Horses and boats. I’m not sure why this is a common combination, but it seems to be rampant. No less in our household than in any other, it seems. It’s like we have an addiction to really fun hobbies into which you pour money or something. I don’t talk about my love of horses much and I’ve never shared my horse journeys here, but this one is special. Both the horse and the journey, and one worth telling.
My trainer, Jess, texted this summer from a horse auction while we were on an island for our lobster bake. When she texted, Jon and I were walking in the middle of a pine stand surrounded by granite, the sound of the ocean touching the beach, and the light casting late afternoon shadows through a fern stand up the path a bit. When shore side life inserts itself into boat life, even though we’ve been doing it for years, there’s this moment of focus required to bring attention to a part of our life we aren’t living at the moment. Our life on the boat is so rhythmic, tied to the weather, and the now that thoughts of winter and planning are sometimes surreal. Such was the case with our conversation.
Let me be clear, I was not in the market for a horse after having sold an older rescue horse last year. While I ride all winter long and often more than one horse per day, I was perfectly happy riding other people’s horses. I’d been saying out loud that I wouldn’t be buying my own horse again until both girls were out of school. Sure.
Then Jess texted. A horse had just been bought by a “kill buyer”, so her future was as either meat or glue. She had a soft eye, a nice way of moving, wasn’t lame, and was super skinny. One, of course I’m a sucker, so saving a good horse from death, well, please. Two, the idea of training my own horse with only Jess or me to ride and work with her was undeniably enticing.
So in the middle of lobster bake island, surrounded by pines and granite and ocean, (and with Jon’s blessing I must add) I bought my next horse! She’s 5 years old, an off the track Thoroughbred. She was in a sketchy lesson program where she developed a “bucking problem”. Which to me means something hurt or she was really done with being treated poorly and had some things to say, i.e. bucked.
These are the first photos I got of her before we met. Her nickname was Skinny Legs or Annie’s Mare until I was able to spend some time with her and get to know her. I’ll be posting once a month about my journey with her. Oh, and her name is Good Karma, her show name is Gilkey’s Harbor, and she is a super sweet soul.