I've got a lot of thoughts going through my head about the horses, and it's time for a coffee break, so I'm going to share. :) That's what blogs are for, right?
At first I was excited to have information on Tonka yesterday, then I got to thinking. If he's this bad off with 24 hour turnout, no grain, and buddies to help him exercise, is he going to be okay? I have to face it, I had him on the diet and he was getting almost daily exercise last year and he was still showing symptoms. Granted, I can do better by keeping up with the exercise, adding more fat, and keeping him out of stressful situations. (Bye-Bye John Wayne Trail ride or any other situation with a lot of "up" horses.) But I have to wonder - am I going to need to start looking for a different riding horse within the next few years?
If I do, what kind of horse do I want? I mean, if you can't even get a genetically healthy horse out of a wild herd, it just seems like a crapshoot to me. I know, horses are fragile and that's just something horse people have to come to terms with, but I want to complain right now.
Would I want a trained horse? Would I want a horse straight off the range? Would I want another mustang? I'm not sure. I'm questioning all my firmly held opinions right now. The truth is, I don't know what's most important to me when it comes to horses. Well, that's not true. The most important thing is that I find a horse I LOVE like I love Tonka and Bella. Next I was going to say you never know if you're going to get that. But maybe it comes with the gentling. Or maybe I just got lucky that I deeply loved both my wild ones. Maybe there's my answer, and I do need another mustang fresh off the range, if and when the time comes.
You might be thinking, "What about Scout?" All of this has led me to realize I don't want to keep him, no matter what the circumstances. He needs someone fun, electric, playful and engaging. That's not me. My energy is calm, boring, routine, goal oriented. Which is probably why Tonka and I haven't totally failed together. We're opposites. He's got the energy I lack, and I help him to be more level.
I am going to start riding Cisco. I may still sell him. I may not. It is possible I will adore him after building more of a relationship. But it could go the other way too. He is very sweet, an amazingly comfortable ride, and pretty steady. But he also has a pushy, dominant, fearful, independent streak. I think that comes from being the beginner's horse that anyone can ride. He's been passed from one inexperienced rider to another and he doesn't have faith in them. He has his own judgment and he's not afraid to use it. :)
So... Now I'm off to ride Cisco. But I want to ask - if you were forced to look for a new horse, what would you be looking for? Broke or unhandled, what breed and why? Or maybe just share your idea of a perfect horse - maybe it's a horse you own already or had in the past.
And don't worry. I haven't given up on my boy. I have a lot of work ahead to get him rideable again, but we'll be out on trails at some point, and hopefully this year's riding season will show me that my worries are unfounded.