Confession: Sometimes you get exactly what you want even if it was too much to hope for.
How many of you equestrians have seen ads looking for a unicorn? The quintessential perfect horse for your needs. You know, the one that doesn’t exist?
Or does it?
A unicorn has different meanings depending on individual need. To me, a unicorn is quiet, patient, trusting, forgiving, and full of personality. Plus, I always wanted a Hunter type, even and steady to the jumps as I still get nervous and would not do well with too forward a ride.
You may know my love of Delight, the sassy young thoroughbred I rode for two years. It was hard to come to terms, but I knew that if I wanted a forever horse he could not be it. Not with my level of experience and young children who ride. Don’t get me wrong, he is incredible with my children, but he’s young himself.
I happened upon a unicorn quite by accident. Changing things up, I rode a few different lesson horses at my barn to help me come back from injury. One day, Robin suggested I ride Ferrous.
“Am I allowed to ride Ferrous?” I asked. Because I knew he was the barn owner’s favorite and she was quite specific over who could ride him and how. But apparently I passed muster because I got the green light.
The first time I rode him, I thought “he’s a noodle!” I was used to Delight who is straight as an arrow and needed very little to keep him that way. In fact, I didn’t really worry about it. I was spoiled. By the time I was halfway through my lesson I had Ferrous straight using my inside leg to my outside rein and keeping him collected.
It was a bit different going from a 16.2h horse to a 14.2 pony, but by the time I rode Ferrous again I really got a feel for him. My trainer and my riding partner both commented how good we looked together. And you know what? I felt good.
After riding him less than two months, my trainer said offhand, “You should buy him”, and I scoffed. But then I thought more about it.
I went home to Jason and had a plan. He was rather tired of me talking about horses, wanting horses, or anything related to horses. But rather logically I told him that I found a pony that would be a good fit for us as a family. I asked him if he’d be willing to even consider it.
To my surprise and utmost euphoria we had a very detailed conversation about what he was willing and unwilling to do.
So I told my trainer, whom I’m sure did not believe me at first. Honestly, I didn’t either. Not really. When you want something for so long and have struggled to obtain it, finally having the opportunity seems surreal.
I didn’t have my heart set on Ferrous, because I didn’t want to be disappointed should it not work out. But his owner and I were able to reach an agreement. Ferrous is a barn favorite and he gets to stay at home with his friends and those who love him. I am now the proud owner of a beautiful roan Welsh X pony that is versatile enough for me to ride and work with, and quiet enough and forgiving enough for my daughters.
At 11 years old, my daughters can grow with him and move up with him as long as I keep him schooled properly.
A unicorn is almost too good to be true. But regardless, we are so loving him as part of our family and learning to ride and trust. Here is to many, many years of friendship, love, and a whole lot of laughs.