I must have met upwards of 20 horses during my search. I did not ride them all but I definitely got my share of saddle time whilst meandering through my list of questions to humans present and accountable.
Upon returning home from my final appointment I was a bit melancholy and emotional. I had decisions to make and needed to ask some difficult questions of myself. I would love to tell everyone that choosing a horse is easy because you will just know, and granted sometimes that may be true. With Apache, he chose me eventually, not immediately. At first I was just another lesson to him I'm sure. The fact that I was completely enamored with his big blue eyes, ghostly coloring and his awesome name meant little to him in those first months of our life together. It was only through time and tenderness that he decided I was his person.
I tend to be a very logical person only because deep down I am a very emotional person. I have learned the hard way that my emotions cannot always be trusted and it is logic that swirls in my deepest realms. For me, a "gut" feeling is normally accompanied by the voice of Mr. Spock and then followed by a thousand little questions as I navigate from "I have this feeling" to the reason I have this feeling is logical and this is why...
I'm explaining all of this I guess because this whole search exhausted the hell out of me physically and emotionally and on one hand it sounds silly. I mean, I made some phone calls and spent a few days traveling and riding horses. LOL. But, there is SO much more to it than that. There is buyer's fear first off as you wonder where you are going really, what kind of people you will encounter, whether the horses you are looking at have been drugged (yes, this happens), whether the people you are meeting are not giving you the whole story or outright lying, whether you hear dueling banjos in the background as you make your way down a hollow LOL...
Plus I have already touched on the stress of a first time horse buyer (me) and feeling a bit like a fish out of water without my GF to turn to for additional questions, backup, opinion. Again, I know lots of people as first time buyers who do their research, put on their big girl pants and just go get a horse. People would be surprised to know, however, what a worrier I am. How many things I fear. I'm afraid all the time. I'm afraid of failing, afraid of failing someone (or something) else, afraid of doing the wrong thing, afraid of ruining an animal's life, afraid of missing something (like the horse I pick only has three legs or something - yes I had that dream one night during this search and woke up in a panic), afraid of being taken advantage of, afraid of....do you get my drift?
I hide it very well but there are times when I wonder how in the hell I cope. LOL. So what I'm saying is this wasn't only a BIG DEAL adventure to me it was more than a wee bit stressful.
There was quiet weeping. Very odd for a happy decision I know but thinking about all the horses I had known before, about the last decade of my life with them, about loss and how it transforms us. Then there was a mild panic attack. It happened in the laundry room while folding clothes. My throat got tight, I felt trapped, my skin was crawling and then there I was pacing back and forth with excess energy and unsettledness. What am I doing? What if I fuck up? What if the horse hates me? What if I forget to close the stall door and it walks out of the barn, up the road and onto the highway and.... Oh yeah, I can REALLY get some hefty worst case scenario type stuff when I'm worked up!
It took all of this processing for me to actually get to the point where I could think about individual horses. And upon dealing with myself, that is what I started to do.
In Loving Memory
...of the first horse to hold my heart