Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Christmas to Remember

Last year I made an agreement with my partner, J. I manage our budget and I promised to get us out of credit card debt in a year if we could talk about my getting a horse after that. See, I grew up with horses and they had been a huge part of my life. I was in my early twenties when I left Idaho and my horse to move to LA. Life in LA was a struggle financially and although I was scraping by, I had nothing left over to take care of my horse. I left Queenie in Nampa, Idaho as a gift to a 13 year old girl. I thought the two of them would take good care of each other, not suspecting that her father would sell Queenie out from under his daughter less than a year later. In LA, I tried to find a way to do horses, sometimes paying for the privilege of riding, sometimes trying to find anyone with a horse they would let me mess with. I worked for an Arabian horse breeder, working with his foals, until he let me know I would have to pay for the privilege with sexual favors. After that the horse riding was few and far between and always cost me. Finally, I moved to Colorado.

In 1991, I decided I was going to buy a horse and try again. I had been riding horses for other people, doing some breaking and some training and just enjoying being on a horse, but I really didn't want to wait on the generosity of others. I decided I wanted to learn to ride dressage and was looking for a horse with energy and flair. What I got was a horse with a psychosis. She was afraid of everything. I worked her for two years and it never got any better. I finally sold her after she ripped a railroad tie out of the ground and proceeded to beat herself unconscious with it. That day, I had a friend with me who had never been around horses and she was almost hit by the flying end of the railroad tie. I finally realized that this beautiful, spirited horse was going to kill someone or herself if she wasn't careful. So sold she was and I was once again horseless.

Fast forward almost twenty years to now. Now I am going to try again. I have set my goal on Endurance riding, but am open to suggestion. Mostly I just want a horse to connect with, to ride, to enjoy, the way I enjoyed my little Appaloosa mare. J agreed in August of last year. My time frame was October 2012. We will have met our goals of being debt free. And as excited as I am about picking the perfect horse, J is just as excited to purchase a new Ford pickup to pull around our horse trailer. So our evenings in the fall and the beginning of winter were devoted to window shopping: me for the perfect Arabian gelding somewhere between 3 and 5 years old; J shopping for the perfect truck to haul around a camper and horse trailer.

And then the unthinkable happened. At my company's Christmas party this year a co-worker offered me a free horse, Straight Egyptian Gelding, age 7. Unbroke. I don't think I completed another full sentence the rest of the night. All I could do was hold myself completely still inside and wait for the other shoe to drop, not daring to believe. We agreed on April for me to take possession. To move him from Amarillo to Colorado. They forwarded me the information they had on him and I began to research his background.

Thee Ashke was born in Waco, Texas, on a breeding farm known as Arabians Ltd. His father, Thee Asil, is still standing there and Ashke was one of his first foals. He is out of a mare named Bint Kieshta. He was sold as a weanling with another gelding from the farm to a woman who bought them for her daughter. The daughter decided she wanted to do barrel racing with a proper Quarter horse, promptly tried to sell them. The bay sold, but Ashke did not. At least not right away. He was finally purchased by a woman who wanted him so she would have a bay, a black and a grey horse. This woman eventually gave him to my co-worker when she moved to Illinois. For two years he's stood in the pasture waiting for someone to come along that wanted him. My co-worker tried to get him trained, but the trainer kept him two days and then declared him unfit to train. My co-worker didn't want to keep feeding him and offered him to me.

Next up, what we found on our trip to Amarillo  . . . .

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