Back in the saddle

Kit the wonderfully charming horse I leased while living in Regina last year.

Kit the wonderfully charming horse I leased while living in Regina last year.

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.

A cross country ride up in the Chilcotin on Shelia.
A cross country ride up in the Chilcotin on Shelia.

Me and Nick ready for our lesson!

Me and Nick ready for our lesson!

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.

Who says you can't teach an old ranch horse some new tricks?

Who says you can't teach an old ranch horse some new tricks?

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8 Comments

Filed under Animal issues, Educational, Horses, Just for fun

8 responses to “Back in the saddle

  1. There you are!! I figured your computer was down, as I’ve been checking your blog regularly. (did the disc removal project go awry?) 🙂
    Good to see you back! xo

  2. Good to have you back!

    It sounds like you’ve got the perfect partner in Nick. The fact that he just happens to be an extremely handsome and elegant Arabian is just to make the rest of us jealous!

  3. I’m happy to see you’re back to posting.

  4. Welcome back. Isn’t it great to give yourself the gifts you wanted as a child. I am looking forward to buying a BB gun this summer myself.

  5. Hello,
    Thank you! I would now go on this blog every day!
    Pett

  6. LittleFfarm Dairy

    Lovely!

    Nick sounds like a great horse; & that special bond is amazing. I used to share my life with a beautiful Morgan Horse, who was my life’s dream….but took me to summits I never knew existed. Together he helped me qualify to represent Great Britain in the 1996 World Saddleseat Equitation Championships in Kentucky……OK I only managed 22nd place but to represent the UK in a World Championships – it was wonderful.

    And in 2000 he took the title of European Supreme Champion Morgan Horse In-Hand Gelding: he snorted & cavorted like a magnificent Grecian horse, leaping straight from the Acropolis’ Parthenon Frieze, whilst I stumbled happily alongside him in a blur of proud tears.

    Tragically after a typically messy divorce we too, had to part company; one of the deepest regrets of my life. Buzz would have done anything, gone anywhere, for me; it was often remarked with alarm that why on earth was I out on the rough-&-ready trail, with a ‘show horse’?

    “Because he’s a horse; & because he’d kill me if he didn’t wholly enjoy life to the limits” I’d reply. This was a lad who loved to live on the edge. He’d certainly have joined Nick on the couch for a few beers!

    Meanwhile life goes on; & even our horses here on the Ffarm moved to pastures new, last week: having had no time to ride at all last year & with this year even busier, we made the difficult decision to rehome them. But they’ve gone over to friends of ours in Cambridge, so at least we know they have a wonderful home where they’ll be well looked after & loved. The Shetlands will always have their home here with us, though.

    BTW some of the folks back here in the UK might not grasp your reference to ‘posting’ – here it’s just referred to as the rising trot. Incidentally the term posting comes from the postmen who generally rode everywhere at a brisk trot – & found that to rise out of the saddle was the most comfortable way to ride that gait.

  7. kim1708

    I personally love this post, because I all too well, know what your talking about. Your Nick, sounds like my Dandy. Hissy fits and all! They tell you when they are upset with you! They say “Where have you been, and why haven’t you been riding me like you should!” lol. But if you ride them every day, or every other day, they are the perfect angels. Well that’s what I have experienced anyway. I think my Arabian would be happy to live in the house and drink too!

    Here’s a favorite blog of mine. This blogger is an Arabian breeder in Graham WA.
    risingrainbow.blogspot.

    I love Arabians, they are so beautiful.

  8. Shaiyena C.

    I my self like horses too. My step day owns two horses. One is his and the other is his sisters. There names are bells and sapphire. My fave is sapphire because of her hair colour. i have always wnted a horse and now I have two.

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