had made great progress - we had gone from struggling to trot to jumping 3' courses and schooling 1st level dressage - and the two of us had bonded in a special way. Several people came up to me and told me that it was obvious that the pony loved me. I knew he was a very special little guy, and I was sad to leave him behind at school. So before I graduated, I put my name on "the list" for Dino. When it came time for him to retire from being a school horse, I would be notified first and given the opportunity to adopt him. I loved that stinker pony, and told the program director that even if he was 25 years old and had no teeth, when he was done at DelVal I would take him home.
|thank goodness my form over fences has improved since then! yikes...|
The call that Dino was ready to retire came a lot sooner than I expected - only two years after graduation. At that point I was in no way, shape, or form planning on owning a horse. I was working full-time, traveling to Pennsylvania every weekend to see Michael, and still living with my parents in New Jersey to save money before I got married. I was taking weekly lessons at a local barn, but ownership was not on my mind in the least, until I got word that Dino was up for adoption.
And Dino had had nearly the entire two years off, since he'd started bucking off students right and left after I graduated, and had added rearing and spinning to his repertoire. He just wasn't safe to have in the lesson program anymore, and he needed to go.
|LOOK AT MY FANCY GERMAN IMPORT, GUYS.|
My heart pony was a college dropout, and I knew I had to find a way to make this work! I crunched some numbers, found a wonderful, affordable boarding barn, and took my pony home. Even with all of his medical problems, training issues, and all of our ups and downs, I wouldn't trade Dino for anything. I wanted him because we needed each other.
|And here he is today... happy, healthy, loving life, standing awkwardly.|