The farrier came to the barn the other day to trim my horse's hooves.
That's right - my horse. My entire life I've wanted a horse and I finally, finally have one!
She's not the most beautiful horse. She won't win any prizes for conformation, but I think she's wonderful.
She has the mane of a unicorn ( a little messy right now).
And a beautiful face (oops, I tried to get out the "red eye" and gave her a bit of a black eye).
How did this happen? Last fall, I went to the big annual auction at an Amish farm. I was eyeballing all the horses - all cart horses - and fell into conversation with a lady. She said she had a horse for whom she needed a home. I thought, "I wonder if this is legitimate?"
The lady, named Carol, in a number of conversations told me the story behind my horse.
"I drive a school bus for Head Start. One day I drove the bus out of my driveway and needed to go back to get something. As I drove home, I saw this starved, hipbones-sticking-out horse walking down the road towards my house. I put it in the barn and fed it. Three days later I called the owner to let him know his horse was at my house. He hadn't even noticed she was missing. Previously, this horse' (Lady's) field mate had died. Now, I suspect it starved to death. The horse (Lady) had been at my farm a time or two before. She must have known where to go for help. I've had her for a year now and she's nicely fattened up. I breed Fjord horses and have eleven of them that I'm feeding and vetting already and really don't need the expense of one more horse. I only want to sell her to recuperate the cost of the feed she had for a year."
Carol is part of a riding club and we decided that she would bring the horse to the next club's ride and I could "test drive" her. We met, I talked to all the people, and I rode my horse for four hours. We went on every kind of terrain, up hills, down hills, over ditches, through creeks, cars drove past, four-wheelers drove past, dogs nipped at her heels - I loved her. She went everywhere I pointed her without balking a bit! She was a comfortable ride and she's small (about 14 hands) so I can get on and off her easily. I had been looking for a horse for quite a while and this just felt right.
A few weeks later, I met Carol and had myself a horse!
Her new name is Lady Bella Mellini - I love the flow of it.
Lady - the name of a white horse of a dear German friend from a long time ago
Bella - Beautiful
Mellini - the name of the hotel we stayed in in Italy this past October (and minus one 'l' its the name of a darn good Chianti wine!)
I'm in a very fortunate position where I can keep my horse in the pasture (with five other horses) right beside my property. The gentleman who cares for the five horses kindly includes my horse in the care and I can check on Lady from my front door!
I've ridden her a few times since I got her home. The weather turned nasty shortly after I had her. She's a bit barn sour and I'll have to work with her on that. She definitely has issues with separation from the other horses - she whinnies for them while we're out. The minute the weather gets better I'll be working with her a lot. And I'm going to be going on trail rides with the riding club!
The other day when I went to see her she was out in the run-in. I called her name, she saw me, and she came trotting up to me!