Friday, January 23, 2009
The Beginning: The out of the blue emails
I was not looking to get another horse yet. I knew that once I graduated from WSU that my parents were going to help me get a horse to call my own. At this time, my family did (and still does!) own a palomino appaloosa mare, Starlett. She taught me so much about caring and riding horses and lifelong lessons such as leadership, accountability, and responsibility, but she was not my own. Since boarding is expensive and we did not own a home with land until well into my and her teen years, my family has always had to share her. Starlett and I have accomplished so much in life and I have no doubt she will continue to inspire me, but I wanted my own horse that I could train from the start. One that was unspoiled by others hands. One that was only influenced by me.
I was the girl who even through her teen years would ask for a horse every Christmas. It only got worse once we moved into our new home which was on a little less than two acres with private trails out back. During the first year or so we lived there, we finished the pole barn out back (which use to house the previous owners boat and RV) so that it included two large stalls attached to a large paddock and a very small hay/tack room. After fencing off the 'usable' horse pastures (which is really, in reality, only an acre, if that....I will post more on our set-up later), we were finally able to bring Star home.
Then on December 19, 2006, out of the blue and absolutely, completely unexpected, I got separate emails from two of my close friends mentioning that they knew of a horse that needed to find a new home. It wasn't a desperate plea to re-home a horse, but if the right home came along, the owner thought it was best for the horse to be used to its potential. The photo that was attached to the email showed the little, 3.5 year old bay appaloosa mare, Dakota.
At first, I thought nothing of it. My dad would never say yes, especially since it was so close to Christmas. Plus, I had started to receive so many of these 'free' or 'cheap' horse emails, not to mention all of the ads I looked at daily on Dream Horse and in the Little Nickel. There was no way I could even approach my dad about it. I let it go for a day or so, but kept coming back to the emails and picture. I have always had a soft spot for Appaloosas. Starlett is a (spotless) Appaloosa and I like everything about her (except for her -now fixed- trailering issues and horribly tiny, crumbly, halter-type Quarter Horse feet). She is so brave, dependable, gives so much try every time I introduce something new, but most of all she has a personality I still can't quite describe except to call it 'Appy-tude.' Of course it helped that the photo showed a hint of a blanket on her bum. Having owned Star for so many years and having to tell people that she is not a Quarter Horse, but a registered Appaloosa gets old. Spots would solve every confusion I had ever came across.
I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to at least try to get my hands on her to see what she was all about. I remember it was about a week before Christmas day and my dad was sitting in his usual chair reading the paper, while I was trying to stay calm sitting on the hearth in front of the fireplace. I started out how I always do, "Hey Dad......I have something to show you...." He seemed interested so I continued.
"So.... I know of this horse that is for sale in Enumclaw... She's cheap and she's a young appy..."
I remember feeling my spirit lift and my anxiety drift way when he just looked back at me and said, "OK....Tell me more."
I told him everything I knew about Dakota. She's young. She's close. She's spotted. She's available now for cheap. In the photo, her legs look straight. I think she would be a good gaming horse. My friend also boarded where she was located, so I could get first hand information about her.
Then he said the words I have always wanted to hear, "When are you going to see her?"
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!?! Did he really say that?!? Yup, he did. Of course I never thought he would say yes, so I hadn't contacted the owner. This was going to be the best adventure ever!
PS~ I have no idea what's up with the text color. Hopefully it will work itself out soon! :)