This post is a little out of sequence but Jane at The Literary Horse asked for our story about when we knew we loved our horses. I have not yet introduced our second horse, Mariah, and I will introduce her and tell you the story of how she came to live with us a bit later. But for now, here is a brief bit of the story.
Mariah is a Morgan. She likes to go but she is a nervous kind of horse. She spooks easily, tends to be head shy and takes a few steps to catch when I go to get her for a ride. The first time I got on her after we brought her home I got on bare back. I was nervous and she was very nervous. The end result was that I ended up on the ground and she ended up on the other side of the arena. She did not run away when went to get her so I took her back to the steps. She stood quietly while I got back on and then she decided to go. In any direction she chose. Discretion being the better part of valor, I jumped off and that ended our first riding experience. I would not be on her back for several more months (five if I recall correctly).
During that period, I got a trainer and learned to do ground work. I did that for a few months and then it was time to get on her again. This time I had a saddle. Even so, as soon as I got on her she started to test me and I had very little control over her. She never tried to buck me off, but she did try to see if she could get me to slide off. I was frustrated to no end and even talked about trading her for one of my trainers already trained horses.
But I continued to ride her. And each time we rode I gained a little more control and became a bit more comfortable with my seat and her speed. Each time I got her to collect a bit more and control her speed for a few more steps. And then I stopped being scared and started having fun. She started to come to me more, something she had never done before, and let me scratch her ears. We were starting to connect. And that is when I knew that she was my horse and that I was not going to get rid of her. We were going to learn to become a team together. Besides, how could you not love a face like this?