Monday, 14 October 2019

Best Decisions

I've not been feeling well for just about a month, so I haven't been riding as much as I normally do and even activities like mucking out and bucket cleaning have been more of a struggle than they should be. I have a doctor's appt next week to start getting sorted out so hopefully I'll be back to full energy soon.

Anyway, this isn't a health blog, but the above is relevant to today's thoughts. Some (well meaning) people have mentioned perhaps I might want to consider scaling back the horse commitments to make things easier on myself. Bridget is a great pony and she's in her prime. I often don't ride her more than 2 or 3 times a week and usually it's just a quick trail ride. Why not find her a home where she'll be loved and used?

Obviously, they don't understand that Bridget stays busy working off her board ;)

Conversely, life has changed since I got Sophie. Do I really need/want a dressage prospect pony that I likely will only be able to show or take to clinics once every few months?

I actually did ponder selling Bridget back when I was looking for a dressage pony to take me further. The money from Bridget would have made a big difference and I could have found a prospect already under saddle and ready to step right into Bridget's shoes. But, I didn't and I am happy.

It's like owning a giant cuddly toy. Except she's real :D

Bridget is super easy to have around. She enjoys getting out and doing stuff, but she also doesn't mind hanging out. She lives on air, she's friendly and easy to handle for everyone. Yes, she still costs me a couple hundred dollars a month to keep, but that's basically nothing when we're talking horses! Bridget might not do anything spectacularly (besides eat) but she reliably does everything well, and that's huge for a backyard rider like me who doesn't currently belong to a "program"

Who else would I drag out because someone set a course and I suddenly feel like jumping after months of trails and dressage?

Even if we take the emotion out of it (I've owned her since she was a super green bean and I am so attached to her, obviously) I really do think she's got a great life. I doubt she cares about ribbons and shows and I know she doesn't like being in a full schedule of work. She prefers living out to in, and for how much I go on about how easy she is, she's kind of a fan of just having one or two main people in her life. I have visions of Bridget living a long a happy life and retiring with me and living in my backyard :)

She's getting fuzzy!

As for Sophie, this backyard pony stuff has been good for her too. I bought her as an ammy friendly dressage prospect, and as such she's a lot more quick and reactive than B (although strangely, less sensitive and more forgiving). She's turned into a pretty solid citizen these past few months, and I think she is going to be a great all arounder too. So yeah, not just a dressage prospect anymore!

Happy, friendly backyard pony #2

I think Sophie's always going to be that bit more work to care for and will need a regular schedule to be at her best, but with Bridget being so low maintenance and flexible with her work schedule I can't see that keeping both of them happy will ever be overwhelming.

Things could easily change again and I'll be back at EC's and taking lessons and showing regularly. Or maybe I'll just be trailering down more infrequently. Whatever the future brings, I've got zero regrets with keeping Bridget and taking a chance and buying Sophie.


Thank goodness I didn't sell Bridget and buy that dressage horse! There's not a big demand for fancy prancing in my current living situation...and while fancy is fun, right now I need the level headed ponies that can hack down the road in the dark all winter, go a couple of days turned out in the field with very little attention, and who don't mind hitting the trails with friends one day and going to a clinic the next. I'm not saying there aren't dressage horses like that out there...I just think I'm lucky with what I've got. I've got sport pony potential without actually needing to use it every day :)



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22 comments

  1. She's what you wanted, and she's gorgeous!

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  2. Both horses seem to be living a great life! I like how you describe Bridget: doesn't care about ribbons, likes to live out, etc. I think my horse is the same, and when I forget that and feel a bit guilty that I'm not taking him to more endurance rides I need to remember he likes being a horse best of all! I also think Bridget is adorable (yes, you're cute too Sophie but I've got a thing for bays with blazes) and looks so fun to ride!

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    1. Bay with a blaze is my very favorite color :)

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  3. Horses don't have goals, both ponies are happy to be with you and do whatever you please!

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    1. I think they'd both like to be entertained a little more this week. Bridget was doing canter pirouetttes around me as I mucked out yesterday. Like "C'mon, let's play!":D

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  4. Things I know about the short but wide mares: as long as they are getting fed, they are happy.

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  5. I think you mad3 some highly intelligent decisions! I also hope that you feel better soon.

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  6. Hope you feel better soon!

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  7. I hope you feel better soon!! and send Bridget to TN thanks :) LOVE HER

    So excited you still have both of them. Rest up and take care of yourself!!

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    1. Around here in our horse club I am "The girl who owns Bridget" or sometimes, people just call me Bridget!? She is more popular than I am, for sure :D

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    2. i am not ashamed to admit more people know my horse's name than mine on. OH YOU ARE REMUS'S OWNER? WE LOVE HIM. hello i will be over here while people admire/want to steal my horse :) HA HAHA

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  8. Follow your own path. Happy horses, happy rider, flexible horses that can do many things- a great place to be as an AA. Feel better soon!

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    1. It's so easy to get caught up in the competitive aspects, especially showing and riding with Vancouver area riders. They're lovely, but in general they have A LOT more time and disposable income than I do so when I go to shows the difference in average horsepower is quite noticable. My coach is all about training mattering more than the horse you're on, but being human it's hard to not get the "I wants" when you're often surrounded by top class everything. I'm glad I stuck with what I actually need :)

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  9. aw i love this tho <3 for me, it's always been so important to have horses that i enjoy spending time with, however that time may be spent. sounds like you've got the perfect partners for how things are going in life <3

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  10. I love this post so much.
    You and I are in very similar circumstances, and the ability for our horses to be that "all around" pleasure pony far outweighs the fancy shows. I mean, fancy shows don't hurt either ;)

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    1. Right? I bought the fanciest pony I could afford on my tiny budget and rather than doing all the things to prepare for life as a show pony I've spent hours and hours taking her out on the trail and basically slowing her mind down - less fancy prancing, more thinking please!

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  11. As long as you're having fun, nothing else matters!

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