Finding the one is not an easy task. No I’m not talking about your future spouse, that’s easy compared to what I’m talking about! What I want to have a conversation about is finding your best friend, your partner in crime, otherwise known as… your horse. It’s a important process and for some it takes a week; for some of us picky people it takes months. The end result – if you do it right – is a happy feeling and a beautiful four-legged best friend.
The first step is figuring out what you want in your future horse. I like to write things down and make lists. When I decided to start looking for a young horse to work with I made a list of things that I wanted my horse to have and things that I didn’t want them to have. The things that made it onto my list were things that I learned I liked and maybe didn’t like so much from previous horses that I had. I also learned from the people around me, whether they were trainers that I worked with, vets I talked to about what to look for in a healthy horse, my farrier so I knew how to pick out solid hooves, and even my mom since she’s one of the people that knows me best. After talking to my sources I came up with a long list. I knew I wanted a sound horse, which should be number one on everyones list. I knew I wanted a gelding and he needed to have certain conformational characteristics like a short back, good hip, a nice strong shoulder, and I wanted him to be big bodied. I didn’t want a horse with long legs. I knew I wanted to barrel race this horse or take him in some western direction therefore, I needed him to have a certain conformation. A huge aid when I was looking at the most functional conformation for barrel racing was my Ed Wright book. A few things I didn’t want was for my gelding to be under 14.3 or not have a level head. A lot of people look for those crazy, spunky, wired horses for barrel racing, but in my experience and opinion the quiet ones that have fire behind their eyes are the ones that are great to train and run. After my list was complete, the wants and not wants, I stepped back and began my search.
I found the filly that I talked about in a previous blog post. I knew I said I didn’t want a mare, but this one had something special. Well, long story short she wasn’t special enough. After being disappointed I didn’t fine the one, I got back on barrel horse world and found the perfect match. We went out to look at him about a week later and he was in the trailer on his way home. You all know this colt by the name of Stinger.
Through all the ups and downs I always turned back to my list and prayed to God that I would find a horse that fit everything. Luckily for me it worked out and I was blessed with a horse that had everything I wanted.
I’m going to do a few more posts about the ups and downs I experienced and some of my friends have experienced. I hope through these posts you can learn how to find the one and if you’re on the search right now, don’t lose hope! I promise you… the one is out there!
The Modern Equestrian