When I was younger, the thought in my mind was always "when I grow up I'm going to have horses". Always plural. I wasn't allowed to have a horse as a kid. I always rode other people's horses. And as time went on, I enjoyed this relationship by and large. It was easy. Especially once Stan and I entered one anothers' life; I got to ride him whenever I wanted.
Of the horses I've owned, none of them were *planned*. I didn't shop, I didn't pick them out from other choices, and I didn't seek them out for a certain discipline.
Orion entered my life because I really wanted *a horse of my own*. But when I realized he would never be able to do what I wanted to do (endurance and jumping), I made the decision to pass him on to someone else (seriously, he stayed at the barn I had him at but just under the care of someone else - it's still the same to this day).
Griffin fell into my lap quite by surprise and with an escape door or two. He was a project that turned into a forever horse. This blog really started to take off when I got him and began his training nearly 5 years ago.
|The first day I rode Q|
Q was so fun to ride the weekend I met her that I decided to buy her. I didn't think I could possibly handle two horses financially - but then my job became permanent and things were suddenly feasible. I was missing riding dearly (Griffin was too young at the time) and I knew Q would be a great second project to keep me satisfied in the saddle while Griffin grew up.
Stan was part of my life on and off from 2005 - 2011. When his owner decided to "get out of horses" a few months ago and called me to give me first choice having Stan, I COULDN'T say no. Especially because I knew I could handle the finances.
And so, I'm a multiple horse person due to serendipity.
|Quite reflection with Stan years ago|
After having Orion, I longed for another horse of my own so badly. I did shop and seek and look. I came close to picking up an Arabian from the Arabian Rescue Horse page on Facebook a couple times, but it didn't come to fruition. And then Griffin fell into my lap and fulfilled my desire to train and learn with an animal while also fulfilling the yearning I felt toward animal husbandry.
After a few months with Griffin, the reality that I wouldn't be able to ride for a long while really hit me hard. I browsed online for Arabians constantly. (I fortunately was not involved with any of the endurance facebook groups at the time or I'm certain I'd have ended up with a horse other than Q.) I once again came VERY CLOSE to picking up a horse from the Arabian group, but then she found a home. (Actually, the guy in charge of the page decided to keep her for his son!) Shortly after the mare I was lusting after went off the market, I met Q and made the decision to bring her home.
The balance of Q and Griffin was wonderful. I loved it. It was a great combo of riding horse, baby horse that evolved into experienced riding horse and green riding horse. When I finally parsed them into individual disciplines, the combo evolved into further perfection. I loved the mix of training two different horses in two exclusive disciplines. Certainly, there was some overlap with cross-training - as it should be for any horse - but by and large Q was endurance-focused and Griffin was more geared toward eventing/horse trials.
I did not expect to have a third horse in the equation for some time. In fact, I didn't imagine a third horse would enter the picture until I decided to breed Q years down the road! And honestly, I couldn't fathom keeping up with a training schedule for THREE HORSES. Aside from retirement, I am NOT the kind of person who can just own horses and have them sit in the field!
But then Stan happened, and I would be lying if I told you I didn't expect it to happen in some fashion. I knew deep down he'd end up with me some day. I just didn't anticipate it would be so soon!
|From this past weekend!|
I ran across and article yesterday about how if you think you're productive now, wait until you have kids! Well, I don't have kids and my productivity in most parts of my life hasn't altered, but my productivity with the horses sure has! When I think back on spring/early summer, I laugh thinking about how hard I found it to keep up with training two horses. Keeping up with a training schedule for two seems like child's play now. THREE is where it's at. THREE is work.
Rather, it was work. And then the Universe granted Q with proximal suspensory desmitis (sigh) and a year-long vacation before I can consider juggling work with three horses again. And so, I'm back to two schedules, but three animals. I gotta say, I'm rather grateful for Stan's recent serendipitous re-entry into my life after the bad news about Q!
Multiple horse ownership is far from easy, but I enjoy it. Times like now when I'm down one riding animal are made a lot easier knowing I still have two other horses to fulfill my riding whims and desires. It also guarantees Q will get the time off she needs.