If you follow my Instagram or Facebook you’ll already know the good news- we welcomed another pony into our family.
The decision was not made lightly; I spent a lot of time narrowing down what exactly I wanted, what would serve my current needs and direction, weighing future needs and goals, and what would be the best use of the money I had. I also ended up being heavily influenced by an interest my husband developed in a particular breed.
I joined several breed interest groups on Facebook, for research purposes (wink wink). I considered Dales ponies, Fell ponies, “Gypsy Vanners” (see more about why I put that breed in quotation marks here), Norwegian Fjord horses, Icelandic horses, Belgian draft or Brabant horses, Gypsians, Morgans, and anything in between that fit my criteria.
My criteria were:
– between 3 and 8 years old. I was somewhat flexible; younger with promise, or older with training was under consideration.
– mare. This was, and is, an absolutely hard line. I do not like geldings, period, and while I’d consider a stallion there are many things you have to factor in when keeping a stallion and I’m not prepared at this time to keep one.
– started. I wanted something that had been started under saddle and at least had handling down; started in harness, too, would be even better.
– temperament. Don’t let the fact that I have three other criteria listed before temperament fool you- temperament was, and is, paramount. With good temperament you can always change a horse’s training; you can’t change its temperament with training, an arsehole will always be an arsehole, even if mannered.
– size. I wanted a horse that I felt could comfortably carry me.
Notice that I did not list ANYWHERE on my list of criteria color, breed, or discipline. A good horse is a good horse, completely irrespective of those three things. I did list size, which also has no bearing on how good a horse is, but for me does have solid reasoning behind it.
Paris came to me rather by chance. Her owner sent me a Facebook message saying that she had a young mare that met my criteria and she was considering selling her but hadn’t made a decision yet. We kept in touch for several months, and eventually she did end up deciding to sell her to me.
It’s been a little less than a month and Paris and I are still getting to know each other. This process of discovery is both beautiful and riddled with doubts; beautiful because it’s a joy getting to know someone new, and doubt-ridden because I constantly second-guess myself and the choices I make. Is Paris the right horse? What will our future be like?
I do know one thing for certain: this is gonna be good.