Friday, April 17, 2009

Two Years of Joy and Learning

(Blue sky pics by me, middle pic by my Mom)






Two years ago today, I purchased my first horse, and you readers have followed me along almost as long, reading along as I experience the joy of owning her.

Daisy was not the perfect horse, to say the least. She still isn't. But I've learned so much. She's made me laugh so many times, been a comfort even more often, and is just always there to hang around with. I've decided that she's really just shy outwardly; she does love to be loved on. Her pinned ears show a nasty personality, but once you get past her head and scratch a little behind her ears, she's perfect.

As mentioned above, I've learned a ton. When I bought Daisy, I don't know how I did it. I knew nothing, zip, zero, zilch, about buying a horse. I went and "looked" at her without knowing what I was looking for. I wanted a horse I could ride. I still wonder what I was thinking...the first time I tried her out, she reared. And she wouldn't trot without crow-hopping. But I tried her out again. And bought her. Why? As I said in a post before, I had grown use to riding a horse (see here) that was challenging, and Daisy seemed to fit the part (*Understatement*). I fell in love with her personality pretty quickly; the way she pinned her ears like a monster, but how well-behaved she became after just a week of steady riding and reprimand. I've learned so much about the daily care of a horse that even riding lessons for 8 years can't teach you. How to deworm a horse, schedule farrier and vet appointments, deal with the drama of both, feeding schedules, providing hay, soaking a hoof in salt, etc (I have memories of all of these, some of which would have made me cry at the time, but at this point, I can only laugh at them, as it should be :)). There is a never-ending list of things to be done when you have a horse. I'm striving to make Daisy's life the best that I can, the best that I know how. I've learned that you can't set a person's opinion too highly, that you need to question it and find out things for yourself sometimes. That even though someone may tell you how to do something, and they always seem to know best, that there come times when you need to take matters in your own hands.

I've had a blast riding Daisy. She has those quirky days where I wonder again why I bought her in the first place, what I saw in her, when she is being so bad that certain day. But other days she impresses me and surprises me so much with her talent, that I wonder how anyone could have wanted to give her up. Sometimes I feel both in the same day.

She's also an awesome form of therapy. Bad day? Ride. Angry? Clean the stall like and lug hay bales to get that extra energy out (I must say that after owning her, I've gotten pretty strong). Sad? Give her a big huge hug :-P(for a horse that acts like she's mad all the time, she's a big sucker for hugs). Riding her is an endless learning process for both of us...from galloping her bareback for the first time and learning to balance while getting her to stop (haha, she loves to gallop), to teaching her to side pass, to, just today, getting her to finally do a right-lead canter. It's taught me to not always look to the biggest goal, but set little goals, and in that way, feel a big reward whenever that small goal is reached.

I've seen a glimpse of the show world, as well. When I bought Daisy, I didn't plan on showing, and didn't really want to. Then I did the county fair. She was amazing, and I had a ton of fun. After going to some local shows last fall, I had a reality check. I learned that Daisy did amazing at the county fair because the competition wasn't tough...so that was little let down. I've seen that Daisy isn't one of those slow stepping western pleasure horses, but she's also not a quick-like-a-bullet barrel racing horse, either. And I'm glad. Western pleasure horses? Pretty, but slow. oh so slow. I'm not sure I'd like that. Barrel racing horses? Fast. Very fast. but also hard to handle and pretty dangerous at times. Trail class stars like Daisy? Great. Because even though she's not top of the class in barrel racing or Western pleasure, she's great where, for me, it counts. I know I can ride her down a trail and not have to fear her spooking at something, and if she does, I know she's a sensible horse, and gets over it fast. We can ride on the road with cars and trucks speeding by, and she won't bat an eyelash.

For me, she's perfect. For others she may be too hard to handle, or not showy enough, or she may not have the greatest conformation, but for me, she's amazing. She's my dream come true. She's wonderful. I can't stress that enough. So maybe she's got her problems, but don't we all?

So in all, if I could redo the last two years, and buy her all over again, I'd do it again. It was so worth it. It's all a learning experience, with ups and downs, but so worth it.

Thank you, God, for blessing me with my Daisy-Mae. It was all in His plan.

Happy Anniversary, Daisy-Mae. To us. * insert sound of glasses containing apple juice clinking* (because Daisy likes apples and it looks likes champagne.)

Have a great Friday, everyone!



15 comments:

Gudl said...

Cheers! To you and Daisy. You ARE a great team!
Great post!

gregor said...

Happy Anniversary! Seeing you two together, I would never guess that Daisy is/was difficult. The way you take care of Daisy is inspiring.

I LOVE JESUS said...

Happy Anniversary!!!!!!! :D You sure love Daisy. :) And I love riding her too. :) Love you!!!!!

allhorsestuff said...

I loved your writings about Daisy and Patchy too.
Sweet mare and you are such a good team. I am so pleased that you find joy in her and everything about having her. It is the best...to be in love, in the spring, with your horse!
Kac

Michaela said...

Congratulations! Indigo and I just celebrated our first anniversary on April 5th. Keep up the good work.

And IDK if I told you yet, but Indigo is now barefoot becasue my dad and I did a lot of research and decided it was best for him,(and our wallets). Keep up the good work! It really is amazing how much you can learn from having your own horse.

Mellimaus said...

Hey!

That is AWESOME that Indigo is barefoot! Have you read "The Soul of a Horse: Life Lessons from the Herd"? It's SUPER good you should really try to get your hands on it...I'm keeping Daisy barefoot, but I'm pretty sure we don't have any natural hoof trimmers in our area :-/...I have to look again, so at the moment I'm just getting trims from a regular farrier...I'm not too happy with it, but w/e...I'm getting the boots soon, have to wait until the farrier comes and trims her again to remeasure for size...ugh...

Thanks for the comments everyone!

Farmgirl_dk: said...

This was an incredible post, Mellimaus. You are a fantastic writer and your words brought a smile to my face. The wisdom and wit that you share on owning your first horse should be published!
And I *love* to hear how someone with absolutely no prior knowledge and experience can successfully find, purchase, and care for a beautiful horse. You see, we are thinking of getting two horses...and I'm extremely nervous!
You and Daisy Mae are thriving together and I love reading your stories! Congrats to both of you. <3

Michaela said...

Melissa- My grandpa sent me an article he saw about barefoot horses and it referenced a barefoot specialist farrier in our area. We had her some out and she has many theories and stuff. I can make a copy and send it to you if you give me your address.(only if you want)She reccomended to us the Easyboot Glove because it won't catch on anything on the trails or when jumping. They are pretty cheap too. For horse boots, at least.

Mellimaus said...

Hey, Michaela,

Just so you know, I've read a ton of reviews and heard that the regular "easyboots" aren't so "easy" to put on...just to warn you...I was between the BOA and the Old Mac's G2's, but I picked Old Mac's...they are expensive, but I figure, it's still cheaper then paying a ton each month for shoes, and they should last awhile...

Idk how much it would help to have the article unless it referenced natural horse trimmers in our area, too...if it does, the article would probably be online...and if NOT ;) then maybe you could give me the contact info. if there was a trimmer...w/e, I'll email you. :)

~Mellimaus

Anika said...

omg. im gonna cry. im so close.

1. those pictures of her adorable and then one your mom took is i think the cutest picture i have seen of her. im serious. so cute.

2. i remember you telling me about all of the things you did with daisy and were working on with her. we dont really talk much anymore but there are endless lessons with horses. :) I remember all the way in the beginning when she wouldnt even stand in cross ties. or how you were at our house and we were thinking of names for her and daniela thought of daisy and you used it.

3. Last year, you were in germany or florida (i forget) on the day of your anniversary thing. I commented on your latest post back then that said you had daisy for a year. lol

4. Good job with her melissa. :)


You make me miss having a horse lol =]

-Anika

Mellimaus said...

Hey, Anika!

Awwww, your comment touched me. It touches me that this post touched you, haha...I wrote it at night and was probably kinda tired, so by the time I read it again it sounded kinda cheesy, but now I think it's good...I'm sorry you miss having a horse!
also, idk if I'm just stupid, but I searched and searched and couldn't find a post about last year's anniversary! I know I didn't make a specific one, but I didn't find any where I mentioned it, either!...hmmm...I must be dumb...haha :-P..

Thanks for your comment! <3

Anika said...

loll, you actually didn't even mentio it, you just had a post about ft. lauderdale up and i commented, "congratulations!"
this is it:
http://ridingdaisy.blogspot.com/2008/04/spring-and-here-i-come-ft-lauderdale.html

Sarah said...

Cool post!
Happy anniversery to you and Daisy Mae!! I feel exactly like that with Valley :)

FYI, I finally posted on my Training Valley blog again today!

Misha said...

Happy Anniversary!!! You and Daisy are lucky to have each other :)

the new pictures of her are great, btw :)

Lydia said...

Awwwwww, that's so sweet!

I feel just the same about Stewy's and my connection. It's really great when an animal and a horse can connect. Beautiful.

You totally should be an author. Seriously, cheesy sometimes is good!

Lydia

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