A few days ago, I came across a little Facebook site with funny comics relating to horses, and came across one that showed a girl look off into the distance at a beautiful, Friesan-type horse and wishing she had that horse, instead of the simple, small, palomino pony she had next to her, sitting patiently with a lead rope. It said, “If you can’t have the one you want, love the one you’re with.” While I disagree with the point in a way, I also loved the photo and what it conveyed. I’m not one of those people that insists people keep every single horse they have. If you don’t click, don’t have a connection, don’t work together well, don’t have fun together, you’ve moved up or the horse is too much/too dangerous for you, you have every right to sell and move on. It’s not fair to you (or the horse, for that matter.) to be stuck in a bad situation. Sure, I can’t stand horse flippers. Literally, hate that. But I’m talking about people who buy horses, then sell them the next day with no regard for the horse or where the horse is going. And let’s face it, most owners who have been stuck in the situation like I talked about up there, love the horse and wouldn’t want them to go to a bad home. My motto for this is, “Buy responsibly, but if you need to later on, sell responsibly.” You bought the horse, you made that decision. If selling is the best option, you owe the horse a good next home as much as you can provide.
But on the other hand, I know so many people who are constantly looking at other horses and can never be content with what they have. If they have a nice barrel horse, it’s somehow not as good as the next one. If they have a nice jumper, it suddenly pales in comparison. They don’t have the horses best interest at heart, they have their selfish reasons. If someone has a legit reason to move up or sell, that’s fine. But seriously – I know people who have gone through over 10 horses in one single year, buy and sell, buy and sell. The horses they had are perfectly good and suitable for what they ask them for. It’s all about a lack of contentment and commitment.
Some older readers will know that Red wasn’t exactly the horse of my dreams when I met him. Did I love him? You bet. Goodness, I spent nights crying because I thought he had been sold and I had no chance. I felt a connection with him from that very day. But let’s just be clear on this – if I had’ve heard his description before actually meeting him, or seen pictures, I probably would’ve been like that girl in the comic. Holding him at bay (no pun intended.Okay yes, pun intended.) while staring off at a fancier, flashier horse that had more personality. I had no idea what that little bay horse could turn out to be like. Would he stay lazy forever? Would he ever look better? Would I eventually get tired of his laziness and have to move up?
But of course, we all know the end of the story.
I stuck with it. And I’ve never regretted it. He isn’t the Paint that I wanted, he isn’t 16+ hands high like we wanted. He isn’t the horse I dreamed of. But he became my dream come true. He’s everything I ever needed, and we fit together. We have both managed to stay at the same levels as we both mature. He’s taught me so much, and I’m nearly positive that all of those things I pretend to say I’ve taught him…he’s known all along, but just wanted to push me in order to give in. 😉 I loved the horse I had, and he became the horse I wanted.
A lot of times, God has His ways of throwing us what He knows we need. And He did that with Red. If people would stop staring at the Friesan in the background, that dream horse just barely out of reach (or OTTB. Or Quarter Horse. Or Paint. Whatever floats your boat.)we may realize that we’ve had what we’ve wanted all along.