And then I got terribly sick, discovered it was due to autoimmune disease, and went through months of recovery to find balance. But in all that, I was having difficulties feeling anywhere near normal. A year ago, I said good-bye to my last best friend to put him out of the pain he suffered, which I suspect was due to an equine form of autoimmune disease. It took a long time to heal emotionally and physically, but I always felt that his spirit was with me, pushing me to continue. He came into my life to teach me the good and prepare me for my own challenges, and he taught me more than all the horses I had had before him.
Since last spring, I wasn't sure I would be healthy enough to care for another horse, but over the summer, as I healed, I started to hope that maybe I would. I saw a light at the end of that dark tunnel growing closer. I saved my money, waited, made arrangements for potential boarding. I reviewed sale postings locally but nothing was quite right, and then the time came for the annual fall auction. I pulled up the catalog online, reviewed the pony listings and planned carefully. I wasn't going to spend my money on just any horse. But this time, instead of a tall horse like Beau was, I knew I wanted a pony that I could share with my kids. And this time, I told myself, I wasn't going to be competitive; instead, this horse would be a trick pony, english and western riding, and a kid's horse with a little dressage thrown in. I knew what I wanted and waited, growing eager with each passing day leading up to the sale (this weekend).
Yesterday, I took my list of lot numbers and traversed the sales yard (I've done this before but this time had specific requirements in mind, unlike when I was younger and didn't know as much). I crossed off the ones that didn't fit and marked the few that did. Some I couldn't determine because they had blankets on.
I lost the bidding war on one pony this morning and was waiting on another when I saw Buddy enter. He had been on my list but I hadn't seen much of him yesterday because I wasn't sure since his blanket hid his number. He fit what I wanted perfectly! I hadn't had a good look at him before, so I took a chance, but I knew a young horse like him (3 yo) had a lot of potential and little chance of being ruined. I have always LOVED Paints/pintos, so that caught my eye right off the bat. He was calm, neck reined wonderfully, and was the perfect size (14.2 hands). He'll grow another inch or so, but will not top 15 hands when he's done, which is the max size that I ever want. So, I bid. And as the auctioneer kept asking for a hundred more than my last bid, which was skirting my max, I prayed the other person didn't go higher. When I heard "Sold for [my bid]", my heart jumped. #687 was mine. While I'm cautious, since I will need time to discover his quirks and work through them, and I have my own health to consider, I am excited.
All the way to the sales barn today with my oldest child along, we drove west, following a double rainbow, which vanished with the rain cutting off the morning sun in the east as we reached the sales barn. I told my daughter that this was a sign. And it proved too prophetic. It turns out that the horse I got is the fourth in a series of "B" horses I've owned, the previous three all having proved that they were my "B"est horses--purely coincidence but a weird one. I'm hoping that Buddy continues that streak.
|Buddy, in his pen at the stockyard.|
I know my new limitations and may not always be able to ride or do much, but at least I will have back a piece of my soul that was missing. This was the right time and, I'm hoping, the right horse. Only time will tell.
Already, I can feel that the excitement has stirred up some reaction of the AID inside me, but I'm hoping that once I get to start being his buddy that his presence will help me cope or at least feel more "normal". I have been a horseperson for over 30 years. To be without a buddy (as I always affectionately called my boys), has been frustrating. Now I will have a new Buddy, in every way.