Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses Part 2

Part 1

First I want to plug the next Horse Lovers' Blog Carnival. It will be hosted right here on Feb 21. The theme is All Things Equine which means all things, not just horses but, donkeys, burro, zebras, you name it, if it's an equine you can add your blog post. You can submit an entry Here Entries must be submitted by Feb 20, 2007 by 5:00 pm PST.

Working at the show barn, I had met the Arabian mare of my dreams. Even though she had stolen my heart long before I had planned of even looking for that special horse for me, I was not in a position to buy her. I didn't even know if she was for sale, and I dared not ask, lest my dreams be crushed when they'd only just begun.

I worked six days a week and many times twelve hour days in the show barn. I came home exhausted both physically and mentally. My feet and legs screamed at me from walking on the asphalt all day and my brain was numb from information overload. I'd collapse in my favorite rocking chair and rock myself to sleep. I didn't even share with my family the special Arabian horse I had found. I kept her secret locked safely away in my mind protecting my dream from the collapse a part of me was so sure would happen.

The days and weeks went by and I had managed to learn all of the Arabian horses names and what stall they lived in. I had learned how to lunge a few months previously at an open barn demonstration I had participated in. The demo horse, a young Arabian stallion, had been a willing candidate for a beginner. The horses in the show barn were not so inclined. Conditioning on the end of a lunge line was not their idea of sport. Toying with my head, NOW that was sport! Since I was the new "girl," (twice the age of everyone else there) of course, the regular grooms left the worst to me. I was determined and it didn't take long before I was proficient at lungeing and sweating even the laziest horse on the list. I enjoyed the challenge, seeing it as another step closer to my dream.

Within a couple of months I was a pretty good groom. I asked so many questions, I'll bet they wanted to shoot me on occasion but I was a quick study. I soaked up information like a sponge once I got over my initial overload. By now I was tacking up horses for the trainers, learning why they used which bits, draw reins, curbs, you name it, I was on a quest for knowledge and determined not to miss a thing.

with all the time I spent working (for free, I might add) I found at least a few minutes each day to spend with Scandalous. If I didn't get to turn her out or work her, I would go to her stall before I left for the day. Always armed with carrots and brushes to groom her. I was still not daring to speak out loud about her but the two of us were forming a special bond. I had figured out that there was a sales list in the office and Scandalous was on it. Just knowing she was for sale somehow made me one step closer to attaining my dream.

Finally I got up the nerve to ask the trainer about her. The trainer actually owned the mare. I was told that while she was for sale they wanted a lot of money for her. The trainer seemed surprised when I told her I had expected that to be the case. I still wanted to know her price. Thankfully for me, it was not as much as I had expected. While it was more than I had paid for my first house, it was a number that was within my reach with some time. Especially when the trainer added that she would consider terms to the right home, I knew I had crossed another hurdle. I needed time to figure things out but I wanted that mare. I was assured that if anyone came forward to buy her, I would be given the first right of refusal.

Then one day the trainers told the grooms we had a visitor coming to look at horses tomorrow. There was a list of individuals that were of particular interest and those horses were bathed and clipped. Scandalous was not on the list. But the next after the other horses were shown to the visitor, Scandalous was pulled from her stall and turned loose in a paddock for the woman to see.

I was devastated. I ran off to an empty stall in the back of the barn and cried hysterically. An assistant trainer found me there and consoled me. I can remember him telling me not to worry, that Shannon would never sell Scandalous out from underneath me. She had promised me she wouldn't and I could count on that. I stopped crying and came out but my heart was heavy.

I told my husband, Dave, that evening about what had happened and how I had cried. Knowing me, Dave knew immediately how important this mare was to me. I'm not a crier. It was forbidden in my house growing up and I'd learned at any early age to not shed a tear. I didn't even cry at my father's funeral when I was twelve. In therapy I had learned to cry behind closed doors in the safety of supportive people who expected to see people cry. But to cry in public - never, not then, not now! My programming is rock solid. To cry over this mare in a public place spoke volumes. Dave assured me we would figure out a way for Scandalous to be mine.

To be continued...

Part 3


  1. Where there's a will, there's a way. I think no matter how hard it is to get something you really want, in the end you always appreciate it more than if it were simply handed to you.

  2. Welcome to BLOG VILLAGE!!! I love your posts, and am tickled that another horse blog has joined the village!

  3. MiKael I waited until I was 42 before I owned my own horse. I had dreamed of it from the time I was 9 when my friend's family obtained their first horse and then eventually ended up with one of their own each. I used to spend summer holidays with them, and every weekend that my mom would allow me to just to be around the horses. My parents really couldnt afford it but they signed me up for a lesson once a week and I lived for each one. That continued until I had to do my school leaving exams when I was 17 and with the studying involved I had to stop my riding in order to study. Shortly after leaving school I met and married my first husband and there was no room for horses. He didnt really share my passion for them (oddly enough after our divorce he met and married another woman who rode and they took up polo crosse!!!). My second marriage was a disaster with my husband never getting on with my small daughter and making her and my life a nightmare, again no room for horses, so it was after 19 years that I eventually took up riding again and at that time had also gotten involved in photography so the two naturally melded. I shot for the owners and riders at the stables and that paid for my riding lessons. I left for England and spent two years in London where I shot photos at a local riding school to pay the bills, and then came over to USA where I had met and married my current husband who owns paint horses and has shown and ridden all his life. He gave me my first horse, the first one I could call my own.

    The old saying, all good things come to those who wait is so true.

    I know how you must have felt about Scandalous because the riding school that I rode at before I went over to England became my second home, the owner had become a very good friend. She was given a thoroughbred mare off the track called Rose Fstival. I was with her when she first went to see her and loved her on sight, she was so quiet and gentle. Oddly enough my friend never let me ride her even knowing how I felt about this mare. I had to be content with standing back and watching other people get the pleasure, it broke my heart. I have since heard that this little mare has gone on to be an outstanding show jumping mare of Adult A Grade quality. But now I have my beautiful girls and boy and I am happy, but I still wonder what it would have been like to have had that mare for my own.

    Look forward to the next instalment.


  4. My goodness! Wow!! ((HUGS!!)) That had to have been a tough thing to go through!