Yesterday I went back to the stable where I kept Monty. I chose the time of day most of my friends would be there. It was great. They were my best support group (thanks guys! and thanks to all who gave me great support here on the blog as well!). Even seeing Monty's empty stall didn't affect me in a bad way. Sure it was a little melancholy but nothing overwhelming.
My goal was to take my friend D. up on her offer to ride her big Thoroughbred mare, Belle. She told me that I could ride the mare anytime and I was doing her a favor as the mare wasn't getting much work. Belle has been a sale horse for awhile now. The first time I saw her under saddle, I thought she looked like she would make a great field hunter. She's a big girl, about 17 hands and a color I like to call a "basic" bay - which means all brown, no white markings and black mane, tail and points.
I lugged my tack from my locker down to the barn at the other end of the property and saddled Belle in the stall. I was pleasently surprised that all of my tack fit her with no adjustments, even the bridle! She's a real quiet, friendly mare. I didn't know what to expect but everyone who has ridden her in the past said she's a sweet girl. The part I found amusing was as I tightened the girth, she made a cranky face and turned her head to me. I laughed and called her a rookie, I knew that move. My old mare, Alta had that move down (and in addition, would have tried to take a chunk out of my arm faster than a shark). I gently pushed her head back and told her don't try it. She tried once more as I tightened the girth another hole, I pushed her cheek away and she gave it up after that.
It was frigid cold yesterday. All I managed to do was walk Belle around in the plowed driveway as none of the other areas for riding were any better. I liked that she wasn't overly sensitive to the leg and seat as some Thoroughbreds are. We just did some bending and stretching at the walk. It was a weird feeling to be on a different horse but she was a good first "catch ride". After about 20 minutes my thighs were so frozen they were stinging. I had to quit.
I packed up my gear after tucking Belle in. As I was leaving, I had a bittersweet moment where out of habit I started for my jar of horse cookies to give Monty a few more before I left and I stopped myself. That was my routine, after packing my tack back in my locker I always topped him off with a few cookies to say goodbye. I would have walked a few horse cookies down to Belle but I don't yet know what D.'s policy is on treats with her.
"sigh" I need a horse.
Today I was supposed to go see a horse about 15-20 miles away in my county here in NY. But it was snowing this morning and I cancelled due to the roads not having been cleared well yet. Instead, the whole family piled into the SUV and went close by to the town park to go sledding! The snow was perfect, the hill was awesome and my kids had a blast with their plastic snow saucers. I think the wipe-outs made them laugh more than the zooming down the big hill! Good times.
Tonight I should have video of a Thoroughbred gelding I found on horse.com. I came across his ad last night and can't explain it but I got very excited over him. I spoke with the wife of the farm owner where he is at and liked the vibe I got from her. My husband spoke with her husband today and they are looking through their video of him to send me the best of what they have. He's stabled about 4 hours away from me. If the video keeps me interested, I want to see this horse when I return from my next business trip, which is this coming weekend in Houston, TX. I hope he's what I'm looking for.