Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses Part 4

The beginning of this story is here.

I don't know about the rest of the Baby Boomer Generation but I'm pretty driven. I don't do anything half way, I just dive in headfirst and immerse myself in what ever I do. Once I've made up my mind, there's no dissuading me. The "dream horse thing" was no different. If anyone had tried to tell me that I shouldn't buy a green broke six-year-old Arabian mare for my dream horse of choice, it just went in one ear and out the other. Even the fact I had been dumped and the Arabian horse in danger of breaking her legs was not enough to stop me or even slow me down. The horse was still for sale and I was going to find a way to buy my dream horse.

Not to long before my 40th birthday, I made a deposit and signed a contract on Scandalous. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears and three full years to pay off the Arabian horse (who cost a lot more than my first house) but I did it. With the support of my husband, Dave, who hated the street fairs and mall shows I did selling crafts to pay for the horse, I managed to pull it off.

I still worked 8 to 5 at the training/show barn six days a week except when I had a craft show to attend. I worked long hours at night making the crafts to sell at the shows and I rarely got to ride the Arabian horse.

I had hoped with all of the extra time that I spent at the farm grooming and turning out Arabian horses that I would get some lessons thrown in. That didn't happen. I was totally on my own. They took whatever I gave over and above my agreed work hours and offered nothing in return. One of my friends once described it, "They saw you coming, they took you money and ran!"

Maybe that's true but I didn't care. While it would have been nice to get some help to be sure I was on the right foot with my dream horse, not getting it didn't put a damper on my enthusiasm. I had waited too long getting into horses. I had no plans of letting anything slow me down. So while I worked twice as much as the training barn as I was supposed to for board for the Arabian horse, I saw it as getting twice as much experience towards becoming the horse woman I dreamed of being.

The only time I really got to spend much time with my new Arabian horse was when the trainers were gone off to an Arabian horse show. Usually, they would take a large string of horses so there wasn't quite as much work to do. And it was easier to get through the long list of horses to be turned out or lunged without the interruptions of the trainers or owners. That was when I got to ride Scandalous.

It was on one of those occasions that I had my second wreck with the Arabian horse. I'd finished my work with the other horses. I was riding the mare in the round pen because I wasn't confident enough yet to lope on my own in the main arena. Without saying a word to me the farm maintenance man/stall cleaner went up overhead to water the arena. He turned the fire hose on the horse and I inside the round pen. Needless to say, it was not a fun experience. I ended up in the mud and the horse was terrified.

I spoke to the owners of the facility and to the trainers about it but nothing was ever done. Reliable stall cleaners for a big facility are harder to come by than free grooms, I guess. It was not the last time that my riding or even ground safety with the horses was sabotaged by this man. And it wasn't the last time the fire hose was the method but I only ended up in the dirt once more because of him. I got to be pretty good at getting that Arabian horse stopped when she was scared out of her little horse wits and I learned to handle spooked horses on the ground equally as well.

The bad thing was the Arabian horse got to expect something bad was going to happen. The mare developed the habit of running off at the lope at the least little sound. The horse didn't do it all of the time, usually when I least expected it, but she did it enough for me to be concerned. A couple of different assistant trainers worked at the training/show barn while I was there with Scandalous. Both of them witnessed the horse taking off frightened at the lope. I had told them about it, but until they actually saw it they didn't really understand. Both gave me helpful ideas on how to curtail the behavior. While I did get proficient at getting her stopped, it was several years and a few horses later before I was horse woman enough to know how to really fix it.

So what happens to dreams when you finally attain them? I've noticed an odd thing about that. Dreams have a funny way of growing and changing. Mine was no different. Now that I finally had my dream Arabian horse, I began dreaming about the things I would do with her ......................and the horses to come.

To be continued....

Part 5


  1. Mikael I was 41 when I got my first horse. I was lucky in that I met and married and my husband gave me Lori (his idea not mine LOL poor horse). She was four weeks old when I came over here and met and married him. I had dreamed of my own horse since I was 9 years old. Before going over to England I had started riding at a riding school after a 19 year break and got to be best friends with the owner of the riding school. She was offered a three year old thoroughbred mare straight off the track. At first they wanted money for her and Marion (my friend) told them that she didnt have that kind of money but if they gave her to the riding school she would have a good loving home and not be abused or traded off. I fell in love with this filly the first time we saw her at the racing stable. Her name was Rose Festival. I have a photo of her somewhere on a disk. When she arrived at the riding school I couldnt take my eyes off her. I was devastated when Marion wouldnt let me ride her. I felt I was a pretty proficient rider but she obviously didnt and I had to sit and watch three or four other people have the pleasure, it broke my heart. She turned out to be an absolutely fantastic stadium jumping horse and went on to be bought by an adult A grade jumper who rode with the South African Olympic Team, the last time I heard. I just knew she was special, I just wish I had had the opportunity to ride her just once.

    Oh well I have my horses now and love them to bits, just wish I had more time to ride them, in fact I am determined to find the time this year to do a bit of trail riding, I need the rest and recreation.

    Thanks for the article again. I enjoy reading them.

    Hope you are well and it is drying up a bit.


  2. HI MiKael.

    Sorry the post to my DPC profile didnt work.

    If you go here
    and select Community on the top bar, then Member's Profiles, then enter into the username field loriprophoto it should come up with my name and then you just click on it and it will take you to my page.

    See ya later.


  3. I admire you for going after your dream. Looking back over my life I wish I had pursued my horse dream harder. I wanted a horse more than anything in the world when I was a kid, and I spent hours trying to figure out how I could afford one with my very meager allowance. I simply couldn't afford it and my parents had no interest in horses and just didn't "get" the whole horse thing.

    Once I got through college and got married we bought 3 acres in the country and was told by the realtor we were allowed 2 horses on 3 acres. We were so young and ingnorant that we believed him and never thought to check the city's zoning laws. We later came to find out we were zoned residential and can never have horses on our land. We should have sold and found another place long ago, but we got busy raising a family and I let my dream slip. Now the city has engulfed us and land prices are way too expensive to afford anything that still allows for a reasonable commute to work.

    Fortuantely my daughter has the same love for horses as I do and she has the small arab mare I've written to you about a while back. I'm living my dream through her, but I don't get to ride because I'm too heavy for her little mare. We can barely afford the board on this one horse, so getting a horse for me in not in the picture. I'm 48 now and my body can't handle the work involved with taking care of a horse. I'm getting arthritis pretty bad and have had one neck surgery and currently recovering from my second rotator surgery. For me to even ride once I'm recovered would mean I have to have an extremely smooth gaited horse. My first love is Arabians, but I would probably need something like a Tennesee Walker, Pervuian Paso, or the like. Another issue is I'm extremely allergic to hay, so I can't even feed a horse. I guess I'm pretty much a basket case!

    I feel so lucky I can at least get my horse fix through my daughter. She's majoring in Pre-Vet with an Equine emphasis, so I'm confident she won't let her dream slip away. Some day I hope to have a little grand-daughter that can have a pony. Wouldn't that be fun!

  4. There is so much suspense in this post...I can't wait to read more!

  5. I admire the fact that you did everything you could to realize your dreams. Thank you for sharing.

  6. GREAT post! It is amazing how those dreams change and build! That's the way it's been with my gelding!