I finally have my computer back and up and running and should be able to be regular again with my posts. Posting on the blog is not the only posting I’ll be doing on a regular basis again. Yesterday, I went to see a woman about a horse–my horse! I finally got my butt back in the saddle and took a much needed riding lesson. A lesson that involves posting–we’re learning dressage.
I have always wanted to ride horses since being a child but not really had a lot of opportunity to do so having grown up in the city. Consequently, I’m having to give this dream to myself as an adult. My aunt would take me trail riding every year for my birthday and I loved it. Until living here however I didn’t have the time, the money or the resources to support a horse–now they are part of my life.
Four years ago I finally got up the courage to buy myself a horse. Nick is now a 24 year old purebred Arabian with a personality that is larger than life, and not really befitting a horse. “He’s unlike any other horse I’ve had,” said the rancher that sold him to me. “I bet he’d sit on the couch and watch tv with you if you let him” he summed up as I handed over the cash.
Nick was born and bred right here in Bella Coola by a man who once raised cattle on the property I now own. He was then sold to a rancher down south who worked him with cattle before selling him to another rancher (the man who sold him to me) in the Chilcotin. When this fellow got out of the business, Nick made his way down to what he thought would be an easy retirement here in the valley. Until I showed up, he was getting fat and happy in the paddock with his friends.
Then, I began riding him. It was going to be an informal relationship. I was going to take lessons on him and he was going to get exercise, no strings attached. However, from the first day out with him I knew he was different–there was an immediate unspoken communication link that was palpable between us. Until meeting Nick, I had thought a horse was just a horse. I was wrong. After just one lesson on him I found myself feeling confident enough to buy him, and so I did. Finally, I had my very own horse and an Arabian to boot. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven: I still do.
Yesterday, we had a rough ride. He was persnickety and let me know he was less than happy about being ignored for several months and now expected to work. My instructor helped work him (and me) through his hissy fits and we ended off nicely together. Despite having a ranching background I think Nick really always dreamed of being a ‘girls’ horse. He seems to love the work of learning dressage and grows about two inches when in the arena. The wonderful thing about him besides the fantastic work ethic (and hissy fits aside) is that he’s a rough and ready 4 x 4 when he wants to be. All that ranching background makes him a nice sound ride when out in the bush: he’s faced down bears, thinks nothing of forging rivers, doesn’t go into a frenzy if a butterfly flutters by or a ruffled grouse suddenly explodes from its hiding place. He’s exactly what I need in this country. He’s exactly what I’d have come up with if I’d drawn up a wish-list. He’s my one good horse.