so. . . two weeks ago, what started out as a day trip for Rose turned into a trial period. I had originally planned to just haul her to the big farm and make her stay tied in the arena while I get my lesson in and while we were there, get a few opinions out of a few of the trainers there. I knew "The Big Guy" was out at a show, but no biggie, I could bring Rose back at a later date for his opinion. Besides, the day trips would be good for her.
So Halie and I loaded up Poison first then tried loading Rose that morning, but she would absolutely not go in the trailer, granted it had been awhile but I was not going to make excuses for her. We finally ended up unloading Poison and then loading Rose up first (still with a little resistance but she eventually walked up in there.) Loaded Poison and we hit the road. A few hours later we arrive at the big farm. Unloaded Poison, then backed out Rose. As I walked Rose towards Trainer to ask where I could tie her, he asked a few questions like how she was bred and all. (Mind you I never once mentioned the story behind her.) He proceeded to say she was cute and built nicely with the exception of her slight swaybacked appearance. He took her for me and tied her to the walker. I thought to myself "this should be interesting. She's never been on one of those". Needless to say, all those tying to the wall sessions absolutely came in handy for she didn't move after he tied her. He walked around her a few times, examining her then walked back to me, bottom lip pooched out nodding all the while with a serious look in his eyes. "I don't see why we couldn't try her out and see what she's got. We'd have to adjust some tack and stuff and probably work around her back, but I'd like to see what she could do".
I bit my lip and nodded and told him let me get Poison saddled up and I'll call my boss man (I always lovingly refer to Mark as my Boss Man) and see what he says.
All this time, Poison is dancing around the trailer, hollering herself into a sweat because Rosie left the vicinity. Again, I thought to myself, "you big dummy, you two fight when you're at home in the field and now you miss her". I proceeded to saddle her as I dialed the boss man from my cellphone. I told him what Trainer had said and asked about leaving her there for 30 days to see what happens. He agreed to the deal so I had that happy yet nervous feeling as I mounted up and rode to the arena.
I told Trainer that the boss man ok'd it and he told me he called his boss man too and that he ok'd it so the deal was set. Rosie was to stay and we'd evaluate her at 30 days.
For the entire hour I rode Poison during my lesson, Rose stayed tied to that walker and never once misbehaved. I don't even remember her calling out to any horse, she stood there as politely as could be. When my lesson was over and I was untacking Poison, one of the young colt riders untied Rose and walked her up to the trailer and handed me her halter and proceeded to walk her down to the two year old barn. Again, Poison starting hollering and dancing around for her as she walked away. I got Poison untacked and watered, then walked up to the show barn to see if Halie was done with her horse. She was still rinsing her down. Already I wanted to go see Rose again and see her stall and give her a last scratch. Trainer offered to drive me down to the other barn so we ran down there real quick, cookies in pocket. He teased me as I jumped out of his truck and quickly fed Rose two cookies, gave her a quick rub and hopped back in to drive back to the show barn. By this time Halie was done with her filly so I coerced her to come with me to the office to inquire about some paperwork. It was also a good excuse to see Rose one last time before we left (mind you I felt like that oddball owner doing all of this stuff). Ran to the office, saw about some paperwork, walked out the door and went straight to Rose's stall, again, with a pocket full of cookies.
I opened her door and scratched her here and there, handing her cookie after cookie. She met her new next door neighbor and pulled her same tricks with the squealing like a pig, ears pinned, tail swish and kick. I looked at Halie and said "oh geez, they're going to get sick of her before she's even here a few hours!" I eventually had to leave the stall. It was the only way to keep her from trying to keep her neighbor away from me and thus keeping everything peaceful and quiet.
After the cookies were gone, I scratched her lovingly one last time through the bars and turned to go. As Halie and I drove away, I never had such a feeling as I did at that moment in time. With all the horses I've hauled off to training or even sold, I never had that feeling. I've always felt a slight bit of relief for that was one less horse I'd have to work with or feed or take care of and hoped it would lighten the load a bit. This time, driving down the interstate, for the first time in years, I felt empty.
Coming up next......my first visit, two weeks after leaving Rose.