Can we say "first world problem"?
Anyway. Been riding the Shadow-man and there are glimmers of well--not quite brilliance, but progress on both of our parts.
|"You would not believe what she put me through today."|
Thankfully my instructor put a stop to it. Of course, more leg than hand is still the cardinal virtue, but she had me grab on to the Velcro straps on the front of the saddle pad to "set" my outside hand on the circle. The results were a 180-degree conversion--from constantly adapting based on what my horse was doing to quiet and in control, with my horse round, back up, and accepting the boundary I had set. Of course Shadow is not fit enough to hold this for too long, but we did get one WONDERFUL canter depart out of it. Light, off the forehand, and on the aids. I could move my inside hand forward and nothing at all happened. It was true "inside leg to outside hand" while we were on a trot circle and that set us up for that canter depart. I have read blogs where people experienced this kind of breakthrough of setting a boundary, but I honestly thought it was just that their horses were better schooled. Shadow--quiet and sensible as he may be--really doesn't know much besides plodding around heavy on the forehand, so it felt great. I haven't been with this new instructor for long, but I think she's a keeper.
In other news, I've been daydreaming like crazy about when I can buy my first horse. OK, I'm deluding myself if I pretend that hasn't ALWAYS been the case, but now that my end-of-year bonus is coming up with my first real job, it actually seems attainable. That means endless horse.com window shopping, staring at my bank accounts, and debating with Byron whether I should take a cheap greenie rescue as a project or just buy a been-there-done-that kind of horse. Don't worry--both he and my trainer have voted against the greenie prospect, at least for my first horse. Which, of course, is logical, and what I'll end up doing. But there's still the part of me that wants to bring along a horse from backing to blue ribbons...despite never having done that before.
At least as of right now, this is what I'm thinking:
- Willing-to-please temperament
- Doesn't have to be completely "made" because I'm thinking that's way too expensive for me, but I'd like solid WTC and sound enough for some jumping. I don't really have the desire to do much over 2'.
- Between the ages 6-12 (arbitrary, yes, but basically I want something not too old and not too young)
- Around 15-16 hands: Easy height for me to mount from the ground, but also tall enough for Byron at 6'1".)
- Preferably gray but that's flexible. As long as he's handsome.
I could swing board right now, but I'd rather wait for my salary to get bumped up a little bit to make it more comfortable...which seems likely as my company really likes to promote from within. I'm hoping to save up $5000, which I think should be doable in the next year. $2000 max. for the horse, then the rest can go to tack, prepurchase exam, and any other random costs that come up. If I don't use it all (which I am not counting on), I figure I can use the account as a sort of horsey emergency fund.
Horse owners out there (especially in the MD/DC/VA area)--does this sound reasonable? How did you prepare to buy your first horse, if there was any preparation?